From civilians to soldiers, Naval Academy Midshipmen inspire students


Dylan Drury '22

Midshipman Athena Corroon ’19, a junior at the United States Naval Academy, returned to Sacred Heart Greenwich November 23.

Sacred Heart Greenwich alumna and United States Naval Academy (Naval Academy) Midshipman Athena Corroon ‘19 returned to Sacred Heart November 23 to inform and inspire students hoping to pursue careers in the military as part of the Naval Academy’s “Operation Information” program.  Midshipman Ellie Dabney, a 2019 Greenwich High School graduate, also returned to her hometown to educate Sacred Heart students about naval service.  

Midshipman Corroon attended the Sacred Heart Upper School from 2015 to 2019.  As a student, she received varsity letters for four years in lacrosse and for three years in soccer.  She helped lead the varsity lacrosse team to the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) Championships.  Midshipman Corroon was a leader in Sacred Heart athletics, earning the title of All FAA player four times, receiving United States Lacrosse All-American accolades in 2019, and serving as varsity soccer and varsity lacrosse captain during her senior year.  Midshipman Corroon was also a member of student government, serving as the 2018 to 2019 Green Team Captain.  In addition, she participated in the Peer Leadership program during her senior year.

Midshipman Corroon, who wore jersey number 17 while playing lacrosse at Sacred Heart Greenwich, continues to represent number 17 with pride while playing lacrosse at the United States Naval Academy.  Dylan Drury ’22

After graduating from Sacred Heart, Midshipman Corroon began attending the Naval Academy in June 2019.  As a student at the Naval Academy, she not only trains to serve the United States but also plays on the women’s lacrosse teamDuring her freshman year, Midshipman Corroon was one of two freshmen to start and play in every National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I game before the season‘s premature conclusion due to the coronavirus pandemicShe started ten out of 12 games the following season.  Midshipman Corroon registered her first collegiate points in the Naval Academy’s first game her sophomore year, with a goal and an assist. 

Both Midshipman Corroon and Midshipman Dabney have family members that served in the military.  As a result, the two women have always been part of the greater service community. 

Midshipman Athena Corroon ’19 and Midshipman Ellie Dabney present to the Upper School November 23.  Courtesy of Sacred Heart Communications Dept.

“My grandpa was in the military, in the air force,” Midshipman Corroon said.  “He had a large influence on me.  I also was recruited for lacrosse, so seeing it from a young age, I was amazed by the academy as well.  All of the opportunities that come from going to a service academy, like an instant job after you graduate and serving your country is always something I really wanted to do.”

Naval Academy plebs, or freshmen, attend a seven-week long training program at the Naval Academy before beginning their first year.  Two years later, students have the opportunity to return as a detailer for the plebe indoctrination. 

“That was a super cool experience being able to see the behind-the-scenes,” Midshipman Corroon said.  “We cared so much, I invested my life into these plebs.  It was one of the greatest experiences ever.”

At the beginning of their junior year and after two years of service, Naval Academy students sign a contract called “2 for 7’s,” in which they agree to give seven total years of service.  This includes two more years at the Naval Academy, and following graduation, five years of active service.  There are many different categories of specializations students may enter, including service warfare operations, aviation, the marine corps, special operations, medicine, and dentistry.  Midshipman Corroon described her plans for after her graduation from the Naval Academy.

“I am interested in being a pilot, so I have to go for two years of flight school, which means I will go to school for nine years total after I graduate,” Midshipman Corroon said. 

Feature Image by Dylan Drury ’22