Martinez follows in family’s footsteps
Madera Tribune File Photo
Madera’s Scott Martinez (50) prepares to enter the game for the Coyotes’ football team in 2019. Martinez earned one of six Central Valley service academy nominations from state Congressman Jim Costa’s office.
Madera High School senior Scott Martinez is hoping to become the third generation of military personnel and fourth military person in his family after he graduates.
He took one step closer by earning a Congressional nomination from Jim Costa for a service academy nomination. He is one of six Central Valley seniors to earn a nomination.
“It’s very cool,” Martinez said. “I’ve been working hard for it. It’s much appreciated and I’m excited for what lies ahead. I am trying to get into the Naval and Air Force Academy, whichever one will take me. If I had a choice, it would be the Naval Academy.”
Martinez hopes to become a pilot and realized he wanted to go into the military to follow directly in his brother’s footsteps.
“I realized I wanted to go to the military during my sophomore year after watching my brother go off to the military,” he said. “It was pretty late and towards the end of my sophomore year that I wanted to go through this path. Prior to that, I wanted to be a police officer. I was taking the public safety classes we had at school. I realized once my brother left for the air force, I wanted to follow in his and my dad’s footsteps of serving in the military. Instead of being enlisted, I wanted to be an officer.”
Although he may have gotten started a little later in the process, helped by his 4.5 grade point average, Martinez was able to do the work necessary for a nomination.
“There was a lot to do,” he said. “It wasn’t a lot of catch up work. I was able to get the work done stress free. I had to dedicate some time while balancing out athletics and school life. I had to find time on my own focusing these essays done for the application. I turned it in a week before the deadline. I was cutting it close. There was not much stress of having to catch up.”
Martinez is also a member of the Coyote football team and the track and field team.
“Outside of that, I play the guitar,” he said. “I used to have lessons, but I do it on my free time. Before COVID, I served breakfast at the veterans hall near where I live. I also partake in CSF, Block M and Blue Crew.”
Martinez had a tough time trying to do the necessary things it takes for a service academy nomination due to COVID-19.
“It was a little tougher through COVID, but not too tough,” he said. “The hardest part was missing opportunity to do other activities I wanted to do that would strengthen my resume. I wanted to partake in the experimental aircraft association. I have not flown a plane myself. In that, I would have been able to fly a glider and get flying experience. There were other opportunities I missed on. I’m missing my football season. I have to pick a sport so I am missing the opportunity for the sports. I’m not sure which sport to go with.”
The hardest part of the nominations were the interview sessions.
“The interviews were very nerve racking at the time. I was nervous heading into it. Because there were so many interviews, it got easier and easier. By the end, as soon as I got into the interview, I got really calm. They said they were there for me to help me out. It was not the hardest.
However, Martinez used the interviews as a way to show his character and determination.
“My character is what makes me. I don’t define myself by what activities or sports I do,” he said. What my family tends to know me for is my perseverance or I don’t give up when things don’t go my way. Another is my dedication to something that I want.
Martinez also sough out a nomination from then-Senator Kamala Harris, but didn’t get that one. He is also lining up plan B opportunities with ROTC programs and officer training schools.
“I applied for the nominations before the elections happen,” he said. “I thought if I got the one from Harris, it wouldn’t just be from a senator, but a vice president. I’m a bit nervous. I really wanted to get accepted into the academy. What is keeping me calm is all the avenues I can go down. I have the ROTC or officer training schools to go through. I could go through the officer’s course in the reserve. I am nervous for the academy because that’s what I’ve trained for.”
Martinez’s father was a Marine from 2000-2004 and served two terms in Iraq as a forward observer. His brother is serving in the Air Force in the security forces and is serving in Italy.
“It’s a cool thing to be a part of. That’s a main inspiration for going this path. Even my grandfather was in the Air Force. Having those three go into the military and me following up, gives me another incentive to keep pushing for the position I want.”
However, with the outlook of high school athletics beginning soon, Martinez is excited to finish out his senior year on the field.
“The thought of being able to play is very exciting to see,” he said. “After spending almost a year in quarantine not being able to do anything or be with your brothers you play with, you end up missing. I’ve been playing football since the second grade. It’s something that I was used to and it was a part of my life. Having that taken away from you for almost a year is weird. With the comeback of sports, it’s very exciting.”
Martinez knows the weight of getting a service academy nomination and it’s the opportunity of representing Madera that is driving him.
“I thought how this doesn’t come very often,” he said. “I am thinking to have this chance to represent the community I’ve grown up in is great. Being able to represent them adds pressure, but it’s something amazing to do. Not everyone gets that chance. That’s another incentive to keep going. I don’t want to let the community down.”