Homeschooled Student Fulfills His Dream Of Being A U.S. Marine Corps Pilot

Marine Helicopter Pilot Keeps Eyes Skyward

USS BATAAN, — Hailing from Lebanon, Tennessee, and homeschooled until college, Capt. Benjamin Hovies joined the Marine Corps to fly. Though unable to participate in school sports, he grew up loving the outdoors and discovered joy in earthbound pursuits such as rock climbing and scuba diving, but he always dreamed of being a pilot.

“When I was a kid, my brother and I liked aviation. I was always fascinated by planes,” he said. “As I grew, that fascination never went away. If you had asked me what I wanted to do even when I was five years old, I would have told you I wanted to be a pilot.”
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Joshua Morrison, a fuel chief with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 274, gives pilots the all-clear signal after refueling a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter at a forward arming 140903-M-EN264-276

In 2011 he focused on his lifetime goal and with the help of the Marine Corps he made it a reality. Hovies is now assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (Reinforced) as a CH-53 Super Stallion pilot.

“I joined because the Marine Corps are a class of people I wanted to be a part of,” Hovies; said. “I’ve stayed because of the people I work with. The job isn’t as romantic as the commercials, but I love it.”
US Navy 030130-M-0000X-001 Two U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron-772 (HMM-772) receive fuel from a KC-130 Hercules

With six years under his belt as a Marine Corps pilot, Hovies continues to fulfill his childhood dream.

After attending the Merchant Marine Academy in Rhode Island, as his dream was coming to fruition, he knew he would be a pilot, though he didn’t know what kind of aircraft he would fly.

According to Hovies, each pilot gets a vote in his or her aircraft, but the needs of the Marine Corps ultimately take precedence and assignments are largely based on test scores, areas of expertise and physical ability.
A U.S. Marine directs the pilots of a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter after releasing a Humvee at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., on 131018-M-PS707-209

“As a kid I never would have told you I wanted to be a helicopter pilot, just that I wanted to be a pilot,” he said. “The process they use to decide is very fair and to be honest, I haven’t met a single pilot who would do things differently, given the chance.”

Smiling as he dons his flight gear for a long day in the air, the child who spent his time constructing miniature aircraft shines through. After sitting through hours of meetings, planning, and instruction, everything comes together and is the way it should be the moment he takes off.

[Source:  By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Magen F. Reed/U.S. 6th Fleet ~ US DoD -/- Media Relations]
[Photo Credits:  inserted by credits embedded]




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