Posted by: Jacqui Murray | February 20, 2017

USNA and Summer STEM

stemSummer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics), is a week-long, overnight camp at USNA each June. It is available to students who are currently in the 8th-10th grades.

Here’s information from the USNA website:

Engineering is all about creating, building, and making things better! So what does it take to be an engineer? If you like math and science, you are off to a great start. If you enjoy discovering new things, solving problems, and learning how things work – even better! Creativity, persistence, and the desire to make the world a better place are also important qualities. Becoming an engineer requires hard work and a good education. Our summer program will be a great start to your career in science and engineering.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | February 14, 2017

The USNA Love Formula

I post this every year, but it drives home the point that Naval Academy applicants must be cerebral–because your future classmates will be. Look at this:

If you’re applying to USNA, do you wonder how you’ll spend Valentine’s Day? Here’s what some of them did (I love these guys):

USNA valentine day Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | February 8, 2017

How I’m Doing on Twenty-four Days I

indie authorI’m getting close to launching my latest military tech-thriller, Twenty-four Days:

A former SEAL, a brilliant scientist, a love-besotted nerd, and a quirky AI have twenty-four days to stop a terrorist attack. The problems: They don’t know what it is, where it is, or who’s involved.

If you read my debut military tech-thriller, To Hunt a Suband loved the AI Otto, you’ll be pleased to know that Otto gets not only a voice but a body. Also: Eitan falls in love, the only bad thing that happens to Sandy (the Labrador) is he gets locked in a closet, and another fearless woman is tasked with saving the world.

Twenty-four Days was briefly represented by a wonderful agent who put an awful lot of work into editing and rewriting, making the story tighter and more exciting than when he first became involved. Ultimately, we parted ways, but I’ll always appreciate the time and effort he expended on me.

With a planned publication date of May-June, here’s how I’m doing.

  • I’ve completed substantive changes like checking timelines, plot points, and character development (thanks to my wonderful former agent).
  • I’m self-editing using Grammarly and Autocrit, in preparation for submittal to my editor. This includes spelling, grammar, word use, adverbs, dialogue tags, and more.
  • My cover folks are working on a spectacular cover, with an expected completion date in February (the cover on this blog page is simply a place-saver).
  • I’m having banners, logos, and that sort of marketing created, to be used as needed.
  • I’m getting pre-reviews that will inspire readers to purchase.
  • When the book is complete, I’ll submit it to Kindle Scout. Lucky winners there get free publication!
  • I’ll have a blog hop to officially release the book to the world in May/June. Want to help each other? I’d be happy to trade honest reviews when you promote your book.

If you have any steps that help you get your book out, please share in the comments. I just know I’m missing something.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | February 1, 2017

February To Do List For Military Academy Applicants

usnaDepending upon where you are in the process, you may have done some of the items on this list. Skip them. Be

happy you’re done. Move on to the next

First Steps:

If you’re serious about attending the USNA or any other military academy, buy a few books (or check them out of the library) on the process. It’s worth the investment because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more of your time and money before you achieve your goal. Better to make sure this is the direction you want to go.

Here are two books to get you started:

From the perspective of a woman who was accepted and how she accomplished it. Down-to earth, personal, definitely not dry, and should give confidence to any teen, male or female, considering a military academy as their college of choice. Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | January 23, 2017

5 Critical Skills to Accomplish During High School

Lou Holtz, the University of Notre Dame’s erudite ex-coach, entrusted with turning UND football players into graduates, once exhorted, “How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser.”

High School is like the second half, and you’re about to find out if you’re a winner. At the starting line, all students are equal, crossing the freshman threshold with the same opportunities, and same possibilities for their future. The 4.0 student stands shoulder to shoulder with the star athlete, and the C student who aspires to nothing more than minimum wage work has an equal chance that inspiration will strike. Every one approaches the starting line, not knowing if the race will be won with brains, hard work, willpower, or intensity of desire.

But you’re different. You know what you want: USNA. There are five general skills you’ll have to learn over the next three years (if you don’t have them by the time applications go out, prior to senior year, it’ll be too late).

08graduation_0251

Maybe you’re thinking, that’s easy. I do it every day. Or maybe you’re wondering: How do I make this happen? I can answer both: It’s not easy or everyone would do it. The only thing easy is the instructions for making it happen.

Vigilance. That’s right. Be vigilant. Every time you’re faced with a problem, try to solve it first. Every time you meet a person you just don’t like, figure out how to get along.

More on this later. For now, know that these are skills the Naval Academy values so they’re worth learning. You either learn them now, in high school and in time for the USNA application, or you’ll learn them later in the School of Hard Knocks that is life.

Not to fret, though. I’ll give you lots of ways to accomplish this. If you want to, you can do it. They only piece that you must be born with is the desire to attend USNA.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | January 16, 2017

10 Great Books (plus 3) to Read Before You Become a Midshipman

military booksI review a lot of military books every year. these are selected as great reading to prepare high schoolers for the USNA or a life in the military. Here are the top ten based on reader observations:

  1. Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
  2. Galloping Ghost by Carl LaVo
  3. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
  4. Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton
  5. No Easy Day by Mark Owen
  6. Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian–in fact, read the entire series. So much great information on *** warships
  7. Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James D. Hornfischer
  8. Big Red by Douglas Waller
  9. One Hundred Days by Sandy Woodward
  10. Fortunate Son by Lewis B. Puller Jr.

There are also three more–all that I’ve written. Check them out and see if they’re right for you:

Building a Midshipman–the story of one woman’s journey from carefree high school student to United States Naval AcademyMidshipman

To Hunt a Sub–By all measures, Rowe and Delamagente are an unlikely duo. Rowe believes in brawn and Delamagente brains. To save the America they both love, they find a middle ground, guided by the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago.

Twenty-four Days–(publication date: Summer 2017) A former SEAL, a brilliant scientist, a love-besotted nerd, and a quirky AI have twenty-four days to stop a terrorist attack. The problems: They don’t know what it is, where it is, or who’s involved.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | January 8, 2017

Valentine Greeting for Your Soldier

Looking for the perfect Valentine gift for your warrior? Check out Bake Me a Wish. It’s the only company I know that will deliver to bases overseas.I shipped to my son in the Middle East and it arrived safely, fresh, and tasty!

Here’s their Valentine collection:

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | January 2, 2017

January To Do List for Future USNA Mids

photo adapted from one by NemoDepending upon where you are in the process, you may have done some of the items on this list.

Skip them. Be happy you’re done. Move on to the next:

First Steps:

If you’re serious about attending the USNA or any other military academy, buy a few books (or check them out of the library) on the process. It’s worth the investment because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more of your time and money before you achieve your goal. Better to make sure this is the direction you want to go.

Here are two books to get you started:

From the perspective of a woman who was accepted and how she accomplished it. Down-to earth, personal, definitely not dry, and should give confidence to any teen, male or female, considering a military academy as their college of choice.

A general and useful overview of the USNA application and the academy in general

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 16, 2016

Happy Holidays!

HappyHolidaysUSNA-NetI’ll be taking a week (or so) off–until after the New Year–to rework my website, work on writing projects with a deadline, and wish my military children could be with me, here. I may drop in on you-all as you enjoy your holidays, but mostly I’ll be regenerating.

I wish you a wonderful season, safe and filled with family.

See you shortly!

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 14, 2016

Christmas Like a Soldier

Part of joining the military is placing yourself second to America. Her needs exceed yours. This Holiday Season, many of our own friends and family won’t be home in the warmth of family events. Watch these videos. Remember them…



Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and To Hunt a Sub, her debut thriller. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for TeachHUB, a program reviewer for CAEP ISTE, and freelance journalist on tech ed topics. She is the parent of a Naval Officer and an Army Sergeant. Currently, she’s editing the sequel to To Hunt a Sub–Twenty-four Days–which should be out next summer.

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 12, 2016

A Soldier’s Christmas Poem

christmasThis is one of the most popular military Christmas poems I’ve seen. Here’s it’s history, from “A Soldier’s Silent Night”:

“The true story is that while a Lance Corporal serving as Battalion Counter Sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th & I, Washington, D.C., under Commandant P.X. Kelly and Battalion Commander D.J. Myers (in 1986), I wrote this poem to hang on the door of the gym in the BEQ. When Colonel Myers came upon it, he read it and immediately had copies sent to each department at the Barracks and promptly dismissed the entire Battalion early for Christmas leave. The poem was placed that day in the Marine Corps Gazette, distributed worldwide and later submitted to Leatherneck Magazine.”

Schmidt’s original version, entitled “Merry Christmas, My Friend,” was published in Leatherneck (Magazine of the Marines) in December, 1991.

As Leatherneck wrote of the poem’s author in 2003:

“‘Merry Christmas, My Friend,'” has been a holiday favorite among ‘leatherneckphiles’ for nearly the time it takes to complete a Marine Corps career. Few, however, know who wrote it and when. Former Corporal James M. Schmidt, stationed at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., pounded it out over 17 years ago on a typewriter while awaiting the commanding officer’s Christmas holiday decorations inspection…while other leathernecks strung lights for the Barracks’ annual Christmas decoration contest, Schmidt contributed his poem to his section.”

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 10, 2016

Army vs. Navy: The Nation’s Game

December 10th is the annual Army-Navy Game, at noon in Bank Stadium, Baltimore MD. This is an American college football rivalry game between the teams of the Black Knights of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point and the Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis and has come to embody the spirit of the  United States Armed Forces. To date, Army has won 153 times and Navy 142, including the last fourteen.

army vs navy

Here’s a video that embodies the rivalry. Watch it, then watch the game:

A Game of Honor

 

Here are Army-Navy Spirit Spots:






Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 7, 2016

Remember Pearl Harbor

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, which is annually on December 7, commemorates the attack on Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii, during World War II. Many American service men and women lost their lives or were injured on December 7, 1941. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day.

Pearl Harbor

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 5, 2016

Announcing: To Hunt a Sub now available

to hunt a subI’ve written many tech books, the how-to Building a Midshipman, and now my debut thriller, To Hunt a Sub:

A brilliant Ph.D. candidate, a cynical ex-SEAL, and a quirky experimental robot team up against terrorists intent on stealing America’s most powerful nuclear weapon, the Trident submarine. By all measures, they are an unlikely trio–one believes in brawn, another brains, and the third is all geek–but they’re all America has to stop this enemy who would destroy everything they believe in. But this trio has a secret weapon: the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago. 

What sets this story apart from other thrillers is the edgy science used to build the drama, the creative thinking that unravels the deadly plot, and the captivating prehistoric female who unwittingly becomes the guide and mentor to Kalian Delamagente as she struggles to stop a madman from destroying her life:

An unlikely team is America’s only chance

The USS Hampton SSN 767 quietly floated unseen a hundred fifty-two feet below the ocean’s surface. Despite its deadly nuclear-tipped arsenal of Trident missiles, its task for the past six months has been reconnaissance and surveillance. The biggest danger the crew faced was running out of olives for their pizza. That all changed one morning, four days before the end of the Hampton’s tour. Halfway through the Captain’s first morning coffee, every system on the submarine shut down. No navigation, no communication, and no defensive measures. Within minutes, the sub began a terrifying descent through the murky greys and blacks of the deep Atlantic and settled to the ocean floor five miles from Cuba and perilously close to the sub’s crush depth. When it missed its mandated contact, an emergency call went out to retired Navy intel officer, Zeke Rowe, top of his field before a botched mission left him physically crippled and psychologically shaken. Rowe quickly determined that the sub was the victim of a cybervirus secreted inside the sub’s top secret operating systems.  What Rowe couldn’t figure out was who did it or how to stop it sinking every other submarine in the American fleet.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 1, 2016

December To Do List for USNA Applicants

partial photo credit: NemoDepending upon where you are in the process, you may have done some of the items on this list. Skip them. Be happy you’re done. Move on to the next:

First Steps:

If you’re serious about attending the USNA or any other military academy, buy a few books (or check them out of the library) on the process. It’s worth the investment because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more of your time and money before you achieve your goal. Better to make sure this is the direction you want to go.

Here are two books to get you started:

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | November 18, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

I’m taking this week off. I’ll be busy decorating the house, planning menus, making digital holiday cards, and cooking. I wish all of you the best of the holiday. Eat lots of turkey and enjoy your family. I’ll see you in a week!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and To Hunt a Sub, her debut thriller. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for TeachHUB, a program reviewer for CAEP ISTE, and freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Currently, she’s editing the sequel to To Hunt a Sub–Twenty-four Days–which should be out next summer.

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | November 14, 2016

What’s it Like to Parent a Midshipman?

worriedThese are from websites for USNA parents. I think they make good points:

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A USNA MOTHER

To be a Good Naval Academy Mother:
is to know FEAR – there is so much mystery at USNA
is to know PRIDE – that one so young will aspire to such noble calling
is to know UNCERTAINTY – why hasn’t he called?
is to know GRATITUDE – that a sponsor will take him in and treat him so well
is to know JOY – he likes it and is doing so well
is to know DESPAIR – he’s on restriction
is to know FRIENDSHIP – others who share your feelings and see you through
is to know FAITH – there is someone other than you working in your child’s life
is to know AGONY – his friend was separated
is to know a THRILL – catching a glimpse of him in a parade or march on
is to know PERSEVERANCE – the Dark Ages last forever; send another care package
is to know SUPPORT – their Sponsors, whom you have never met, write regularly
is to know ANGER – why does he have watch on the day you can visit?
is to know to keep PATRIOTISM – spend an hour in Memorial Hall and read all the names marked.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | November 11, 2016

Today We Honor Veterans

always-a-soldierIn the USA, Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day.







Posted by: Jacqui Murray | November 7, 2016

November is Warrior Care Month

wounded warrior projectWarrior Care Month” will be a month-long DoD-wide coordinated tactical effort to educate the military and to increase awareness of DoD’s Warrior Care programs and resources. Warrior Care Month will provide a snapshot of the Continuum of Care in a 30-day period.

Warrior Care Month will focus on the programs, initiatives, and support that DoD promises our military through the phases of recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration that are integral to the livelihood of our wounded, ill and injured service members, and their families.

SECNAV Designates November as Warrior Care Month

Story Number: NNS091104-04
By Zona Lewis, Navy Safe Harbor Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) — released to all Navy and Marine Corps personnel, Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)designated November 2009 as Warrior Care Month.

Throughout November, the Navy and Marine Corps will focus its attention on one of the Department of the Navy’s highest priorities – caring for wounded, ill and injured Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | November 5, 2016

N* Football: USNA vs. ND

Texas bowlNovember 5th, 2016… Be ready with your blue and gold!

Game Info:
Who: Navy Midshipmen vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
When: Saturday, November 5, 11:30 a.m. ET
Coverage: CBS (TV); Navy Radio Network (Radio)

USNA does what’s called ‘Spirit Spots’ in support of their Big Games (Notre Dame, Army–that sort). These are quick videos that display their enthusiasm, commitment and fun-loving attitude. Here are some favorites for USNA vs. ND, Army, Air Force and others:

Read More…

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