A Path to Service

Attending a service academy represents a unique experience that combines rigorous academic pursuits with intense physical training and a deep sense of duty to serve one’s country. Four Marksmen from the Class of 2024 have made this choice, aspiring to become military officers and embarking on a transformative journey that not only shapes their future careers but instills a profound sense of leadership and camaraderie.

“I had always appreciated the military’s dedication to discipline and teamwork, and I wanted to work in an environment that prized diligence and character,” said Ethan Gao ’24, who was accepted into the Naval Academy. “I plan to use my education at St. Mark’s to prepare myself to inherit a long line of responsibility and service from previous leaders before me.”

Seniors Ethan Gao and Zack Goforth will attend the Naval Academy, Mitchell Galardi will attend West Point and Quina Perkison will attend the West Point Prep Academy. These four follow a long line of Marksmen who went on to serve their country.

Goforth remembers a fellow Marksman and current junior at Annapolis, playing a crucial role in his decision to apply, “One of my biggest inspirations for applying to the Naval Academy is Sam Morgan ’21, who I still talk to. I rowed on the crew team all through high school, and I first met Sam fall of my freshman year. He helped me through a lot of tough workouts and seeing his character and the man he’s becoming inspired me to do my best to become like that.”

Having recently joined the Texas National Guard, Perkison has already gained some insight into what it means to serve, “Becoming a member of the military is a commitment that is not taken lightly. The rewards are great but they require dedication, courage, confidence and a motivation which will see you through the toughest of days.”

Everyone has different reasons for joining the armed forces. For Galardi, the catalyst was a class assignment, “The biggest motivation I had at St. Mark’s was when I wrote my family history paper in sophomore year. I researched one of my veteran family members through the photos and journals he kept from his service in Europe during WWII. This made me reconsider what my place in the world was and drove my interest in serving my country.”

The hallmark of a St. Mark’s education is developing men of character who serve with intelligence, compassion and integrity. This same charter is echoed at our nation’s service academies.

“St. Mark’s has inculcated a sense of service since I arrived in the sixth grade,” Gao said. “Intrinsic happiness and pride in one’s accomplishments come from service to others and overcoming challenges, something for which the military gives plenty of opportunities.”
    • Goforth, Gao, Perkison and Galardi.

St. Mark’s School of Texas

10600 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75230

About Us

St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.

St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.