By Jennifer Brofer
2nd Lt. Benjamin Lopez Marquez, a Military Police Platoon Leader in the U.S. Army, first became interested in joining the military in 6th grade as a Cadet attending North Valley Military Institute (NVMI) College Preparatory Academy.
“Since I was a kid I was always very interested in joining the military, but it wasn’t until I started my first school year of middle school at NVMI where I truly fell in love with the structure aspect of the school,” said Lopez Marquez, who graduated from NVMI in 2020. “I remember seeing my [tactical officer] team in uniform and hearing stories of when they served. My passion to serve ever since then just grew and grew.”
When Lopez Marquez graduated from NVMI as a Cadet Sgt. 1st Class, he began the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at New Mexico Military Institute and commissioned as an Army officer in May 2022. Lopez Marquez credits NVMI for preparing him since middle school for his academic and military career.
“The biggest way NVMI has prepared me is getting out of my comfort zone to be able to accomplish anything I put my mind to,” said Lopez Marquez. When asked what advice he has for NVMI Cadets interested in joining the military, he said, “The military is mentally and physically challenging at times, and it will also be one of the most fun and memorable times you will have. You will make many friends that feel like your brothers and sisters. This opportunity to join the military will also benefit you by opening new doors with many opportunities in life. Just don’t quit.”