Westview High School student Connor Oberrick has been fascinated with airplanes since he was a young child; he even knew at the age of four that he wanted to be a pilot.

“I’m not 100 percent certain what first got me hooked, but I remember having family friends who were military aviators and hearing their stories… and the movie Top Gun,” said Oberrick, 18.  “I learned to fly (remote control) planes when I was about 10 and spent many hours flying them with my dad.”

His avid interest in aviation led Oberrick – an only child who lives with his parents, John and Fiona Oberrick, in Carmel Mountain Ranch – to select Westview High School, which has a Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) Program.

Describing himself as a “fierce patriot” with a significant desire to make a difference, Oberrick is aiming toward a career as a combat aviator for the U.S. Marine Corps.   He hopes to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, and after receiving a Congressional Nomination from U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter he is currently on the wait-list for the prestigious school.  Equally remarkable is that Oberrick has a full scholarship (U.S. Marine Corps Option NROTC) to the University of Washington.

And, in a first for Westview, Oberrick was awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross – the highest award possible for both high school and college level cadets.  The award is based upon excellence in academics, leadership, athletics and civic affairs and less than 50 are awarded nationally in any given year.

In his spare time, Oberrick is extremely active and involved in a variety of activities, including hiking, basketball, “ultimate” Frisbee, shooting, baseball and golf.  He and a friend also planning a military career regularly climb up nearby Black Mountain in full heavy gear and backpack, in preparation for future training.

Another love for Oberrick is working on his 1992 Jeep Wrangler, which he describes as his pride and joy.  “I waste just about every dollar I earn on it, and have poured countless hours into working on it with my dad,” he said.  “It is by no means the nicest car on the road, but it is mine, and there is not another one on the road that looks just like it, so it is very special to me.  Also, to have it built up from almost nothing into what it is today is perhaps the greatest reason as to why it is so important to me.”

According to Oberrick, his greatest source of inspiration is his parents.  “They taught me never to quit and that if I want something in life there is nothing that can stop me except for myself,” said Oberrick, who also praised Westview NJROTC Instructor CDR Rick Jordan as instrumental in his success.  “He has taught us how to lead simply through his example.”