This episode features Patty Stoll, a 1996 graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy. In this episode, you’ll hear about Patty’s unwavering commitment to becoming a Marine, including how she spent a year at junior college and a year at the Naval Academy Prep School prior to being accepted into the Academy; and how she used her focus and determination to not only make it through the Academy, but to also build a vibrant career that ultimately has her working in aerospace engineering and building spacesuits for NASA. Patty’s story illuminates the power of having clarity of your goals and the discipline to overcome any hurdles that may pop up along the journey towards achieving them. Enjoy the show!


  • Taking a two year gap between high school and the Academy
  • Attending junior college prior to going to the Academy
  • Attending the Naval Academy Prep School prior to the Academy
  • Relentlessly pursuing her desire to become a Marine
  • Using an informational interview to get a civilian job after transitioning out of the military


  • Can you tell everyone where you’re from? What school you went to and when you graduated?
  • Can you give everyone 1-2 lines about who you are?

1:45 PART I:

  • What made you choose a Service Academy – and what made you specifically choose the U.S. Naval Academy?
  • Wanting to be a Marine her entire life.
  • Were you exposed to a lot of military growing up?
  • How did you feel about having to attend the Naval Academy Prep School?

11:05 PART II:

  • Tell me a little bit about the prep school. 
  • Was there a delay between the Naval Academy Prep School and the Naval Academy?
  • If you had to sum up your time at the Academy in one word, what would  it be?
  • Did you feel like the prep school gave you a leg up academically?

19:45 PART III:

  • Are there any other major highlights or memorable moments you’d like to share?
  • Were there any opportunities at the Academy that were Marine Corp specific?
  • Tell me about Leatherneck.
  • What about the Marine Corps draws you to it?
  • Contracting meningitis and having to play catch-up.

30:50 PART IV:

  • How did your Dad feel as you commissioned in the Marine Corps?
  • Did you play a sport at the Academy?
  • What happened after you graduated?
  • What has your career trajectory been like?

39:40 PART V:

  • Deciding to get out of the Marine Corps.
  • Using an informational interview to get her first civilian job.
  • How did it feel to make the decision to leave the Marine Corps?
  • How did your job unfold after that first corporate job?


  • How do you currently feel about your decision to attend an Academy?
  • Did you ever feel singled out because you are a minority? 
  • What’s next for you?
  • Do you have any parting words for listeners? Perhaps a key message to your fellow Service Academy sisters?
  • What’s one random fun fact about you?
  • Where can people reach you?


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