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Marquette Wire

Kate Jochims prepares to enter the Navy using her experiences from track & field

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(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Senior distance runner Kate Jochims wants to do more than just get her education and go into the workforce. She wants to serve her country in the United States Navy as a dentist stationed on a naval base.

After going through a two-year application process, of which 300 applied and only 50 got in, Jochims was finally accepted into the program. She will complete the required four years at the Marquette School of Dentistry, then her Navy career will begin. She will attend a “boot camp” for five weeks and will be stationed on various bases on land for four years. During this time, she will continue to practice dentistry at the bases as her job.

“I think my reasoning of doing this comes from an interest of trying something new to push myself out of my comfort zone,” Jochims said. “I don’t have much family that’s been in the military, so I’m learning a lot, and I’m excited to have a really awesome job when I graduate. I think it’s a great opportunity to move elsewhere and serve elsewhere from where I’m hoping to settle down: here in Milwaukee.”

Assistance coach Sean Birren said Jochims has been able to take on whatever has been thrown her way during times athletic career, which he said will serve as a strong foundational mindset when she heads into the Navy.

“You think about the adversity in Track & Field. The schedule doesn’t always go as planned and just being able to be aware and be ready to go is so important and she’s done a great job with that,” Birren said. “She’s always able to lock in on race days when it matters, which has played a big role in her being consistent. She’s able to focus in when she gets to the line and that will carry over very well when she goes into the Navy.”

In the Navy, Jochims said that she will just be working a typical workday. She said she gets to go on base and practice dentistry in her scrubs and all.

Jochims said she knows that this experience will help her in her career and possibly help her become her own boss.

“The Navy has a lot of really good technology, so getting ready to potentially open my own practice once I’m out of that is a possibility,” Jochims said. “Being able to learn what kind of resources are out there while also working with and learning from other dentists is something I see as very valuable for my future.”

Senior distance runner Laurel Moneysmith said Jochim’s personality lends itself very well for going into the Navy.

“She definitely likes a challenge, and this is going to fit really well with her personality and her commitment,” Moneysmith said. “She’s an extremely hard worker, she knows how to time manage and if there’s anyone that’s going to be able to do it, it’s her for sure.”

Though there will be countless obstacles in her future, Jochims said that she will rely on her positive attitude to overcome them.

“With this scholarship opportunity in the Navy that helps pay for dental school, it’s definitely a great reward, but like with anything, there will be sacrifices. If deployment is something that comes about, I have to be ready for that. I’m also a homebody, and knowing that I’ll have to move away in four years is going to be difficult for me,” Jochims said. “This will definitely challenge me the most I’ve ever been challenged.”

Birren said Jochims has faced many challenges during her time on the track & field team. Yet, she has been able to get past them.

“Whether it’s in adverse times or when things are going smoother, she knows that the best path forward is doing things the way that they are supposed to be done,” Birren said. “She’s always found ways to work through adversity and that kind of stuff.”

While Jochims had been going through the application process, she had been also setting records in running distance for the track & field team. She holds the freshman record in the steeplechase and the number three mark all-time.

“I’ve been really happy with my experience at Marquette on the team,” Jochims said. “Being able to get my name in these record books is maybe something I wouldn’t have been able to do at any other schools. It’s something I’m very proud I was able to accomplish.”

Jochims said that she is excited about the overlap between athletics and the Navy.

“I want to have the opportunity to serve my country and make very unique relationships with others who have similar goals as me,” Jochims said. “Being in athletics is very similar to being in the Navy by having people surrounding you that have a tough mindset, discipline and the same goals.”

This story was written by Benjamin Hanson. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @benhansonMU.

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About the Contributor
Benjamin Hanson, Sports Reporter
Ben Hanson is a sophomore from Minneapolis, Minnesota studying journalism, digital media and advertising. He is a sports reporter and the assistant social media producer for the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. When he's not in the newsroom, he likes creative writing, being with friends and going to sporting events. He is excited to be able to spread the word of the Marquette Wire because it has done so much for him while also refining his sports writing.

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