Featured Firstie: 1/C Paula Hackbart
POSTED ON: Friday, March 24, 2023 10:33 AM by firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s Firstie Friday is Midshipman 1st Class (senior) Paula Hackbart from Newalla, Oklahoma. She is a political science major from 26th Company and the president of the Filipino American Club.
Hackbart was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States when she was five years old. As a first-generation American, she has extreme gratitude for her mother and stepfather who gave her a life full of opportunity in America. “With all the opportunities that America gave my mom and me when we moved here, I knew I wanted to serve this country one way or another.”
Her stepfather was a Navy Corpsman attached to a Marine unit during the Vietnam War. “Growing up, we would always watch war or military influenced movies together, and he would tell me about his experiences while serving,” Hackbart said. “He believed that I could get into the academy and be able to withstand all its hardships and obstacles.”
She has thrived at the Naval Academy. Hackbart has had the opportunity to be a panelist at the Navy Museum in D.C. during the Filipino American History Month in October 2022 and was a part of the sponsoring ceremony of the future USS Telesforo Trinidad (DDG 139). The ship was named after the first Filipino medal of honor recipient.
Walt Disney’s quote: “Whatever you do, do it well,” is a philosophy Hackbart lives by. When asked if she had advice for others, she emphasized, “Everyone comes from different backgrounds and cultures. Remember to be respectful and understanding of others. Lead with a purpose.”
Hackbart will commission as a surface warfare officer in May and is set to serve on the USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121) out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Category: Midshipman, General Interest