Jupiter man puts Navy plans on hold due to COVID-19

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PHOTO PROVIDED BY Scott Meissner

Scott Meissner's family shaves his head in preparation for military boot camp.

Scott Meissner, Jupiter resident and 2019 graduate of Dwyer High School, used the first few weeks of quarantine preparing himself both physically and mentally for military boot camp. He sold his truck, shaved off five inches of hair and was all set to go when a call came that said, “Stay at home.”

Meissner has always had a passion for joining the military and planned on enlisting his senior year of high school. He hopes to one day be a Navy Rescue Swimmer (AIRR), a job that requires great skill for saving lives both in and out of the water. 

“I’ve always been a phenomenal swimmer and surfer. I wanted to get a job that would best reflect what I love,” Meissner said.

Meissner was planning to go to the NRD Miami SpecWar boot camp on March 31. On March 30, while entering his mom’s car on his way to Miami, he received the upsetting text that training was cancelled due to COVID-19.

“Now I’m just chilling here bald,” Meissner said.

Although Meissner knew boot camp would be a physical challenge, he was eager to go. His vigorous workouts would mainly consist of cardio and calisthenics, including running, 500 sets of push-ups, hundreds of sit-ups and a five-minute water tread with a 15-pound brick. 

Mentally, Meissner is trying to stay positive about his future as an aviation rescue swimmer.

“Now I have more time to train and study,” Meissner said. His studies include learning general orders, ranks and flags.

Meissner, along with roughly 60 other people in his troop, are required to attend Zoom conference calls with their chief every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 

“It keeps my morale up and keeps me in check,” Meissner said when describing the conferences.

The troop receives homework assignments, such as making PowerPoints of NSO history and submitting required workouts via videos.

“My favorite [workouts assigned] are the duck walks and the sit-ups until your back bleeds,” Meissner said.

Another positive for Meissner is that he gets to spend more time with his girlfriend, Jupiter High graduate Cameron Weiss, before he gets called back to boot camp.

“We make an effort to see each other every day,” Weiss said, “I am back home from college due to quarantine, and we want to make the most of our time together before we both leave.”

Meissner is also spending time doing his favorite hobbies: paddle boarding, cooking, swimming and biking.

“It’s amazing because I get to take in everything that I will miss when I truly leave,” Meissner said.