Six years ago, Anastasia King graduated from Marshalltown High School. Her accomplishments since then have been impressive and they are in rare air, literally.
King received her naval aviator golden wings after her completion of flight school during a recent ceremony held in Milton, Florida. It was the culmination of the past two years of Navy flight school, which is extremely rigorous.
She is a 2013 MHS graduate and the daughter of Rev. Richard and Valerie King.
“I chose a career in the military because I wanted to do something for others,” she said. “My father taught me that a life lived for others is both the most frustrating and most rewarding job in the world. The idea of a bond as strong as family in the workplace really interested me, as well as, the physical and mental strength required for a military career.”
One trait that is apparent about King is she goes after what she wants with passion.
“I was lucky enough to be selected for flight school as a Student Naval Aviator,” she said. “I graduated from Iowa State University on May 5th, 2017 and was commissioned as an officer in the Navy on May 6th, 2017. Two weeks later, I moved to Pensacola, Florida to start flight school.”
King said flight school instructors take their job seriously “to see if you are cut out for Naval Aviation.”
Flight school started by learning the basics, then it advanced to dogfighting techniques, flying in clouds with no visibility, cross country flying, and flying at high speeds within 20 feet of another aircraft.
Once this was completed, she then moved on to focus her training on helicopters, where she eventually earned her wings.
“Part of the appeal was the challenge,” King said. “Every day consisted of a brief and a flight; both were considered tests. You had the opportunity to fail twice a day and only three chances to fail before you were kicked out of the program. Completing flight school meant that you had survived two years of two tests a day and had failed only two things at maximum.”
She also appreciated the bonds she formed in her time at flight school.
“I have met the most amazingly tough, hard working, disciplined, loyal people throughout this experience, and I would not trade them or this journey for anything,” she said.
Time in Marshalltown Schools
King has fond memories of her time at MHS, especially participating on the Bobcat girls swim team, girls soccer road trips and the band trip to Orlando.
She said MHS swim coaches such as Mike Loupee and Angie Nelson and teachers such as Tim Johnson (MHS) and Bob Gilbertson (Miller Middle School) were among the many ones who inspired her and helped her reach her potential.
“Tasia was one of those students in middle school that you just knew would be successful in whatever she decided to dedicate herself to,” Gilbertson said. “I remember her being a very intelligent, quick-witted and driven student. It has been so much fun to keep in touch with her and watch her live out the dreams she has set forth for herself.”
King’s interest in the military paid off while at MHS as before she graduated from high school she received a $180,000 NROTC Scholarship to Iowa State.
With her wings attained, King will move to the Naval Base in San Diego where she will fly the MH-60S (Seahawk) helicopter.
And in her true fashion, she already has her future goals mapped out.
“My future goals are to continue flying helicopters,” she said. “I plan to fly for the Navy for the next 8 years, then move to the Coast Guard and fly Search and Rescue units I reach my retirement. After I retire, I plan to fly EMS. “