Softball grad Kovalsky commissioned into Marines

Paige Kovalsky was commissioned into the U.S. Marine Corps on Friday.
Sept. 11, 2017

Recent GW softball graduate Paige Kovalsky was commissioned into the U.S. Marine Corps as a second lieutenant Friday in a ceremony at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall.

Kovalsky completed the prestigious Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) last summer before graduating in May with a degree in Sport, Event and Hospitality Management.

The Florida native leaves Sept. 28 for a six-month stint at the Basic School based out of Marine Corps Base Quantico. After that, she’ll be given her job and base assignment. She’s hoping to become a pilot flying helicopters.

“I’m just excited to be starting the next chapter in my life,” Kovalsky said. “I played softball for 15 years, and now I’m ready for what’s next. I’ve been training all summer to make this transition, so it’s just a lot of excitement for what the future holds.”

Kovalsky’s ceremony was highlighted by a first salute from her younger brother Carter, a lance corporal in the Marine Corps.

A handful of her former GW teammates were among the assembled crowd of friends and family. The group included junior Riley Tejcek, who has also participated in the PLC.

Kovalsky believes her four years with the Colonials have helped develop skills that will prove useful in her military career.

“It is a team environment,” said Kovalsky, who was selected to the All-Atlantic 10 second team as a senior. “You can’t do it alone, especially with the Marine Corps. It’s tough and you’re going to need to lean on people, at times.”

The rigorous PLC provided Kovalsky a good feel for the next step over 10 weeks last summer. Recently, she’s been preparing locally, strengthening her body and mind with grueling workouts led by a former Marine.



Friday’s ceremony was a chance to celebrate all she’s accomplished and also what’s to come.

“It feels good, but I’m never done,” Kovalsky said. “Just like in softball, you never feel like you’ve reached your peak. You’re always kind of chasing the next big challenge.”

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