Heimann was honored at a Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps ceremony recently, where among her awards she received the Navy Club Candidate of the Year Award, which goes to the member who supported the Navy Club and its unit the most.
Taylor’s father, local businessman Ken Heimann, also won an award for Navy Club Member of the Year, for his help with fundraising.
Heimann was also presented with a National Honor Society award, a Silver Cord for her community service work (more than 300 hours worth during her four years in school), an academic award from the Marine Corps and a scholarship from Veterans of Vietnam, for scholarly merits and outstanding character.
Heimann was the presenter of the Commanding Officer Award as well, given to Erin Coogan.
Incredibly, Heimann sang the National Anthem at the beginning of the banquet, having never sang before in front of a group of people.
“She was never able to try out to sing, and she knew she wouldn’t be presenting ‘The Colors’ at this final banquet, so she gave it a shot and was chosen,” said her sister, Nikki Heimann.
During her sophomore year at school Heimann took a leadership class with her friends, which exposed major leaders of the unit, where she was able to excel by watching other leaders and understand their decision-making skills.
Heimann created the Resolution Committee as well, which allowed anyone in the unit to come in the morning and talk to her, as well as her leaders and instructors, about what could be changed or what they think could be better in the unit to make it as productive and successful as possible.
Heimann became Executive Officer of her unit in her junior year and Commanding Officer in her senior year. She was a member of the four-person Color Guard rifle team and was a regular presenter of “The Colors.”View More images >>
"Our flag is the symbol of our nation, and it is very important to me that it (the presentation) is done properly and respectfully, to represent our nation and what it stands for," Heimann said.
Heimann eventually made the decision to enter the Marines. There was definitely some sacrifice to be made, such as her first summer of relaxation in four years, as well as being able to spend time with friends and family, then to leave for boot camp in August –– or she could take off three days after graduation to begin her dream career as a cryptologic linguist with no time to catch a breath. The decision had to be made right away, and she jumped on the chance.
Though she wanted to do something in the law field, she was caught between being an intelligence specialist or cryptologic linguist while waiting for a job to open.
Her original ship date was set for August 5, but recruiters worked to get her a job and got her a billet from another state so she could leave much sooner, three days after high school graduation to be exact, for Parris Island, S.C. boot camp training.
Her cryptologic linguist training will be in California. It is there she will learn how to translate and decipher codes, learning many different languages along the way.
“I am thankful for my parents and family for being supportive of this decision,” Heimann said. “It was a big shock to them, but they supported me because they knew that it was what I wanted to do. I realized at some point that I fit in the Marines better than any of the other branches. I think that is where I am supposed to be.”
Heimann will be going through 12 weeks of physical and mental training prior to officially beginning her career with the Marines. She is expected to graduate on August 16.
“In the Marines, men and women are expected to meet the same level of physical prowess, which is alluring to me because I don’t feel men and women should be separate –– especially when I feel I could probably beat all those guys anyway,” Heimann said with a smile. “The Marines are the first ones in and need to be trained how to handle the most intense situations. But when I think of the Marines, I think of integrity and dedication. Once you’re a Marine, you’re always a Marine, and that will never change. It means learning the difference between right and wrong and knowing to do the right things. It’s about core values. Without honor there is no integrity.”
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