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Los Fresnos Student Earns Four-Year Army ROTC Scholarship

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – JULY 22, 2013 –As kids are prone to do, Luis Moreira watched his favorite movie over and over. He wasn’t glued to “Shrek” or “Monsters, Inc.,” or “Harry Potter.” His favorite was “Courage Under Fire.”

“I loved that movie; I watched it hundreds of times,” said Moreira, an incoming freshman at The University of Texas at Brownsville who graduated in May from Los Fresnos High School.

Moving to Los Fresnos at the age of 14 to live with his mother for the last three years of high school, Moreira said he felt the difference between his Houston area high school and Los Fresnos.

“I like it here in the Valley; everyone here is so friendly and really nice,” he said.

Moreira has received two scholarships to attend UTB. His 4.0 grade point average places him in the fall 2013 cohort of University Scholars. Furthermore, he has been granted a full, four-year Army ROTC scholarship.

Luis Filipe Moreira Luis Filipe Moreira

“I was impressed not only with Luis’ stellar high school record, but also with his ability to convey his goals for his future,” said Eva Bratschi, Army Reserves Captain and Senior Military Science Instructor at UTB. “Very few four-year Army ROTC scholarships are awarded, and I know his family is supportive and proud. I look forward to working with him in the fall here at UTB Army ROTC.”

Upon graduation in May 2017, Moreira will be commissioned a second lieutenant and he hopes to go into active service for at least four years.

Two of Moreira’s older siblings, a brother and a sister, have spent time in the armed forces. He said he knows the consequences of military service. His brother sustained severe injuries in Iraq but is now recuperated and back in school in Florida.

Although his brother was on the ground, Moreira wants to be in the air – specifically, on a helicopter.

“I want to fly – helicopters have always fascinated me, the way they can maneuver – and it is because of a helicopter that my brother is alive today,” Moreira said.

Moreira plans to earn his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. Thinking it won’t hurt to have a plan B in his pocket, he has also made the commitment to participate in the new UTeach program, an innovative teacher preparation program that allows mathematics and science majors to receive teacher certification while earning their degree. This nationally acclaimed program was developed at The University of Texas at Austin and has been replicated throughout the country.

After receiving his commission, Moreira knows he will eventually face career decisions: staying in the army, going with the army reserves or separating – but that is too far off, so his response to the future is, “it all depends on where life takes me.”

For now, he is looking forward to all that a freshman year has to throw at him: studies, campus social life, University Scholars requirements, ROTC requirements and sharing an apartment. His scholarship covers an apartment at Casa Bella, the student housing located off University Boulevard.

“I have seen some dorm rooms that are so small with bunks and the showers are down the hall, so at first I thought I would just live at home,” Moreira said. “But after seeing the apartments, I changed my mind.”

When sent off on summer ROTC trainings, however, he knows his accommodations will likely be more Spartan.

“I have no idea where I will be living in four years, but I am open to new places,” Moreira said. “Although I’ve lived only in Houston and Brownsville, I have done some travelling with my mom, and I enjoy new places.”

On a recent trip to Europe, Moreira visited Germany, a place where he knows he might likely be stationed with the Army.

For now, his summers will be filled with classes and trainings. If all goes well, he is looking forward to airborne school at Fort Benning, Georgia, and leadership training at Joint Base Lewis-McCord in Washington.

Including pre-dawn physical training workouts with his fellow ROTC cadets, Moreira’s life will change once the ink has dried on his contract papers. His 18th birthday is about a week away, and he eagerly awaits the day when he can make his commitment to the Army official.

“As a kid at the library, I would always check out books on the military,” Moreira said. “I’ve read a lot on World War II and watched documentaries on historical military events. Colin Powell’s autobiography was just recommended to me – that’s my next book.” 

For more information about UTB ROTC, email rotc@utb.edu or call 956-882-7621.

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