Preble graduate works toward a future that’s out of this world
By Kris Leonhardt
GREEN BAY – Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet Lauren Bonetti’s future is looking bright as she works toward a career that might be “out of this world.”
As a current Marquette University student, she was recently selected through the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) and the Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings as one of the first ABMC Fellows.
The 2020 Preble High School graduate found her way into military service while in high school.
“I had learned about the Air Force ROTC, and I’ve always been looking for a career in service,” Bonetti explained.
“So the Air Force ROTC was just an opportunity where I could be a part of something bigger — like a career in service. And I would also have a lot of different opportunities to do things at a higher level.
“Last summer, I had done an internship in California at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and that was also through the Air Force ROTC. And then following my fellowship, I will be going to an Air Force Research Lab in Florida, which is also an opportunity to the ROTC; so really, since I joined the Air Force ROTC I’ve just had numerous opportunities, more than I could ever have imagined.”
The ABMC fellowship program was established in 2022 to provide an opportunity to contribute and bring awareness to the ABMC’s mission — to maintain America’s military cemeteries and monuments throughout the world and telling the stories of those who fought, while fostering leadership and management skills.
“It’s their first year doing this program, where they’re offering cadets an opportunity to go overseas and get some hands-on experience,” she explained.
“The fellowship will be over Memorial Day, and it will be focused around putting on some of those Memorial Day events.”
Bonetti was selected along with one other cadet from Pennsylvania, and she said the program will give her knowledge on many levels that will guide her into the future.
“It’s a great opportunity to pay homage to those who have come before,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to really learn about other people’s stories and understand what the military has started with and the stories that have came before. So I think that’s really important in my current leadership philosophy and moving forward, because when I graduate I will be a second lieutenant in either the Air Force or the Space Force.
“So it’s just really important to me to learn about military history and those who have fought because I feel like it will influence my future leadership style.”
Bonetti is currently studying electrical engineering at Marquette, where she will have a leadership role with ROTC next semester
“I’ll actually be the cadet wing commander. So that means that I’ll be in charge of 30 plus cadets that are detachments and planning out all of the different events that we do this semester.
“So just like in a small level, this opportunity to go overseas and kind of see how the Air Force and the ABMC works at a really high level will be able to give me some ideas. I’ll be able to condense that down to some service opportunities that we can do at our detachment. And then, at an even higher level, when I commission and graduate in the Air Force, I think it’s just so important to be able to have that understanding and that education of the military’s history, like moving forward as a leader.”
After graduation, Bonetti plans to commission into either the Air Force or Space Force.
“My No. 1 choice would be the Space Force, just because it is a smaller branch, and I’ve always been interested in space exploration. So to kind of be a part of that mission set specifically is pretty exciting,” she stated.
Lauren is the daughter of Donell and Mark Bonetti.