When Danika Hoffman was a little girl, she would walk around the house singing, “Bad Boys,” the infamous theme song to the police show, “Cops.”
So it wasn’t surprising to those who know her best when she decided to enlist in the U.S. Air Force, with the goal of getting a job in security forces, and serving in the military police.
Hoffman, a 2009 graduate of Cambridge-Isanti High School, leaves March 15 to begin basic training in San Antonio. After completing basic training, she will enroll in a specialized schooling program for security forces, which will take three to four months to complete.
“I knew I always wanted to be a cop, and was always interested in law enforcement,” Hoffman said. “This will definitely be a new experience for me, and I haven’t done too much traveling, except for visiting Alaska a few times.”
In November, Hoffman enlisted in the Air Force for six years. She first began thinking about enrolling about one year ago, while helping her friend and U.S. Air Force member Jessica Osgood move from a base in Anchorage, Ala. to Spokane, Wash.
“If was definitely a decision I thought a lot about it, and my parents have been very supportive,” Hoffman said. “My friends are also happy for me, but my close friends are more worried and nervous.”
Hoffman said her parents, Ron and Tammy, are supportive of her decision.
“Danika is a strong independent young lady, with a large heart. Her family and friends are important to her, and helping others through 4-H and Relay for Life with her sister and family, is something she really enjoys,” Tammy said. “I am extremely proud of Danika and her decision on joining the Air Force. I have several cousins that were in the military (Marines, Air Force, Army, National Guard) and two of which served in the first Gulf War in ‘91.
She is going in to achieve her goal of being trained to be a police officer (Military Police) with pursuing and finishing a 4-year degree. She talks of making it a life time commitment which would be nice for her and I can see her doing just that.”
Danika’s father admitted he was a little surprised by her decision to enlist.
“I was alittle surprised at first, but I knew she had decided on a future in law enforcement earlier, and received some advice that the military was a good place to get experience in that occupation,” Ron said. “Danika has always been outgoing and I think the Air Force will be a good addition in her character building. I am very proud of Danika, and I know she will excel in this career and serve her country well.”
Hoffman enlisted in the Air Force at an office in Blaine.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking meeting the recruiter,” Hoffman said. “You pretty much asked all the questions, and he answered. He was pretty straight-forward about everything. I was sworn in at the beginning of November.”
Hoffman said she’s more concerned about the emotional aspect of basic training, rather than the physical aspect.
“I’m worried more about the mental aspect, because the first few weeks you aren’t allowed to contact anyone from home,” Hoffman said. “I’m excited and nervous at the same time. My biggest fear is getting injured during basic training.”
After Hoffman completes her military schooling, she will provide them with a list of eight places in the United States, and eight places overseas, that she would like to be assigned for work. Hoffman said she hopes she gets a job in Alaska.
As part of the military police, she will be responsible for things such as patrolling bases, and checkpoints.
Tammy feels her daughter’s friendship with Osgood helped her daughter learn more about the opportunities the Air Force can bring.
“I feel her 12 days with her friend really opened things up with the opportunities the Air Force can bring,” Tammy said. “As far as Danika’s nature and personality, she will do really well, as she has always listened to her elders and coaches in her sports and learned about discipline when she is training and showing her horses to get a finished result.
“Danika has always been independent and a leader among her peers. She has been mature beyond her age ever since she was little and I feel that is due to her sister’s illness when she was little and felt she had to take care of her then,” she added.
Hoffman’s looking forward to her future.
“I’m excited about getting started, and having some security with what I’m doing and being able to have a job when I’m done,” Hoffman said. “I know this will make me a better person in the end.”
Hoffman doesn’t know anyone at the basic training base in San Antonio, but does have friends scattered throughout the military.
Hoffman, who has lived in Cambridge her entire life, will miss the people the most.
“I’m definitely going to miss my friends and family the most,” Hoffman said. “I’m also going to miss all my pet. We have a lot of animals, dogs and horses here on our farm.”
Enrolling in the military is something Hoffman said fits with her nature.
“I’ve always been strong-willed, and determined,” Hoffman said. “If I wanted to do something, I would just go ahead and do it. I’m strong-willed, but also know how to enjoy myself and have a good time. The reality is starting to kick in about going, but I’m still excited.”