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Hanscom lieutenant gains new skills on, off duty

Hanscom lieutenant gains new skills on, off duty

Second Lt. Mark Boyle, Airspace Mission Planning Division budget analyst, stands for a photo at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., July 17. Boyle is using his new experience in the Air Force and with an off-duty hobby to excel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – An Air Force Life Cycle Management Center company grade officer here is using his new experience in the Air Force and an off-duty hobby to excel.

Second Lt. Mark Boyle, Digital Directorate’s Airspace Mission Planning Division budget analyst, has been on active duty for less than a year after graduating from Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

“The Air Force is providing me with an exciting opportunity to build on the skills I learned in college,” he said.

Boyle also has recently taken up competing in the martial art of Jiu Jitsu. Although his background was wrestling, which he had done at both a regional high school in Byfield, Massachusetts, and at Sacred Heart, he noted there were limited opportunities to compete following college. A family friend told him about the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy close to Hanscom in Woburn, Mass.

“I started wrestling when I was 13 years old and really enjoyed it,” Boyle said. “While the sports are different, there are many similarities that allowed me to get back on the mat competing.”

He attended his first training session this past May, less than three months ago.

Among the aspects of the sport he enjoys most are the similarities of serving in the military.

“It takes a high level of discipline and commitment to be successful in Jiu Jitsu,” Boyle said. “Many of those same traits are needed to excel in in the Air Force.”

The similarities don’t end there.

“Jiu Jitsu instills confidence, very similar to what is needed as an Air Force officer leading teams,” he said.

Boyle went to his first tournament in June, where he went 6-0 in the white belt division and earned a gold medal. He also competed in an advanced division and went 1-3. One of his losses came by way of referee decision to an opponent with more than 20 years of Jiu Jitsu experience.

The Hanscom budget analyst, who grew up in Rowley, Mass., will continue to train in the gym and for the Air Force.

“Being assigned to Hanscom has allowed me to live at home and begin my Air Force journey on a positive note, saving money and paying off student loans,” he said.

The lieutenant will further his Air Force on-the-job training next month when he attends financial management training at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi.

Boyle is not the only Air Force second lieutenant in his family. His younger brother, Luke, graduated this spring from the Air Force Academy. He will attend pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, next month.

“I don’t think either of us was drawn to military service at an early age,” he said. “Some of our family members were in the military and I think we just naturally followed in their footsteps after high school.”

Boyle looks forward to continuing to learn on- and off-duty.

“I want to help support the warfighter with the tools they need to be successful,” he said. “I also want to continue learning Jiu Jitsu and progress toward a black belt.”