This sport later on became his favorite. Wrestling became his favorite past time such that he would usually challenge others for a fight which oftentimes resulted to big ones that left him and the others injured ("Major"). He then continued practicing the sport until he graduated from Lincoln High School ("Colonel"). Moreover, he continued playing the sport even when he got into college in the University of Washington in 1930 ("Major") where he took a bachelor's degree majoring in aeronautical engineering. He became a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity in the university. He also joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) as well as the swimming team. Continuing wrestling as his favorite sports, he was once a one-time holder of the Pacific Northwest Intercollegiate middle-weight wrestling title ("Colonel"). It was also in the university when he met his first wife whom he married right after his graduation in 1934. Helene, his first wife, gave birth to his first son ten months after their wedding. ("Major")
Even in college, Boyington had worked during his summer vacations in mining and logging camps in Coeur d'Alene until eventually he was hired by the Coeur d'Alene Fire Protective Association in road construction and lookout work ("Colonel").
Boyington's military career started in college when he served as an ROTC member for four years. He was then appointed as a cadet captain and eventually assigned especially in the 630th Coast Artillery Reserve as a second lieutenant where he actively served his duties for two months in 1934 in Fort Worden, Washington. He enlisted and went on active duty in the Volunteer Marine Corps Reserve for barely a month on June 13 to July 16, 1935. While inactive in his duties, he had become a draftsman and engineer for the Boeing Aircraft Company of Seattle. It was on 18 February 1936 that he accepted an appointment as an aviation cadet in the Marine Corps Reserve, and was assigned to the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, for flight training ("Colonel").
The transition of Boyington's career in the Marine Corps had been very consistent even when it was at this point when he started to gain his love for alcohol. Being with the other fliers who had been partying hard, he became more and more addicted to alcohol. His alcoholism has also escalated since it was at this point when he had discovered his wife's fooling around. It was then at this point when he had earned and established his bad reputation in the Marine Corps - a hard-drinker, brawler, friendly, yet always ready to wrestle with anybody. However, even with such bad record, Boyington's great skill in flying was noticed in those times ("Major"). In March 11, 1937, he was sent to Quantico, Virginia for Aircraft One, Fleet Marine Force where he was assigned as the Naval Aviator. He was even promoted further to second lieutenant. Then, in order to accept a second lieutenant's commission in the regular Marine Corps, he had to be discharged from the Marine Corps on July 1, 1937. From then on, he was further transferred to San Diego Naval Station after he had completed his studies in Philadelphia. He was among those groups who took over and fixed the problems regarding the different aircraft carriers such as the USS Lexington and the USS Yorktown. He then returned to Pensacola on November 4, 1940 when he was