There is Strong, and then there is Army Strong

Senior Arnav Pai is attending the United States Military Academy

Senior Pai holding his West Point appointment letter

Photo by Courtesy Photo

Senior Pai holding his West Point appointment letter

Alivia Caples, Editor

Sweat drips down his face and the 40 minutes to complete the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) becomes shortened, senior Arnav Pai breathes heavy, but fueling him is military service and the desire to attend the United States Military Academy (West Point).  

“It was just finding what branch I wanted, so I was trying to do the navy but when talking with the recruiters we had decided that West Point would be a better option with the medical route,” Pai said. “Because I want to become a trauma surgeon and I have more options in the army at West Point”

United States Military Academy Field Force Agent Joseph Boylan has been his main source of contact during his application process. 

“West Point has a large number of graduates who serve all over the US as admissions field representatives- who assist all students seeking admissions to West Point. There is a team of four retired officers currently helping all candidates in East Texas every year,” Boylan said. “We have around 40 to 50 candidates every year that open an admissions file, and every year we have one or maybe two candidates get selected for admissions to the Academy.  It is our job to help everyone of them walk through the process from the time they open the file until the decision about admissions is made.”

He has also received help from counselor Theresa Gray. 

“There were certain things that a counselor had to upload within his application process and we talked several times in the fall until he was accepted into West Point,” Gray said. “We talked about deadlines, went over essays and resumes, and talked about the next step in the process as he moved forward in their application process. He’s currently in the CNA program as well as taking advanced math and science courses that will prepare him for what he will need in college for a medical degree.”

After acceptance into West Point, Pai had to complete his CFA and maintain his GPA. 

“The CFA was actually difficult for me at first. I took it twice as I did not like my scores. So to prepare for my test, I went with a personal trainer, and for about two months, I worked really really hard to get scores. My scores were extremely good the second time, and I mean my hard work paid off,” Pai said. “At West Point they do something called BEAST- it starts June 28th- its a six week process and it prepares you for what life is going to be like in the military. The whole six weeks is converting you from a high school student aspect to an actual member of the army during the summer. Honestly speaking I am ready for the next step, and to continue my education at West Point.” 

The cadet basic training prepares the cadets for the 47 month journey at the academy.

“Every cadet has the same opportunity for success at the academy. It all depends on their grit, work ethic, and desire to get to the goal,” Boylan said. “Arnav has shown he has those characteristics and we are excited to see how well he does in following his dreams and goals.  We all wish him the best of success at the Academy representing all of us here at home.”