Bulldog to Cadet: Louisiana Tech helps prepare student for US Military Academy

Jun 19, 2009 | General News

A Louisiana Tech sophomore is trading his college credits for the title of “cadet” at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., thanks to his service and to a presidential appointment.

Jonathan S. Lee of Shreveport leaves in late June for West Point, which allows no credit transfers. Every cadet must complete the four-year program.

Cadet Jonathan Lee“It’s worth the four years,” Lee said. “It’s one of the top schools in the nation and will provide me with the leadership training I’ll need to succeed in the Army and in life.”

Lee came to Tech as an aviation major and continued Army ROTC classes through a joint program between Tech and Grambling State.

“A friend of mine got into West Point a year ago and he strongly encouraged me to apply,” said Lee, 21. “Once I began looking into it, I realized that was the goal I wanted to set for myself.

“I didn’t apply right after high school graduation because I didn’t feel I was ready,” he said.

Two years at Tech later, he is. Others think so too.

“I received a nomination from (then) Congressman Jim McCrery, Senator Mary Landrieu, the commander of my ROTC department, and from my National Guard unit commander,” Lee said. “The letter accepting me to the Academy was from the Superintendent of West Point; he congratulated me on behalf of the President and the Secretary of the Army.”

About a third of the annual freshman class of approximately 1,300 receives presidential appointments. Admission to West Point is selective: the academy considers an applicant’s race to ensure a diverse student body; candidates must be between 17 and 23 years old, unmarried and with no legal obligation to support a child; above average high school or previous college grades are expected; a complete physical exam is required.

Lee, who leaves Tech with a 3.29 grade-point-average, is in his third year as a member of the National Guard. His unit is Charlie Troop 2 of the 108th Cavalry.

“Now I get to start all over again,” he said, “including going through Army basic training!”

“I do plan on making a career goal out of the Army. I hope to complete my time at West Point and become a part of the Army’s elite Infantry in the defense of the Constitution of the United States.”


Written by Teddy Allen