SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - South Plainfield High School senior, Kyle Andrew Gallardo, recently received an acceptance letter to the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point.

West Point is one of the oldest service academies in the world and currently the premiere institute for molding young men and women into officers within the United States Army. Admission into the academy proves to be a daunting task as the current admissions rate stands at ten percent. In order to be granted admission into the academy, candidates must receive a nomination from a member of congress, pass the Candidate Fitness Exam, pass an extensive medical exam, and undergo a plethora of interviews along the way. Candidates must also maintain high GPAs and score well on the SAT while participating in varsity athletics and school clubs. Tuition, room and board, and books are all covered by the academy and cadets are also allocated a monthly stipend during their time at West Point. Upon graduation, cadets are commissioned into the US Army as officers holding the rank of second lieutenant. They are then part of “The Long Gray Line” a group that consists of West Point alumni including the likes of Grant, Eisenhower, and Mcarthur. Cadets are also required to serve on active duty for five years following their four years at the academy.

“I have dreamed of attending West Point as a cadet since middle school,” said Gallardo. “The journey from freshman year to now had been challenging at times, but through hard work and dedication, I was able to overcome these challenges and receive the opportunity of several lifetimes.  The goal has always been to serve the country that has given me and my family so much. I am honored to be given the chance to not only represent South Plainfield, but the whole of the United States.”

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Gallardo began the process of molding himself into the kind of candidate the USMA would want at its school his freshman year.

“West Point isn’t solely dedicated to creating great soldiers, it also functions to facilitate the growth of great people. I understood the respect and honor associated with holding the title of West Point cadet, and I worked hard to mold myself into a model candidate early in high school. I focused on challenging myself academically, physically, and socially by always taking the harder route when presented with two options. However, it takes a village to go through what I have had to and without the support of my teachers, coaches, family, and friends, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he said.

During his high school career Kyle has taken ten AP courses, participated in two varsity sports, boys cross country and tennis (being named captain in his second season as part of the boy’s tennis team), lead the South Plainfield Model United Nations as an executive board member, and served as an intern to Congressman Frank Pallone.

Gallardo’s tennis coach Dana Curcio had this to say about him “Kyle is bright, energetic, compassionate, and a positive role model.  Knowing that he is going to West Point is one of the most prestigious honors that I have had as a coach. He truly is a remarkable young man and the whole South Plainfield Tennis program wishes him well.”