DANBURY, Conn. – Two graduating Danbury students were appointed cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Joseph Waldron, the son of Brian and Christine Waldron, and Michael Halas, the son of Michael and Laura Halas, were presented with their appointments at the May 10 Board of Education meeting by Major Nancy Bates.
“It is extremely unusual for any school in the nation to have two students appointed in the same year,” said Bates, who cited West Point’s eight percent acceptance rate. “To have two students from the same high school appointed is truly an evening of celebration. It is also a testament to the quality of the education and leadership that Danbury High School provides its students.”
Waldron said he knew as a freshman in high school that he wanted to go to West Point. Since then, he has been working toward his goal of becoming a cadet. A member of the National Honor Society, Waldron played baseball and ran indoor track at DHS. In preparation for the military, he spent the summer after his sophomore year at a ranger school in Pennsylvania and last year embarked on a month-long backpacking trip through Alaska with the National Outdoor Leadership School.
Halas’s story is quite different from that of his fellow cadet. He was noticed by a West Point recruiter at a baseball showcase in Trumbull last year.
“I knew about West Point, and I was shocked that I was being recruited,” Halas said, a four-year DECA member and finalist. “It happened in two weeks. I had an opportunity to visit West Point and the presence it had was indescribable. I’m looking forward to the challenges that I’ll face – and meeting them.”
Both men said that they’ve had grandparents in the service, but that there was no family influence with regard to their military career goals.
Each cadet receives a fully funded four-year scholarship that includes uniforms, health coverage, monthly salary, tuition, development opportunities, and room and board. Each cadet commits to five years’ service as a second lieutenant upon graduation followed by three years in the reserves.