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Kapa‘a High School student West Point-bound

Kapa‘a High School senior Reyn Mossman will be trading his high-ranking Junior Army ROTC robes for plebeian garb when he leaves for the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point next month.

“When I met with the West Point liaison in Honolulu, I asked him how it was between the school and regular school, besides the obvious,” Mossman said. “It’s a difficult school to go to, not only because the difficulty of the classes but because you’re being constantly surrounded by military discipline.”

Mossman, however, has had years of preparation for his entrance, having been a part of Kapa‘a High School’s Junior Army ROTC since he was a freshman.

Mossman participated in the unit’s activities, marching with the honor guard in parades, competing in statewide leadership courses and participating in their mental and physical agility tests.

While at West Point, Mossman said he will most likely study electrical engineering.

“I expect to learn about how I can be a better leader,” he said.

Mossman talked to West Point alumni to see what he’d be getting into.

“I heard some funny things that go on like cadet traditions that people do,” he said. “But no horror stories.”

But none of those prankster stories prevented Mossman from applying. Mossman said that of the thousands of potential cadets applying, only 10,000 are medically approved and 1,200 get accepted.

“You need to be medically cleared to get congressional recommendations,” Mossman said. For his congressional recommendations, Mossman met with Ret. Army General Lum and Rep. Ed Case, 2nd Dist., Hawai‘i.

“They set up the interviews to see how you react to opinions and to make sure you have opinions,” he said. “I kind of knew what they were going to ask, but the current events questions General Lum asked were kind of a surprise. But in our ROTC program we do that on our promotions board, so it wasn’t that much of a surprise.”

Mossman will graduate next week and will then have two weeks to prepare for his big move.

“I’d never been out there. I’ve been to Japan and to California, but that’s it,” Mossman said.

His college education is estimated to cost about $500,000, which is being paid for by the government.

After he graduates from West Point, he must fulfill a five-year commitment to the Army.

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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