Frenship High School Senior Chase Guthrie was awarded with the honor on Monday he said he’d been waiting his whole life for: a congressional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
In a ceremony at his high school Guthrie’s classmates and teachers cheered in a standing ovation as Congressman Randy Neugebauer presented Gurthie with the appointment as well as an American flag which had flown over the U.S. Capitol.
For Gurthie, the military life runs in his blood, his father, Brigadier General Darrell Guthrie, served as Commanding General of the 104th Division at Joint Base Lewis–McChord in Washington after serving United States Army Cadet Command, Deputy Commanding General, Army Reserve Support and Accessions at Fort Knox in Kentucky. One of his brothers also attended West Point, the other went to the Naval academy, and both are still active military members. Guthrie has also been dreaming of going to West Point for years.
“Its something that I’ve been aspiring to for a really long time, and it’s something I’ve always really wanted to do, because of the leadership training it really gives you and how it prepares you to be an officer in the military and then whatever you’ll be after that if you don’t stay career military,” Guthrie explained.
Guthrie stayed busy during high school with the goal of meeting West Point’s standards. He competed in tennis, was treasurer of his school’s National Honor Society, led the marching band as drum major, and received some of the top academic marks in his entire grade.
He explained that he received a missed call from a private number while he was playing a tennis match, and realized that the Congressman was trying to reach him about the honor.
“This ought to be a proud day for Frenship because there are not many people around the country who are getting to experience what Chase will experience,” explained Congressman Nuegebauer at the ceremony.
“We have high expectations for you, that you will do great things for our country,” the Congressman said to Guthrie.
Congressman Nuegebauer said that Guthrie’s school involvement and leadership set him apart as a candidate for the honor.
“When I look at nominations, I’m not looking to nominate someone with just good grades because there are a lot of people with good grades that don’t really have all the ingredients it takes to be successful in one of our nation’s military academies,” the Congressman said.
He added that he has a lot of respect for Guthries family, who he described as a family “that is committed to America.”
Guthrie said he owes a great deal to his family for supporting him and pushing him to work his hardest. He was honored to have his family and classmates cheering for him at Monday’s ceremony.
“It showed that a lot of people cared, and that felt really nice that a lot of people cared about what i had accomplished,” he said.
Guthrie added that he plans to study computer science at West Point and that he is leaning towards a life-long career in the military.
“Hopefully one day, what I learn at West Point will help defend this country, will help lead others to success. Whether I’m leading a business or even saving lives, that’s one of the things they’ll be training me to do at West Point,” Guthrie said.