KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — Three Malaysian students from the National Defence University of Malaysia have gained the honour of attending three of the US most prestigious military academies.
The students, Muhammad Aniq Hilman Haslimi, Grace Sian Ern Hui and Mateshan Varma Subramaniam have earned the appointments to continue their studies and prepare to become military officers at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and the US Military Academy in New York, respectively.
Speaking at the ceremony honouring the three students, US Ambassador Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir said she was proud of them as the selection into the academy is very competitive and rigorous.
“The selection process is very vigorous and competitive, and all candidates are evaluated on their academic performance, physical aptitude and leadership potential.
“So this is not just a test, this is also a set of interviews where these three candidates had to prove who they are as a person and what they hope to bring back to Malaysia.
“This is beyond getting a high score, this is having to prove to yourself as a person and prove yourself as the kind of person you hope to become,” she said.
Kamala further said the students are joining the fraternity of 30 Malaysians, who have graduated from US military academies since 1971.
For Army Cadet Mateshan, 19, who had followed the footsteps of his father into the armed forces said he owes it to him on his acceptance to the US military academy.
Mateshan said his father’s persistence in following excellence has left a huge mark on him.
“I am someone who always wants to improve myself and I don’t think the civilian world can provide me with the challenges to push me in improving myself. By being in the army, the training really pushes you to your limits, mentally and physically.
“I want to be even better and I got to attend the US Military Academy, which is the best military academy in the world. I hope I can learn a lot more there,” he said
Air Force Cadet Grace, 19, was also given the honour being the second lady cadet from Malaysia to be accepted to the premier air force academy.
Grace said she was inspired to become an air force pilot after seeing a video of a Royal Malaysian Air Force squadron conducting mid-air stunts.
Despite expressing joy over her admission, she also admits that attending and subsequently graduating from the academy would be a daunting task.
“The next four years will put a test on my strength of character, will and knowledge. Understandably, there is a bit of pressure for me to succeed as I not only represent the military fraternity here but Malaysia as well,” she said, stating further that she will do her best and is eager to show what she is capable off.
For Naval Cadet Muhammad Aniq, 19, being accepted to the premier naval academy is only the beginning of his journey and he intends to serve the Malaysian Royal Navy once he graduates.
“To be the best, you need to be taught by the best. By attending the best naval academy in the world, I’m confident that I can give back to my country once I graduate.
“It is an honour to be accepted to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis but I know it will take hard work, determination and strength of will for me to graduate,” he said, stating further that he hopes to become a naval fighter pilot.