Not everyone is West Point material.
Veteran Mike Kachure on Wednesday described his time at the prestigious United States Military Academy in Upstate New York to students at Amherst Steele High School.
Roughly 17,000 apply each year, yet only 1,200 to 1,300 are accepted. Once enrolled, the pressure to perform is unbelievable, he said.
Kachure, who graduated from Steele with a 4.0 average, was deemed up to the challenge but quickly found the Army has high expectations. In his first semester, he had a 2.6 GPA.
“It was all about information and information readiness,” he told teens. “They wanted you to know everything first thing in the morning. What was on the front page of the New York Times? They expected you to know.”
Attending from 1989 to 1993, he earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering and went on to serve as a 1st and 2nd lieutenant, combat engineer.
Kachure served three years active duty, another five in the U.S. Army Reserves, and a decade more in the Individual Ready Reserves. He narrowly missed deployments to Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia.
He also experienced loss, speaking briefly of losing fellow West Point classmates in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Today Kachure is vice president of business development for Chi Solutions, specializing in hospital and health care management.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.