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US army academy lures kids with dirt
And as they ran between obstacles in the woods, the kids shouted army chants. Asked by a cadet if they were motivated, they shouted back in unison: “Motivated, motivated, downright motivated. Ooh, aah, ooh, aah, I want to kill somebody.”
Each summer, 800 high school kids hoping to become soldiers spend a week at West Point to see what life is like at the prestigious US military academy for future army officers.
With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan straining the US military and public support low for the Iraq war, recruiting future officers might seem a tough sell. But officials say applications to the summer program are at a record high. West Point says it recruits “scholars, leaders and athletes”. Kids at the Summer Leadership Seminar, a week-long residential program held over two sessions, have top grades and are strong in sports and extra-curricular activities.
Alex Imbriale, a 17-year-old from North Carolina who is captain of his school’s rifle team, attributed his interest in West Point to his father, who is in the army. But there were plenty of students on the program who are not “army brats”.
Kathleen Engle, 16, from Fairfield, California, said she had looked into the Peace Corps and other options but decided on the military. “I was in fifth grade when 9/11 happened and that’s when I decided the best thing I could do for my country was this,” she said.
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