Rotary Club Congratulates Military Academy Appointees

Rotary Club of San Marino helped send off one of the city’s own last week at its annual Salute to U.S. Service Academy Appointees.
San Marino High School graduate Raye Cheng, an appointee to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, was recognized by the club at its luncheon last Thursday, alongside Arcadia High School graduating senior Grady Gills, who will attend the U.S. Air Force Academy. Both were appointed by Congresswoman Judy Chu.
“These are young people with great skills and a great heart,” Chu told Rotarians last week. “That is the mark of leadership.”
Cheng, who graduated from SMHS last week, was a four-year varsity soccer player for the Titans, as well as a two-year varsity volleyball player and member of the school’s chamber choir. He earned co-captain and MVP accolades on the soccer team and also earned the Eagle Scout ranking.
On where he saw himself in the next decade, Cheng said he was unsure specifically but hoped his involvement with the U.S. Army would continue. He said he was inspired to apply for West Point by the character of its alumni.
“For me, I always want to challenge myself to be the best that I can be,” he told Rotarians. “I think the standard of excellence that West Point expects of their cadets is something that attracted me.”
Ed Ceja, a U.S. Naval Academy class of 1981 alumnus, was the keynote speaker for the event this year, discussing his highlights and advice from both his time at the institution and while deployed throughout the world. He attributed his career success to the discipline and training he received at the academy and urged the appointees to keep trying when they falter or have doubts.
“Make no mistake about this: You are one of the best and the brightest that we have,” he told them. “America is lucky to have you, and I hope it will come that you feel lucky to serve America.”
Chu praised the San Marino club for being the only service organization in her congressional district to host an event specifically honoring military academy appointees.
“The San Marino club is just incredible,” she said.

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