Cape High senior Jake Mocci said he wanted to join the armed forces most of his life. Recently accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he will soon have his chance.
Jake said he chose to apply to West Point and study mechanical engineering because the New York location is closer to his home in the Cape Region than his other choice, the Air Force Academy.
And the uniforms look better at West Point, Mocci said.
As an Eagle Scout and a member of the Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps at Cape, Jake said he’s been working toward his goal of attending a military academy by keeping up with his schoolwork, running and working out.
"The ROTC program helped me a lot," he said. "Most notably, the commanding officer helped guide me through the application process because it takes forever."
Completing the application for West Point was an eight-month process that included nearly 10 interviews with officers and senators' aides and finally a recommendation from Sen. Chris Coons, Mocci said.
For the unflinching Cape High student, a reason to attend the military academy has always been clear.
“To serve my country,” he said.
As the commanding officer of Cape High's ROTC program for nearly 20 years, Ron Erale said he's accustomed to helping students with applications like the one for West Point. Some applications are more difficult than others, Erale said.
“It was very easy with Jake,” he said. “He combines physical fitness and a super aptitude in a perfect mix.”
Erale said Jake has a mature focus and an ability to master tasks quickly that should make for success at the military academy.
The application was submitted in November, but the Cape High senior only got word of his acceptance in the beginning of March.
Now, Jake said, it’s only a matter of finishing the school year and getting ready for the Beast, or cadet basic training, which will start in July.
“I’m ready for West Point, and I’m excited for Beast,” he said. “Apparently the friendships you make at West Point last forever.”