A White Sands Missile Range teenager, who was recommended by Congressman Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in June. Gavin Joseph Lambert, 17, will be the fourth generation attending West Point, his great-grandfather, Henry G. Lambert, graduated in 1920 and Lambert is expected to graduate in 2020.
“I hold the idea of service to your country in high regard,” Lambert said. “I just really always wanted to go there and now I can do what I always wanted to do since I was a child.”
He said West Point was the best college to attend for what he wanted to do with his life. He wants to become a military officer and West Point offers the best education, best military academics and most importantly teaches exceptional leadership.
“I was born there (West Point, New York), so I was obviously exposed to the Army, that might have helped to encourage me, but it’s what I always wanted to do,” Lambert said.
In order to apply to West Point, applicants must receive a recommendation from either their state senator or congressman. Lambert was selected out of a large number of applicants to be personally recommended by Pearce. He said he had to fill out an application, go in for an interview and was asked a series of questions before even being considered for the recommendation.
Lambert will begin school June 27, meaning he has a little over a month break before beginning the prestigious military academy. Every cadet graduates with a Bachelor’s of Science degree but Lambert said he will also be pursuing a degree in economics or something business oriented.
At 17 years old Lambert has a two-page list of accomplishments. Out of the two-page list, he said he enjoyed being the swim team captain the most because he said his fellow teammates will always remember him and appreciate what he did for the team and he can always go back to visit.
Lambert, who received three first-place medals in the New Mexico Swimming Athletics District Three Championship, will be trying out for either water polo, soccer or rugby once at West Point.
Through all of his accomplishments, Lambert said being a part of the Eagle Scouts was most rewarding because it taught him about going through the ranks.
“You can’t just jump up to a new position,” Lambert said.
He said the scouts taught him discipline, rank and helped him learn about leadership. He credits his grandfather as his greatest inspiration because he’s shown him that hard work pays off. He said on top of that he’s a really nice and funny guy.
“I really respect him and hold him to a high regard,” he said.
Lambert will be joining his brother Connor, who was accepted into the Academy in 2014.
“Gavin earned it,” said Lambert’s mother, Bea Lambert. “It was a lot of hard work and I’m very proud of him. He worked really hard and is standing on his own two feet.”
The pride of serving in the military resonates with Lambert, his mother and his father, WSMR TRADOC Analysis Center Director Garrett Lambert. It is a time-honored tradition within the family that Bea said was never imposed on but both sons have freely chosen to take part in.
“It’s an honor because afterward he’ll be serving the country. That’s a very sacred profession,” Bea said.