Chapman student receives West Point appointment

Chapman principal Andrew McMillan and senior Christopher Freire stand together with Freire’s West Point certificate of appointment.

Last week, Chapman senior Christopher Freire received his appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. 

Freire has been involved in JROTC since middle school, and it’s prepared him for a future in the military. 

“(JROTC) taught me the basics or military structure and discipline,” Freire said. “Getting the opportunity to lead other people and hold leadership positions where you have some responsibility is really eye-opening.”

Freire excelled in those leadership positions and led him to further success. 

“He has risen through the ranks in his (Air Force) JROTC program and is the Commander of his unit,” Lt. Col. Mark Rumph said. “His dedication and demonstrated concern for all of his cadets resulted in him being selected for the AFJROTC and Air Force Association Leadership Award for the State of South Carolina and his AFJROTC Region of over six states.”

The West Point application process is extremely thorough, consisting of various parts. There is a basic application, similar to that of other colleges, followed by a medical and physical fitness examination, as well as a series of recommendations, an interview with an academy graduate and a nomination from a senator or representative. 

Freire received a Letter of Assurance following a successful meeting with an academy graduate, which is a letter sent to a candidate from the Admissions Office offering a Conditional Appointment. 

“The Letter of Assurance was the first thing that made me realize that I could actually (get in),” Freire said.

Because Chapman’s AFJROTC was named a Distinguished Unit with Merit last year, Freire was able to take a different nomination path and apply for an ROTC nomination as opposed to the typical nomination from a senator or representative. 

“When I actually received (my appointment), it was relieving,” Freire said. “There was a lot of appreciation for all the people that helped me, and of course I was excited.”

Freire’s accomplishments and work ethic are easy to see, and his hard work has been rewarding. Along with receiving his appointment to West Point, Freire was recently named South Carolina Cadet of the Year. 

Chapman principal Andrew McMillan said that Freire exemplifies what he wants from all students. 

“Christopher is an excellent representation of the type of student we wish to graduate here at CHS,” McMillan said. “Christopher’s dedication to his school, community, peers, family and country is easily identifiable.”

Being appointed to the most prestigious military academy in the United States is no easy feat, and Freire’s success is a testament to the student, cadet and person that he is. 

“He is an outstanding Cadet and young man in general,” Rumph said. “America is lucky to have young men like Chris Freire.”