Pinay set to make history at West Point

Christy Isis “Ice” Achanzar is set to become in 2008 the first Filipino woman to graduate from the premier military academy in the United States – West Point.

Achanzar will make history at the academy in New York as the first Filipino woman born and raised in the Philippines to graduate from its hallowed halls.

The US Military Academy at West Point has been in existence for over two centuries but it was only in 1975 that it began admitting female cadets.

The 24-year-old native of Davao City entered West Point in June 2004—the first Filipino woman to do so.

“The top 50 from our class during our plebe year at the PMA were asked to take an initial test,” she said. “That number was whittled down to 16, and all of us underwent interviews [with] the respective US service academies we had chosen.” (For her, it was the Army.)

Achanzar and the others took physical tests as well as the SAT and TOEFL exams. The results came out in April when she was in Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija, for summer training.

Through a rigorous process of elimination, Achanzar and Filipino-Iranian Mario Feliciano, a native of Zamboanga City, were picked from the batch.

Joining the military had been a lifelong dream for the young woman who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications engineering from the University of the Immaculate Conception in Davao. Reprinted from Good News Pilipinas

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