NYMA shaped my life for the better in so many ways. The academy prepared me for college and most of all for life after college. My experiences at the school have been the foundation of my professional and personal life. When asked by others about NYMA I always say, "It’s the best military school there is." That alone defines the school. It’s a place where words like leadership, honor, integrity, excellence, and a never-ending pursuit of knowledge are instilled in cadets for the rest of their lives.
I was only asked to write a short paragraph, but I can write a book on the experiences and friendships I developed at NYMA. Waking up daily at 5:00am to the sound of the officers and ranking cadets getting us out for PT, marching in cadence to the mess hall for breakfast, and taps at night followed by a visit from out TAC officer, Captain Vega. He would check on us during study time in the barracks and make sure we were alright before lights-out.
The school not only built me up academically, but it built me up spiritually and helped to shape my character. General Douglas MacArthur gave a farewell speech to the Corps of Cadets at West Point on May 12, 1962. He shared about how USMA helped form who he was and how his thoughts were always with the academy. I will always feel the same way about NYMA.
-Juan E. Billini, Class of 1983