Cadet 2nd Lt. William H. Chen’s academic achievements left him with even more potential paths to choose from than most graduating high school seniors face as they head into the summer.
The Colorado Wing cadet, after all, had to choose from appointments to the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Military, and U.S. Navy academies as well as acceptances to study biology at UCLA and at Texas A&M and biomedical engineering at Northwestern University, along with full-ride scholarships from Air Force ROTC and Navy ROTC.
Chen wound up going with the Air Force Academy. During cadet basic training he served as guidon bearer for the Flying Tigers Squadron’s Charlie Flight.
Chen has been a Civil Air Patrol member since November 2016, when he joined the Mustang Cadet Squadron less than a month after turning 12.
In addition to his nearly seven years in CAP, Chen was involved with 4-H Shooting Sports, the Boy Scouts of America (STEM Scouts, Scouting, Venturing, and Sea Scouts), and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps.
He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and was also a NRA Distinguished Expert in Rifle, NRA Expert in Pistol, and Sea Cadet petty officer second class.
He served as a flight commander for the Mustang squadron and was a member of the team that competed in the 2022 National Cadet Competition after winning performances at the Colorado Wing and Rocky Mountain Region levels.
As a student at Cherry Creek High School, he competed on the football, swim, volleyball, and track and field teams.
Chen graduated with a grade-point average of 4.474 after taking a dozen Advanced Placement courses. He also attended summer seminars at the Naval, Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard academies.