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Duty, Honor, Country: Senior Joaquin Kull is a West Point Academy Cadet

Ramsey High School senior Joaquin Kull’s list of goals has included “military academy” since seventh grade, and now that dream is becoming reality. Kull was nominated by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to join West Point's class of 2026.

Kull, the son of Jared and Stephanie Kull, secured an acceptance to the U.S. Military Academy and intends to be a career officer. “I have not made a decision as to what my military occupational status will be, but likely contenders include infantry, artillery, and military intelligence,” said Kull.

West Point is highly selective, admitting about 10% of applicants. Beyond the submission package, prospective cadets must connect with one of the people who can make a nomination, such as a legislator.

Kull began the application process in January of his junior year. Not surprising, it was rigorous. There was a fitness assessment, medical qualification through the Department of Defense, and submission of his exceptional transcripts, personal essays, and recommendations from teachers. He also went through interviews with New Jersey Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez and U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer.

Although Kull also applied to the Air Force and Coast Guard academies, he selected West Point because of the opportunities for specialization – there are 42 academic majors. Kull’s anticipated major is Defense and Strategic studies, which only West Point offers. Kull also said there is a strong esprit de corps through which upperclassmen lead and educate underclassmen. Kull said, “I love this approach to education where I spend just as much time learning from my peers in the field as I spend in the classroom.”

West Point graduates are educated and trained to become military officers, and they are required to serve for five years on active duty.

According to Kull, the variety of academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs offered by Ramsey High School paved the way for his development as a leader of character. He has been part of Big Blue and Chorus; clubs including drama, debate, history and Russian; athletics such as cross country and track and field; and activities including Model United Nations, National Honor Society, Peer Leadership and Civil Air Patrol.

“Having access to a challenging curriculum, along with athletics and extracurriculars, meant I was able to get the experience of time-management and prioritization that will serve me well during my time at West Point,” said Kull. He also credits the help received from his teachers, coaches, and guidance counselor Mrs. Claire Beslow.

“I hope that in going to the U.S. Military Academy, I am able to do Ramsey proud and serve my community, state, and nation with honor and distinction,” said Kull.

Kull will head to New York this June for Reception Day, where he will join fellow cadets for an orientation speech and a single minute to say goodbye to their families before beginning a seven-week basic training. At the end of August, he will be considered as an official member of the Corps of Cadets.