Malaysian Army Cadet Mateshan Varma Subramaniam Makes History

  • 30 May 2019

Malaysian Army cadet Mateshan Varma Subramaniam is only 19 years old, but has joined an elite list of Malaysian armed forces personnel.

The Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) is one of three young Malaysians to have been selected to study and prepare to become officers at prestigious American military academies. 

Mateshan, a Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) almuni, will head to the West Point Academy in New York to further his studies. Alumni of the legendary two-century old military academy include astronauts like Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, world leaders like US Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ulysses S. Grant as well as Philippine president Fidel Ramos, and noteworthy generals like George Patton and Douglas MacArthur, to name just a few. 

Mateshan, along with fellow Malaysians Muhammad Aniq Hilman Haslimi and Grace Sian Ern Hui, beat stiff competition to make the grade. In all, seventy one countries were invited to submit their nominations this year, but less than 20 percent of international applicants were selected.

Mateshan whose father and brother are also both in the armed forces said he owed his acceptance to West Point to his dad, whose dedication to excellence left a mark on him.

“I am someone who always wants to improve myself and I don’t think the civilian world can provide me with the challenges to push me in improving myself. By being in the army, the training really pushes you to your limits, mentally and physically.

“I want to be even better and I got to attend the US Military Academy, which is the best military academy in the world. I hope I can learn a lot more there,” he told the Malay Mail. 

The Ipoh-born Mateshan went to high school at MRSM Parit and the Royal Military College, Mateshan is looking forward to his new adventure in the US.

“As Malaysians, we may be small in size, but we have proved our ability to stand tall with our achievements. So in the US, I hope to convince our American peers to see us as their equal.” Mateshan told the New Straits Times. 

Meanwhile, Grace, who will be heading to the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. will be only the second female Malaysian cadet to attend at the US service academies. 

She credited her meeting with Janushaa Bala Krishnan Muthiah, the first female Malaysian cadet in the US, as inspiring her to believe that women too can make it in the armed forces. 

These students have made our nation proud by joining the fraternity of 30 Malaysians who have graduated from the US Military academies since 1971.

Source: MalayMail, New Straits Times
Image credit: MalayMail