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Local West Point bound

June 11, 2014 - Groveland Twp.-A combination of drive and integrity, along with a stellar academic career, has landed Abigail Kronenberg, 17, at West Point Military Academy.

"I wanted to do more than just study," she said. "I chose the service academies to develop myself as a person to become better rounded. I just did not want to graduate (college) and not really have anything to show for all my work. West Point is not the normal college experience. The social interaction between cadets is there, but not like other institutions."

Kronenberg was home-schooled until her sophmore year of high school, then enrolled in the Oxford Virtual Academy. The virtual school offers online courses 24/7, for a customized education built on individual strengths to students in grades Kindergarten through 12. She also dual-enrolled with classes at Oakland Community College, is active with the Oakwood Community Church including the Christian youth group AWANA, earned two varsity letters on the Oxford High School dive team. She also earned a National Merit Scholarship and has studied ballet for more than 10 years.new officers annually, which represents approximately 20 percent of the new lieutenants required by the Army each year. The student body, or Corps of Cadets, numbers 4,400, of whom approximately 15 percent are women. Leaders including Ulysses Grant, Robert E. Lee, John Pershing, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton, William Westmoreland and Norman Schwarzkopf are among the more than 60,000 graduates of the military academy.

Candidates must receive a nomination from a member of Congress or from the Department of the Army. Each member of Congress and the Vice-President can have a total of five cadets at West Point at any one time. Kronenberg was nominated by U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and will report to West Point on July 2 to begin her four-year career at the academy. She expects to graduate in 2018 as a second lieutenant.

"I had been looking at service academies," she said. "There are five (service academies) to choose from. I selected West Point and was accepted at the Summer Leaders Experience for high school juniors going into their senior year. Everyone has a year to decide a major. Maybe computer science or engineering."

West Point is about 50 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River.

"Everyone seems to have a purpose at West Point—it's pretty intense the time I spent there, they are focused on keeping cadets involved," she said. "You have to keep your room in order. I like the order. I'm fine with that. The academy is about 80 percent men and 20 percent women. The physical test is tough, the men do a few more push-ups than the women do, but we all do field training. They tell us that, 'If it it ain't raining, you're not training.'"

Kronenberg will report to West Point on July 2, or "R Day."

"When I finish at West Point, I'll then serve five years of active duty," she said. "I can see myself as a leader. There are many options in the Army after West Point."

In 2013 the military officially lifted the ban on women in combat.

"There is a lot more women can do in the military than in years past," she said. "It just depends on what branch you choose."

Abigail is the daughter of Heather and Gary. She has two sisters and a brother.

Kronenberg will join about 1,200 new cadets this summer.

Founded on March 16, 1802, West Point Academy graduates more than 900

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