5th generation son continues military service tradition at US Air Force Academy
August 19, 2014
HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas -- The son of a First Army Division West battalion commander here answered a phone call accepting him into the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Smiles were all around the Duvall household as the call made William E. Duvall V the fourth generation of his family to serve in the military.
William has always wanted to go to a military school. "I have been around the military my entire life," he said. "I enjoy the opportunities it has provided me and my family and I have always respected the work that my father and mother have done in the military; it just seems right for me to do this as well."
William's father, Lt. Col. William E. Duvall IV, serving as a battalion commander in DIVWEST's 479th Field Artillery Brigade, is thrilled to see his son carrying on the military tradition. "William is an incredible young man and the Air Force is lucky to have him. He has worked very hard and his mother and I are so happy it has paid off for William."
The young Duvall declined a full scholarship to Baylor University and a three-year scholarship to The Citadel (the military college of South Carolina) to attend the Air Force Academy. "It (USAFA) was so impressive to see firsthand and I told my mom this is where I want to go," he said.
Cadets are selected based on academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, athletics, and character. William graduated from Harker Heights High School as an honor student and Eagle Scout.
He knew he would be competitive, but with only about 10 percent of those applying getting in, he also knew it was still a long shot. "I worked very hard to put myself in a position to compete academically," he explained. "I also have to give a lot of credit to my parents, especially my mom, who pushed me very hard both academically and through my scouting and other volunteer work."
Of his plans for wanting to fly coming out of the Air Force Academy, William simply said, "My goal is to get through the first year healthy and with good grades. Then we will see what options are out there; but yes, I would love to fly."
William did not get much of a summer, as he reported to the Air Force Academy during late June for Basic Cadet Training.
His parents are enthused as well. "We are excited for William but it is also very difficult to watch your first child leave home knowing that he is starting the next chapter in his life," Alicia Duvall said. "We are so very proud of him though and know he will do great."
Duvall family military service includes great-grandfather William E. Duvall Jr., who served in the South Carolina National Guard during World War II; grandfather William E. Duvall III is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served during the Vietnam War; and father Lt. Col. William E. Duvall IV, currently serving as commander of the commander of the 479th's 1st Battalion, 393rd Infantry Regiment, with tours in Iraq.