Houghton High School Alumnus Dante Cyrus graduates from US Air Force Academy
HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - A Houghton High School alumnus is ascending the ranks in the U.S. Air Force.
Dante Cyrus was commissioned as a second lieutenant following his graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado on June 1.
This was earned alongside a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering.
He was also honored as a distinguished graduate with scholars, finishing seventh in his class of 921 students.
Cyrus says he wanted to join the Air Force in 5th grade out of a desire to help others, as well as taking inspiration from his father, a private pilot.
“He, from literally the time I could see over the Winnie the Pooh chair and could see over the panel of our general aviation aircraft, was always having me do something with aviation,” said Cyrus. “Whether it be with the radios, to the point of ultimately flying us across the country.”
After graduating from Houghton High School in 2018, he attended Michigan Tech, studying mechanical engineering. He also ran for the varsity track team and joined the Air Force ROTC Detachment 400 Program.
“I wouldn’t give the world for my year at Michigan Tech,” continued Cyrus. “If anything, the academics that Michigan Tech provided me, as well as the opportunities and leadership Air Force opportunities at Det. 400, and the extracurriculars of the varsity track and field team; all of those were monumental in regard to showing the academy and preparing myself for a successful career at the Air Force Academy.”
In 2019, he joined the Air Force Academy Officer training program. According to a press release put out by his family, only 1,200 of 9,700 applicants are selected.
Over the course of four years, Cyrus was a member of the USAF Academy Martinson Honors Program and also one of 13 graduates who achieved all three academic, military and athletic distinguished requirements.
Additionally, Cyrus was a Soaring Instructor Pilot for gliders at the academy, competing in the USAFA 94th Advanced Soaring Glider Aerobatic Team in competitions nationwide. This would lead him to earn the 2022 International Aerobatic Club National Aerobatic Champion for the Intermediate Glider Category.
Reflecting on his time at the academy, he had this to say.
“I’ve grown to absolutely love just the overall community of the air force, and the structure and the regiment, and I just love how the respect and the dignity that each person has for one another,” added Cyrus. “And overall, the higher calling that it calls for in regard to you as an individual.”
Cyrus will be now heading to Georgia Tech, where he will chase after his Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Hypersonic Propulsion.
“It wasn’t always easy,” finished Cyrus. “I appreciate my friends and family and the community for not only supporting me during the high times, when everything was going successfully but also having a shoulder I could lean on and supporting me when I had to push through some of the harder times.”
After his time at Georgia Tech, Cyrus said he plans to go to Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training in Texas to become a pilot for the Air Force.
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