Jacob Kobusky earns appointment to West Point; twin brother to Va. Tech

By Bill O’Boyle - [email protected]
Jacob Kobusky, third from left, with his twin brother Zachary, both 18, with their father Mark, sister Emily, 14, and mother Heide and their dog Jewels get together in the kitchen of their Plymouth residence. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Zachary and Jacob Kobusky, both 18, hold up the tops of their graduation caps in their Plymouth residence. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader
Jacob Kobusky, 18, of Plymouth, holds up his acceptance certificate from the U.S. Military Academy. - Sean McKeag | Times Leader

PLYMOUTH — On Kuschke Street in Plymouth, twin boys will soon embark on similar career paths.

Jacob and Zachary Kobusky, both 18, will graduate from Wyoming Valley West High School this week. What lies ahead is not only exciting, it’s inspirational.

Jacob has earned an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He leaves July 2 for Cadet Basic Training at West Point.

Zachary will attend Virginia Tech as a member of the Corps of Cadets and will be participating in Marine ROTC.

Jacob said he has always been interested in the Army, from his childhood days when he constantly played with his “Army men,” and that carried though to middle school and high school, never waning.

“I decided I wanted to take the officer route and get a college education,” Jacob said. “I want to serve the country and give back and lead others.”

Jacob and Zachary had two uncles and a grandfather that served in the Army.

“My interest in the military increased and I knew I wanted to give my service to my country and help protect the country,” Jacob said.

Zachary said he chose Virginia Tech for many reasons, one because it had his desired major — animal science/pre-veterinary. The school also had his desired branch for ROTC, as well as a strict structured aspect through the Corps of Cadets that he believes will help him to get the most out of his academics and ROTC training.

Zachary hopes to apply to the U.S. Naval Academy down the road.

West Point letter

Jacob was required to submit a 250-500 word essay on “Why do you want to attend USMA and serve on Active Duty as an Army Officer?”

Here are a few excerpts from Jacob’s letter:

“Throughout history, the United States Army has dutifully served not only our country, but the entire world. Early in life I grasped the concept of the Army being protectors of the weak, liberators of the oppressed, and servants of freedom. The military is where history is made and that sealed my fate; I knew I wanted a career as a soldier. In my early teens I fell in love with community service.”

Jacob went on to say that serving others made him feel “incredible,” and he said making society stronger was even more rewarding.

“It gave me a drive to take every opportunity I could to raise up my community and anyone I met,” Jacob wrote.

Jacob said he became active in leadership programs affiliated with various organizations. From his experiences, he said he realized his true passion in life was service.

“My goal became to make the country and the world a better place, emboldening my desire to have a career in the military,” he said. “The Army provides me extensive opportunities to fulfill this goal as it is best known for its vast humanitarian work and superior military presence on a global scale. The Army empowers me to work in any part of the world while doing what I am passionate about, whether it be fighting to protect American interests or relieving the victims of disaster.”

While attending USMA’s Summer Leadership Experience, Jacob said he became determined to excel in a career as an infantry or military intelligence officer. Upon learning the duties of each position, he said he knew they both would allow him to serve his country in an exciting and fulfilling manner that provides him an opportunity to directly aid in the mission of the nation and the world on a vast and frequent scale.

“In my eyes, becoming an active duty officer in the Army is one of the greatest honors imaginable,” Jacob said. “The position comes with the benefits of respect, power, and responsibility. However, the most important reason to me is their ability to provide the most effective and beneficial contributions to society.”

Jacob said the concept of being able to motivate others and fill them with purpose also drives him to become an officer in the Army.

“The men and women I will serve deserve nothing but the best from me as an officer, which is why I seek admission to the United States Military Academy,” Jacob wrote. “The academy provides the world with leaders of the highest caliber and training. During the days I spent at USMA’s SLE, I felt in my heart that I had finally found the place I need to build the best me and forge my future as a protector of the weak, liberator of the oppressed, and servant of freedom.

Casey, Barletta assist

Kobusky said U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, and U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton — opponents in the U.S. Senate race this year — both nominated him to West Point.

“The United States service academies have always attracted our best, brightest, and bravest,” Barletta said. “I was proud to nominate Jacob Kobusky to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and congratulate him on obtaining his appointment.”

Casey was traveling and unavailable for comment.

Parents, sister proud

Jacob and Zachary’s parents, Mark and Heide Kobusky, and their sister, Emily, said they are all extremely proud of the two young men.

“We support them 100 percent,” Mark said. “I think we always knew Jacob would enter the military — it’s something he’s wanted his entire life.”

Heide said she firmly believes everybody should serve their country, wither in military or in organizations like the Peace Corps.

“I think it shapes them, matures them,” she said. “Many people don’t realize how lucky we are to live in this country.”

Jacob and Zachary said their classmates at WVW have been very supportive of their decisions, as has the WVW School Board and administration. Both young men carry academic averages over 4.0.

Jacob Kobusky, third from left, with his twin brother Zachary, both 18, with their father Mark, sister Emily, 14, and mother Heide and their dog Jewels get together in the kitchen of their Plymouth residence.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL060318JacobKobusky1-2.jpgJacob Kobusky, third from left, with his twin brother Zachary, both 18, with their father Mark, sister Emily, 14, and mother Heide and their dog Jewels get together in the kitchen of their Plymouth residence. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Zachary and Jacob Kobusky, both 18, hold up the tops of their graduation caps in their Plymouth residence.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL060318JacobKobusky3-2.jpgZachary and Jacob Kobusky, both 18, hold up the tops of their graduation caps in their Plymouth residence. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

Jacob Kobusky, 18, of Plymouth, holds up his acceptance certificate from the U.S. Military Academy.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL060318JacobKobusky2-2.jpgJacob Kobusky, 18, of Plymouth, holds up his acceptance certificate from the U.S. Military Academy. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

By Bill O’Boyle

[email protected]

Military Men

Name: Jacob & Zachary Kobusky

Age: 18

Hometown: Plymouth

Parents: Mark and Heide Kobusky

Sister: Emily Kobusky, 8th grade

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.