KINGSTON — In a giant salute to his family, West Point cadet and recently named First Captain in the cadet chain of command Jason Crabtree said his parents’ support and leadership allowed him to be all he could in the U.S. Army.
“I grew up on my parents’ and grandparents’ farm,” he said. “We grew up raising Angus cattle. I’ve attributed some of the most important lessons I’ve learned from those experiences. I never knew anyone who worked harder than my dad… I try to apply the same work ethic he has to whatever I’m doing.”
That desire paid off for Crabtree, who is now inundated with meetings, drills and all other facets of leading 4,480 Army cadets through the trials and triumphs of West Point.
Those residents back in the North End remember a feisty student who was ready to devour information and work hard for everything he could.
“I would say he was always a highly motivated student and a highly motivated citizen,” said West Sound Academy head of school Nellie Miller Baker. Crabtree attended the school from seventh grade until he graduated in 2004. “I remember he decided he wanted to come to West Sound, and that was what he did. All of his other siblings followed him.”
Crabtree has an older sister, and two younger brothers, said his mother, Colleen Crabtree. She said she and her husband, Glen, are proud of them all. Jason Crabtree’s position has just added to the long list of things she takes pride in.
“Oh wow, it’s just, I don’t know how to put it in words,” she said. “He has always worked hard in everything he’s done. It wasn’t something he was just going to try, he gives it 120 percent every time.”
Jason Crabtree is doing just that as he deftly works his way through a day full of homework, classes, meetings, drills and sports. He said his average day is full of activities, and he has numerous ad hoc meetings with different groups as he works with his chain of command. This weekend holds a special event in which he will lead the cadets through the ring ceremony, an event where the graduating class, himself included, receives its class rings. Jason Crabtree will conclude his time at West Point this June and enter the Army as a lieutenant.
“This weekend is the ring ceremony, it’s one of the big weekends for me,” he said. “We receive the class rings we will wear. The ceremony has a lot of symbology.”
Jason Crabtree said he will gladly enter into the Army and complete the mandated five years of service all West Point graduates serve. Afterward, he will be in the reserves for three additional years and he said he would like to go to graduate school and study engineering. He said he hopes to work on projects having to do with space and lunar construction after graduating with a master’s degree.
“In my long-term goal, I’d eventually like to work in education,” Jason Crabtree said, though he added that could change depending on his years of service, higher education and his decisions regarding a family. “Some of the most influential people in my background were teachers.”
“We’re very proud of him,” Baker said. “What West Point does is provides leadership programs for which he is perfect for.”