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Thursday, 14 June 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Janushaa is first Malaysian woman to join US service academy

KUALA LUMPUR: Janushaa Bala Krishnan Muthiah (pic) has made history as the first Malay­sian woman to be accepted into a prestigious United States service academy.

The 19-year-old was recently accepted into the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

“I was asleep when I received the call from an officer from the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. I am happy and nervous, because this is a huge responsibility. I have learned that not everything in life is worthwhile if we don’t take risks. We determine our own future.

“Pursue your dreams and allow your determination to guide your future,” she said during the certificate presentation ceremony at US Ambassador Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir’s official residence yesterday.

Janushaa, a Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia engineering student, will be spending four years studying aerospace engineering at the academy in Annapolis.

US Navy Commander and Office of Defence Cooperation foreign military sales programme manager Joshua P. Taylor described Janushaa’s acceptance as “very exciting.”

“We believe it will further open up opportunities for women in the Malaysian armed forces and further strengthen the bond between our two militaries,” he added.

Royal Military College Malaysia student Putra Nadeem Damanhuri Ahmad Damanhuri also received his certificate of appointment into the US Air Force Academy at the ceremony.

Putra Nadeem, 18, will be pursuing mechanical engineering at the academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Lakhdhir, in congratulating the two, said they would take on important roles.

“The selection process is extremely rigorous and competitive. Candidates are evaluated on their academic performance, physical aptitude, character and leadership potential,” she said.

Lakhdhir said only 26 Malaysians have graduated from various US service academies since 1991.

“These two will join an extraordinary special group. I have great confidence in both of them and look forward to hearing all the wonderful stories on what they are doing in the US,” she said at the ceremony.

Lakhdhir said 157 countries were invited to nominate candidates with the goal to enrol 19 candidates in each of the service academies.

Currently, she said Malaysia had seven cadets serving in the US service academies.

“In everything you go through, you are building the relationship between the two countries. You are also becoming leaders for your own country.

“The more you understand the rest of the world in an international environment, the stronger you will be as leaders of your country,” she said, thanking the Malaysian Armed Forces for its support.