Highland alum excels in military career

Getting to know
2009-08-10T00:00:00Z Highland alum excels in military careerSue Bero - Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 10, 2009 12:00 am  • 

Brian McCord proved to be a standout at U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was a top student in almost every course in the computer science major and received an A+ in 27 courses academy-wide: chemistry, calculus, psychology, economics, physics, probability and statistics, cryptology, electrical engineering and computer science. He excelled in biathlon, orienteering and rugby.

McCord graduated eighth in his class of more than 900 cadets, was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and received the EE&CS Award for Excellence. The mission of EE&CS is to educate and inspire cadets to be leaders of character, prepared to think critically and apply engineering and technology expertise as Army officers. The Award for Excellence is presented to the cadet whose actions and achievements as a cadet and student best exemplify the department's core values.

McCord earned a bachelor of computer science degree with honors, induction in the computer science honor society, Upsilon Pi Epsilon, and was selected for a prestigious National Science Foundation research fellowship, which will provide a fully-funded master of science in computer science degree. He will attend University of Texas graduate school after the summer Army Airborne Operations School at Fort Benning, Ga., and upon completion resume duties as a field artillery officer.

While at the academy, McCord was selected as one of two cadets to represent West Point as an exchange student with the Canadian Royal Military College and during the summer of 2008 interned at the National Security Agency just outside Baltimore, Md. His work impressed the agency and it provided $50,000 in research funding to support his capstone project in data mining.

"I always thought the military was a job I would like to do, to go out there and make a difference with technical skills," he said. "It seemed like a good spot for me and I guess it worked out."

McCord, a 2005 graduate of Highland High School, is the son of Nancy Cox, of Highland, and Dr. Michael McCord, of Beaumont, Texas. He is the grandson of Donald and Mary Davison, of Highland, and David and Carole McCord, of Valparaiso.

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