Different Paths To A Common Goal: Two Women Describe Their Experiences At West Point

Gabriela Boatright & Jaye-Linh Shark


Gabriela Boatright and Jaye-Linh Shark became close friends through several extra-curricular activities at West Point. Gabriela grew up near San Francisco, but later moved to Atlanta. Jaye-Linh grew up in multiple locations in the United States as an “Army brat.” Both Gabriela and Jaye-Linh were active in sports including basketball, cross country, track, swimming, and Jaye-Linh joined the wrestling team later in high school. Gabriela’s “good grades for an athlete” caught the attention of her high school’s Junior ROTC instructor, and he encouraged her to attend the Summer Leader’s Experience (SLE). Within 48 hours at West Point, Gabriela knew this was the place for her. Jaye-Linh appreciated the strengths of the admissions department, remarking that “dreams do come true.” Both remember saying good-bye to their parents on R-Day, and Gabriela remembers how hot it was in the barracks at night. During Beast Barracks (Cadet Basic Training), Gabriela enjoyed road-marching, and Jaye-Linh appreciated the letters her dad wrote her every day. During the academic year, Gabriela’s turning point was when she became a Mounger Writing Fellow during Yearling year, which she felt was very rewarding. Jaye-Linh is still waiting to peak academically, but the COVID semester helped her focus. Both are Behavioral Sciences and Leadership majors, Jaye-Linh focusing on sociology and Gabriela on psychology. They both enjoy their companies, Gabriela providing the perspective of a Cadet who has never scrambled while Jaye-Linh shares her experiences in two different companies. They describe some of the extra-curricular activities they participate in, highlighting the Diversity Forum and the Cultural Affairs Seminar (CAS). Finally, they discuss their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, the semester at home, the hybrid year, and both getting and recovering from COVID at West Point. At the end of the interview, they talk about their plans for the future, and what their service and West Point mean to them.


topics Leadership Teamwork Camaraderie Women in Service West Point History African American Military Experience
interviewer David Siry
date 17 March 2022


name Gabriela Boatright & Jaye-Linh Shark
institution USMA
graduation year 2022 & 2023
service Military Police
service dates 2022