Cheyenne Quilter was born in Boise, Idaho, in 1998, and grew up with her older brother. Her father was a police officer, while her mother was a teacher as well as a caregiver for the elderly. In high school, she was a swimmer and enjoyed volunteering, joining the Girl Scouts because she wanted to do service projects. In her area, there were a lot of drownings among the refugee and low-income families, and she developed a water safety / “learn to swim” program that catered to that demographic. She knew she wanted to enter the service, and completed the Summer Leader Experience (SLE) for both the United States Military Academy and the Air Force Academy. At West Point on R-Day (the first day at the Academy), she remembers the roller coaster of emotions and the confusion around her as she prepared for her first parade. She found academics challenging, and chose to major in psychology because she wanted to work in the field of behavioral health. As a Cadet, she traveled to Nepal with the group “Women Waging Peace” and developed a non-profit focused on creating mentorship opportunities for women Cadets and young girls. As a Cow (junior) she served as a second-detail Beast Squad Leader, where she honed her leadership techniques. She also participated in a History Department AIAD (Advanced Individual Academic Development) trip to Hawaii and Japan. In her free time, she was the Cadet In Charge of the Corbin Forum, an organization designed to create a better environment for women. She also was in the Spirit Band, and enjoyed the opportunity to travel to different locations as an ambassador for West Point. Her best trip was playing at a football game in Texas. One of her leadership duties at the Academy was as the Executive Officer for Trust. In that role, she helped develop a protocol for Sexual Assault Recovery, and was responsible for planning activities for the Corps of Cadets during “Trust Week.” When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she was studying abroad in Lyon, France, and returned home as quickly as possible, quarantining back in Boise. After eventually returning to West Point, she felt the COVID restrictions were oppressive, presenting mental health challenges, but she believed Cadet relationships grew stronger. As a recipient of a Rotary Scholarship, Cheyenne will pursue a master’s degree overseas, and she plans on studying war and psychology, specifically focusing on mental health. When she returns to the Army after earning a master’s degree, she will serve as an Adjutant General (AG) officer.
In this interview, she talks about her childhood and her West Point experiences. She describes overcoming challenges and growing as a person. She notes during the interview that the reasons she came to West Point were different from the reasons she stayed at West Point. Reflecting on her experiences at the Academy, she states that West Point is a “place where you find yourself.”