In two weeks, Conrad Davis, who just graduated from Providence High School, will begin a four-year term of service at the U.S. Military Academy, also known as West Point.
Following his tenure at the academy, Davis will spend five additional years of active duty, allowing him to forward the post-commencement question of “where do see yourself in five years” to Uncle Sam.
An almost decade-long commitment of time, effort and service, one that runs half of Davis’ current age, would be unthinkable for some and surprising to others.
Even Davis acknowledges he “didn’t know the service academies were a thing” until the North Hollywood resident reached high school.
Yet, those who know Davis say he’s a perfect fit for the military, right down to his mannerisms.
“If you look at Conrad, he comes off as a little stiff and a little uptight, but he’s not like that all,” said friend and classmate Carl Menke, who played alongside Davis on the varsity boys’ volleyball team. “He’s really goofy, and we have a lot of fun.”
Menke said he admired and wondered about his teammate’s ability to balance a robust academic schedule with several club, athletic and student-government commitments.
“Sometimes he would miss practice because he had so many other things, but he always followed through,” Menke said.
He’s just a natural leader; it’s evident.”
Menke said that earlier this year Davis missed “practice all week” in the lead-up to the Providence Tournament, but returned in time for a March 1 match against Montebello. The Providence Pioneers won, 2-1, thanks partly to Davis.
“It was incredible,” Menke said. “He was just ready, and he got the kill to win the game. That’s Conrad.”
Volleyball was just one of the many sports activities and organizations that counted Davis a member during his four years at Providence.
Davis also completed his stint as Associated Student Body president on June 1, a term that impressed dean of students Ernest Siy, who oversees student government.
“He’s just a natural leader. It’s evident,” Siy said. “He was a leader of all students regardless of their grade. He was a person of high character and his relationships with adults was like talking to a faculty member.”
Siy likened Davis to a teacher, not just for his ability to instruct and listen to students, but also because of his work ethic.
“This kid is incredible — he’s working 16-, 17-hour days and he balanced it. He prioritized it,” Siy said.
“If all the incoming West Point cadets are like Conrad, we’re in good hands,” Siy added.
Davis admits he was involved “in quite a lot,” with a list that includes serving as the ASB president, being a member of the school’s choir, music honors society, also known as Tri-M, performing arts ensemble, Latin honors society and boys’ varsity volleyball and cross-country teams.
Even as the work piled up, Davis embraced the grind.
“Nothing I do is an obligation,” he said. “Everything I want to do, I want to be there. When I’m on stage, acting, I want to be there. When I’m singing in the choir, I want to be there singing. When I’m running in cross-country, I want to run, I want to get faster and everything.”
Davis’ 4.0 grade-point average and a 33 ACT test score also made him a desirable candidate for many colleges, including San Diego State and the University of California, Davis, which he considered his Plan B.
Yet, the man who would be a West Point cadet, wanted to be a part of something greater.
“When it came to starting junior and senior year[s], I started thinking a little more toward college and where would I best be able to use my abilities,” Davis said. “West Point is something impressive, and it’s something big, something bigger than me.”
Davis added, “This feels natural, too, like I’ve been preparing for this moment for years.”
Training at West Point gets underway July 1.