Date: November 4, 2007
About: David Marold - Class of 2004
West Point Gives Quincyan Change to Travel to Egypt
David Marold is giving up Thanksgiving break with his family in Quincy to take part in a team competition with other college students.
But the event is more than a game — the West Point senior will be traveling to Egypt as assistant training officer for the military academy's Model Arab League team. Representatives of the real Arab League will listen as the teams debate the same issues that the members are discussing.
"The Arab League actually looks at some of the things that we come up with," Marold said. "It becomes a forum for them to talk about these things."
The 2004 Quincy High School graduate is a son of Shay Drummond and David Marold, both of Quincy. An economics major minoring in systems engineering, he was recently named to the dean's list. He also is a recipient of the Superintendent's Award, given to the top 20 percent of students who excel in physical, military and academic programs.
"I've always liked West Point from the get-go," he said. "The opportunities I've had here have been really great."
Marold now has been all over the East Coast thanks to West Point.
Through his involvement in an investment club, he has traveled to financial centers in Boston, Philadelphia and New York, and he's heard a variety of speakers, such as the chief risk officer from Wachovia. He is now president of the club, whichhelps students plan personal finances, whether it be for home buying, retirement or taxes. He also helps soldiers spend their deployment or bonus funds wisely.
His trip to Egypt will be his first to the Mideast. He hopes to get a chance to climb Mount Sinai and see the pyramids.
The West Point team won the national Model Arab League championship last spring to qualify for the international competition this month, which will be held at the American University at Cairo. About 20 other teams from the Mideast and Europe will participate.
For the West Point students, having the chance to go to Cairo means a lot. They'll be representing not just the United States, but its military, Marold said, adding that "it's important that we make a good showing."
This summer, Marold worked in Washington, D.C., dealing with economic issues in Iraq. Model Arab League members stay abreast of current events, particularly through Arab news outlets such as Al-Jazeera.
Marold finds truth in the observations of Gen. David Petraeus, who holds a doctorate in economics.
"If you look at maps of lower socio-economic populations, these tend to be the hottest spots for insurgent activities," he said. "As a club ... we look at different options to help people start businesses (and ways to) increase the amount of funds we can give them."
Participating in the Model Arab League is also important to the students' military training.
"A lot of the stuff we are doing is in the Middle East," Marold said. "When we're faced with a similar situation, we'll be looking at the same type of facts to make those judgment calls."
Marold will be graduating in May as a second lieutenant commissioned in the Army. After that, he'll take nine more months of military training and by the following May, he'll be headed either to Iraq or Afghanistan.
He has not decided whether he'll make the military his career. He sees a possible future in consulting or finance.
"Who knows where I'll be in five or 10 years," he said. "I'm really excited for right now."
Contact Staff Writer Holly Wagner at firstname.lastname@example.org or (217) 221-3374