David Sperry White was honored by Senator Mike Lee at a dinner held May 28 at the Alta Club in Salt Lake City for all Utah appointees who will attend military academies this year.
White is returning to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point after serving two years as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Korea Seoul Mission. He missed the dinner, as he was still serving on his mission, but his parents attended the dinner in his place.
White is a graduate, and former student body president of Uintah High School. He’s also an Eagle Scout and published author. He attended Boys State and was president of the service club, Vernal Youth in Action.
After graduating high school, he was accepted to West Point and completed his first year there before accepting the call to go on a mission.
“One of my worries before leaving was that I would not be able to make it back into this program after coming back from my mission,” says White. “I talked to the head of the department and he informed me that he was familiar with the reputation of our church, having officer friends that were members, and that he respected my decision to serve a mission, and that on my return, would personally ensure that I was readmitted into the major and have my picture remounted in the hall of the athletic department.”
White’s first year at West Point proved he would live up to expectations as a top-notch cadet. He was one of 13 cadets accepted into the kinesiology program with a dream of becoming a military doctor. He was in the Glee Club, singing before Presidents Obama and Trump. He was awarded for student excellence in the academy's academic, physical, and military pillars. And he was awarded the highest Gold German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge after completing a number of rigorous military exercises including portions in swimming, rucking (backpacking), and a pistol shoot.
“I love my country,” says White. “I want to defend and stand in front of the land and the people I love. My first allegiance is to God, and the same desire that caused me to want to defend this blessed country that he helped form also motivated me to serve as a missionary for him.”
When discussing his chances of getting back into the academy with the coordinations officer on the admissions board before he departed, he was told, "Don't worry about that. There's almost never a problem. The board respects your desire to serve and recognizes that you are some of our top cadets and come back to the academy with more to offer as a result of your service. Presenting your readmission files are always my easiest cases."