The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

March 26, 2013

WCHS senior, Guardsman accepted at West Point

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Malachi Leece, of Webb City, is on his way to West Point.

The Webb City High School senior signed documents formally accepting his appointment in ceremonies Tuesday at the high school.

Leece, who is JROTC battalion commander at Webb City and a private second class in the Missouri National Guard, was nominated under the guard’s Soldier Admissions Program.

Guard officials from Jefferson City, Springfield and Joplin were on hand for Tuesday’s signing ceremony, along with Leece’s family and a large crowd of Webb City High School students.

Only 2 percent of those who apply to West Point are selected, but Leece’s application stood out, said Capt. Travis Miller. He said he wrote a recommendation to Maj. Gen. Steve Danner, the Missouri National Guard’s adjutant general, who made the nomination.

“When I read his resume, I thought, ‘When does he sleep?’’’ Miller said.

In addition to his JROTC and guard service, Leece said he is in the high school’s French and science clubs, reads to elementary children, and is involved with organizations that work with Special Olympics and conduct blood drives.

“I’m really excited; I can’t wait,” Leece said of his appointment. “This way, I’ll be able to pay back the country that’s given so much to me.”

Leece was born in Vietnam and raised in Webb City by Lee and Johnna Duncan.

He was adopted at 9 months and “has spent his life in Webb City,” Johnna Duncan said.

“This is something he’s always been interested in,” she said. “We never pushed him; he’s always pushed himself.”

Duncan said she also is excited and proud about the appointment, “but I’m not all that excited about him being that far from home.”

Leece, who will leave for West Point in July, said he wants to be a pilot. He will graduate from West Point as a second lieutenant, then will have to attend flight school.

Leece enlisted in the Missouri National Guard in March 2012, said his recruiter, Staff Sgt. Eddie Hukill, of the guard’s Joplin recruiting office.

“He’s really smart,” Hukill said. “He knows how to take charge; he knows how to lead.”

The nomination also received a letter of support from U.S. Rep. Billy Long.


THE U.S. MILITARY ACADEMY at West Point, N.Y., founded in 1802, is the oldest military academy in the U.S.

Text Only
Local News
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read


A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter