A native of Glenelg, Maryland, Daine Van De Wall grew up near the United States Naval Academy and was drawn to the midshipmen uniform throughout his childhood. After learning about ROTC opportunities from a neighbor, Daine enrolled in the University of Florida in 2015 and began his ROTC experience. “I thrived in an environment with like-minded individuals who pushed themselves to get better every single day,” he said.
Seeing his potential, an ROTC professor recommended Daine apply to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was accepted and was initiated into Phi Kappa Phi during his junior year. In 2019, he was selected to serve as First Captain, the highest-ranking cadet in charge of more than 4,400 cadets. Through this role, Daine influenced a variety of aspects, including sexual assault and harassment prevention, mental health awareness and public outreach. In May 2020, Daine was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and graduated with a bachelor's degree in systems and decision sciences in June.
In addition to numerous awards and scholarships, Daine was named a 2020 Rhodes Scholar and will continue his education at Magdalen College at the University of Oxford where he plans to study global governance, diplomacy and public policy. Upon completion of his studies, Daine will serve as an infantry officer and hopes to combine his military background with his interests in conflict studies to help shape U.S. foreign policy in the future.
Let’s get to know Daine!
- Why did you accept the invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi?
I joined the Society to connect with thousands of civilian scholars that have similar interests in areas of foreign policy and international relations. My membership is a constant reminder to continue to strive for excellence through consistent intellectual inquiry and immersion in a community of like-minded individuals.
- What are your hobbies?
I have a passion for fitness, reading and all outdoor activities. I greatly enjoy the community aspect of CrossFit and try to set aside an hour each day for personal reading. I spend my weekends hiking, skiing, boating and exploring.
- What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
I woke up one morning during a summer break and decided I would travel to Eastern Europe and backpack for two weeks.
- What was your first job?
My first job was working as a cook at an Italian restaurant in my home town. It taught me how to cook and the importance of customer service. I worked during the school year, so it also helped me develop a strong work ethic, balancing school and work commitments.
- What’s your favorite meal?
I absolutely love all types of sushi. Since my parents are immigrants from the Netherlands, our family created the tradition of gathering on Thanksgiving to make sushi.
- If you could live in any historical decade, what would it be?
I would live in the 1940s. World War II and the years following saw some of the most incredible military minds. These people not only shaped the course of the war but also decisions for international organizations that still shape our world today.
- What is the greatest tv show of all time?
I absolutely love Walker Texas Ranger. I used to watch this every Saturday morning with my brother and sister. Chuck Norris played a steadfast, public servant who cared deeply about his community.
- Where would you want to live if you could live anywhere in the world?
I would love to spend some time living in the Netherlands. This would allow me to see friends and family and brush up on my Dutch.
- What’s your favorite time of year?
My favorite holiday is the Fourth of July. It is a great excuse to get friends and family together, and I always find patriotism and love of country brings all Americans together.
- What is your favorite sports team?
My favorite team to watch is the Army Football team. Being from an academy, we are always the underdog when it comes to sporting events. I love watching fellow academy players on the field, knowing that they are not only football players but leaders and public servants.
To learn more about Daine and connect, visit his profile within our online member community, here.
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