KUALA LUMPUR: Two Malaysians have been accepted to continue their studies at two prestigious U.S. service academies and prepare to become future Malaysian military officers. 

The U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur hosted a virtual send-off ceremony to mark their appointment, attended by Ambassador Brian D. McFeeters and Lieutenant General Dato’ Hashim bin Aman Shah, Assistant Chief of Staff, Defense Operation and Training, Malaysian Armed Forces.

Both students were chosen after a rigorous selection process that evaluated their leadership potential, physical fitness, and academic achievements. 

Nicholas Ong Yong Xen has been appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, Maryland. Nicholas attended SMK Puchong Utama (1) before joining the Royal Military College (RMC) in 2019.  At USNA, Nicholas will study cyber operations, and he is committed to becoming a navy officer with the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Mohamed Khairel Adha bin Mohd Khairee will attend the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  A Taiping native, Khairel attended SMK King Edward VII prior to joining the National Defense University (UPNM) for his foundation studies. Khairel will study Aeronautical Engineering at USAFA and hopes to become a Royal Malaysian Air Force's fighter pilot upon completion of his studies.

In his remarks, Ambassador McFeeters congratulated the cadets and expressed his appreciation to the Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Military College, and the National Defense University for their unwavering support in ensuring the continued academic collaboration between the United States and Malaysia, strengthening our people-to-people ties, and forging close partnerships between our two countries.

Ambassador McFeeters said “the Malaysians who study at the U.S. service academies serve as ambassadors of Malaysia to the United States and make lifelong connections with U.S. service members and citizens.  These bonds continue to strengthen our relationships.  Cadets Nicholas and Khairel are joining the ranks of these impressive Malaysians today.”

Lieutenant Colonel Lemar Farhad, Chief of Office of Defense Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, said "The U.S. Service Academy Program with Malaysia serves as one of our most significant initiatives in our military engagement with the Malaysian Armed Forces.  Graduates of these programs consistently move on to hold prominent positions within the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF). We look forward to further deepening our ties in human capital development through increased training and education programs in years to come."

Lt. Gen. Dato’ Hashim bin Aman Shah said, “The Malaysian Armed Forces view the United States of America as a credible partner in defense cooperation, particularly in enhancing human capital development through professional military education and the U.S. service academy program. The U.S.-Malaysia comprehensive partnership will continue to be a mutually beneficial collaboration to further enhance the defense bilateral relationship between the two countries.”

To date, a total of 34 Malaysians have graduated from four U.S. service academies, the first cadet attended the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1971.  Thirteen completed their program at USNA, four from the USAFA, twelve from West Point, and five graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Link to biographies of cadets:


Link to virtual send-off ceremony: