WOHS graduate completes what brother started, graduates from West Point

Photo Courtesy of West Orange School District
Colin Morgan, who recently graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, is pictured here at the gravesite of his brother CJ Morgan, who was attending West Point when he was killed on a training mission in 2019.

Special to Essex News Daily

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Colin Joshua Len Morgan, a national champion in boxing and brother of a West Point cadet who died in a training exercise, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point on May 27.

A 2019 West Orange High School graduate, Morgan concentrated in life sciences as a cadet but also worked as a staff
officer and squad leader while at West Point.

His time at the academy was also spent competing for the men’s boxing team, earning him the 2023 National Collegiate Boxing Championship. He is also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Morgan’s story is part of a family history of military service. His father, Chris Sr., began his career as an Illinois state trooper and transitioned into the United States Secret Service. His uncle, Col. Clifton Kyle, graduated from West Point in 2001. It was at that time that Colin’s older brother Chris Jr. (“CJ”) began to speak about attending West Point, a dream he achieved in 2016. With Colin’s graduation, his sister Chase will be graduating from West Orange High School in June and will attend Georgia Military College for one year and then move on to West Point.

Tragedy struck the Morgan family on June 6, 2019, when Christopher Morgan Jr. was killed in a training accident. The rising West Point senior was on a training mission when the transport he and his classmates were traveling in overturned.

Morgan was with 19 other cadets and two active-duty soldiers in a 5-ton light medium tactical vehicle that rolled over in mountainous terrain about 6 miles from West Point. The vehicle had a truck cab and a bed in back with two long benches where the cadets sit facing each other. It has a soft canopy cover. Morgan was the only fatality though everyone in the vehicle was injured.

Set to graduate from West Point in 2020, the Academy bestowed full honors upon Morgan posthumously. His parents created the CJ Morgan Foundation to honor his memory and provide scholarships to deserving students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, community service, and involvement in extracurricular activities. The scholarships are particularly aimed at supporting veterans, military personnel, and law enforcement families who have selflessly served the country and communities.

Morgan was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army by his uncle at the gravesite of his brother Chris.
“I’m proud that I got to finish what you started, CJ,” Morgan said during his commissioning.

Second Lt. Morgan was branched as an air defense artillery officer and will continue his education, working towards earning his masters of science degree in cell and developmental biology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Upon completion, he will report to Fort Sill, Oklahoma for officer training. His first assignment will be with the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.