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U.S. Service Academies: Educating Leaders for the 21st Century

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U.S. Service Academies: Educating Leaders for the 21st Century
September 16, 2005

With the new school year underway most high school juniors and seniors are already focusing on "life after high school." Many graduating seniors will attend a local community college, while others will move on to four-year state or private colleges and universities. For some, "life after high school" will lead them to one of our nation's prestigious service academies.

From Annapolis to West Point to Colorado Springs, scores of graduating high school students enter service academies each year. And from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Gulf Coast, graduates of these distinguished institutions serve the people of the United States ably and admirably.

Recently, I announced the beginning of the 2005-2006 United States service academy nomination process. As a member of Congress one of my most cherished duties is to nominate young men and women from the Eighth District as they seek admission to the U.S. Air Force, Military, Naval, or Merchant Marine Academies.

Make no mistake: the nomination process is rigorous. Service academy nominations are based on academic achievement, athletic accomplishments, community involvement, commitment to service, and strength of character. Past nominees have come from various backgrounds and experiences, and have been involved in everything from church groups and Buckeye Boys State to Big Brothers / Big Sisters and National Honors Society. Some have played varsity football, some have volunteered at nursing homes. The only thing that ties them all together is commitment: commitment to themselves, their family, community, and country.

All candidates are required to complete an application packet. This packet consists of a candidate information sheet, extracurricular summary, essay, academic data sheet, and four letters of recommendation - two from school officials and two from individuals outside the school system. These packets must be completed by October 28th. To request a nomination application, contact me in writing at 7969 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, Suite B, West Chester, Ohio 45069.

After applications are returned, the Eighth District Service Academy Review Board will begin interviews of all applicants. The board will make recommendations to me on each candidate, and after reviewing all of this information, I will make my nominations to service academies - usually by the end of the calendar year. After I announce the nominations, each academy will make individual appointments for the 2006-2007 academic year.

It's important to remember that a Congressional nomination does not assure an appointment, as appointments are made solely by the respective academy. But you cannot receive an appointment without a nomination. Any high school senior in the Eighth District is eligible to apply for these nominations through my office. Those awarded admission to one of the academies will enter with the Class of 2010, which begins next August.

America's service academies have cultivated a spirit of selflessness and commitment for generations. As I mentioned, many individuals from the Eighth District are already part of that historic legacy. This year alone students from Hamilton, Huber Heights, Liberty Township, and West Chester all received appointments to service academies. They each began their new "life after high school" just a few weeks ago.

Serving in an academy is a serious and rewarding endeavor, and these young men and women have demonstrated that national service holds an especially important place in their lives. I'm proud of the hard work they've done in the past - and even more proud of the great work they will do in the future.

For additional information on the nomination process, call my office toll-free at 1-800-582-1001, or visit my website at A large amount of academy nomination information - including links to each service academy - is available in the "Constituent Services" portion of the site. I look forward to nominating yet another group of students who soon will become leaders in our nation's service academies, and I wish all students a safe and productive school year.

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