|Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 8.25.14
Monday, August 25, 2014 β
Back to School
Many schools and universities throughout the Ninth District have returned from summer vacation over the past several weeks. As my children prepare to return to school, I canβt help but remember the excitement and anticipation I always felt leading up to a new school year.
For me, those feelings became especially heightened when teachers like my mother began heading back to school for the teacher work days before classes began. My mother taught for more than 30 years, and my sister and I would often go with Mom to help βset upβ her classroom. Those were great days, and are now memories that I look back at fondly.
My well wishes to Ninth District students, teachers, and parents for a successful and safe school year.
U.S. Service Academies
Some students who are approaching the end of high school may be thinking about attending one of the U.S. Service Academies. As your Ninth District Representative, each year I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of young men and women to four of the five service academies β the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marines Academy. The fifth academy β the Coast Guard Academy β does not require a congressional nomination.
Attendance at a service academy gives a student a world-class education with a focus on leadership qualities. Students must receive a congressional nomination, and must also be offered admission by the individual academy. Those selected will spend four years at one of the best schools in the nation, provided with free tuition, expenses, and room and board. The honor of attending a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation.
Our goal is to get as many interested students from our area accepted into the service academies as we can. Currently, we have three students attending Air Force Academy, five students attending Naval Academy, and two students attending West Point (Military Academy).
Michelle Jenkins, the member of my staff who coordinates our academy nomination program, last year visited the U.S. Naval Academy, and just recently returned from visiting the U.S. Air Force Academy. Michelle visited these facilities to learn how we can help even more interested students from our area get accepted to the academies. While visiting, Michelle saw first-hand the tremendous educational opportunities that exist at the service academies. She also was able to meet with cadets β including at least one from the Ninth District β to hear of their desire to serve our country and utilize the leadership training they are gaining at their academy to make our country the absolute best.
Admission requirements are similar across the five service academies, though each does operate under its own admissions guidelines. Each of the academies are looking for candidates of character. They are seeking students who have leadership skills, motivation, and are academically competitive. Competitive SAT/ACT scores, emphasis on math/science courses in high school, and extracurricular activities that show leadership are strongly encouraged. Candidates must also be medically and physically qualified. A whole-person evaluation is used by each academy based upon these factors.
The application can be found on our website, along with a question/answer summary that may be of help to students and their families as they are making a decision about applying to a service academy.
The deadline for the application to be received in our office is October 15. After that that time, a seven member Advisory Committee comprised of folks from throughout the Ninth District will review the applications, and will interview the applicants during October/November with the goal of putting together an excellent slate of candidates for the academies to consider. The Advisory Committee works very hard at this, and I appreciate their efforts and input.
Southwest Virginia, Southside Virginia, and the Alleghany Highlands have a rich history of military service, and acceptance into the service academies is a distinct honor. The first step is applying for a nomination through our office.
I encourage interested students to review the information provided on my website, and to contact my offices with any questions. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.