Congressional service academy nominations are due at the end of the year. Representative Rick Crawford held an event on Monday, November 27th on the campus of ASUN in Newport. Service Academy Night offers students interested in attending a Service Academy and their families the opportunity to meet with representatives from service academies who are available to provide information and answer questions about attending their academies. The process includes a nomination by their congressman or one of their two U.S. Senators. This is a requirement for attendance at a service academy.

Soon, Congressman Crawford and his panel of former servicemen and women will interview each applicant for his nomination. After, Crawford will nominate a slate of students to the US Military Academy (West Point), US Air Force Academy, US Naval Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy. From there, each Academy will choose the candidate it will extend an appointment from the list of Congressman’s nominations. On average, about one appointment is offered from each academy from the Congressman’s list.

            On Monday, Congressman Crawford addressed a crowd of about 70 students, parents, and teachers, about the importance of these service academies and the privilege of being nominated. Representative Crawford expressed that being selected to the academy is similar to having the opportunity to attend an Ivy League School. All of the service academies provide one of the best free educations available. In addition, he stressed the underlying motivator for attendance at an academy is service to our country. Students attend the academy for four years and then fulfill a commitment of service in their specialized area for five years after graduation.

            A couple of students who completed Congressman Crawford’s nomination process were present. Saben Strode, Brookland High School graduate, a sophomore at West Point, addressed the group about his experiences at the academy. He encourage everyone to visit all the academies to get an idea of what life is like there.

            Also present, Megan and Joseph Kraynack, both Captains in the United States Air Force, stationed in Jacksonville, shared their experiences at the USAFA and about their jobs after graduation. Megan was trained as a pilot and flies C130s at the Jacksonville Air Force Base.