Most students in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas headed out last week with a new outfit, fresh school supplies and a sturdy backpack, ready to start the new school year. Whether they arrived via bus or car-pool, hopefully they came excited and prepared to learn.
There’s something special about the first day of school with the anticipation of seeing old friends, meeting teachers and flipping through new text books. New subjects and learning experiences lie ahead, which will challenge each student to do his or her very best.
While most students do not think of this as they pull out their freshly sharpened pencil ready to take notes, they are laying a foundation for their future. Each class, every year will help students learn more about their world and how they will impact it after school ends.
Some students will head off to college or trade schools or perhaps directly into the work force. However, a select few will choose a different path, one that leads to a military academy.
Not everyone feels the call to serve our nation by joining the military, but for those who do, starting their career at one of our five U.S. Service Academies is a great choice, whether it’s the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York; the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado; the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut; or the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York.
To attend a Service Academy, plenty of planning is necessary long before the application process begins. These institutions are looking for more than just good grades. Candidates must also show that they are committed to bettering their community and serving their nation. The process is very competitive and the standards are rigorous. You also have to be nominated by a Congressman, Senator, Vice President or President in order to be considered.
However, should you be selected, you will be taking part in a long history and serving alongside some of the best and brightest our nation has to offer.
Students entering Junior High or High School have probably already given some thought about their future career and how to prepare for it. If you know a young person who is considering joining the military, please encourage them to reach out to my Service Academy Coordinator, Henry Juvera, at 210-921-3130 to learn more about the steps required. You can also read more about the process at my website.
Applications are due at the end of a student’s junior year, so it’s never too early to start planning, especially if they are already in High School.
I had the great privilege to work alongside America’s finest when I served in the CIA. Brave men and women made daily sacrifices, often risking their lives, in order to protect our shores and secure our liberty. Their sense of duty and honor drove them to accomplish great things, with the added reward of knowing they were doing the right thing. If this is the future you see for yourself or a young person you know, please reach out to my office today.
Author: A former undercover CIA officer, entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, Will Hurd is the U.S. Representative for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas. In Washington, he serves as Vice Chair of the Maritime and Border Security Subcommittee on the Committee for Homeland Security, and as the Chairman of the Information Technology Subcommittee on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.