“Academy Day” connects high school students with recruiters for military schools

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — High school students in the Tennessee Valley are starting to prepare for their future.  For some, that means serving their country and attending a military academy. Congressman Mo Brooks told WHNT News 19 that the north Alabama area is known for sending the cream of the crop, and a large crop at that.

“I wanted to find out more information about the Air Force Academy, that’s like the number one place I want to go to, ” said Priscila Santigo. Santigo is a junior at James Clemens High School and is already looking forward to the future.

“This is a way for them to get a college degree and to serve our country while at the same time earning a livelihood with which they can take care of their families,” said Brooks.

Representatives from the Air Force, West Point, Naval Academy, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine Academy talked with potential students Sunday at Academy Day at Madison Academy. But it doesn’t take much to convince students from this area. Our numbers speak for themselves.

“In terms of nationally, and we’re competing our men and women against applicants from 435 other congressional districts, we’re in the top 10,” said Rep. Brooks.

It’s local students like Santigo who keep the state of Alabama a powerhouse. One that sends only the best and brightest to lead our country.  “My dad is in the Army and it does make me want to be in the military,” she said. “At the same time, I know I could do anything else but there’s a lot more help I can have by joining the military.”

“You’ve got the Redstone Arsenal,” said Brooks. “We’ve got a lot of folks who are associated with national defense in one way or another, their parents are, and they learn to love their country. They learn how important it is to serve our country and they too want to participate and help.”

Applicants to all service academies, except the United States Coast Guard Academy, must obtain a nomination from an official nominating source. This includes Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, the President, the Vice President, and Secretaries of the Navy, Air Force, and Army. A Member of Congress can nominate students to attend an academy if the students meet eligibility requirements and live in the representative’s congressional district.  Alabama’s 5th Congressional District includes Jackson, Lauderdale, Limestone, Madison, and Morgan Counties.

Congressman Brooks established a nominating board to review applications, interview prospective candidates, and make the final selection of 5th District nominees to be submitted to the academies.  Nominations are determined using the competitive method with all nominees submitted unranked to the academies, allowing equal opportunity for each candidate nominated from the district.

All nomination applications must be submitted to Congressman Brooks’ office by Friday, November 7, 2014.  For more information about the nomination process, please visit the Congressman’s website at brooks.house.gov.