The EU

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Service Academies

Reporter Jennifer Myers has an interesting and informative article on Service Academy appointments in the Sunday Lowell Sun.

This is a great story and one that I hope will inspire other high school and junior college students to consider the application process and to take advantage of such opportunities to serve and to obtain an education.

About the idea that it is a free education.  You pay for it by a lot of hard work.  In four years I graduated with over 150 academic credit hours--that doesn't count the "ROTC" and the (mandatory) physical education.  On the other hand, classes were usually 12 to 16 cadets.  Instruction was excellent.  The Summers were interesting.  And, the resulting career was wonderful.

For the Military Academy (Army), at West Point, New York; the Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point), in New York; the Naval Academy (Navy and Marine Corps), Annapolis, MD; and the Air Force Academy, outside Colorado Springs, Colorado, appointments generally come through the candidates' US Representative or either of the two US Senators.  Each of those elected officials can have several cadets (or midshipmen) in each academy at any one time.  Thus, Representative Tsongas having such a larger number of appointees at this time.

The Coast Guard Academy, in New London, Connecticut, doesn't require a Congressional appointment.  It is all about passing the tests.  You can check it out on line here.

Regards  --  Cliff

PS:  The writer of the headline, who is usually not the reporter, has seen My Cousin Vinnie one too many times.  I think that the headline should have read "Tsongas nominates local youth for top military academies," rather than "local youths."  And, he could have skipped "Top."  What would Norwich and VMI and Texas A&M think about not being part of the "top." And, I think of them as "Service Academies," not military academies--that would be West Point--the United States Military Academy (USMA).

1 comment:

The New Englander said...


Thanks for tipping readers towards that article..the academies are great in their own way and there are so many other options out there, like programs where you commit to attend OCS during college and have all of your tuition covered..not to mention, of course, *regular* ROTC programs plus the other stuff you mentioned like Corps of Cadets at Texas A & M.

I read a really great op-ed in the New York Times last week that compared things like Teach for America (HUGELY popular with seniors at elite universities) with the military, which generally tends not to be, even though young people today continue to express a strong interest in wanting to *serve* in one form or another. One of the important differences was just that programs like TFA have done a great job penetrating those places and getting their message out, whereas the military has all these great options and programs out there, but doesn't target in the same way.

One scary but under-appreciated aspect of BRAC whacking the northeast is that fewer and fewer people from this region are exposed to service...that's a huge piece of why the Northeast is the most under-represented region in the military...anyway I"m glad articles like the one you linked keep those options fresh in peoples' minds..