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).