WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator and combat Veteran Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced the appointments of 19 Illinois students she nominated to attend a United States Military Service Academy. Each year Duckworth, along with a nomination committee, selects from hundreds of Illinois high school applicants a group of outstanding students to receive Congressional nominations to attend West Point, the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy or the Merchant Marine Academy.

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Troy's Lucas Gum is an area person appointed to the Merchant Marine Academy.

“It takes a special kind of young person to succeed at a U.S. Military Service Academy,” Duckworth said. “The rigorous nomination process demands outstanding test scores, a high GPA and a commitment to community service, and these outstanding future leaders deserve our admiration and respect for making it through this process and receiving these appointments. I am eager to see them represent Illinois well in the years to come, and I’m so proud of their desire to serve our country.”

The following students were nominated by Senator Duckworth and have since been offered and accepted appointment to attend a U.S. Military Service Academy:

United States Military Academy West Point:

Salvador Aguilar Jr., Burr Ridge

Trevon Buchanan, Chicago

Tejas Chakravarthy, Highland Park

Alexander Kitchen, Lake In The Hills

Emily Pavuk, Naperville

Keaton Rosado, Herrin

Anthony Standish, Aurora

United States Naval Academy:

Ellie Bosacoma, Northbrook

Corianna Jensen, Buffalo Grove

Mia Lisanti, Chicago

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Lyndon Taylor II, Chicago

Luke Terrell, Middletown

United States Air Force Academy:

Benjamin Brandt, Oak Park

Gabriela Castaneda, Lombard

United States Merchant Marine Academy:

Lucas Gum, Troy

Kelley Lakawitch, Homer Glen

Aaron Rieger, Melrose Park

Aidan VanDerwall, Crete

Charles Wahlin, Downers Grove

Service academies allow young people to serve their country while receiving a full four-year scholarship. Upon acceptance of an appointment into an Academy, a student commits to five years of active duty service after graduation. U.S. citizens between the ages of 17 and 23 may receive appointment from one of the four service academies.

In order to be considered, a student must get a formal nomination from their Member of Congress, Senator or the Vice President. Students must apply directly to the Military Service Academy and elected official of their choice in order to be considered. A nomination does not guarantee an offer of appointment.

The deadline to apply for a class of 2026 Service Academy nomination is October 2, 2021. More information on Service Academy nominations from Senator Duckworth can be found here.

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