Nominating the next generation of American patriots


As summer winds down, high schools across Ohio are opening their doors for yet another academic year.

For the seniors, this school year signals an important crossroads in their lives. Over the course of the coming months, these students will be deciding what they will do after graduation. Some will choose to serve our country by joining the armed forces—a decision that deserves the respect and gratitude of all Americans.

Historically, whatever the occasion, the United States has never had to look further than the Buckeye State to find leaders, adventurers, and patriots ready to answer our country’s calling. From General Ulysses S. Grant to aviators and astronauts, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong, and countless others, Ohio’s military heroes have led our country in battle and into space. Ohioans are unmatched in our dedication to patriotic duty.

One route to service is through attending a United States service academy, where graduates receive a distinguished education while developing leadership skills that will guide them for the rest of their lives.

As a U.S. senator, one of my greatest privileges is nominating young men and women from Ohio every year for entry into our nation’s military academies: West Point, the Air Force Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy, and the Naval Academy. Every one of these institutions provides students with an unparalleled educational experience and an opportunity to lead other brave men and women in uniform. The best and the brightest students, from all walks of life, emerge from these schools as college graduates and United States military officers.

John Glenn, a war hero, astronaut, and U.S. senator—and a notable name in the long list of Ohioans who have dedicated their lives to service—told a group of Ohio students “We are more fulfilled when we are involved in something bigger than ourselves.” For many, attending a military academy and serving our country provides the opportunity to be a part of a greater cause and to defend the freedoms that we hold dearest as Americans.

Any incoming high school senior in the class of 2018 inspired to attend a military academy and serve our country in this way should complete an application packet and return it to my Columbus office before 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 22, 2017.

The following materials should be submitted together for consideration:

· Completed application form

· Official high school transcript

· Official SAT and/or ACT scores

· Three letters of recommendation (one must be from your principal or guidance counselor)

· 1-2 page essay explaining why you want to serve as an officer in the military

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, legal residents of Ohio, and be at least 17-years-old but not past their 23rd birthday by July 1, 2018. Interested seniors should contact my service academy coordinator at 1-800-205-OHIO (6446) or visit my website and choose ‘Service Academies’ under the ‘Constituent Services’ tab for more information and to receive an application. A commission made up of distinguished military officers reviews the many applications we receive and makes recommendations on who should be nominated.

Our service academies are second to none as they groom young men and women of dedication and character to be our leaders of tomorrow. I wish all applicants the best of luck and look forward to nominating promising young Ohioans for admission into these distinguished institutions.

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By Rob Portman

Guest Columnist

Rob Portman is a Republican United States Senator from Ohio.