Students Nominated for Nation's Service Academies

Daily Herald
February 18, 2010

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin recently released the names of young men and women whom he has nominated to attend the nation's four service academies.

The academies include U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. Everyone who wishes to attend a service academy must secure a nomination from one of a few sources, including a U.S. Senator. Prospective students at the service academies must apply for a nomination and demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and good moral character.

Senators are allowed a maximum of five appointees at a given service academy at any time - except for the Merchant Marine Academy, which is based on a state quota. Senators are allowed to nominate 10 candidates for each vacancy and do so by selecting nominees for admission on a competitive basis. The service academies will each choose one nominee for each vacancy and offer him or her an appointment.

While each member of Congress is only guaranteed their annual allotment of appointments, it is general practice that the service academies will also consider the remaining applicants for appointment outside the congressional quota, depending on student qualifications and class size. In previous years, the academies have accepted significant numbers of Durbin's nominees because of their superior qualifications.

The nominees were chosen by Durbin's Service Academy Selection Committee, a nonpartisan board that meets annually in December to review applicants.

Fox Valley nominees include:

• For the military academy at West Point, Jonathan D. Czerwonka of Crystal Lake, son of Douglas and Deborah Czerwonka; Andrew J. Slade of St. Charles, son of John and Mary Slade; and Joseph R. Cotton of Wayne, son of Paul and Brunilda Cotton.

• For the Air Force Academy: Rachel K. Doby of Algonquin, daughter of Davie and Kathleen Doby; Ashley S. Chung of Crystal Lake, daughter of Hyo Chung and Jung Chung; and Amber D. Lesher of Volo, daughter of Carlie and Scott Lesher.

• For the Naval Academy: Jennifer Bennett of Aurora.