***With Photo Slide Show***Rep. Smith announces prestigious service academy appointmentsTwelve students from the 4th district selected to attend Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, West Point & Merchant Marine Academy
U.S. Representative Chris Smith (NJ-04) held a special ceremony Saturday, June 10 for students from the Fourth Congressional District who will soon be departing for one of the United States Service Academies.
Twelve students from Smith’s District received the Congressman’s nomination and were offered appointments to the prestigious institutions, and those attending received flags which Smith had flown over the United States Capitol in the students’ honor.
“It was hard work that got you here; it will take persistence, commitment, courage and devotion to God and our country to succeed,” Smith said to the students and family members assembled. “And succeed, you will, to become the next generation of leaders in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Merchant Marines. The dream—for some a lifelong dream—now begins.”
PICTURED: From left, Petty Officer Mary Bencivenga (RET), Congressman Smith, the students entering the military academies, Col. Henderson of JB-MDL and Maj. Gen. Tom Garrett (RET) at the June 10 event.
Smith added that with the United States' continued fight against terrorism throughout the globe and its commitment to defending our homeland and protecting national security interests, recruiting top-notch talent for the nation’s all-volunteer armed forces is critically important. He said that during his tenure in Congress, he has had the privilege of nominating 998 women and men, of whom 229 have attending or are attending the Academies.
The local students, who had to receive a nomination from their Member of Congress in order to be considered for appointment, will soon be attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York; the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland; the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado; the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. Each institution plays an integral role in training young men and women to become tomorrow's military leaders and affords them a collegiate education opportunity of the highest quality free of financial obligation, providing the student graduates and fulfills his or her service obligation.
The following students from New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District received appointments to the service academies listed include (*photo available from Saturday event):
Matthew Hanlon – Manasquan*
UNITED STATES MERCHANT MARINE ACADEMY (KINGS POINT, N.Y.)
Michael Carbone - Hamilton
Christopher Waller – Middletown
UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY (WEST POINT, N.Y.)
Bonvie Fosam - Robbinsville
Antonio LaTorre – New Egypt
Margaret Lynch - Rumson
Mason Remondelli – Point Pleasant Boro
UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY (ANNAPOLIS)
Tyler Bradley – Manasquan
Alec Grant – Manalapan
Holly Koerwer – Shrewsbury
John Salcedo – Little Silver
The guest speaker at Smith’s event was Col. Charles Henderson, Commander of the 621st Contingency Air Wing which is co-located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and Travis Air Force Base, California. Henderson discussed the traits needed to be a successful military leader, and inspired the students to excel in their coming vocations.
In order to attend a highly-competitive U.S. Service Academy, students must apply to the institutions directly and qualify academically, medically and athletically. At the same time, the students must also seek out a nomination, which entails a personal interview before a selection board of retired military officers. Members of Congress, U.S. Senators, the Vice President and the President may nominate students for acceptance into the academies. Students between ages 17 and 22 (17-25 for the Merchant Marine Academy), who are U.S. citizens and are single with no dependents, seek nominations each year to one or more of the service academies through Congressman Smith’s office. Students may also apply to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, but unlike the other four, the Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination.
The Fourth Congressional District encompasses 44 municipalities and includes parts of Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties. Students who are interested in applying for a nomination for the next class should contact the Congressman’s Freehold Constituent Service Center at (732) 780-3035.