Headed to the academy: Five area students appointed to military academies

Five Dayton-area students win congressional nominations and appointments.

Five students from the 10th Congressional District — which includes the Dayton and Springfield areas — have been appointed to U.S. military academies, U.S. Rep. Mike Turner said Friday.

Most congressional districts get just one or two appointments to the service academies, Turner said.

“Our community rises to the occasion, where we get many of our students who are positioned for the academies,” he said.

Turner introduced four of the five appointees at a press conference at his downtown Dayton offices Friday. They are:

  • West Carrollton High School graduate Chase Adams, who is headed to the U.S. Military Academy, also known as “West Point.”
  • Northmont High School graduate Worship Akpan, has also been appointed to West Point.
  • Owen Russell, a Kettering Fairmont High School graduate, also West Point-bound.
  • And Oakwood High graduate Jett Williams, who has been appointed to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Abigail Hammond, of Fairborn, is headed to the Naval Academy. (She was not at Friday’s press conference.)

Williams, 18, has considered an Air Force career for years, inspired in part by his father, a civilian pilot.

But he was drawn to the Air Force for other reasons.

“The people you meet who have gone to the academy and graduated, speaking with them when I was applying, they’re the kind of people I wanted to emulate and wanted to be like,” he said.

Apkan participated in Navy Junior ROTC as a cadet officer at Northmont High School, reaching platoon commander. A visit to the West Point campus in upstate New York helped shift her sights to a career as an Army officer.

“When I went to visit West Point, the campus was just amazing and the culture was, like, impeccable,” she said. “I said, ‘This has to be the one.’”

Turner, a Dayton Republican, has nominated students to service academies every year since being elected to Congress in 2002, and every year at least one student has been appointed.

It’s difficult to get into military academies because the careers for which they prepare students are difficult. Members of Congress may nominate applicants who meet the eligibility requirements — U.S. citizens who are at least 17 but not older than 23, unmarried and not pregnant, without legal responsibility for children.

Members of the House and Senate, as well as the vice president, may nominate students.

But it takes more than a nomination. Only an appointment to an academy means the student is accepted.

The Air Force Academy had an acceptance rate of just 13% in the fall of 2020, according to U.S. News and World Report magazine. The acceptance rate to the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy (usually called simply “West Point”) were even lower at the time — only 9%, the magazine said.

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