Students headed to service academies are celebrated

Five area high school students are headed to American military academies, and U.S. Rep. Mike Turner last week saluted them.

The five students are: Centerville resident Kate Drabenstott, who will attend the United States Military Academy; Connor Miltenberger, also of Centerville, who will attend the U.S. Naval Academy; Sophia Taylor, of Dayton, and Shaylynn Weeber, of Miamisburg, who will attend the Air Force Academy.

Benjamin Rodriguez, of Beavercreek, will attend the Northwestern Preparatory School on a USAFA Falcon Scholarship. The scholarship is a grant from the Falcon Foundation to help students prepare for admission to the Air Force Academy.

It’s challenging to get into military academies because the careers for which they prepare students are challenging. Members of Congress (among others) 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.

Receiving a nomination is only the first step, however. Students must also meet high standards in the realms of academics, fitness and character. The academies have an acceptance rate of less than 17%, U.S. News & World Report said in 2022.

“It is my distinct honor to recognize incredible students from our community who have answered the call to serve,” said Turner, a Dayton Republican. “Nothing is more honorable and noble than those who will step forward to serve their country. These students are the best of the Miami Valley, and they deserve our gratitude.”

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