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Guest opinion submitted by Idaho's Congressional Delegation

One of the most important and enjoyable aspects of being a member of Congress is the ability to nominate young Idahoans to the United States military service academies. Every year, as your elected officials, we each have the honor of nominating deserving young women and men to the U.S Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, The U.S. Naval Academy, and the Merchant Marine Academy. If you are interested in receiving an excellent education and an opportunity to develop strong character and leadership abilities, all while serving your country, we encourage you to attend the 9th Annual Service Academy Day in Idaho to learn about the nomination process.

"Academy Day" will be held on October 3, 2009, in Boise and Coeur d'Alene. Officials from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado; the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York; the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York will be there to provide information about each service academy. A Congressional nomination is not needed to attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, but representatives have been invited to share information about this school as well.

In Boise, Academy Day will be held at Gowen Field, Building 600 Auditorium, 4040 West Guard Street (an RSVP is required to attend this event). At Coeur d'Alene, Academy Day will be held at the Coeur d'Alene Library, 702 E. Front Street (an RSVP is not required to attend this event). Both events will run from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m., local time. Congressional staff, recruiters, academy liaisons, and cadets and midshipmen from Idaho will be available to speak with students, parents, and school officials. These events are a great resource for students and parents. We invite you to come and learn not only about the application process but also about academy life and the lifelong benefits that attending a military service academy can bring.

America's military academies offer an elite education and excellent military training. United States service academies are committed to developing each individual academically, physically, and ethically and with the values of duty, honor, integrity, excellence, leadership, and service. These academies provide second-to-none training and preparation, which will help you to achieve your life goals while serving your country. Attending one of these Academies is an honor in itself, but graduating from one will lead to excellent opportunities for important leadership roles in the military and beyond.

Admission to the service academies is based upon academic accomplishments, extra-curricular involvement, demonstrated leadership, and a desire to serve your country. Interested students may apply after January of their junior year and before October 31st of their senior year of high school by submitting the appropriate paperwork to their United States Congressmen, Senators, or the Vice President. Students are encouraged to apply to each of their Idaho elected officials to increase their odds for acceptance. Nominations will be announced in December.

Academy Day is a great resource for students and parents to learn about the application process, academy life and the benefits of attending a service academy. We urge all interested students and their parents to attend the Academy Day event in your area. However, if you are unable to attend, or if an event is not being held in your area, you can find additional information and everything you will need to know about the application process on each of our websites or by contacting one of the following:

Karen Roetter, (Senator Mike Crapo), (208) 664-5490
Vicki Fulton, (Senator Jim Risch), (208) 667-6130
Linda Culver, (Congressman Mike Simpson), (208) 734-7219
Lisa Anderson, (Congressman Walt Minnick), (208) 888-3188.

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