Merced County Times Newspaper
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Local students named in recent nominations to U.S. service academies


U.S. Rep. Jim Costa has announced the nomination of four high school seniors from Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties for admission to one of the United States’ service academies. Each student was assessed on their academic achievements, leadership, and community involvement.

“From excellence in the classroom to making a difference in their communities, these students are ready to take their leadership skills even further,” said Costa. “Their choice to pursue a career in the United States military shows how dedicated they are serving their communities and country. It is an honor to nominate them, and I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

Rep. Costa is proud to announce the following nominations:

  • Andrew Koenig of Merced Nominated to two academies: the U.S. Air Force Academy & West Point Academy. Andrew attends El Capitan High School in Merced, has a 4.11 GPA, and will graduate in June 2022.  He is the son of Steven and Michelle Koenig and comes from a family who has served in the military.  His activities include playing water polo and swimming on the varsity team, and volunteering in the community and his church.
  • Thomas Garner III of Atwater Nominated to 4 academies:  the U.S. Merchant Marine, the U.S. Naval Academy, West Point Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy  Thomas Garner III attends Atwater High School, has a 4.29 GPA and will graduate June 2022. Thomas is the son of Thomas Jr. and Heather Garner. At Atwater High School, Thomas is a Cadet Master Sergeant on the Civil Air Patrol in Merced County Composite Squadron 147. He also plays baseball, water polo and swims. Thomas is also involved in Future Farmers of America Ag Mechanics Team.

Other local students in the region who were nominated include Thomas Cox of Fresno, nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy; and Skylar Hartley of Madera, nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, West Point Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.   
Students wishing to attend a military service academy must obtain a Congressional appointment. Members of Congress nominate individuals each year. If accepted, students receive a full scholarship and must complete a military service obligation requirement upon graduation.

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