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Brighton Senior – ‘Presidential Nomination’ to West Point

  • Post category:General News
  • Post last modified:December 23, 2009

A Brighton High School senior says he was “overwhelmed” to learn he’d received a presidential nomination to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which this year was named by Forbes magazine as the No. 1 higher-education institution in the country.

Brighton senior Joe HerrNackar discovered he’d received the presidential nomination while checking the status of his online application. He was surprised to see that one of the entrance requirements – a nomination from the vice president, a member of Congress or the Secretary of the Army –had been checked off as completed.

He scanned to the page to determine who had endorsed his application. To his delight, he saw he’d been given the presidential nomination, which is a military service-related endorsement from the Secretary of the Army. Such nominations are typically reserved for qualifying children of career military personnel.

“We were pretty excited,” said HerrNackar, whose father retired from the U.S. Army after a 20-year career that included two tours in the Vietnam War. “So we went out for a celebratory dinner.”

The presidential nomination does not guarantee HerrNackar a spot in the academy – it’s the legal step that must happen in order for the U.S. Military Academy to consider him as a candidate. Prospective cadets are judged on academics, leadership, and physical aptitude, and must also meet certain medical standards.

HerrNackar hopes the nomination, along with his 3.5 grade point average, 29 ACT score and a course schedule packed with rigorous and Advanced Placement classes, give him “a pretty good chance” to earn a cadetship. HerrNackar, who is in his second year of aviation classes, wants to study engineering at the academy, which admits 1,150 to 1,200 young men and women each year.

Men and women who earn entrance to the academy receive tuition, room, board, medical and dental care, in addition to a $6,500 annual salary. The salary covers the cost of uniforms, books, a personal computer and living incidentals, according to the academy. West Point graduates are immediately placed on active duty as commissioned officers and serve in the U.S. Army for a minimum of five years.

Some of our nation’s most famous leaders, including Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, George S. Patton, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, and Norman Schwarzkopf, attended the academy.