The next generation of military service

I recently spoke on the Senate floor regarding the state of our military readiness. We live in an uncertain world, perhaps more unpredictable than at any time since the Cold War era. Our nation will not stand idly by as totalitarian regimes threaten our freedom around the world. It is up to Americans to address these challenges at every turn. 

This solemn duty will be passed on to the next generation of Nebraskans who are called to step forward to defend our freedom. Each year, I have the honor of nominating a select group of outstanding young men and women to attend the United States military service academies.

Our military service academies are tasked with training students to defend our republic. President Reagan said it best when he addressed cadets at West Point: “For here we train the men and women whose profession is watchfulness, whose skill is vigilance, whose calling is to guard the peace, but if need be, to fight and win.”

Last month, I announced the names of 32 Nebraska students I am nominating this year to attend one of the five U.S. service academies: the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, the United States Coast Guard Academy, the United States Military Academy, and the United States Naval Academy.

This year’s applicants had impressive, wide-ranging backgrounds. They consisted of eagle scouts, athletes, student government leaders, and some who are currently attending preparatory schools. Some Nebraska students are hoping to follow in the brave footsteps of their fathers and mothers, while others are applying to be the first in their family to serve our great country.

The application process is thorough. Students must complete applications for nominations, which includes an interview process with my military academy advisory board. Over four days, members of my staff conducted over fifty interviews in multiple locations throughout Nebraska. Once students receive their nomination, the application process begins with their respective academy.

“Cadets at service academies are the best of the best, and it would be an honor to challenge myself and other students,” one applicant wrote. She continued, “I believe that the military bonds people together in a way that is unmatched by any university or camp. When I saw all the platoons marching together between the stone buildings of West Point, the synced footsteps created an incredible echo against the buildings. It was in those moments I knew that I wanted to spend my college years at a military academy.”

Years of hard work has paid off for these nominees. They have shown leadership in their communities and readiness to serve our country. I am confident that if they are selected, the nominees will represent our state and the United States of America with distinction. I am grateful to these individuals for stepping forward to take part in Nebraska’s long-standing tradition of service to our country.

For future applicants, my office will host an annual Military Academy Day this spring. The event is a great opportunity for students and their families to learn more about the nomination process. Representatives from the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy will be available to provide information and answer questions or speak to concerns that any prospective applicants may have. Please stay tuned for an announcement regarding the time and location of the upcoming Military Academy Day. For more information about the application process, visit the constituent services section of my website at

Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again
next week.


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