One of the great privileges of representing my fellow Utahns in the U.S. Senate is the annual opportunity to meet exceptional young men and women from the great state of Utah who have answered the call of service by applying to our nation’s service academies.
Under title 10 of the U.S. Code, each year members of congress are authorized to nominate a number of young men and women from their district or state to attend the country’s service academies. It is my distinct honor to nominate these 14 exemplary Utahns this year:
Joseph Cooke, Naval Academy; Zachary Daines, U.S. Military Academy; Wyatt Espell, U.S. Military Academy; Ian Hardy, Naval Academy; Stephen Lee, U.S. Military Academy; Michelle Lee, Air Force Academy; Angela Marsh, U.S. Military Academy; Izacc Polukoff, Merchant Marine Academy; Xavier Price, Air Force Academy; Jacob Rice, Air Force Academy; Mitchell Weller, Merchant Marine Academy; David White, U.S. Military Academy; Autumn Wolfgramm, Air Force Academy; and Tyler Wright, Air Force Academy.
But receiving a congressional nomination does not guarantee acceptance. To be admitted, each applicant must meet on his or her merits each academy’s rigorous standards
I have studied the applications of these 14 men and women, and I can say without hesitation or exaggeration, that you would be hard pressed to find a more accomplished, talented, patriotic group of American citizens anywhere. And so I was not surprised to learn that all 14 individuals whom I nominated have been accepted and will soon be joining the ranks of our nation’s service academies in the summer of 2016.
The journey on which these young men and women will soon embark requires more than physical and mental aptitude. It demands strong mental character—leadership, courage, honesty, prudence, and self-discipline—and above all, it calls for a steadfast commitment to service and a love of country.
It has been and honor and an inspiration to meet and to nominate each of these exemplary young men and women. Doing so has given me an unshakeable confidence in the future of this great nation and the future of our Armed Services.