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Congressman sends off 14 Southern Arizona students accepted into military academies

Juan Ciscomani ceremony
Posted at 1:45 PM, Jun 07, 2024

CATALINA FOOTHILLS, Ariz. (KGUN) — On Thursday Rep. Juan Ciscomani held a “Service Academy Send-Off” event at Reforma in St. Philip's Plaza, 4340 N. Campbell Ave.

The event honored the 14 students who were accepted into military academies on the congressman's nomination. His team said normally there are about five to eight students who are nominated and accepted into military academies; this year, his team tells us tthat number sits at 14.

Students who want to get into certain military academies need a nomination either from a congressperson in their district, both U.S. senators in their state, or the vice president of the United States.

Ciscomani’s team said students had to go through an application process to get nominated by the congressman. During the process, students provide a personal statement along with their grades. They also had to interview with four members of Ciscomani’s academy appointment selection board.

Ciscomani said they’re working with local high school counselors and have a table at high school events to encourage students to apply for military academies.

Brodie Hendrick was accepted as a Falcon Foundation Scholar to the United States Air Force Academy and will be attending Northwestern Preparatory School. He said the academy requires a diverse amount of qualifications that look at academics, leadership, athletics, and volunteer work.

“Really they look for a well-rounded person so all the way through high school, even throughout my entire life, I’ve kind of been striving my best to meet the idea of what it means to be a member of the Air Force,” Hendrick said.

Koby Mac Pherson is going to attend West Point and he said a lot of his future goals relied on going to the academy.

“A lot of my future goals were planning on West Point. I’ve been wanting to go there since I was nine years old, so getting the nomination from Ciscomani was a huge deal for me,” Mac Pherson said.

Andrew Christiansen is a reporter for KGUN 9. Before joining the team, Andrew reported in Corpus Christi, Texas for KRIS6 News, Action 10 News and guest reported in Spanish for Telemundo Corpus Christi. Share your story ideas with Andrew by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, or Twitter.