By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – High school students interested in the armed forces had an opportunity Saturday to engage cadets and graduates from America’s military service academies during Academy Day.
Representatives from the five service academies and the Ole Miss and Mississippi State ROTC spoke about their programs.
“Last year we had students that were here from all over north Mississippi and we now have 11 students that are first-year cadets or midshipmen today from north Mississippi,” said Congressman Alan Nunnelee, who hosts the event. “It’s a great honor to be selected for one of the service academies and exciting that so many students and their families are here to get more information about getting accepted.”
Dalton Crozier, a junior at Hernando High School, said he learned the competition to be selected for an academy is tough.
“I came here because my family has always been in the military and I want to lead men,” he said. “I learned that you have to have a lot of leadership qualities and things on your resume like Boys State or Eagle Scout. Now I can go back and fix up my transcript and get it ready for the colleges.”
Crozier’s classmate, Jake Stockton, a senior at Hernando High School, said he learned about options outside of West Point.
“I learned that ROTC is an excellent route to take,” he said. “I’m applying to West Point, it’s great, but it’s like wining the lottery to get accepted so it’s good to have a backup.”
Students were able to ask program graduates candid questions about each academy and program at the Tupelo Army Aviation Support Facility.
“There are some incredible opportunities for students to serve their country and get incredible education benefits too,” Nunnelee said.