Johnson nominates largest class for U.S. Service Academies

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (seated left) nominated 35 DeKalb County students this year to attend U.S. service academies.

Twenty-one DeKalb County students are among 35 nominated this year by U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) to attend a U.S. service academy.

The DeKalb nominees – from Arabia Mountain, Columbia, Martin Luther King Jr., Tucker, Southwest DeKalb and Stephenson high schools and Woodard Academy – are in the largest class ever nominated by Johnson. 

The other students are from schools in Gwinnett, Rockdale and Newton counties which are also part of the 4th Congressional District.

The 2019 nominees, announced Feb. 4, include 14 for the Naval Academy, 12 for ROTC, 10 for West Point, seven for the Air Force Academy, and two for the Merchant Marines Academy.  

Every year, members of Congress nominate students to attend the nation’s military academies. Nominees who are accepted into the academies are awarded four-year scholarships that include tuition, books, room and board, medical and dental care. The average award per appointment is worth $425,000. The 12 ROTC students will receive scholarship funds that total $120,000.    

The actual service academy appointments will be announced between May and June. 

Johnson said he considers it an honor to send students on their journey to the nation’s esteemed institutions where they will be educated, trained, and inspired to help shoulder the wheel in defense of our nation.

“All of you are outstanding young people and you have the kind of leadership skills necessary to be successful in school, business and in life,” he told the nominees at a Feb. 4 reception at Stone Mountain’s Art Station.

World War II veteran Val Archer was this year’s reception special guest.

Archer, who is the embodiment of black history, served as a Tech Sergeant with the Tuskegee Airmen. He took photos with the nominees, their families and Johnson, who thanked him for his service and commitment to our nation.

“This night is very special to me because I know that the young people here with us today are some of the future protectors of our prosperity and freedoms that make this nation great,”  Johnson said.