Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Announces Service Academy Appointments

May 6, 2016
Press Release
Congressman Nominates 10 Students to Prestigious Military Academies

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, announced today that he has nominated 10 local students for appointment to the nation’s military service academies.

Each year, members of the U.S. Congress nominate students for admission to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. Applicants must meet strict qualifications and are interviewed and recommended by a non-partisan service academy board appointed by the Congressman. 

“Recommending exceptional students from the Suncoast to our country’s military service academies is an honor I do not take lightly,” Buchanan said. “Here in Florida’s 16th congressional district, we are fortunate to have so many dedicated and courageous students willing to serve in our Armed Forces. I look forward to seeing these young men and women flourish in their college education and wish them the best as they begin their military careers.”

The U.S. military service academies are four year post-secondary institutions that combine educational excellence with military officer training. Students accepted to the academies receive a free four-year education in return for a commitment to serve five years in the active duty military after graduation.

The following students nominated by Buchanan received an academy appointment:

Tyler Dean Abbott, Lakewood Ranch High School and Marion Military Institute, for the U.S. Military Academy

Judson Cole Haggard, Sarasota Military Academy and Virginia Military Institute, for the U.S. Military Academy

Emiliano Concha-Toro, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School, for the U.S. Military Academy

Matthew William Pelton, Pine View High School, for the U.S. Air Force Academy

Shelby Kate Watson, Palmetto High School, for the U.S. Air Force Academy

Garrett Jackson Lawlor, Pine View High School, for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

Sarah Michelle Weiss, Booker High School, for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

Samuel Heenan Winegar, Pine View High School, for the U.S. Naval Academy

Campbell Phoenix Thomas Lee, Home-schooled, for the U.S. Naval Academy

Gabriel Duremdez Pilones, Allendale Academy, for the U.S. Naval Academy