U.S. Congressman Jody Hice Congressman Jody Hice
Academy Update
Fall 2019
U.S. Congressman Jody Hice

October 11th: Deadline for Nomination Applications
If you have the dream in your heart and the fire in your soul to serve your Nation as an officer in the U.S. Armed Forces, please remember that the deadline for applying for a nomination from my office to the U.S. Service Academies is fast approaching. Nomination applications must be received at my Monroe Office (100 Court Street, Monroe GA 30655) by Friday, October 11th by 5:00 p.m. No exceptions. Click here to download the application. For more information, visit my website.

November: Academy Advisory Board Interviews
My Academy Advisory Board reviews applications and recommends the most qualified candidates for nomination to our Nation’s distinguished service academies. After submitting their initial applications, certain students will be selected to move on to the next phase of the nomination process: an interview with the board. All nominees are required to complete an interview, which will consist of 10-15 minute interview with a three-person panel, in order to complete their nomination process. The panel is looking for a well-rounded person of character who will serve well in our Nation’s Armed Services. The board considers evidence of character, scholarship, leadership, physical aptitude, medical fitness, goals, and motivation in determining each nominee’s “whole-person” evaluation. Our office will contact each student via letter if he or she is selected for an interview.

When applying for a service academy nomination, there are important tasks to complete during a student’s junior and senior years of high school. The following is a suggested timeline: 

Junior Year
• Starting between the months of December and February, inquire or sign up for a Summer Seminar at your desired academy; 
• During the months of February and March, schedule the SAT and/or ACT Standardized Test to be taken in May and/or June; 
• Through April and May, contact the service academy admissions office for application information. Keep in mind, students may apply and be nominated to more than one academy. Please go to my website for an online application to get started; and
• In August, schedule a medical exam with the DoDMERB (Department of Defense Medical Review Board). After a preliminary screening by the academy, students will receive information about scheduling an appointment with the DoDMERB. Schedule the appointment early because many students will require medical waivers, which can take several months to complete. All candidates must be found medically qualified before admittance to an academy.

Senior Year
• In the fall, complete and submit your nomination applications to all nominating sources. Please note that the application due dates can vary from office to office and year to year; 
• Also in the fall, take the Candidate Fitness Assessment; 
• For those selected for a Congressional interview, my office notifies students regarding the time and place for a personal meeting with my Academy Review Board. Nominations are announced during the month of January; and 
• In the spring, candidates start to receive letters directly from the academies notifying them of their admission statuses and offers of appointment.

During a recent poll, I asked newsletter readers about which part of the nomination process they most wanted to learn about. The overwhelming response was, as one anonymous student wrote, “All of it, really.”

In order to help potential applicants better understand how the nomination process works, I'm sharing the “Nominations 101” Power Point presentation from my 2019 10th District Academy Day. This is an overview of how the U.S. Service Academy nomination process works, from student eligibility to application deadlines.
looking back:
2019 Service Academy Day
Designed to provide students with information about attending the Nation’s five military service academies, including the application, nomination, and appointment process, this year’s 10th District Academy Day was an outstanding event. Held on Georgia Military College’s beautiful Milledgeville Campus, my academy director, Jessica Hayes, kicked off the program with “Nominations 101,” which gave a comprehensive view of the nomination process. This session was so popular that we are now offering this information online. She was followed by a panel discussion made up of representatives from all five service academies who took questions from the audience and then offered advice at informational tables after the event. Our annual 10th District Academy Days are events which potential applicants certainly don’t want to miss.

In this edition of my newsletter, I wanted to share with you the inspiring story of two outstanding Academy appointees, the Norris brothers from Athens, GA. Their journey illustrates the various routes that students may take in attending our prestigious U.S. Service Academies.

For brothers Sutton and Forde Norris, you could say that their desire to go to West Point was a family endeavor. While attending Prince Avenue Christian School, Sutton founded Wood for Warriors, LLC and raised money by chopping, splitting, and delivering wood for an action-track wheelchair as well as equipment that allowed wounded veterans to be active. Forde helped his brother, and when Sutton went to West Point, Forde carried on the work of the LLC. The legacy of their grandfather, who paid the ultimate sacrifice at the young age of 29 during the Vietnam War, made a profound impact on their lives.

But their pathways to West Point were different.

In 2014, as a high school senior, Sutton Norris applied for a 10th District nomination to the U.S. Military Service Academy at West Point. He received it and was offered an appointment to West Point for the following academic year. In May of 2019, he graduated from this prestigious academy with a degree in Civil Engineering with his proud family cheering him on in the audience. After a 45-day leave, he headed to Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he is attending flight school for anywhere from 18 months to two years, depending on the aircraft he will be flying. He aspires to be an Army helicopter pilot.

Forde, the younger brother, took a different route, but looking back, he says he wouldn’t have it any other way. In 2016, Forde applied for a nomination from my office, which he received. However, he did not receive an offer from West Point. Undeterred, Forde accepted a scholarship from the West Point Association of Graduates to attend the Marion Military Institute’s Service Academy Program. In retrospect, Forde believes that the year spent in prep school gave him a competitive edge.

“When Sutton got to West Point, he said it was more of a shock going from civilian life to military and that he ended up asking the prep school kids for advice on what to do,” Forde said. For Forde, prep school was a good fit. He applied again to West Point in 2017, and this time he was offered an appointment. He went to West Point just in time to see the Army-Navy game as a cadet alongside his brother. In May of 2019, Forde was at Sutton’s West Point commissioning ceremony and was honored to give his brother his first salute. Forde is currently in his second year at West Point and is pursuing a degree in Engineering Management.

Marine Colonel Seth Hathaway, the headmaster at Sutton and Forde’s high school, Prince Avenue Christian School, summed their story up this way: “Although their paths to join the Long Gray Line were different, they share a patriot spirit and strong desire to defend our Constitution and our American way of life.”

Congratulations, Sutton and Forde! We’re so proud of you.