Academy Day gives students a look at military academies

Academy Day gives students a look at military academies

wcrenshaw@macon.comSeptember 29, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- When she was in high school, Maj. Amy Rivera told her guidance counselor she was interested in going to the Air Force Academy.

“Her response, without even thinking, was ‘Whoa, hey, it’s really difficult to get into the Air Force Academy,’ ” Rivera recalled. “She said it with just enough doubt that I felt that challenge, and I wanted to learn as much as I could to partake in that challenge.”

Rivera would go on to get in the academy and graduate. Today, she is commander of the 78th Security Forces Squadron at Robins Air Force Base. She told the story of her academy experience to a group of high school students and their parents gathered at the Museum of Aviation on Saturday.

The event was Academy Day, held for the second year by 8th District U.S. Rep. Austin Scott for students who are interested in attending one of the military schools. All five military academies were there to answer questions. Scott gave an indication of the kind of people the academy is looking for, or not looking for, when he stressed that the deadline for getting in an application is Oct. 26.

“There are no exceptions to that,” he said. “If you can’t get your application in on time, then quite honestly you probably are not going to make it to the graduation ceremony.”

Applicants have to get an endorsement from their congressman, and Scott has a board of retired military personnel that reviews each application and makes recommendations.

The board can also help guide applicants to the military branch that fits their profile.

The benefits of a military academy education is that it’s free and a job is guaranteed upon graduation. The trade-off is that graduates are locked into a five-year commitment to serve active-duty and another three years in the reserves.

Lori Peavy was there with her son Jake, a junior at First Presbyterian Day School in Bibb County. She has some mixed feelings about his interest in going to the Naval Academy.

“I’m nervous, just for the fact that’s it’s such a long commitment,” she said. “But I think it’s a great opportunity. I’m supporting him 100 percent.”

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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