Matthew Hawkins, 17, has been selected for an appointment to The United States Military Academy West Point. Hawkins received a nomination from Congressman Matt Gaetz in January, and made it through the final selection process to receive a coveted spot in the academy.
Hawkins, a senior at Gulf Breeze High School, comes from a family laced with military service. Both his parents and brother attended The United States Military Academy. Hawkins worked diligently to follow their example. He displayed exemplary leadership, citizenship and academic achievement, which allowed him to be a standout among other applicants.
“I am beyond proud to have such a well-rounded, smart and talented young man coming from right here in Northwest Florida to represent our values, strong work ethic and service to country. It is my utmost expectation for Matthew to continue achieving great things and becoming one of America’s next great leaders” said Congressman Matt Gaetz.
Members of Congress are authorized by law to nominate candidates for appointment to four U.S. service academies. These schools are the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The fifth service academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, does not require a congressional nomination for appointment. These institutions prepare college-age Americans to be officers of the U.S. uniformed services. Upon graduation, service academy graduates are commissioned as officers in the active or reserve components of the military or merchant marine for a minimum of five years.
Last year, 83 Northwest Florida students sought nomination from Congressman Gaetz for a military academy. Each student was evaluated based on their academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, letters of recommendation, character and motivation and compared with other applicants.