WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, today stated that 21 of the students she nominated last December for appointments to the United States service academies have been accepted for the Class of 2020. Senator Ernst also announced that her office is currently accepting applications for the Class of 2021.

“I am thrilled to see so many of our outstanding students accepted into the service academies who are willing to serve their country,” said Senator Ernst. “I believe each of these students strive for four important pillars: assuming risk; leadership; service to your community and country; and, an attitude of gratefulness. Congratulations to these bright, young leaders; I look forward to seeing all of the great accomplishments that they will achieve.

“In addition, I encourage all students interested in applying for the Class of 2021 to contact our office or visit our website to learn more about the process and the service academies. Attending a service academy is hard work, but it is a tremendous opportunity for our students to lead and serve our great country."

The following is a complete list of the students nominated by Senator Ernst who were offered appointments to United States service academies for the Class of 2020.

United States Air Force Academy
Sidney Alsager, Jewell
Emma Baller, Sioux City
Kaitlin Greene, Coralville
Riley Lowe, Swisher

United States Naval Academy
Caroline Ascherl, Granville
Michael “Finn” Berry, Cedar Rapids
John Buck, Dallas Center
Ross Otte, Clive
Cole Patton, Des Moines
Meeghan Rodamaker, Mason City
Andrew Shumway, Des Moines
Daniel Sommerlot, Pocahontas
Hunter Wargo, West Branch

United States Military Academy at West Point
Garrett Dunn, State Center
Christian Flege, Waverly
Zachary Gilbert, Cedar Rapids
Alexander Gudenkauf, Coralville
Harrison Jones, Council Bluffs
David Pinter, Iowa City
Patrick Ramirez, State Center
Hannah Schwartz, Ames

Every year Senator Ernst has the honor of nominating Iowa students to the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The admissions process at the service academies is incredibly competitive and Senator Ernst encourages students to apply for more than one academy. To learn more about service academy nominations or to apply click here. The deadline for the Class of 2021 is October 7, 2016.

Senator Ernst received her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University where she joined the university’s ROTC program. After graduating, Ernst was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, and after a few years in the Reserves, transferred to the Iowa National Guard. In 2003, she served as a company commander in Kuwait and Iraq, leading 150 Iowa Army National Guardsmen during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Senator Ernst retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard in November 2015 after more than 23 years of military service.

# # #