PHS student gets congressional nomination to military academy

Kirk Liscom, a senior at Pendleton High School, is one of 10 Oregon students nominated by Rep. Greg Walden for acceptance at one of the country’s military academies.

A Pendleton High student and nine other Oregon seniors received the nomination of Rep. Greg Walden for acceptance into U.S. service academies.

Kirk Liscom plans to enter the United States Naval Academy in the fall.

Liscom played linebacker and fullback on the PHS football team for four years. He has wrestled for three years and serves as president of the senior class.

Liscom has been eyeing a military career for a while now.

“I think it’s a great thing to serve your country,” he said. “It’s a noble job. Going to the naval academy, I’ll not only get a great education, but will have a chance to give back.”

The senior got a taste of academy life last summer when he attended a summer seminar at the campus in Annapolis, Maryland. He and other students toured the campus, participated in physical fitness activities and sat in on classes.

Liscom said he will follow the legacy of other family members who served, including his grandfather who was a Marine. He also credited PHS football and wrestling coach Wesley Armstrong, a veteran, for inspiring him to consider a military career.

Other students recommended by Walden include Clay Keller, Baker City; Jackson Clough, Benjamin Roberts and Levi Schwarz, Bend; and Dana Jung, Medford and Brandon VanMeter, and Nolan Britton, Klamath Falls.

The 10 students were recommended to Walden by his Service Academy Nomination Board, composed of retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Paula Brown; Col. Jeff Smith, Oregon Air National Guard; Lt. Col. Travis Lee, Oregon Army National Guard; Retired U.S. Navy Commander John Howard, and retired U.S. Army Lt. Col Kirk Mickelsen.

A congressional nomination is not a guaranteed ticket to acceptance by a service academy, but Liscom was thrilled to receive notice he had gotten nominated.

“I don’t even know how how to describe how excited I was,” he said.

U.S. academies include the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Only the U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination for appointment. Although the tuition is covered by taxpayers, academy graduates must commit to five years active duty after graduation, plus three more years in the reserves.

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