Martha Roby: Next generation of military leaders

011001-D-2987S-138 The Joint Service Color Guard advances the colors during the retirement ceremony of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Henry H. Shelton, at Fort Myer, Va., on Oct. 2, 2001. DoD photo by Helene C. Stikkel. (Released)

One of my favorite parts of serving in Congress is the honor and responsibility I have to nominate young men and women for an appointment to our nation’s military academies. Each year, my office conducts a rigorous process by which applicants are reviewed and interviewed by an independent panel of service academy alumni.

Our service academies are some of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Appointments are highly sought after and require high academic, character and leadership standards. Those appointed must commit to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation.

Once the panel has made its selections, I have the privilege of calling the students to personally inform them of their nomination to a U.S. military academy. It is an honor to be the first to thank these courageous students for their willingness to serve their country and to wish them the best on this exciting endeavor.

Below are students who were nominated through my office and have received appointments to U.S. military academies for 2015. I join their families, teachers and friends in congratulating them on such a momentous accomplishment.

  • Matthew Dunlap, Enterprise: U.S. Air Force Academy. Son of William J. Dunlap, student at the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School.
  • Alvaro Nicholas Flores, Ozark: West Point. Son of Alvaro and Kimberly Flores, student at Carroll High School
  • Hunter Rowan Godwin, Dothan: West Point. Son of Joseph and Patricia Godwin, student at Providence Christian School.
  • Jesse Cornelius Anthony Haggerty, IV, Eufaula: U.S. Air Force Academy. Son of Jesse and Angela Haggerty, student at the Lakeside School.
  • Baxter J. Hodge, Montgomery: West Point. Son of Ray and Deana Hodge, student at Eastwood Christian School.
  • Shawn N. Paris, Jr., Fort Rucker: U.S. Naval Academy. Son of Shawn and Jennifer Paris, student at Carroll High School.
  • Leo Alfred Petters, Montgomery: U.S. Naval Academy. Son of Brian and Vicki Petters, student at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School.
  • Pearce Anthony Phinney, Prattville: U.S. Naval Academy. Son of Col. Todd and Sharon Phinney, student at Prattville Christian Academy.
  • Jesse Ariel Ramire, Daleville: West Point. Son of Berny and Peta Ramirez, student at the Alabama School of Math and Science in Mobile.

Again, I want to congratulate these students on this special achievement. If you or a someone you know is interested in knowing more about seeking a nomination to a military academy, please visit my website at

Martha Roby represents Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. She is in her third term.


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