Shelby nominates Jones to service academy

Published 3:37 am Saturday, February 4, 2017

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) on Friday announced that he has nominated Chandler Jones of Andalusia to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

0204-jonesJones, who is currently studying at Marion Military Institute, said he became interested in the military service academies his senior year, and especially after he visited the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

“My grandfather, father and I visited West Point, and I applied last semester,” he said. “I figured I would also apply to a few more of the academies.”

In order to be considered for a service academy nomination, applicants must be residents of Alabama and complete the required ACT or SAT exams. They must also provide letters of recommendation, a school transcript, a completed medical examination, and a completed application form.

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is located in Kings Point, N.Y. Midshipmen who complete the demanding curriculum earn a unique combination of credentials, including a bachelor of science degree; a U.S. Coast Guard license; and an officer’s commission in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Jones said his time at MMI has been a different pace.

“It’s kind of like the whole school’s in ROTC,” he said. “This is sort of like a prep school for the academies, like a small taste of what I would get if I get into one of the academies.”

If he earns an appointment to a military academy, he said, he expects to complete a minimum of five years of active duty service. He is considering an engineering career, and believes that could fit well in the military.

At Marion, students participate in PT three days each week. He also plays intramurals, and is in the Normandy Society.

Jones was one of 35 students across the state Shelby nominated to a U.S. service academy.

“I am proud to nominate this outstanding student to a United States service academy,” Sen. Shelby said. “Chandler is among the best and brightest in Alabama as evidenced by his achievements both inside and outside the classroom. It is my honor to recommend this young man, and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

While senators make nominations to the academies, each academy makes the final admission decisions.