Hoeven Nominates 12 Students for Military Academy Appointments

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven announced today that he has nominated 12 students for appointment to our nation’s military academies. 

“Our nation’s service academies provide a rigorous and thorough education that prepares the future leaders of our country,” said Hoeven. “These students have shown great potential for success in the armed services and will represent North Dakota and our nation well. They have a strong desire to serve our country and it is an honor to nominate them to the military academies.” 

As part of the application process, service academies require students to be nominated by a member of Congress or the Vice President. Final appointments are determined by each academy.  Students appointed to the academies receive a scholarship as well as a military appointment. Following graduation, students must serve in the military for at least five years. Additional information on service academy nominations is available on Senator Hoeven’s website. 

Hoeven nominated the following 12 students for academy appointments: 

United States Air Force Academy

  • Abby Bierschbach, Minot

Abby, the daughter of Julie and Greg Bierschbach, is a senior at Minot High School. She is active in the student council, captain of her cross country team and a member of the varsity hockey, and track and field teams. Abby also participates in several volunteer programs and plays in the orchestra. 

  • Dylan Crockett, Langdon

Dylan currently attends the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School. The son of Tom and Barb Crockett, he attended Langdon Area High School, where he was involved in student council, captain of the football team and a state placeholder in track and field. Dylan also placed in the science Olympiad and was named the most outstanding young instrumentalist of the concert band. 

  • Jared Hruby, Wilton

Jared is currently studying commercial aviation at the University of North Dakota. A student athlete at Wilton High School, he received numerous academic awards and was a member of the football, baseball, hockey, and track and field teams. Jared was also in the choir and student council. He served as an American Legion Boys State delegate and is active in his community. He is the son of Jeff and Julie Hruby. 

  • Patrick Mohr, Devils Lake

Patrick, the son of Doug and Cece Mohr, is a senior at Devils Lake High School where he is the 2011 Student Council President. He was named the North Dakota Middle Level State Student Council President in 2008 and the Local Future Business Leaders of America President in 2010. Patrick is a member of the football and track and field teams. 

United States Merchant Marine Academy

  • Paul Gardner, New England

Paul, the son of Daniel and Maureen Gardner, has a strong record of volunteer work. He was homeschooled and actively participated in athletics at the local high school. Paul played basketball and was a state qualifier in cross country, and track and field.  

United States Military Academy at West Point

  • Zachary Becker, Sharpsburg, GA

Zachary is the son of Army Sgt. Maj. David and Yvonne Becker. He excels academically at East Coweta High School in Georgia, where he is also involved in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), several bands, the National Honor Society and Beta Club. In his application, Zachary, whose father is a North Dakota resident and active duty soldier, wrote: “The respect I have not only for my dad, but also for his service, gives me great motivation to attend the military academy and continue the family legacy of service to my country.”  

  • Alek Berg, Walhalla

Alek attends North Border Walhalla High School, where he is involved in basketball, football, track and Students Against Destructive Decisions. Alek, the son of Jane and Darryl Berg, is a Sunday school teacher and a member of the Junior Bank Board in his community. In his application, Alek wrote: “To be an officer in the military is one of the most important jobs in the world, and I want to be part of this unique tradition.” 

  • Erik Von Trusdell, Northwood

Erik is a senior at Northwood Public School, where he is active in football, hockey, robotics, science club and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). Erik, the son of Beverly Trusdell, is also a junior black belt in Tae Kwon Do. 

United States Naval Academy

  • Ashley Ehret, Dickinson

Ashley is the daughter of Jeremey Ehret and Pamela Lindbo. She is a senior at Dickinson High School, where she is active in Skills USA and the Close Up program. She is also Commander of the Roughrider Composite Squadron and Leadership Officer of the Civil Air Patrol, where her service has earned her the Billy Mitchell Award. 

  • Jack Fagerland, Minot

Attending an academy has been a lifelong dream for Jack, the son of Bertram and Kecia Fagerland. He excels academically at Minot High School, where he is student council senior class president, football team captain and involved in swimming and orchestra. Jack is active in Boy Scouts of America, attaining the rank of Life Scout and receiving the Sea Scouting Quartermaster Award. 

  • Monty Johnson, Washburn

Monty is the son of Wesley and Camey Johnson. He is a senior at Washburn High School, where he is involved in football, basketball, track and field, student council and band. He is a three-time all-state winner in track and field and a three-time recipient of the certificate of commendation from the Masonic Lodge of Washburn. 

  • James Lawson II, Minot

James is the son of U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. James Sr. and Katsura Lawson. He is a senior at Minot High School, where he is involved in Air Force JROTC, Skills USA, Student Guides and track and field. He is active in the community and serves as a Sunday school teacher.