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  • Writer's pictureLTC Brechin, USAF, Ret.

Congratulations Class of 2026!

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Hard work ensured their success!

Congratulations 2026! You earned your Academy appointment, or ROTC scholarship, and your BIG day is coming quite soon. For the U.S. Naval Academy, the new class will arrive on June 30, 2022. New Air Force cadets will arrive on June 23, and USMA appointees will arrive for I-Day on June 27. The Coast Guard Academy's new class also arrives on June 27, and the USMMA Class of 2026 arrives on July 8. My Air Force Prep School student, as an enlisted member, must arrive on June 5th, and my two AF ROTC scholarship winners will arrive late this summer for their universities' academic years.

The first day will be both exciting and trepidatious. But rest assured that the long and thorough selection process that you completed clearly determined that you are prepared for this challenge. Embrace it! And take the obstacles presented during basic training and the academic year head-on, and all of you will do well.

Often, I am asked, "how did you earn your appointment?" In fact, each of you (i.e., my students) has a distinct story. From you, the former college student, who enlisted in the Air Force after COVID hit the country, who is now heading to the the Air Force Prep School. o you, the freshman at the University of Wyoming, who joined the AFROTC unit on campus and re-applied to USAFA, USNA and USMA after graduating from high school. You are now headed to West Point. To you, the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Major, who earned an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. All of you had common goals and the drive to complete all of the necessary steps to prepare for the Academy.

All of you had three important qualities:

  • Self-discipline

  • A strong work ethic, and

  • A plan for success

To earn an appointment to the US Air Force Academy, to graduate from the US Naval Academy, and to become a successful Army officer after graduating from the US Military Academy, you must have self-discipline. It allowed you to wake-up early for a workout, it ensured you completed a school essay in a timely manner, and it drove you to prepare for the club meetings that you led.

As with building muscle, self-discipline is learned and then practiced to improve your ability to drive yourself to achieve bigger and better things. All of my successful students possessed this trait and continued to improve as we worked through the application process to earn an appointment or ROTC scholarship.

Preparing for and then applying to these scholarships took hard work. All of you completed the application steps in a timely manner. All of you worked very hard to improve your performance on the individual events that make up the Candidate Fitness Assessment and the ROTC physical fitness test required by each of the military services. Each of you worked diligently to maintain a strong academic performance in the classroom and to prepare for the ACT or SAT. As your Admissions Coach, I saw that all of you stayed on task and challenged yourselves daily to improve in all areas: athletic, academic, and leadership.

Lastly, as a successful candidate, you and I created a plan and you followed it. It was flexible, but it allowed you to focus on the 'next' set of tasks. Our plan for you covered all areas of preparation: athletic, academic, and leadership. When combined with self-discipline and hard work, this strong plan allowed you to achieve the important milestones toward the goal of earning an appointment or ROTC scholarship. Some of you earned multiple appointments and scholarships!

Congratulations to my six appointees, my two Air Force ROTC scholarship winners and my AF Prep school appointee! You should be proud of your success in earning your appointments and scholarships. All nine of you followed different paths; however, each one of you possessed the self-discipline, work ethic and robust planning to reach your goals.

Other students can do the same! Let's discuss how you and I can shape a path to reach your goals of earning a U.S. service academy appointment or an ROTC scholarship.

[I would welcome a chance to discuss details with you. I offer coaching services to pace and prepare you (and your parents!) for the entire Academy application process. Contact me at chris@cbbrechin.com, 503.515.7406 or complete my contact form on the home page.]


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