Area students recognized for their appointments to U.S. Service Academies

From left: Erick Rodriguez, Senath, USMA; Brandon Gibbs, Cuba, USMA; Hunter Hanes, Poplar Bluff, USAFA; Congressman Jason Smith; Bradley Glass, Festus, USNA; and Matthew Stroder, Jackson, USAFA. Smith hosted a sendoff dinner for the appointees and their families in Ste. Genevieve Sunday.

Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) congratulated Erick Rodriguez of Senath, Matthew Stroder of Jackson, Brandon Gibbs of Cuba, Hunter Hanes of Poplar Bluff, and Bradley Glass of Festus on their appointments to U.S. Service Academies this fall. Out of all the qualified candidates throughout the district, only five students nominated by Smith received appointments.

Smith praised their leadership skills, and desire to make a difference in the world. He expressed his confidence in the students and encouraged them to continue to set high goals for themselves.

“One of the greatest privileges of my job is nominating outstanding students from the 8th district to attend one of our U.S. Service Academies,” Smith said. “It’s an intense process and they have all done a remarkable job in meeting the requirements for admission. I am honored to have played a part in helping them achieve their dreams and I look forward to keeping up with them as they begin their military career.”

Smith is currently accepting applications for 2022 nominations to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy. To receive a nomination packet via email, contact Smith's Farmington office at 573-756-9755 or email The deadline for submissions is Oct. 29.