Jessica Mathews /

Livingston County’s Congresswoman recently hosted held a special ceremony and reception to celebrate the nine future Cadets and Midshipmen appointed to U.S. Service Academies.

7th District Representative Elissa Slotkin hosted the ceremony last Thursday in Howell.

The application and nomination process began in the fall of 2022, prior to Congressional redistricting, so the students come from across the former 8th Congressional District from Livingston, Ingham, and North Oakland Counties.

Six of them will be headed to the U.S. Air Force Academy, two will attend the U.S. Naval Academy, and one will enroll at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Each Congressional office is invited to nominate up to 10 candidates each year, per open vacancy, at the U.S. Service Academies which include the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy and Air Force Academy.

In collaboration with her Service Academy Advisory Panel, a review board made up of district veterans, Slotkin’s office reviewed candidates, and put forward the names of the top candidates to the U.S. service academies.

Surrounded by their families, friends, and school and community leaders, Representative Slotkin encouraged the group to make the most of their incredible opportunity:

“As someone who has worked alongside the military for my entire career, nominating the young men and women of our district who have chosen to take a big step forward in service to this nation is one of my favorite nights of the year. Reflecting the years of effort these students have put into preparing for this opportunity, my office takes service nominations very seriously, and it’s a true privilege to send them off. This year, we honored 9 extraordinary individuals who will soon receive an outstanding education and invaluable training at our nation’s service academies, preparing them for almost everything they may want to do in life. These students represent a new generation of leaders, one that will chart a new course for our country that rejects divisiveness and upholds the values of equality, dignity, and respect for all. I know they will lead with character and purpose, and I offer them my highest congratulations.”

The nine students who will be attending U.S. service academies in the fall, along with the school they currently attend (and for post-graduates, the high school they attended) include:

-Liliane Aittama (U.S. Air Force Academy, South Lyon East High School)

-Jared Cypher (U.S. Naval Academy, Oxford High School)

-Jaidah Davis (U.S. Air Force Academy, Howell High School)

-Brianna Johnston (U.S. Naval Academy, OKMA International Academy)

-Samuel Keranen (U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Brighton High School)

- Vlad Lovin (U.S. Air Force Academy, Culver Military Academy/Rochester Adams High School)

-Amelia McWilliam (U.S. Air Force Academy, Brighton High School)

-Maxwell Smedley (U.S. Air Force Academy, Michigan State University/Lansing Everett High School)

-Not Pictured: MacKenzie Ayriss, (U.S. Air Force Academy, Georgia Military College/Clarkston High School)