U.S. Representative Kristi Noem (SD-AL) today presented Audra Garrigan, an appointee to both the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, with a Challenge Coin to recognize her academic achievements and commitment to military service.  Garrigan is one of nine South Dakota students to be appointed to military service academies this year that were nominated by Rep. Noem.  Each will receive a certificate and Challenge Coin from the Congresswoman.

“These students represent the best South Dakota has to offer,” said Noem.  “Each have displayed integrity, grit, determination and intelligence, qualities necessary for service in the United States military.  I’m proud to represent these students and hope they will take full advantage of the opportunity laid before them.  I look forward to seeing all these students will accomplish and am deeply grateful for their commitment to our nation and our military.”

As a Member of Congress, Rep. Noem has the privilege of nominating a limited number of high school students to the country’s four service academies.  The honor of attending a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation.

While more appointments may be announced in the coming weeks, the following South Dakota students, each of which were recommended by Rep. Noem, have been appointed to academies thus far:

  • Isaac Althoff (Sioux Falls, SD) – U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis and U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs
  • Alexis Blindauer (Mitchell, SD) – U.S. Military Academy, West Point and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point
  • Elizabeth Foy (Sioux Falls, SD) – U.S. Military Academy, West Point and U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs
  • Scout Gambill (Hot Sprints, SD) – U.S. Military Academy, West Point
  • Audra Garrigan (Sioux Falls, SD) – U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis and U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs
  • Arthur Hines (Huron, SD) – U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis
  • Alexander Humpton (Twin Brooks, SD) – U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs
  • Daniel Kurtzahn (Elkton, SD) – U.S. Military Academy, West Point
  • Emily Teets (Rapid City, SD) – U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs

Each service academy appointee will be receiving a Challenge Coin and certificate from Rep. Noem in recognition of this special achievement. The coin, which bears the Seal of the U.S. House of Representatives and Seal of the State of South Dakota, has been distributed to young people across the state for outstanding achievements such as this.

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