Admin

PHS senior’s future takes flight after being accepted to US Air Force Academy

PHS senior’s future takes flight after being accepted to US Air Force Academy
Posted on 05/01/2018
Pasadena High School senior Andrew Hootman was recently accepted to both the Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy.

by Dwight Henson
PISD Communications

Pasadena High School senior Andrew Hootman was recently accepted to both the Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy. But when faced with a future upon the open seas or in the open skies, Hootman will have his head in the clouds.

“The air force has a lot of opportunities and one thing I’m really interested in is flying planes,” said Hootman.

Hootman is one of only 1,200 selected candidates from across the globe to be appointed to a U.S. military academy with all expenses paid.

“A service academy appointment means that you show up wearing shorts and a t-shirt and then your entire education is provided," said U.S. Air Force Admissions Liaison Officer Charles D. Phillips. "They provide housing. They provide food. They provide everything you wear. It’s an inclusive program where the student essentially pays nothing. In fact they are paid. They get a salary while they are going to the service academy as well.”

Hootman will graduate from the service academy with a bachelor’s degree and the start of his military career.

“Upon graduating from the service academy, you will immediately start your career and have opportunities for international travel, additional training and things like that," said Phillips.

Applying for the academy is a long process that includes being nominated by an elected government official, such as a senator or congressman.

“I got a phone call-- I wasn’t sure who it was. I actually wasn’t going to answer it but I answered it anyways and he told me ‘This is Gene Greene’," said Hootman. "I just got kinda tense, I was kind of nervous. He congratulated me-- that was really cool. I think that’s a memory I’m going to have for a long time.”

Candidates are also selected based on how well rounded they are.

“If you are good academically, if you’re physically fit, and you can demonstrate some leadership, then this can be you in a couple of years," said Phillips.

Hootman has demonstrated such leadership through extracurricular activities and community service, such as volunteering at the American Legion U.S. Veterans Association.

“I often volunteered at the American Legion Post," said Hootman. "I would always help them cut grass, or clean around the facilities. It was just a way for me to give back to people who have given so much to me."

Be sure to like and share the video on Facebook!