Akins nominated for service academies

Published 4:13 pm Friday, January 23, 2009

Bainbridge High School student Derrick Akins, son of Louise Akins of Bainbridge, has been nominated for appointments to two U.S. military academies.

Akins is the Bainbridge High School Air Force Junior ROTC cadet deputy commander and the JROTC’s No. 1 Competition Color Guard commander.

Akins received a letter from U.S. Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. recently informing him that he had been nominated for an appointment to both the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

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BHS Air Force Junior ROTC Director Col. Gary Breedlove points out that the nomination is a critical step in the long process to secure the opportunity to attend one of America’s premiere military institutions.

Cadet Deputy Commander Akins said he wants the opportunity to have a challenging and life-changing experience at the U.S. Military Academy.

“I also want to become a better and stronger leader so I can help lead our soldiers as an Army officer,” he said. “I have a dream to one day make it to the top of my military career. In more basic terms, I want to give back to my community by serving our country to the best of my ability.”

BHS Principal Tommie Howell and Col. Breedlove personally congratulated Akins, describing him as a fine young man.

“I would also like to thank Congressman Bishop for his unwavering support for our program and our academy applicants,” Col. Breedlove said.

Col. Breedlove, who serves as an admissions liaison officer for the Air Force Academy and West Point, says Akins’ performance with the Junior ROTC program has been outstanding.

“Derrick’s preference is for West Point, and I believe he will get a chance to attend one of the academies,” Col. Breedlove said. “He has worked hard to develop his leadership ability and has earned the respect of his instructors and fellow cadets.

“I offer my congratulations to him and his family. I also want to express my thanks to Congressman Bishop for his staunch support of the Bainbridge candidates who have applied for his nomination over the years.”

Akins is the 14th Bainbridge High School cadet to be nominated by Bishop since the ROTC program started. In addition, Air Force Academy graduate Preston Laslie was nominated by former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn.