For one high school graduate, a dream is about to become a reality.
Brendan “Trace” Brown, who graduated from Newton High School on Saturday morning, was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, after being nominated by Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson.
The current estimated value of a midshipman’s four-year education at the Naval Academy is $180,000, according to the U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs Officer.
“Trace has a strong desire to serve and protect his country,” Johnson said. “Couple that with his drive to be part of a tradition of discipline at a U.S. Service Academy, and it’s easy to see why the Naval Academy is the perfect fit.
“I’m pleased my office could help Trace get to the next level. We wish him the best of luck and look forward to hearing about his success in Annapolis.”
In his freshman year at Newton High, Brown set a goal to attend the Naval Academy and has worked hard to prepare for the selection process, which includes being nominated and completing an application and medical exam.
Brown said the Academy looks for well-rounded students who have both a strong academic background and have participated in other school activities.
“I made sure I took as many AP classes as I could and worked hard to do well in them,” Brown said. “You really have to have strong academics. I think I took seven AP classes during high school.”
Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, Brown will be an officer in the U.S. Navy. His father was an air traffic controller in the Navy, but Brown is leaning toward a career as a surface warfare officer.
“My goal is to do 20 years in the Navy, make captain and then possibly stay in and try to make admiral,” Brown said.
During high school, Brown was also a member of the National Honor Society Student Government Association and the golf team. He has been a on the Newton High School JROTC Unit since the second semester of his freshman year, leaving the unit as commanding officer for the battalion.
“Being in the ROTC has given me a taste of the structure of the military, and it’s prepared me because I’ll be a little bit ahead on knowing drills and basic military knowledge, which will help me a lot in my first year,” Brown said.
“He is the highest-ranking cadet in the program and serves in the highest billet,” said Chief Warrant Officer Rawley Coleman, commander of the Newton High School JROTC Unit. “Cadet Lt. Col. Brown entered the program as a freshman and stayed all four years, starting out as cadet private in rank.
“Now transitioning into the next phase of his life, I am excited about what opportunity awaits Cadet Lt. Col. Brown at the United States Naval Academy. At the Academy, Midshipman Brown will be among America’s best and brightest. Over the years, the USNA has been proud to have helped shape the lives of countless outstanding individuals.”
“Brendan has distinguished himself at Newton High School, both academically and in his service to our MJROTC program,” said John Ellenberg, Newton High School principal. “Brendan exemplifies the expectations of our school: respectful, accountable, motivated and successful. He will be an outstanding military leader and serve our country to the best of his abilities.”