MIDLAND, Texas — Congressman August Pfluger was in Midland on Tuesday speaking to students and parents about military service academies.
The event was at the Midland Army Airfield Museum earlier today, and Pfluger spoke to many interested high school students on service academy night. Pfluger graduated from the United States Air Force Academy before he served for nearly two decades, and he was on hand to talk about his experience defending our country and the importance of it.
Many high school students – and even one middle-schooler—showed their interest in making the commitment to defend the United States by taking a step closer to the military, and their parents were also there to support them.
Representatives from the U.S Naval Academy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard were in attendance to answer questions following discussion of the application process.
For Pfluger, finding the next generation of military leaders is paramount.
“We have to realize that teaching the next generation what it means to serve is so important,” Pfluger said. “So, if a child grows up and wants to, as a student, goes through their high school career, wants to join the military, this is a great opportunity to not only join the community but to be a leader in the military through a commissioning source, like a service academy.”
When it comes to Pfluger’s service, he recalls it fondly.
“The greatest part of my life has been wearing the uniform and taking the oath to support and defend the constitution as a military member, and now as a member of congress,” Pfluger said. “So, anybody who has a desire to do that, I encourage.”
13 people from the congressional district in West Texas were accepted into service academies last year, with nine of them going, and Pfluger is confident in the area.
“I will also tell you this, that that complex threat environment takes a certain spirit,” Pfluger said. “It’s in this room. It’s in this community. It’s in this region. We have a rich history of that. Not every area of the United States has the desire that you all have to serve. Not every area does.”
Getting involved in extracurricular activities -- such as sports, student council or church -- helps develop leadership potential, which will assist those interested in joining a military service academy during the application process. It is a nine-year commitment, with four years of college education and at least five years of active service.