(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) today announced that eight students from Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District have accepted appointments to the U.S. Service Academies’ Class of 2024.
Said Rep. Banks, “These eight young men and women represent the best of Indiana and the best of our country. The resolve and patriotism they’ve demonstrated, at such a young age, is truly remarkable. I have no doubt that they will one day represent our community well as officers in the U.S. Military. Amanda and I join Hoosiers everywhere in thanking Mark, Ryan, Abigail, McKenna, Matthew, Rayna, Clayton, and Luke and wishing them the best as they begin their journeys of service and leadership.”
Mark Dely – United States Naval Academy
Mark Dely is going to be a Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy. An excellent student at Homestead High School, Mark experienced the Naval Academy’s Summer Seminar in 2019, confirming his desire to attend the academy. He was very active in school playing both rugby and football, along with also being a part of the school’s robotics team and their orchestra, where he played the viola. Outside of school he participated in Boy Scouts of America and earned his Eagle Scout rank. Additionally, Mark was on the X-Count Precision Rifle Team, where he was team captain and participated in the U.S. Army National Junior Air Rifle Championship. Hearing about his great grandpa’s stories of being a Naval Pilot, he knew he wanted to serve and become an officer in the U.S. Navy.
Abigail Buczak – United States Military Academy
Abigail Buczakwill be attending the United States Military Academy this summer. As a graduate from Bishop Dwenger High School, Abigail thrived in the classroom as well as in her extracurricular activities. Abigail excelled athletically as captain of her school’s soccer team and as a member of the track team. She has held numerous leadership positions within the National Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America and donated her time to fellow students as a peer tutor and freshman mentor. In her words, Abigail looks forward to attending West Point to “learn and mature into a leader who can make decisions that benefit others and the nation.”
Clayton Fielden—United States Military Academy
Clayton Fieldenwill be a cadet at the United States Military Academy, after graduating from Garrett High School. Clayton has volunteered by coaching many young athletes in football and wrestling. Along with coaching, he plays his guitar and sings at the local nursing home and food trucks. Additionally, he has interned at the Garrett Police Department as an Emergency Medical Technician, and at the Dekalb Memorial Hospital. Not only is Clayton an excellent student, but he also played varsity football and wrestled all 4 years at Garrett. Clayton looks forward to wrestling at West Point, along with developing his skills as a leader.
Luke Griner—United States Military Academy
Luke Griner will be attending the United States Military Academy later this year following his graduation from the United States Military Academy Preparatory School. The Preparatory School is a one-year feeder program that prepares soldiers for West Point. Luke previously graduated from Wawasee High School where he excelled in athletics and academics. Luke often times found himself leading others by example through his hard work, dedication, staying motivated, and paying attention to details. He looks forward to taking the next step at West Point and the future ahead.
Ryan Schneider—United States Military Academy
Ryan Schneider is eager to attend the United States Military Academy, after graduating from Carroll High School. Along with being an exemplary student, Ryan was a member of the marching and pep band and participated on the track and field team. In addition, Ryan served as president of the Common Sense Club and was the founder of the Trap and Skeet club. A kind and compassionate leader, Ryan also served as a peer leader and took part in the freshman mentoring program. Ryan looks forward to serving his country, as he will “have the ability to make a direct and tangible impact on the lives of others.”
McKenna Tuggle—United States Air Force Academy
McKenna Tuggle is off to the United States Air Force Academy this summer following her graduation from Canterbury High School. At Canterbury, McKenna played volleyball and softball earning varsity letters for both. Off the playing field, she volunteered at the VA Hospital, interned at Zimmer-Biomet, and studied abroad in France for 6 weeks, all while earning her Pilot’s License. As an Orchestra member, she has earned individual and group gold medals at the state and regional ISSMA Competitions. McKenna values the Academies honor codes, and can’t wait to follow the footsteps of many that came before her.
Matthew Minnich—United States Air Force Academy
Matthew Minnich will soon be a cadet at the United State Air Force Academy upon graduating from the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities. Matthew has been very active participating in varsity baseball, swimming, and served as team captain of the cross-country team. Along with athletics, he has been the vice president for both the Latinx Student Alliance and Animal Awareness Club. Matthew is a very active member of the Jay County community, volunteering at his church, the Portland Lions’ Stand, and playing in the Jay County Marching Patriots Program. Fascinated with planes since he was young, Matthew is excited at the opportunity to become an Air Force Pilot.
Rayna Fruchey—United States Air Force Academy
Rayna Fruchey will be attending the United States Air Force Academy this summer. A graduate of Carroll High School, Monroe has volunteered at Turnstone Center, elementary cross-country camps, and high school registration day. She has also been a part of Carroll’s Japanese Club where she was a student host for Japanese Students and a part of the Yamate Gakuin Foreign Exchange Program in Yokohama, Japan. Additionally, she has run cross country and track all 4-years earning IHSAA Individual All-State twice, IHSAA Cross Country Team State Runner Up two times, and IHSAA Cross Country Team State Champions twice. Monroe is excited about this next chapter and looks forward to running collegiately at the Air Force Academy and serving as an Air Force Officer in Japan.