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MARYVILLE — U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, is accepting applications from high school seniors and college students interested in attending one of the U.S. military academies.

To be eligible for a nomination, a candidate must be an American citizen, at least 17 years old and no more than 23 years old on July 1, 2020, not married, under no legal obligation to support a child, and a legal resident of the 15th Congressional District of Illinois.

Applications are being accepted for the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colo.; U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.; U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md.; and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y.

Acceptance of a service academy appointment requires at least a nine-year service obligation, which includes four years at the academy and five years of active-duty service.

Students are asked to complete the application available at shimkus.house.gov/services/academy and return it by Nov. 1 to the congressman’s Maryville district office. More information is available by calling 618-288-7190.

While Shimkus nominates candidates to the academies, academy officials make the final selection regarding admission. A separate application must be made to each academy a nominee is interested in.

“I encourage young men and women with any level of interest to contact my office as soon as possible,” Shimkus said. “There are no fees to apply to the academies, and no commitment is necessary at this point in the process.”