February 23, 2018
By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools
Casey Couch is the third senior from Rutherford County Schools to commit to one of the prestigious military academies.
Couch, 18, who attends Central Magnet School, was offered and accepted an athletic scholarship to the United States Air Force Academy.
“Recruited athletes at the academies, like myself,” said Couch, who received a gymnastics scholarship, “are considered blue-chipped athletes, and given they meet medical criteria and receive a nomination, they have priority over other candidates for academy selection.”
Cadets for the USAFA must pass through a five-step process before officially being accepted.
They must qualify as a pre-candidate, be nominated by one of their U.S. Representatives or one of two U.S. Senators from the state where they reside, pass a physical fitness examination, be documented as medically qualified by the Department of Defense, and finally selected by the academy for which they applied.
In a letter dated February 6, Phillip Drew Prosseda, Ph.D., GS-13, DAF, Chief of the Selections Division for the USAFA, congratulated Couch on his decision to accept their offer and welcomed him to the class of 2022.
Prosseda concluded his letter by writing, “Good luck as you start your Air Force career.”
The USAFA, which was founded in 1954, is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
It is one of five U.S. service academies, including the United States Naval Academy, United States Military Academy (also known as West Point), United States Merchant Marine Service Academy, and the United State Coast Guard Academy.
Prior to Couch, Oakland High senior Kyle Lennon had been accepted to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, while Eagleville senior John “Hunter” Hailey was accepted to the Merchant Marine Service Academy in Kings Point, New York.
At least one other RCS student is considering an offer from West Point — the oldest United States military academy, having been founded in 1802.
PHOTOS / Provided