Local high school student accepted to oldest military academy in the U.S.
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IDAHO FALLS – A local high school student is gearing up for an expedition that will take her on the adventure of a lifetime.
Bonneville High School Senior Annika Scott is one of three students in Idaho who will be joining the ranks of the cadet class of 2025 at West Point Academy in New York this June.
Getting accepted to the oldest and most prestigious military school in the United States is no small feat and Annika tells EastIdahoNews.com she’s thrilled with the opportunity.
“It is a really big honor to be one of the few in Idaho to get to go to West Point,” Annika says.
Annika was the only female student in the state who was selected. During the application process, she received nominations from U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, along with Rep. Mike Simpson.
More than 16,000 applicants compete each year for academy appointments and less than 8% are appointed annually, according to a West Point news release. All candidates are evaluated for academic achievement, leadership, physical and medical fitness.
EastIdahoNews.com met with Annika during a planned flight training on the tarmac at the Av Center near the Idaho Falls Regional Airport Wednesday afternoon. She explained her goals for the next four years.
“I’m hoping to be a military pilot, probably a rotary wing, like helicopters. I’m taking steps toward my pilot certificate right now in fixed-wing aircraft. That’s just going to give me more of a background towards being competitive for the aviation part of the military,” she says.
Upon graduation from West Point, Annika will receive a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army.
Joining the military is something Annika has wanted to do since she was a little kid. Her father, Clark Scott, who served in the Marines in his younger days, was one of her biggest inspirations.
“It isn’t something we’ve forced on her. She really has done all the work to do this,” Clark says. “She’s been (an achiever) since she was born. I don’t know where that came from but (my wife and I) feel really blessed to have her as a daughter.”
Annika has met many former and active-duty servicemen and women throughout her life. Seeing what it was like firsthand and the impact it had on the people who served made her want to pursue that lifestyle.
When she was 14, she joined the Eagle Rock Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. The Civil Air Patrol is a civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force with more than 60,000 members in squadrons nationwide. It has a senior program for adults and a cadet program for youth.
“The cadet program is what I’m most familiar with. It gives kids opportunities to explore a military lifestyle and learn discipline and leadership. There are lots of experiences in emergency services, flight opportunities and summer activities that kids can go to,” Annika says.
Annika is currently the commander of the Civil Air Patrol in Idaho Falls.
Prior to joining, Annika learned cadets were allowed five orientation flights as a CAP member. She gave it a try and loved every minute of it.
“Getting those aviation flights made me realize I wanted to pursue aviation. There are various routes through the cadet program that you can obtain your private pilot’s license, which is what I’m doing now,” says Annika.
Clark says he’s proud of his daughter’s hard work and dedication in getting to this point and he’s looking forward to seeing her achieve great things as a West Point cadet and ultimately as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.
“Her mom and I are really proud of her. Of course, like any other parent, we’re worried about what she’s getting into, but this is her life and it’s what she wants to do so we’re supportive of that,” he says.
The names of the other Idaho students accepted to West Point are Elliott Lim from Renaissance High School in Meridian and Adam Nichols from Boise, who attended high school in Israel.