Young people from the Northern Mariana Islands will have three added opportunities to attend a U.S. service academy under a provision of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act the House passed on Thursday.
The House-Senate conference committee agreed earlier this week to include the increase from two slots to three for the Northern Marianas at the Air Force Academy, the Military Academy at West Point, and at the Naval Academy. The provision was in the version of the NDAA approved by the House in May, but not in the Senate version.
I wrote to the Armed Services Chairs and Ranking Members during negotiations, encouraging them to keep the House language, which they did.
This is the second time openings for the Northern Marianas have been increased. I included language in the 2010 Defense Authorization (§527) upping slots from one to two.
Today, all but one of those positions are filled because of the high caliber of applicants from the Northern Marianas.
If the Senate now approves the conference committee bill and the President signs, we will immediately have four academy slots open for the Northern Marianas.
Information about applying for nomination to a service academy is available on the congressional website.