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A graduate of the West Virginia National Guard’s Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy-South has received two nominations to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
William Farkas, 16, of Tunnelton, received a nomination from Sen. Joe Manchin on Monday. He already had a nomination as the child of a military veteran.
“West Virginians have a long legacy of bravely serving our country,” Manchin said. “It is my highest honor to recommend William Farkas to an appointment at West Point.”
Acceptance into any of the five service academies is highly competitive. Applicants must meet strict eligibility requirements, including academic and physical criteria, and have a proven history of leadership qualities.
Out of 12,294 applicants seeking a spot in the West Point Class of 2022, only 4,005 ended up receiving nominations, and only 1,210 were eventually accepted.
“It is an honor to have received this military academy nomination from Sen. Manchin,” Farkas said. “My experiences with my family, the different organizations I have been involved with, and at Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy have instilled in me a strong foundation of service and dedication to our nation, which I hope to build upon at West Point. I can’t wait to represent West Virginia at the United States Military Academy.”
If selected as a member of the Class of 2026, Farkas will become a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army after graduation.
Farkas earned several awards in his 22 weeks at Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy-South including the Robert C. Byrd Distinguished Cadet Award and Adjutant General’s Award for Academic Excellence. Farkas said the structure of the MCA program helped him define his goals and gave him the confidence to obtain them.
“MCA-South boosted my confidence and focus in ways that I hadn’t really experienced before,” he said. “The structured environment, the staff, the way they keep us on the straight and narrow path, really helped me find what I was meant to do with my life.”
Maj. Gen. William “Bill” Crane, adjutant general of the WVNG, noted that Farkas’ nomination opens the door to other Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy cadets.
“I could not be more proud of the accomplishments and drive of Cadet Farkas as he journeys down this path toward achieving his goal of attending West Point,” he said.
Farkas earned his high school diploma through the Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy and will enlist in the WVNG after he turns 17 this month. He hopes to receive a third nomination to West Point, further increasing his odds to be accepted into the prestigious institution.