WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, today announced that she has nominated 32 Iowa students to be considered for appointments at United States service academies.


“It’s a tremendous honor to nominate so many outstanding Iowa students who work tirelessly in their classrooms and throughout their communities to make a difference,” said Senator Ernst. “This nomination is the next step in their admissions process. Today, I congratulate and thank them for their leadership and willingness to take a significant step forward and serve their country.”


Each year, Senator Ernst has the honor and responsibility of nominating Iowa students to the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The admissions process at the service academies is incredibly competitive and the Iowa Senator encourages students to apply for more than one academy.


To learn more about service academy nominations, click here.


Below is a complete list of the students nominated by Senator Ernst for the Class of 2021:


United States Air Force Academy


Nathan Abramoff, Iowa City


Jackson Cole, Altoona


John Colgan, Iowa City


Savannah David, Granger


Lindsey Dee, Ankeny


Brayden Elbert, Indianola


Shannon Guy, Davenport


Jack Vander Voort, Orange City


Keaton Van Soelen, Waukee


Noah Welch, Urbandale


United States Naval Academy


Connor Ascherl, Granville


Nathan Betts, Dyersville


Chloe Bender, Ackworth


Samantha Fults, Rowley


Bryce Foxen, Charles City


Patrick Gorman, Springville


Jack Giannettino, Burlington


Justin Manternach, Mount Vernon


Aidan Palmer, Des Moines


Elizabeth Worthington, Brooklyn


United States Military Academy at West Point


Ryer Barnes, Cedar Rapids


Jerry Bastin, Muscatine


Zach Bunn, Bettendorf


Bronson Brown, Muscatine


Griffin Clark, Gaithersburg, MD (Originally from Lisbon, IA)


Garrett Dolan, Muscatine


Jacob Fischer, Ankeny


Brock Jennings, Osage


Patricia King, Sioux Center


Calvin Pieper, Waukee


United States Merchant Marine Academy


Colin Kerkhoff, Waukee


Josh Krehbiel, Elkhart


Senator Ernst received her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University where she joined the university’s ROTC program. After graduating, Ernst was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, and after a few years in the Reserves, transferred to the Iowa National Guard. In 2003, she served as a company commander in Kuwait and Iraq, leading 150 Iowa Army National Guardsmen during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Senator Ernst retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard after 23 years of military service.