Press Release: Tuberville Announces Alabamians Appointed to U.S. Service Academies

Cooper Shafer of Tuscaloosa and Ian Howell of Northport Among Senator Tuberville’s Appointments

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) today announced two Alabamians from Tuscaloosa County have accepted their appointments to a U.S. service academy. Senator Tuberville nominated Cooper Shafer and Ian Howell to represent Alabama in the class of 2026 at one of the four service academies: the United States Air Force Academy, Military Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, and Naval Academy. 

Senator Tuberville released the following statement regarding this group of appointees:

“These exceptional young Alabamians’ desire to serve ensures America’s military remains the strongest fighting force in the world.” said Senator Tuberville. “Receiving an appointment to one of these military institutions is a great honor that requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice. I am proud of their determination to reach this point and know they will continue to make our state and country proud.”

Cooper Shafer of Tuscaloosa accepted his appointment to attend the U.S. Military Academy. He is the son of Brian Shafer, and attends American Christian Academy.

“Ever since I was a young boy, the military has always been alluring to me, and when I found out about the service academies in middle school, attending one has been a dream of mine,” said Cooper.

Ian Howell of Northport accepted his appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. He is the son of Paul and Dianna Howell, and attends Pelham High School.

“As a citizen of the United States I feel a certain obligation to serve it to the fullest of my capacity,” said Ian. “I am grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given and wish to give back to my country. West Point provides cadets the best avenue to do this through officer training and will allow me to serve the United States to my fullest extent.”

Senator Tuberville had eleven nominees accept their appointments to a service academy. This is Senator Tuberville’s first group of U.S. service academy appointments since assuming office. U.S. service academies provide students wishing to serve our country’s military with the opportunity to serve while obtaining higher education. Service academy appointees go through an extensive process to receive a nomination. Applicants complete the required ACT and SAT exams, and provide letters of recommendation, a school transcript, along with the required application form. Upon graduation, students must commit to five years of active duty. More information on applying for a service academy nomination can be found here.

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.

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