WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Students from the North Country are heading to United States Military Services Academies across the country.

Among them is Watertown High School Class of 2021 Graduate Evan Richardson.

Richardson is now in West Point, New York after he officially joined the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2026. He arrived on campus in late June for the Academy’s Reception Day, which celebrated the process of becoming West Point cadets and future Army officers.

The new cadet is set to play on the West Point lacrosse team as a goalie, and Richardson’s father, Rande Richardson, said academically, Evan is interested in management, as well as legal studies.

The Watertown native was one of eight appointments of qualified students nominated by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik to U.S. Military academies.

Students are chosen by congress members from their respective districts to attend one of America’s distinguished military academies including the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Congresswoman Stefanik released the following statement in a press release regarding her nominations and confidence in these students.

“Serving in our nation’s military is an honorable calling, and their willingness to serve our nation and defend our freedoms is inspiring. After learning about each of their accomplishments and speaking with each student, I am confident this group of young leaders will represent New York’s 21st District well for years to come. I congratulate them on this significant accomplishment and wish them well as they matriculate this summer.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY

This year, West Point received roughly 12,600 applications from potential students, with only 1,200 new cadets being chosen for the Class of 2026; Richardson being one of them.

Richardson, and the over one thousand cadets, will now complete six weeks of Cadet Basic Training, where they will participate in rigorous physical training, small-unit tactical training and rifle marksmanship.

Upon completion of basic training, the group of new cadets will be formally accepted into the Corps of Cadets and will be formally celebrated in mid-August.

Additional students from the North Country who are attending the U.S. Military Academy include Jake Wesley from Johnstown, Brigid Duffy from Queensbury and Thomas Conway from Chestertown. Attending the U.S. Air Force Academy is Tyler Spaulding from Queensbury, Claire Pelletier-Hoblock from Schuylerville is attending the U.S. Naval Academy, Connor Hart from Schuylerville is attending the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Huck Patton from Ballston Spa is attending the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School.

Students in the North Country interested in receiving a military service nomination can find more information online.