Maui News

Two Maui students nominated by Sen. Schatz for US military service academies

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US Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaiʻi nominated 42 students for the military service academies. Photo Courtesy: US Naval Academy

US Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaiʻi announced his 42 nominations for the class of 2026, including two students from Maui, to attend one of the military service academies: Air Force Academy, West Point, Naval Academy and Merchant Marine Academy.

The two Maui nominations:

  • Jaden Pladera, who attends Baldwin High School in Kahului, was nominated for West Point (the U.S. Military Academy).
  • Julian Armstrong, who attends the US Naval Academy Preparatory School/Lahainaluna High School, was nominated for the US Naval Academy.

These service academies are highly selective rigorous four-year institutions whose graduates become commissioned officers in the United States Armed Forces. 


“These nominees represent the very best of Hawai‘i,” Sen. Schatz said. “I commend them for their commitment to serving our country, and I look forward to seeing what they will accomplish as the next generation of military leaders.”

Hawaiʻi Sen. Mazie K. Hirono has not yet announced her nominations for the class of 2026.

Nominees were selected for their academic achievement, physical fitness, leadership abilities and overall commitment to the military, community and country. The nominees for the class of 2026 are listed below and may be offered an appointment by the service academies.


The other nominations:

US Air Force Academy

  • Kanoelani Amantiad, Wahiawa, Hanalani Schools
  • Rory Doble, Waipahu, Punahou School
  • Tiffany Eddy, Yokota Air Base, Yokota High School (Japan)
  • Seonmin Kim, Mililani, Mililani High School
  • Chloe Kinlaw, Honolulu, Kaiser High School
  • Chev Kodama, Honolulu, Punahou School
  • Raine Komata, Mililani, Mililani High School
  • Rosabel Mahimer, Northwestern Preparatory School/Hanalani Schools (Mililani)
  • Brock Malani, Northwestern Preparatory School/Kamehameha Schools – Hawai‘i (Hilo)
  • Julia Mamiya, Honolulu, Punahou School
  • Alexander Metcalf, U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School/Kalani High School (Honolulu)
  • Richman Ong, Honolulu, Farrington High School
  • Luke Phillips, Northwestern Preparatory School/Punahou School (Honolulu)
  • Lilian Piedad, U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School/Mid Pacific Institute (Honolulu)
  • Evan Rau, Waipahu, Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama
  • Sean Schofield, Honolulu, Punahou School
  • Neo Takazawa, Northwestern Preparatory School/Punahou School (Honolulu)
  • Mia Tanioka, Honolulu, Iolani School
  • Jethro Thomas, Honolulu, Hawai‘i Baptist Academy
  • Lawrence Tolentino, Honolulu, Kaimuki High School                     

US Military Academy (West Point)

  • Ashli Alcala-Romero, U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School/Maryknoll School (Honolulu)
  • Stephanie Bittle, Honolulu, Moanalua High School 
  • Joshua Burnett, U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School/Damien Memorial School (Aiea)
  • Jason Kwak, Honolulu, Punahou School
  • Daniel Matsunaka, Honolulu, Iolani School
  • Richman Ong, Honolulu, Farrington High School
  • Eryuki Paul, Mililani, Roosevelt High School/University of Hawai‘i – Manoa
  • Leonardo Sabetta, Mililani, Mililani High School
  • Hannah Shi, Honolulu, Roosevelt High School        

US Naval Academy

  • Aidan Alexander, U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School/Campbell High School (Ewa Beach)
  • Jenny Cho, Honolulu, Radford High School
  • Caden Coffelt, Kaneohe, Punahou School
  • Chay Cunningham, Honolulu, Maryknoll School
  • Joshua Dutton, Kaneohe, Punahou School
  • Ethan Heidt, Kailua, Kalaheo High School
  • Annabelle Hong, Honolulu, Iolani School
  • Megan Leong, Honolulu, Iolani School
  • Robert Nelson, Mid-Pacific Institute/University of Hawai‘i – Manoa (Kapolei)

US Merchant Marine Academy

  • Kenneth Haff, Waianae, Waianae High School
  • Grant Austin Juan, Marion Military Institute/McKinley High School (Honolulu)
  • Imiloa Lesher, Hawi (Hawai‘i Island), Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama 

For more information about Senator Schatz’s Military Service Academy program, visit


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