Maui News

Senator Hirono nominates 38 Hawaiʻi students for US military service academies

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US Sen. Mazie K. Hirono nominated 20 Hawaiʻi students to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, including Jaden Pladera of Baldwin High School. Photo Courtesy: US Naval Academy

US Sen. Mazie K. Hirono nominated 38 Hawaiʻi students for admission into the US military service academies for the Class of 2026.

The nominations include Caleb Chumley of Maui Preparatory Academy for the US Air Force Academy and Jaden Pladera of Baldwin High School in Wailuku for the US Naval Academy.

“Every year, I have the honor of nominating some of Hawaiʻi’s top students to the military service academies,” Sen. Hirono said. “I am proud to help expand opportunities for these talented young people who have shown a commitment to hard work, community engagement, academic excellence, a commitment to physical fitness and outstanding personal character. Each of these candidates, should they be selected, will be excellent representatives of and for Hawaiʻi and our community.”

The nominations are for the US Air Force Academy, the US Military Academy (the US Army’s West Point), the US Naval Academy and the US Merchant Marine Academy. The US Coast Guard Academy uses a separate nomination process.

Prospective students are measured on their scholastic achievement, leadership experience, school involvement, athletic and extra-curricular activities, community contributions and volunteer or employment experiences.

The nominees are now considered by each academy’s director of admissions.

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Senator Hirono’s Class of 2026 Academy Nominations are:

U.S. Air Force Academy

  • Caleb Chumley, Maui Preparatory Academy
  • Connor Apo, Saint Louis School
  • Harley Ceberano, Punahou School
  • Joshua Dutton, Punahou School
  • Tiffany Eddy, Yokota High School (DOD)
  • Franz Hafner, Waianae High School
  • Emma Layaoen, Punahou School
  • Megan Leong, Iolani School
  • Keala Pule, Saint Louis School
  • Gabrielle Smith, Punahou School
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U.S. Military Academy at West Point

  • Canaan Cortes, Mother of Divine Grace School
  • Andrew Dolan-Lewis, Saint Louis School
  • Grant Garcia, Leilehua High School
  • Brennan Lee, Home School
  • Colby Macapagal, Waipahu High School
  • Daniel Matsunaka, Iolani School
  • Eryuki Paul, Roosevelt High School
  • Olivia Reed, St. Andrew’s Schools
  • Cecilia Rodriguez, Keaau High School
  • Jethro Thomas, Hawaiʻi Baptist Academy

U.S. Naval Academy

  • Jaden Pladera, Baldwin High School
  • Aiden Alexander, Campbell High School
  • Connor Apo, Saint Louis School
  • Caden Coffelt, Punahou School
  • Chay Cunningham, Maryknoll School
  • Joshua Dutton, Punahou School
  • Joshua Gleason, Pearl City High School
  • Franz Hafner, Waianae High School
  • Ethan Heidt, Kalaheo High School
  • Anabelle Hong, Iolani School
  • Michael Jagdon, Punahou School
  • Jason Kwak, Punahou School
  • Imiloa Lesher, Kamehameha Schools
  • Julia Mamiya, Punahou School
  • Izaak Polecheck, Active Duty Navy
  • Evan Rau, Kamehameha Schools
  • Olivia Reed, St. Andrew’s Schools
  • Paris Stevenson, Kamehameha Schools
  • Thomas Tereschuk, Radford High School
  • Noah Zits, Kamehameha Schools

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

  • Grace Glenn, Hawaiʻi Baptist Academy
  • Grant Juan, McKinley High School
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US Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) also made his military academy nominations for the 2026 Class. To see his nominations, click here.

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