MONTVILLE, NJ – Relatives in the military and an interest in active duty sparked an interest in service that have resulted in Towaco resident Tyler Morris’ appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Morris, a recent graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, was captain of the wrestling team and will be wrestling at the Point as well. The wrestling coaches at West Point contacted him about possibly wrestling there, and it sparked his interest in the academy.

But one doesn’t just apply to a military academy. A student has to be appointed. Morris called the process “grueling,” but he said it was also fun.

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“A highlight of the process with sitting with five alumni and answering questions rapid-fire,” he said. “It kept me on my toes.”

Morris’ appointment was from New Jersey’s 11th Congressional district, and he was one of 23 students from the district who will be attending the U.S. service academies, according to Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-11). Sherrill hosted a virtual reception last week to honor the students, who will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Twelve of the appointees from NJ-11 were nominated by Representative Sherrill and eight by other nominating sources, including Senator Menendez and Senator Booker. Appointees to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy do not require congressional nominations.

Morris said his grandfather fought in the Korean War and three of his grandmother’s five siblings were deployed during the Vietnam War. This interested him in the military at a young age, he said. Plus, despite having visited several Ivy League campuses, “West Point was the most fantastic campus I saw.”

He plans to major in economics and hopes to enter the field artillery corps. He wants more “hands-on, active duty,” he said. Upon graduation, he will be entered into a five-year commission, followed by three more in reserve as second lieutenant.

“This year’s class of service academy appointees from our community is extraordinary,” Sherrill said. “They already understand the importance of service and commitment to our country’s values. I know I speak on behalf of our entire community when I say we are proud of these students and we wish them the best as they head to a bright future. I also want to thank the dedicated volunteers who made up my nomination board for their thoughtful and critical input.”

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