Press Release

Gillibrand Announces 2024 Service Academy Nominations From Long Island

Feb 13, 2024

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, chair of the Senate Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, announced her nominations for candidates from Long Island to three of the nation’s service academies: the United States Naval Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

“These young leaders represent the best and brightest New York has to offer, and I am honored to nominate them to our nation’s service academies,” said Senator Gillibrand.They have demonstrated extraordinary leadership, academic achievement, and dedication to their communities and country, and I hope to see them go on to become exceptional military leaders. I congratulate all nominees on this achievement.”

A selection committee formed by Senator Gillibrand chose the nominees from a large group of qualified applicants. Decisions were based on criteria including academic record, leadership potential, and overall achievement. Final acceptance is determined solely by the service academies.

The United States service academies offer a first-class education as well as a chance for young people to serve our country upon graduation as commissioned officers in the United States armed services. This year, Senator Gillibrand nominated five candidates from Long Island to the service academies.

Senator Gillibrand’s nominees are listed below by their hometown and academies:

·         Devyn Sparke (Plainview, Nassau Co.) – U.S. Naval Academy

·         Gabriella Tejada (Merrick, Nassau Co.) – U.S. Naval Academy

·         Kendall Coard (Southampton, Suffolk Co.) – U.S. Naval Academy

·         Varun P Pillai (New Hyde Park, Nassau Co.) – U.S. Air Force Academy

·         Jefferson Coalwell McDonald (Nesconset, Suffolk Co.) – U.S. Merchant Marine Academy