Snapshot of a Mount Vernon Student

Snapshot of a Mount Vernon Student

For years, Brittany Amerau had seen herself as a student at the University of Virginia. Though she had an interest in becoming a pilot, she says that at UVa. she probably would have studied medicine or journalism.

Along with applications to state schools like UVa. and Virginia Tech, Amerau also decided to apply to both the U.S. Naval and the U.S. Air Force Academies. Although she had little intention of attending an academy, she thought they would be good back-up options. Both of Amerau’s parents are retired military, her mother from the Air Force and her father from the Navy. Her father attended the Naval Academy.

“It’s a pretty long, involved process,” Amerau said of applying to the academies. She first had to undergo medical exams, then apply for a nomination from the President, a senator or congressman. As the daughter of veterans, Amerau was eligible for a presidential nomination. She also received one from U.S. Tom Davis. (D-11.)

This spring, Amerau learned she was not only accepted at UVa. She had been accepted by both the Naval and Air Force Academies. She was thrilled, but she didn’t think the acceptances would change her plans. “I was really leaning towards UVA and I was applying to the academies as a backup option,” Amerau said. “[But I] went for a visit and ended up just really loving the Naval Academy.” Amerau waited until the day before the deadline to make her decision. She would go to Navy.

“I’m pretty patriotic and … I’m familiar with the lifestyle and devotion that it takes. I just felt like I would be a good for it,” she explained.

Amerau played three varsity sports throughout her four years of high school: field hockey, lacrosse and swimming. This year she was a team captain in all three. She thinks this helped sway both academies. She hopes to play lacrosse at Navy.

She said the war in Iraq spurred her to commit to the military. “I think it probably encouraged me,” she explained. “I really respect all the people who serve our country and I’d like to do that as well.” She hopes to become a fighter pilot.

Amerau’s college experience begins next week, June 27, when she reports to Annapolis for Plebe Summer, the Naval Academy’s session of basic training. “I’m pretty excited,” she said. “I’m a little nervous.”