With such a narrow field of acceptance, the appointment, according to a June 24 press release, is considered a prestigious honor, as those seeking to be cadets must first obtain a congressional, vice-presidential, military-affiliated, or U.S. territory and international nomination.
“The Air Force Academy’s opportunities and structure are undeniable and have contributed to my desire to seek a nomination,” Cavan said in the release. “One of my main goals in life is to achieve a rigorous education, and with the opportunity to serve; the Air Force Academy is the best path to meeting this goal. After graduating from the Air Force Academy, I will immediately assume a leadership role as an officer.”
Cavan noted his academic career in the Northshore School District prepared him to compete on a national level against other applicants and successfully achieve the nomination to the Air Force Academy.
“There have been some special teachers throughout my career at Northshore along with the guidance of my high school counselor, Mrs. Miller who helped ensure I stayed on track to meet all the requirements to get my nomination,” Cavan said.
Cavan comes from families with a storied history of military service, encompassing four branches of the military. His grandfather is a 1969 graduate of the Air Force Academy and served as a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force until he retired.
Cavan visited the Air Force Academy with his grandfather as a young boy to attend a baseball camp.
The memory is still vivid in his mind.
“He told me stories and explained things about the campus,” Cavan said. “We drove up the hill to the overlook of the baseball field and when we reached the top, I looked in amazement at the campus and knew then I needed to get back there. It wasn’t just the view of the Academy but the moment when I realized that my values, goals and desires have led to the Air Force Academy and I needed to focus on the things that will help me to realize this goal.”
Cavan believes the leadership characteristics he gained on the field there and while playing baseball for the past 12 years contributed to his selection to the Academy.
“I learned to build success through teamwork, overcoming challenges, team leadership and building trusting relationships,” Cavan said. “My teams haven’t always been winners, but I did learn the art of finding strength and skills from individuals to contribute to team success.”
He hopes to continue to develop those characteristics and become a successful Air Force career officer.
“Like my family, I want to do my part in protecting this great country and I feel the best way to accomplish my goals is through the right preparation,” Cavan said. “The Air Force Academy will challenge me in the classroom and in life, pushing me both physically and mentally to become a strong and knowledgeable leader.”