September 09, 2023

Duckworth Discusses Her Life as a Helicopter Pilot and Senator with Lincoln’s ChalleNGe Academy


[RANTOUL, IL] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today visited Lincoln’s ChalleNGe Academy, a volunteer program through the Illinois Department of Military Affairs that provides youth aged 16-18 with life skills, job training and community, to discuss her leadership and service. Duckworth and the cadets also discussed the Senator’s work to ensure Illinois students are represented in our nation’s prestigious Military Service Academies. Duckworth was joined by Illinois National Guard Adjutant General MG Richard Neely, Lincoln’s ChalleNGe Academy Director COL Maurice Rochelle, as well as other local officials. Photos of the event are available here.

“If nothing else, I hope that the cadets I met at the Lincoln ChalleNGe Academy today learned that the sky really is the limit,” Duckworth said. “Whether these young people become Senators, helicopter pilots or serve their communities closer to home, they should know that so many people right here in Illinois believe in them. I’m eager to see how they’ll make our state proud in the years to come, and their desire to build fulfilling lives through service is commendable.”

Duckworth, who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years and serves on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, and her office are accepting applications through her website from high school students seeking a Congressional nomination to a United States Military Service Academy for class of 2028. Each year, Duckworth, along with a nomination committee, selects from the applicants a group of outstanding Illinois students to receive Congressional nominations to attend West Point, the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy or the Merchant Marine Academy. Information on how to complete Duckworth’s academy nomination application can be found here.