November 13, 2015
Press Release


Los Angeles - Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) has selected the 2015 Academy Nomination Selection Committee for the 33rd Congressional District.  This committee is comprised of current military members and veterans who live in the 33rd Congressional District.  Committee members will evaluate and recommend applicants to Congressman Lieu for nominations to the five United States Service Academies.

With over 80 applicants, the 2015 Academy Nomination Selection Committee for the 33rd Congressional District is comprised of six members who serve and have served in different branches of the U.S. military.  Each year, Congressman Lieu will choose new members to serve on this committee.

The 2015 Academy Nomination Selection Committee for the 33rd Congressional District:

Captain Maureen Brinkman (U.S. Army and Air National Guard, from San Pedro, CA)

“I am excited about this opportunity to serve on the 2015 Academy Nomination Selection Committee for Representative Ted Lieu and the 33rd Congressional District. I hope my varied prior military service experiences will be advantageous in selecting the best candidates for future leadership roles in the military.”

Captain Ted Horton-Billard, Jr. (United States Marine Corps Reserve, from Beverly Hills, CA)

“It is both an honor and privilege to have been selected to serve on this Committee.  I am particularly grateful for this opportunity as a Marine Corps veteran to help participate in the identification and selection of our country’s future military leaders.  President John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”  I can think of no place where that statement is truer than with the appointments of our best and brightest to our country’s military academies. “

Petty Officer Jessy Melowicz (U.S. Coast Guard Reserves, from Rolling Hills Estates, CA)

"I believe a strong national defense is a vital responsibility of our federal leaders.  The candidates who will be selected to attend a Service Academy have an obligation and commitment of serving in our armed forces for a minimum of 5 years.  It takes a well-rounded person who demonstrates fine leadership skills, achieves high academic marks and is prepared athletically to be one of the few and finest Americans who can meet the Academies' high admission standards and hold their own against fierce competition for appointment.  I take very seriously, the duty of helping to ensure that our country has the finest women and men the nation has to offer selected to lead our military. It is with great privilege and honor that I will be serving on the 2015 Academy Selection Committee with Congressman Ted Lieu."

Major Justin Rufa (U.S. Air Force Academy Graduate, U.S. Air Force, from Manhattan Beach, CA)

“I am proud to take part in nominating some of South Bay’s brightest and motivated to attend our nation’s service academies. It will be exciting to meet these young leaders and discuss their motivations for service to their country. Their willingness to commit to a greater calling is both refreshing and essential in today’s world. Thank you Congressman Lieu for the opportunity.

Lieutenant Commander Vikram Sardana (U.S. Naval Academy Graduate and U.S. Navy, from Hermosa Beach, CA)

“My experience at the US Naval Academy profoundly shaped me toward a life of service to the Navy and our country. It was my privilege and fortune to serve. I hope to share and offer my experiences for tomorrow’s leaders.”

Major Duncan Smith (U.S. Military Academy Graduate and U.S. Army, from Redondo Beach, CA)

"This is a tremendous opportunity and I'm honored to support our local community, the service academies and to indirectly serve our nation and its representatives. Selection to this committee not only gives me a sense of pride to represent the academies, but also gives me a sense of full-circle service to our nation and its sons and daughters.  Twenty years ago, I was in their shoes going through a similar process and I look forward to assisting the committee to find our best candidates to move forward in the selection process. Volunteering in this capacity is best summed up by West Point's motto, "Duty, Honor, Country."