John Blodgett

Maricopa High School senior John Blodgett has received not one but two appointments to U.S. service academies.

Appointments are prestigious and exclusive. Competition is fierce just to get a nomination, which comes through a member of the U.S. Congress. The service academies then decide the appointments.

In Blodgett’s case, appointments came from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Air Force Academy, presenting him with a rich choice for his future.

Blodgett is a cadet captain in MHS’s Air Force Junior ROTC program. He has been in the program for four years and is commander of the Mission Support Squadron. His instructor said working with Blodgett has been “a treat, a reward.”

“Oh, how refreshing it is to see Maricopa High School AFJROTC cadets that are passionate as well as professional about their role in defense of the United States and their community,” senior aerospace science instructor Lt. Col. Allen Kirksey said.

Nominations involve academic achievement, extracurricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, character and motivation.

“Master Sgt. Dishon Gregory and I have been mentoring Cadet Blodgett for the past year promoting academic

Blodgett has been a leader for the MHS cross country team. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson
Blodgett has been a leader for the MHS cross country team. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

excellence, leadership development, and officer career exploration and have seen his continuous growth and development,” Kirksey said. “Without a doubt, he is ready now for increased responsibilities as a West Point cadet.  He has learned how to take charge, demand the best of himself, accept responsibility, the importance of teamwork (leadership and followership), the value of diversity, and the ability to make a difference in his life and the lives of others.”

Blodgett has been a member of the cross country and track teams four years, competing in the state cross country meet the past two seasons. He received the RAM Leadership award four times – three in cross country and once in track.

He is a member of the National Honor Society, and this year is the club treasurer. He is a LINK leader, helping to mentor a group of 11 MHS freshmen, and a teacher assistant for the Career, College and Technology class. Blodgett is also a member of the Robotics team.

Kirksey said Blodgett’s “follow me” style of leadership was “nothing short of exceptional.”

After four years of education and training, academy graduates are obligated to serve in the military for five years. An academy enrollment has been valued by the Government Accountability Office at over $350,000.