Elite Pakistani cadets compete for admission to prestigious US military academies

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The Pakistan military, in partnership with the U.S. Embassy, is screening nominees for the Service Academy Foreign Student Program.

Under this program, partner nations nominate outstanding young men and women for the opportunity to compete for admission to the United States’ elite military academies.

“As a proud member of the USAF Academy Class of 1991, I can attest to how much of an impact the service academy attendance had  on my military career, and my life, “ said Brigadier General Kenneth Ekman, who graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1991.

“I fondly remember attending and graduating with some exceptional partner-nation classmates, many of whom went on to become leaders in their services and defense establishments. One of them, Cadet Mukarram Q. Khan, a fellow Aeronautical Engineering major, served with distinction in the Pakistan Air Force for over 10 years.”

Pakistan’s military has nominated 12 students to compete for admission to the United States Military Academy and United States Air Force Academy graduating classes of 2021.  Selected students attend four years of academic, military, and physical fitness instruction to become the next generation of military leaders.

On February 23, the nominees completed the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) and in-person interview portions of their application process at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.

The CFA is a test of strength, agility, speed, and endurance used to predict the candidate’s aptitude for the physical program at the military academies.  In the interviews, the applicants demonstrated their strength of character and commitment to service in Pakistan’s Armed Forces.

Due to the critical military relationship between Pakistan and the United States, Pakistan is one of only 12 countries designated by the United States Secretary Defense as a priority appointment country.

Pakistan currently has one student enrolled in the United States Naval Academy, three in the United States Air Force Academy, and four in the United States Military Academy.

“There can be no more rewarding experience in one’s life than to attend the USAF Academy,” said Mukarram Q. Khan, who graduated with Brigadier General Ekman in 1991.  “It refines a human being academically, physically and emotionally, and exudes excellence unprejudiced by race, color, religion or national origin.  The inculcation at USAFA has always remained to be a source of strength and acumen for me — as a fighter pilot, as a family man and as a proud citizen of Pakistan.”

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