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Recent Newton High School graduate Brendan “Trace” Brown will soon ship off to a new life at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, Maryland. Brown recently learned he was accepted to attend the prestigious Academy after being nominated by Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson.

“Trace has a strong desire to serve and protect his country,” said Rep. Johnson. “Couple that with his drive to be part of a tradition of discipline at a U.S. Service Academy, and it’s easy to see why the Naval Academy is the perfect fit. I’m pleased my office could help Trace get to the next level. We wish him the best of luck and look forward to hearing about his success in Annapolis.”

Attending the US Naval Academy has been a goal of Brown’s since his freshman year at Newton High School and he has worked hard to prepare for the selection process ever since. Students must apply to the Academy, take a thorough medical exam, and also be nominated to attend.

Brown said the Academy looks for well-rounded students who not only have a strong academic background but who also participate in other activities in school.

“I made sure I took as many AP classes as I could and worked hard to do well in them,” he said. “You really have to have strong academics. I think I took seven AP classed during high school.”

In addition, Brown was a member of the National Honor Society, participated in the Student Government Association, and played golf. He also may have a leg up on many of the other incoming freshmen at the Naval Academy because he has been a member of the Newton High School JROTC Unit since the second semester of his freshman year. He leaves the unit as commanding officer for the battalion.

“Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Brown currently serves as the Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, Newton High School,” said Chief Warrant Officer Rawley Coleman, Commander of the Newton High School JROTC Unit. “He is the highest ranking cadet in the program and serves in the highest billet.  Cadet LtCol Brown entered the program as a freshman, and stayed all four years, starting out as Cadet Private in rank. Now transitioning into the next phase of his life, I am excited about what opportunity awaits Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Brown at the United States Naval Academy. At the Academy, Midshipman Brown will be among America's best and brightest.  Over the years, the USNA has been proud to have helped shape the lives of countless outstanding individuals.”

“Being in the ROTC has given me a taste of the structure of the military and it’s prepared me because I’ll be a little bit ahead on knowing drills and basic military knowledge, which will help me a lot in my first year,” said Brown.

Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, Brown will be an officer in the US Navy. His father was an air traffic controller in the Navy but he’s leaning towards a career as a Surface Warfare Officer.

“My goal is to do 20 years in the Navy, make captain and then possibly stay in and try to make admiral,” he added.

“Brendan has distinguished himself at Newton High School, both academically and in his service to our MJROTC program,” said John Ellenberg, principal of Newton High School. “Brendan exemplifies the expectations of our school: Respectful, Accountable, Motivated, and Successful. He will be an outstanding military leader and serve our country to the best of his abilities.”

According to the Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Naval Academy, the current estimated value of the four-year education of a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy is $180,000.00.

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, Director of Public Relations for Newton County Schools, at