On June 6, 2016, US Congressman Tom Graves said he was honored to nominate the valedictorian and salutatorian from Ridgeland High School for two of the federal service academies in the United States Armed Forces. Congressman Graves nominated Tyler Cain for service in the US Naval Academy and Benji Taylor for service in the US Merchant Marines.
Tyler Cain and Benji Taylor, Class of 2016 at Ridgeland High School, pose with US Congressman Tom Graves after receiving their nomination for the US Naval Academy and US Merchant Marines, two of the US Armed Forces service academies.
Following graduation from Ridgeland High School on May 19, 2016, Tyler was inducted on June 30, 2016 at the USNA in Annapolis, Maryland, and Benji was inducted on June 27, 2016, at US Merchant Marines in New York.
For the Tyler in the US Naval Academy, according to Vice Admiral Walter Carter, there were 17,043 applicants with every US state and territory represented. The class of 2020 class size was officially 1,163 US students with 17 international students. The class had the highest SAT scores and the most competitive admission process in history.
United States Merchant Marine Academy Commandant of Midshipmen Captain David Sosa welcomed Benji as one of the 279 students in the class of 2020. Upon graduation, Benji will enter the workforce with a bachelor of science degree, a merchant mariner’s license, and a commission as an officer in this nation’s armed forces.