Three Delaware Air Guard Airmen heading to Air Force Academy, Preparatory School

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Three Delaware Air National Guard Airmen will depart for the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. later this month to receive a free world-class education. The three Airmen are residents of Bear and Newark, Del., and North Hagerstown, Md.

In-person or phone interviews of the Airmen are available. Today, June 16, two Airmen (the Newark, Del. and North Hagerstown, Md. residents) are available on base until mid-afternoon. Tomorrow, June 17, a third Airman (the Bear, Del. resident) is available on base from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Airmen 1st Class Sharon Dominguez and Luke McFadden have been accepted into the 2019 USAFA graduating class.

Airman 1st Class Ryan Weber has been accepted into the USAFA Preparatory School. Upon completion he will be eligible to apply for the 2020 USAFA graduating class.

Dominguez is a North Hagerstown, Md. native. She graduated from North Hagerstown H.S., Md. and is currently enrolled at the University of Delaware in Newark. Dominguez enlisted in the Delaware ANG in August 2012 and is a certified radio frequency transmission systems technician in the 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.

McFadden is a Bear, Del. native. He was home schooled, graduated high school from the Powle Institute, and is currently enrolled at the University of Delaware. McFadden enlisted in the Delaware ANG in January 2013 and is a certified aircraft environment and electrical systems apprentice in the 166th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

Weber is a Newark, Del. native. He was home schooled and graduated high school from the Mount Sophia Academy and is currently enrolled but on military leave from the University of Delaware. Weber enlisted in the Delaware ANG in April 2013 and is a certified metals aircraft technologist in the 166th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

The Airmen took advantage of the Air Force Academy's Leaders Encouraging Airmen Development (LEAD) program, which encourages aspiring enlisted Airmen age 23 years old and younger to attend the Academy. Upon completion of the program, LEAD Airmen are commissioned as second lieutenants with a bachelor's of science degree.

According to the USAFA, they receive more than 12,000 applicants each year, and admit just over 1,000 as cadets. Each service member must be at least 17 years old but not past their 23rd birthday by July 1 of the year they enter the Academy, be a United States citizen, and unmarried with no dependents.

If Weber is accepted into the Academy after Preparatory School, the three Delaware ANG Airmen combined will receive a free college education worth over $1,248,000, not including Weber's 10-month USAFA Preparatory School.

The preparatory school accepts only 240 cadet candidates annually and is designed to academically, physically and militarily prepare qualified young men and women to enter the Academy.

To learn more about the U.S. Air Force Academy, visit

For a written story on the three Airmen and the LEAD program, see pages 10-11 in the May 2015 edition of The DANG Truth, the official electronic newspaper of the 166th Airlift Wing, Delaware Air National Guard, at this link: