BDHS Alumni James Fees Looks to the Sky

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BDHS Alumni James Fees Looks to the Sky

James Fees is posing in his Dress Blues.

James Fees is posing in his Dress Blues.

James Fees is posing in his Dress Blues.

James Fees is posing in his Dress Blues.

Rachel Bush, Editor

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The decision to dedicate one’s life to serving their country is difficult for most, but BDHS alumni James Fees made that decision his junior year. 

Currently, Fees is attending Randolf-Macon Academy (R-MA) in Front Royal, Virginia for one academic year. R-MA is a Preparatory School that applicants to the main U.S. Military Academies are immediately considered for once they turn in their applications.  Fees’ opportunity was given to him by the “Falcon Foundation Program,” which is closely associated with the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA)—his dream school, and the reason he immediately jumped on board. 

“Here at R-MA, the classes are challenging, but not impossible,” said Fees. “It definitely takes up the majority of your time, but for the most part you can wrap your brain around everything—within reason.” 

His life at the Academy is not all work, however. Fees made friends that he now considers family. 

My advice to anyone looking into going to a service academy is to most definitely focus on your grades and keep your GPA as high as possible, join school clubs and show initiative within those clubs.”

— James Fees

“The first two weeks we were here, all of us were very confused as to what we signed up for,” Fees admitted. “I’m not really sure whether it got easier, or if we just got used to it.” 

Despite the hardships, Fees knows that his work will give him a serious leg-up on the other USAFA applicants. R-MA teaches its students everything from how to make their bed properly, to how to correctly speak to their superiors. The fitness aspect also makes sure that everyone is in tip-top shape for their physical fitness examinations.  

Fees found the application process for the five service academies to be very complex. It is split up into components: Grades, Congressional Nomination (which has its own application process), Leadership, and Fitness. He applied to all five academies his senior year at BDHS and found that he was way overwhelmed.  

“My advice to anyone looking into going to a service academy is to most definitely focus on your grades and keep your GPA as high as possible, join school clubs and show initiative within those clubs!” Fees stressed. “Stay fit, and make sure not to do anything dumb in high school because your criminal record matters big-time.” 

Fees underwent a lot of pressure to get to where he is now, and to achieve his end goal, much more is yet to come. 

“My dream is to become a pilot for the Air Force,” Fees explained. “I have a long way to go… but until then, let the adventure begin!”