West High student nominated for military academies

Nathan Sia, a senior at Morristown-Hamblen High School West, recently was nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy. From left to right, West High School counselor Melanie Justis, Sia, West High School Principal Jeff Kinsler and Daryl Brady, representative to U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City.

Nathan Sia, a senior at Morristown-Hamblen High School West, has received something few people ever do.

He was awarded not one, but two nominations to two of the nation’s military academies.

In late November, Sia learned he had been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy. He was nominated by U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City.

“I was excited,” Sia said, upon learning of his nominations. “Very excited.”

He said he developed a fascination in going into the military when he entered high school. His parents, Rommel and Merz Sia, moved to the United States from the Philippines before he was born and Sia was born in Tennessee.

He didn’t come from a military family and no one in his family has served, so there was a fascination to be the first in the family to serve.

“I wanted to push myself to become the best version of myself and to serve my country,” he said.

Last semester, he served in the combined West and East High School’s Air Force JROTC program.

He’s a member of the Beta Club and Science Club. He also runs cross country and track for West High School.

He has until May 1 to make his decision on whether he will attend the Naval Academy or the Air Force Academy.

Sia said there is no clear cut choice.

“It’s 50/50 right now,” he said.

He said he is thinking of becoming a pilot.

One thing is certain, he doesn’t plan on taking it easy his last semester of high school. He said he is currently taking AP classes.

“I’m pushing all the way through,” he said.