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Media Release

First FSM Citizen Graduates from U.S. Naval Academy

June 10, 2010

On May 28, Byron K. Silbanuz graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Silbanuz, 21, is the first F.S.M. citizen to graduate from the Naval Academy, and only the second F.S.M. citizen to be accepted and graduate from one of the five U.S. Service Academies.

While attending the Academy, Silbanuz made the Commandant’s List, the Dean’s List, and the Superintendent’s List for academic achievement. He also received an award for his capability in combating cyber warfare. He graduated 330th out of a class of 1051 in overall order of merit. After completing his service obligation to the FSM national government, Silbanuz plans to become an officer in the U.S. Navy.

A native of Madolenihmw and Kolonia, Silbanuz is the oldest son of Bernard Mendis, former Information System Manager for FSM Telecommunications Corporation, and Phyllis Silbanuz, IT Division Chairperson and Assistant Professor at the COM-FSM Pohnpei Campus. Prior to enrolling in the Naval Academy in 2006, Silbanuz attended the Seventh-Day Adventist School in Pohnpei.

Eugene Amor of Pohnpei is also currently attending the Naval Academy, becoming the second FSM citizen to attend the Naval Academy and the third FSM citizen to attend any U.S. Service Academy. The midshipman is set to graduate in 2011.

Under the Compact of Free Association, the FSM may nominate candidates to compete for admission at each of the U.S. Service Academies: the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, the Coast Guard Academy, the U.S. Army’s Military Academy (West Point), and Merchant Marines’ Academy (Kings Point). The nominees must be F.S.M. citizens between the ages of seventeen and twenty-three.

FSM Citizens interested in applying for admission to one of the five U.S. Service Academies can contact the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs.