Local Viera High grad appointed to U.S. Naval Academy


Photo courtesy of the Brunotte family.

Michael Brunotte was recently selected for an appointment to the Class of 2021 of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

Michael is a resident of Melbourne who is a recent 2016 graduate from Viera High School. 

While at Viera High School, Michael was a dedicated student-athlete, and was active in the community by serving many extra-curricular and leadership activities, such as:

  • Graduated in the top 5% in his class 
  • Member of National Honor Society
  • Member of Mu Alpha Theta National High School and Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society and served as a math and science tutor for his fellow students
  • Three-sport varsity letterman in football, wrestling and track, winning many competitions and awards
  • Eagle scout who was a recipient of a merit scholarship from the National Eagle Scout Association
  • After earning the rank of Eagle, Michael continued his involvement in Scouting by helping to form a brand-new boy scout troop for new scouts, and served as their first Senior Patrol Leader (SPL)
  • Squadron Commander of the Patrick Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) at PAFB

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BRUNOTTE FAMILYAs a senior at Viera high school, Michael was selected to receive a national 4-year Naval ROTC scholarship at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach to major in aerospace engineering and minor in physics. He was also awarded the Presidential Scholarship at Embry-Riddle, which, when combined with the NROTC scholarship, amounted to a generous full-ride for all college expenses.

During his freshman year at Embry-Riddle as a Fourth Class Midshipman in the Naval ROTC, Michael was named to the Dean's List with a 4.0 GPA for the fall semester. 

Michael's appointment to the United States Naval Academy's Class of 2021 was a story of hard work, determination, and a steadfast adherence to Commander Lawrence's famous command: "Don't give up the ship!" 

Michael had decided at a very early age that he wanted to attend the Naval Academy so that he could serve as a career officer in the United States Navy.  He began his journey in earnest during middle school where he excelled in high school-level math courses to prepare him for the Academy's rigorous admissions standards.  Michael also competed in sports and participated in many extra-curricular activities and leadership responsibilities.

During Michael's junior year at Viera, he was selected to attend the Naval Academy's Summer Seminar (NASS) during the summer between his junior and senior year. This week-long total-immersion experience targets competitive candidates with strong STEM-related interests as a recruiting tool for USNA. Michael loved the experience, especially his introduction to a working sub-critical nuclear reactor as well as the tough physical and mental aspects of Academy life, solidifying his desire to complete his application for selection.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BRUNOTTE FAMILYHowever, like thousands of other highly competitive candidates, Michael was not selected for an appointment to the Class of 2020, being selected instead for slot on the Wait-List which ultimately did not result in an appointment. At the same time, however, Michael was accepted to the aerospace engineering programs at both Georgia Tech and Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach.

Following in the footsteps of other famous graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy, such as former President Jimmy Carter, who were also faced with the task of re-applying after a year of college, Michael focused his efforts on improving his application to the Class of 2021 while accepting his 4-year NROTC scholarship as a 4/C Midshipman at Embry-Riddle. This re-application process included rigorous physical fitness testing, engineering curriculum, and his obligations as a Fourth Class Midshipman at ERAU. At the same time, Michael also competed with other highly-competitive candidates across the state of Florida to receive a senatorial nomination from Senator Bill Nelson. Michael also received nominations from Congressman Bill Posey, as well as his Commanding Officer of the Naval ROTC unit at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Michael will complete his spring semester at Embry-Riddle in May, and is required to report to Annapolis, MD for Induction Day at the Academy on June 29, 2017. This will begin the training program known as Plebe Summer where Michael will join approximately 1177 other incoming freshman from across the nation for 6 weeks of rigorous physical and mental training before the start of the fall term.

Michael is a well-grounded young man who is both honored and humbled by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve his nation as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy.

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