Thompson Announces 2020 Service Academy Appointees

Jun 19, 2020
Press Release
Local students selected for excellence in academics, public service

Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that five local students have been nominated and accepted offers to our nation’s military service academies, including U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy. A statement from Thompson is below.

“Serving in our nation’s uniform is a deep and honorable responsibility and each year I am delighted to help our next generation of service men and women attend our military service academies. They are some our best and brightest, reaching incredible heights in their academic success, extracurricular activities and community service. Those five accepted this year faced a rigorous preparation and interview process and we are so proud of their decision to serve our nation. Our entire district is proud of your success and cannot wait to see what you do next!”

Each year, local candidates are interviewed for a nomination to our nation’s service academies. Those nominated then must be offered an appointment by the academies. Appointees from the Fifth Congressional District were honored during a virtual ceremony earlier this Spring and biographies of each student are included below.

For the U.S. Military Academy at West Point:

Porter Brookston

Porter Brookston is a resident of Cotati, California and attended Technology High School in Rohnert Park. He is the grandson of a WWII pilot and was on Technology High School Honors Society for the 2017-2018 school year. He played varsity baseball and cross country as well as junior varsity basketball and junior varsity track. He was a delegate for Boys State and attended U.S. Military Academy’s Summer Leadership Academy and U.S. Naval Academy summer seminar.  He started his own yard care business four years ago and takes flight lessons to be a pilot.

Sebastian Vance

Sebastian Vance is a resident of Napa, California and attended Vintage High School in Napa. His grandfather and his great grandfather both attended West Point and both of his parents served in the U.S. Army. He interned in Thompson’s Napa office and is an AP scholar with distinction. He has been on his school’s Honor Roll every semester since 2016. He is fluent in Spanish and French and was the recipient of the “Excellence in English” award in 2018. He was also part of the cross-country team and track and field for Vintage High.

Diego Andrade Pinole, California

Diego Andrade is a resident of Pinole, California and attended El Cerrito High School in El Cerrito. His dad is a police officer and both parents are immigrants from El Salvador.  He is an Eagle Scout and was a Boys State Delegate in 2019. He is part of the mountain bike team which ranked second in the state. He attended the West Point Summer Leadership Experience and Summer Seminar.  In addition, he has been an Honor Member of the Order of the Arrow Brotherhood since 2016.

For the U.S. Naval Academy:

Aaron Hern 

Aaron Hern is from Martinez, California and attended the U.S. Naval Academy Prep School last year, after attending Alhambra Senior High School. Both his parents graduated from the Naval Academy. Aaron was injured in the bombings at the Boston Marathon and faced a long rehabilitation. He never gave up and eventually played varsity football at Alhambra.

Matthew Lewis

Matthew Lewis attended Vintage High School in Napa. At ten years of age he joined the U.S. Navy League Cadet Corps and then transferred to the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps at age 13, where he continues to serve. He was selected as a U.S. Youth Ambassador and was part of an international Exchange Program in Japan. He has a black belt and accumulated over 200 hours of community service.


Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He is a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means where he chairs the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. Rep. Thompson is Chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. He is also Co-Chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus and a member of the fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Coalition.