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Immediate Release

DOD Announces 62nd Annual United States Senate Youth Program Military Mentors

The Department of Defense announced the 17 U.S. military officers selected to serve as Armed Forces ambassadors in support of the 62nd Annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) Washington Week taking place in Washington, D.C., March 2-9, 2024. The USSYP was established in 1962 by the U.S. Senate to introduce and educate outstanding high school students interested in pursuing public service careers about the federal government and the interrelationship of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches.

During Washington Week, students will meet with and learn from these selected military mentors, representing each of the Armed Forces. The DoD looks for military mentors who exhibit personal and professional excellence and have a passion for public service. Annual DoD support of USSYP represents one of the longest-standing commitments of the Office of the Secretary of Defense to a national youth program.

"This is an exceptional group of officers that brings diverse backgrounds and experiences in military and public service, leadership, and more to mentor our nation's next generation of public servants," said Melanie Fonder Kaye, Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Strategic Engagement, whose directorate oversees DoD's annual USSYP support. "By engaging firsthand with these extraordinary leaders, students will gain invaluable insight into what it means to serve, and to making a difference in our country and our communities."

This year's senior military mentor is Lt. Cmdr. Alexandra Miller, U.S. Coast Guard, who served as a military mentor in 2022 and 2023. The assistant senior military mentor is Capt. Joseph Puntoriero, U.S. Army, who served as a military mentor in 2023. Together they will lead and serve with a joint force team of 15 military mentors:

  • Maj. Josue Duarte, U.S. Army
  • Maj. Matthew Pellegrine, U.S. Air Force
  • Capt. Catherine Grizzle, U.S. Army
  • Capt. Amelia Weaver, U.S. Army
  • Capt. Daniel McGurkin, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Capt. Alexandria Rossi, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Lt. Maude Manzi, U.S. Navy
  • Lt. Clayton Shepherd, U.S. Navy
  • Capt. Andrew Carroll, U.S. Air Force
  • Capt. Hannah Durbin, U.S. Air Force
  • Capt. Mai Chi Tran, U.S. Space Force
  • Lt. James Eggers, U.S. Coast Guard
  • Lt. Kathryn Rubio, U.S. Coast Guard
  • 1st Lt. Samuel Barge, U.S. Marine Corps
  • 1st Lt. Katherine Krolicki, U.S. Air Force.

"We are excited to welcome these fine officers and introduce them to the 2024 student delegates," said Rayne Guilford, USSYP program director. "Each year we see the profound bonds that form between the students and their military mentors, and how the mentors' personal histories, high standards, and advice for success impacts these young leaders beyond measure."

USSYP has been solely funded and administered since its inception by The Hearst Foundations, a national philanthropic resource for organizations working in the fields of culture, education, health, and social services. All program costs, including the $10,000 undergraduate college scholarships given to each of the 104 delegates, are provided by The Hearst Foundations. Speakers for the program generally include the highest level elected and appointed officials in each branch of government.

For additional information about annual DoD support to USSYP, please contact the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Community Engagement Directorate at osd.pentagon.pa.mbx.ce-public-inquiries@mail.mil. Follow @SenateYouth and @DoD_Outreach on X for additional updates and highlights from the program.