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“Nationals October 2019

USNA MIDN Benjamin Kwong Named Rhodes Scholar

| November 19, 2022, 10:42 AM

Midshipman 1st Class (senior) Benjamin Kwong, 21, of Newport Beach, California, was recently selected as the United States Naval Academy’s 55th Rhodes Scholar. Over 840 applicants were endorsed by 244 schools for one of the 32 scholarships awarded in the U.S. this year.

Kwong is a cyber operations major at the U.S. Naval Academy. He is passionate about sustainable energy policy and hopes to research ways in which a transition to renewable energy might bolster U.S. national security. He is also the recipient of the Stamps Scholarship that supported him this past summer at the Cambridge Security Institute where he studied the impact of China’s reliance on fossil fuels on the conflict in the South China Sea. The Stamps Scholarship also allowed Kwong to study at the University of Reykjavik in Iceland in March 2022, where his capstone project proposed retrofitting abandoned oil wells in Texas to create geothermal energy systems at one-tenth the cost of the drilling process.

Kwong is the 9th Company operations officer, the Navy Surf Club vice president, a Navy club volleyball team member, and a volunteer with the Midshipman Action Group Mids4Kids program. His favorite leadership position at USNA was as a plebe summer squad leader in 2021.

Kwong is a 2019 graduate of Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, California and plans to pursue Master of Science degrees in sustainability, enterprise, and the environment at Oxford University. After completing the Rhodes Scholarship program, Kwong hopes to continue his service in the naval aviation community.

Rhodes Scholarships provide up to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. Rhodes Scholars are chosen based on high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership, and physical vigor. The value of the Rhodes Scholarship varies depending on the academic field, the degree pursued, and the college chosen at Oxford. The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university fees, and transportation to and from England.

Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. U.S. News and World Reports has recognized the Naval Academy as a top five undergraduate engineering school and a top 20 best liberal arts college. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects such as leadership, ethics, small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, cyber security, and military law. Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 25 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.

For more information on the Rhodes Scholars, visit http://www.rhodesscholar.org . For more information about the Naval Academy, please visit www.usna.edu

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