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Cottrell graduates from Naval Academy

Clayton Cottrell graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Pictured from left are mother, Beth Cottrell, brother, Brandon Cottrel, Clayton Cottrelll and father, Mike Cottrell.

Clayton James Cottrell, son of Mike and Beth Cottrell of Deer Creek, graduated with distinction, ranked 40th in his class of 1,068 on May 23 from the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, Md. He was awarded a Bachelor's Degree in Operations Research and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant.

Parents, grandparents, brother and uncle Matt Bounds of Zimmermann attended a week of events including award ceremonies, a reception hosted by the Superintendent, a formal graduation ball, Cottrell's final formal military parade at USNA, and culminating in the graduation ceremony at the USNA Navy/Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

After two months of leave Cottrell will report to The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, V.A. for six months of Marine Officer leadership training. Following TBS he will report to flight school in Pensacola, Fla. for 18 to 24 months. Once he completes Flight School and receives his wings he will serve for at least the next seven years in the United States Marine Corps as an officer and pilot.