Life at a military academy is not easy. It isn't supposed to be. The arduous training takes promising young people and develops them into effective military officers. People like U.S. Coast Guard Academy First Class Cadet Andrew Snyder of Tamaqua.

Snyder was placed on the Board of Trustees Honors List for the 2010 fall semester, the most prestigious honors list at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

To be included on the Board of Trustees Honors List, cadets must earn three uniform stars for excellence in military, academic and athletic performance during the semester. This means a cadet must simultaneously attain a term grade point average above 3.15, be in the top 25 percent of their class in military performance and obtain a score of 270 or higher on the Physical Fitness Examination. Those who make the list are among the top 1 percent in the rankings of the more than 1,000 cadets that make up the corps.

"My strategy for success is to keep on top of everything - time management and not falling behind - working ahead," said Snyder. "If you don't know what's going on, find someone who can help you. Don't sit around until it's too late."

His hopes for the future are to attend flight school in Pensacola, Calif., and to fly the newest aircraft in the Coast Guard fleet, the HC-144A Ocean Sentry.

"It feels good to be on the list," said Snyder. "I know it's a high recognition, but I know I need to keep working."

Snyder serves as the captain of the varsity wrestling team and as the president of the Aviation Club at the Coast Guard Academy here. He is scheduled to graduate in 2011.

Snyder is the son of Burdell and Francine Snyder of West Penn Township and is a 2006 graduate of Tamaqua Area High School.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy, one of the nation's five federal service academies, is located on the west bank of the Thames River in New London, Conn. Each year, the Coast Guard Academy graduates nearly 200 newly commissioned ensigns to lead the smallest of all the military services. U.S. News and World Report magazine ranks the Academy among the top 20 Undergraduate Engineering Programs in the nation.