Service Academy Nominations

As your Representative in the United States House of Representatives and for Arizona’s 5th District of Arizona, each year I have the most gratifying privilege and responsibility of nominating a limited number of the finest young men and women in my district to four of the five service academies – United States Naval Academy, United States Air Force Academy, United States Military Academy, and Merchant Marine Academy.

In order for you to receive an appointment and attend a service academy, you must first apply and receive a Congressional nomination.  You MUST also directly apply to a service academy.  Each academy has its own admission process.  The academies will send you a catalog, a detailed explanation of their selection process, and useful suggestions that will help you through the process.

The honor of attending a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation from high school.  The following pages contain information about the application, interview, and nomination processes.  Please read carefully and if you have any questions, contact my Academy Representative, Janet Bosley, at my District Office in Gilbert, Arizona, at (480) 699-8239.

How many service academies are there?
There are five service academies.  Four academies, mentioned above, require a Congressional nomination.

Three academies are within the Department of Defense:
• U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
• U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis Maryland
• U.S. Air Force Academy

Two academies are within the Department of Transportation:
• U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York
• U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut

Who can nominate an individual?
Members of Congress may nominate applicants who meet the eligibility requirements established by law. A candidate may seek a nomination from the following officials:
• A member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents the congressional district in which the applicant resides
• Either U.S. Senator representing the applicant’s state
• The Vice-President of the United States

What are the basic eligibility requirements?
Each applicant for a nomination must meet the following eligibility requirements as of July 1st of the year of admission to an academy:
• Age: Be at least 17 years old, but not have passed his or her 23rd birthday
• Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen
• Marital Status: Must be unmarried, not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents
• Residence: Must reside within the boundaries of the 5th Congressional District of Arizona
• Skill/Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the respective academy
• Academics: Must meet minimum academic requirements of the respective academy

Who do I contact to request an application?
Please feel free to contact my District Office at (480) 699-8239 to request an application packet.  You will receive a application packet within a week of your request.  Once your application packed is returned, we will open a nomination file for you.

When do I apply for a nomination?
For eligible applicants, the nomination period opens May 1st of each year.

Please note that the application process for the academies is separate from the application process for a nomination from my office.

What must be included in my nomination file?
 A complete nomination file consists of the following items:
• Application
• Current photo
• Official high school transcript
• American College Testing Program (ACT) results and/or College Board Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) results. The ACT code for my office is 7228 and the SAT Code is 4991.
• Resume, including extracurricular activities
• An essay stating why you want to attend a service academy (500 words or less)
• Three letters of recommendation from persons other than family members

What happens after I have completed my nomination file?
Applicants who submit a completed nomination file and have submitted an application to the academies of their choice will be scheduled for an interview in late October or early November.

What criteria are used in selecting candidates?
Nominations are based on a "whole person" evaluation. Factors include academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, character, and motivation.

Are the requirements the same for all of the service academies?
No. Although many of the qualifications are similar, each academy operates under its own admission guidelines. Visit the academy of your choice via the websites noted for each academy's admission qualifications.

Note:  It is not necessary to seek a nomination to the Coast Guard Academy.  It accepts candidates based on its own testing criteria.

Who should I ask to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?
Applicants typically seek recommendations from the following individuals:
• Teachers
• Counselors
• Employers
• Coaches
• Clergy
• Scout Leaders
• Civic Leaders

I do not require a specific recommendation form. A standard letter of recommendation is sufficient.

Will I automatically be selected by the academy after I receive a nomination?
No. The academy of your choice will make the final decision from a select group of nominees. If selected, you will receive an offer of admission (an appointment) directly from the academy. This is called a competitive nomination.

What if I choose more than one academy? Will I be limited to a single nomination?
No. You can be nominated to multiple academies based on competitive standards.  Multiple appointments are possible.

When will I know if I have been offered an appointment by an academy?
Academies will begin to notify candidates of their admission status in January. All offers are generally sent out by May.