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Military Academy Nominations FAQ

Thank you for your interest in a military service academy. The following is a list of frequently asked questions on the military nominations process.

Do I need a nomination?
A nomination is required for the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and Merchant Marine Academy. A nomination is not required for the Coast Guard Academy.

What is a nomination? 
Members of Congress may nominate applicants who meet the eligibility requirements established by law. A candidate may seek a nomination from the following:

  • A member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents the Congressional district in which the candidate resides
  • Both U.S. Senators from his or her state 
  • The Vice-President of the United States
  • Presidential nominations are also available for children of: career military, POW/MIA service members, disabled service members, and Medal of Honor awardees

Can a candidate apply through more than one source? 
It is encouraged that candidates apply through all the sources that he/she is eligible. 

Do I live in the 16th District? 
The 16th District covers parts of Portage, Wayne, Stark, Summit, Cuyahoga, and Medina Counties. You can input your address at the following site and it will tell you which congressional district that you reside in,

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 their 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 16th Congressional District of Ohio
  • Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy

Who do I contact with questions about my application? 
Contact Bryan Bowman at my Canton office at (330) 599-7037 with questions regarding the nomination process.

When do I apply for a nomination? 
My nomination application period opens April 1st of each year for those candidates who are high school juniors and will be seniors the following school year, or who have already graduated. 

What is the deadline for completing a nomination file? 
The deadline for submitting a nomination packet to my district office is normally October 1st. Please contact my Canton office at (330) 599-7037 for more specifics.

What must be included in my nomination file?

  • High school transcript
  • American College Testing Program (ACT) results and/or Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) results
  • Resume of extracurricular activities
  • An essay stating why you want to attend a service academy (500 words or less)
  • Minimum of two letters of recommendation

What happens after I have completed my nomination file? 
Applicants who submit a completed nomination file will be scheduled for an interview in late October or early November.

What criteria is used in selecting candidates? 
Nominations are based on a "whole person" evaluation. Factors such as academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, character, and motivation are taken into consideration and compared with other applicants.

How many academies are there? 
There are five service academies. Three reside 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 at Colorado Springs

One resides within the Department of Transportation:

  • U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York

One resides with the Department of Homeland Security (nomination not required)

  • U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut

Are the requirements the same for all the service academies? 
No. Although many of the qualifications are similar, each academy operates under its own admissions guidelines. Visit the academy of your choice via the websites noted for each academy's particular admissions qualifications. It is not necessary to seek a nomination to the Coast Guard Academy, as the U.S.C.G.A. accepts candidates based on their own testing criteria.

Who should I ask to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf? 
I do not require a specific recommendation form. A letter of recommendation is sufficient. Some of the people applicants typically seek recommendations from include: teachers, counselors , employers, coaches, clergy, and scout leaders

Along with seeking a nomination, do I have to apply for the academy? 
Yes, the academy application is separate from the nomination process.  Our office only uses the candidate’s information to select individuals for nomination.  Each candidate is required to apply at their desired academy. 

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

What if I choose more than one academy? Will I be limited to a single nomination? 
No. You can be nominated to multiple academies depending on how well you have competed among this year's pool of candidates. It is also possible to win multiple appointments.

What academy is best for me? 
Each academy is different.  Just like colleges and universities, the academies have different sizes and different programs.  A candidate should look at class size, location, degree programs, and future intent when deciding. For example, the Merchant Marine academy has a smaller class size and allows individuals to commission into any branch of service or serve on merchant vessels while in the Naval Reserve. However, the Merchant Marine Academy does not pay a monthly stipend. 

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 February. All offers of appointment are generally sent out by May.



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