As your Representative in the United States Congress, I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of qualified young people to four of the five service academies each year.
I host an annual Academy Day to help interested students determine if an Academy or similar education path is something they would want to pursue. While it is recommended that interested juniors in High School attend Academy Day, interested high school students of all ages are welcome to attend. Through the years, this forum has become a valuable tool for interested students and their families to learn about service academies and other similar educational opportunities, and a useful first step in the process of obtaining a nomination to a service academy. The United States Military Academy; United States Naval Academy; United States Air Force Academy; and the United States Merchant Marine Academy are the four service academies needing a nomination, and all participate in our Academy Day. Additionally, the United States Coast Guard Academy; Mass Maritime Academy; Norwich University; and ROTC programs are invited to participate, expanding the information available to young people.
Academy Day is held each year in April at the Conference Center, at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts. All those who would like to attend, MUST pre-register using the form below.
L-R: Brig. Gen Al Lupenski, Commander Westover ARB 439th Airlift Wing. ACADEMY APPOINTEES: US NAVAL ACADEMY: Ryan Mikalchus, Granby; US MILITARY ACADEMY: Joseph Adona, Chicopee; US NAVAL ACADEMY: Alexander "Kip" Ehrenberg, Longmeadow and US MILITARY ACADEMY: Harry Reed, Southwick. Congressman Richard E. Neal.
Academy Day 2016
Academy Nominations - Forms and Information
Seeking a Nomination: Frequently Asked Questions
What is a nomination?
What are the basic eligibility requirements?
Who do I contact to request an application?
When do I apply for a nomination?
What is the deadline for completing a nomination file?
What must be included in my nomination file?
What happens after I have completed my nomination file?
What criteria is used in selecting candidates?
How many academies are there?
Are the requirements the same for all of the service academies?
Who should I ask to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?
Will I automatically be selected by the academy after I receive a nomination?
What if I choose more than one academy? Will I be limited to a single nomination?
When will I know if I have been offered an appointment by an academy?
Members of Congress are authorized by law to nominate candidates for appointment to four U.S. service academies. These schools are the U.S. Military Academy (USMA), West Point, NY; the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), Annapolis, MD; the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), Colorado Springs, CO; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), Kings Point, NY. The fifth service academy, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCGA), New London, CT, does not require a congressional nomination for appointment. These institutions provide college-age Americans with a tuition-free, four year undergraduate education and prepare them to be officers of some of the U.S. uniformed services. Upon graduation, service academy graduates are commissioned as officers in the active or reserve components of the military or the merchant marine for a minimum of five years.
A candidate may seek a nomination from the following:
- A member of the US House of Representatives who represents the congressional district in which the candidate resides
- Both US Senators from his or her state
- Apply directly to the Vice-President of the United States
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 the 23rd birthday
- Citizenship: Must be a US 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 1st District of Massachusetts.
- Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy.
You can locate the application instructions and form at the top of this page. Please contact Jeanne Ahern at (413) 785-0325 if you have any questions.
The Nomination Cycle begins in the Spring of your Junior year with Academy Day.
This year, the deadline for submitting a nomination packet to my District Office is November 1.
A complete nomination file consists of the following items:
- Completed application form (click here for the MS Word version)
- Current photo (optional)
- High school transcript
- College Board Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) results and/or American College Testing Program (ACT) results
- Resume of extracurricular activities
- An essay stating why you want to attend a service academy (500 words or less)
- Minimum of three letters of recommendation
Applicants who submit a completed nomination file will be scheduled for an interview in late November or early December.
Nominations are based on a holistic evaluation. Factors such as academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, character, motivation and community service are taken into consideration and compared with other applicants.
There are five service academies:
Three reside within the Department of Defense:
- US Military Academy at West Point, New York
- US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland
- US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs
Two reside within the Department of Transportation:
- US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York
- US Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut
Students, however, only need to be nominated to the US Military Academy, US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy and the US Merchant Marine Academy. The US Coast Guard Academy accepts students based on their own testing criteria.
No. Although many of the qualifications are similar, each academy operates under its own admissions guidelines. Visit the academy of your choice via the web sites 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.
Some of the people applicants typically seek recommendations from include:
- Scout Leaders
There is a Reference Form as part of my application package. A letter is also acceptable, provided the topics on the reference form are addressed.
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.
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.
Academies will begin to notify candidates of their admission status in February. All offers of appointment are generally sent out by May.