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Congressman Richard Neal

Representing the 1st District of Massachusetts

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Academy Nominations

Academy Nominations

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:  Congressman Neal, Benjamin Provost, South Hadley High School 2016, United States Naval Academy Appointee; Nicholas Maurer, Longmeadow High School 2016, United States Merchant Marine Academy Appointee; Emily McKinney, Southwick-Tolland Regional High School, United States Military Academy Appointee; Ivana Sosa, Springfield Central High 2015, Northwestern Prep 2016, United States Air Force Academy Appointee; Connell Swenson, Monument Mountain Regional HS 2015, Northwestern Prep 2016, United States Air Force Academy Appointee; Ben Jury, Westfield High School 2016, United States Air Force Academy Appointee; Jared Haley, Hoosac Valley Regional High School 2016, United States Naval Academy Appointees; and Colonel Jay Jensen, Commander, 439th Air Lift Wing, Westover Air Reserve Base, Chicopee, MA

 

Academy Day 2017


Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 12:30 PM
Wing Conference Center
Westover Air Reserve Base
Chicopee, Massachusetts

Base regulations require pre-registration for this event by April 3, 2017.
Please complete the Registration Form (click here for the PDF version) and return it to the Springfield Office

Academy Nominations - Forms and Information

 

 

Seeking a Nomination: Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

What is a nomination?

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


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 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.


Who do I contact to request an application?

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.


When do I apply for a nomination?

The Nomination Cycle begins in the Spring of your Junior year with Academy Day.


What is the deadline for completing a nomination file?

This year, the deadline for submitting a nomination packet to my District Office is November 1.


What must be included in my nomination file?

A complete nomination file consists of the following items:

  • 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


What happens after I have completed my nomination file?

Applicants who submit a completed nomination file will be scheduled for an interview in late November or early December.


What criteria is used in selecting candidates?

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.


How many academies are there?

There are five service academies:
Three reside within the Department of Defense:

Two reside within the Department of Transportation:

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.


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 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.


Who should I ask to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?

Some of the people applicants typically seek recommendations from include:

  • Teachers
  • Counselors
  • Employers
  • Coaches
  • Clergy
  • 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.


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.


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.