Service Academy Nominations

Thank you for your interest in the U.S. Service Academies. As your Representative in the United States Congress, each year I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of people to four of the five service academies. You may contact Vivian Lipford in my Washington Office at 202-225-2731 for further questions or assistance with any of the U.S. Service Academies. 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. Best wishes to you as you pursue your goal of attending one of the U.S. Service Academies and serving our country.

Seeking a Nomination: Frequently Asked Questions

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
  • • Apply directly to the Vice President of the United States

Due to the competitive nature of the nominations process, it is recommended that you seek as many nominations as possible. In addition to applying with our office, I would encourage you to also contact both U.S. Senators from North Carolina and the Vice-President of the United States to apply for a nomination.

Senator Richard Burr
Senator Kay Hagan
Vice President Joe Biden

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 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 7th District of North Carolina .
  • Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy.

Who do I contact to request an application?
Please contact my office at (202) 225-2731 to request a nomination packet.

When do I apply for a nomination?
My nomination application period opens May 15th 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?
This year, the deadline for submitting a nomination packet to my office is October 31.

What must be included in my nomination file?
A complete nomination file consists of the following items:

  • Current photo
  • High school transcript
  • American College Testing Program (ACT) results and/or College Board Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) results
  • Letter of interest expressing your desire to attend one of the U.S. Service Academies, including list of extracurricular activities (500 words or less)
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation

What happens after I have completed my nomination file?
Upon completion of your file, I will notify you of my nominations in January. If selected, you will receive an offer of admission (an appointment) directly from the service academy. The service academy will also notify me of those appointments, and I will also advise you as soon as possible.

What criteria are used in selecting candidates?
Nominations are based on a holistic 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:

One resides within the Department of Transportation:

One resides within the Department of Homeland Security:

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 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?
Some of the people applicants typically seek recommendations from include:

  • Teachers
  • Counselors
  • Employers
  • Coaches
  • Clergy
  • Scout Leaders

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

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 obtain 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 made by May.