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Military Academy Nominations - FAQ

Frequently asked questions for those seeking a Military Academy nomination. You may also fill out a Military Academy Nominations Form.

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

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: Must have had 17th birthday but may not have passed 23rd 
  • 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 At-Large Congressional District of North Dakota
  • Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy 

Who do I contact to request an application?

Contact Randy Richards in my Grand Forks office at 701-738-4880 or by email Randy.Richards@mail.house.gov.

When do I apply for a nomination?

The nomination application period opens May 15th of each year for candidates who are high school juniors (preparing to be seniors the following school year) or who have already graduated from high school. 

What is the deadline for completing a nomination file?

The deadline for submitting a nomination packet to my District Office is normally mid-October. If you have any questions, contact Randy Richards in my Grand Forks office at 701-738-4880.

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
  • 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 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.

Are the requirements the same for all of the service academies?

No. Visit the academy website of your choice (see above) for each academy’s particular admissions qualifications. It is not necessary to seek a nomination to the Coast Guard Academy, as the USCGA accepts candidates based on their own testing criteria. 

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

Applicants typically seek recommendations from people like the following: 

  • 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 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 of the year of enrollment. All offers of appointment are generally sent out by May.