Military Academy Nominations - FAQ
Thank you for your interest in the U.S. Service Academies. As your 6th District Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, each year I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of people to four of the five 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.
Listed below are frequently asked questions for those seeking a Military Academy nomination. After reading through the information, 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
The Military Service Academies recommend that you apply to all nomination sources for which you are qualified.
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 6th Congressional District of Tennessee.
- Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy.
Who do I contact to request an application?
Contact my office at (615) 206-8204 for more information.
When do I apply for a nomination?
My nomination application period opens May 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 completed nomination packet is October 3, 2016. Please send completed nominations to Congressman Diane Black, 355 North Belvedere Drive, Suite 308, Gallatin, TN 37066. Also, please contact my office at (615) 206-8204 if you have other questions.
What must be included in my nomination file?
A complete nomination file consists of the following items:
- Current photo
- Certified copies of your high school transcript
- Official copies of your American College Testing Program (ACT) results and/or College Board Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) results. (You can arrange to have them sent to our office by entering the following codes on the test form. ACT code, 7676; SAT code, 1966)
- Resume of extracurricular activities (our office will provide a standardized form for this purpose)
- 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 two in-person interviews. The first interview will be held with congressional staff to review your file and prepare you for your interview with the Academy Board. The second interview will be with the retired military officers, who serve on the Academy Nominating Board. These board members will have reviewed each candidate’s records and will want to learn more about you as an individual.
What criteria are 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. The Academy Nominating Board uses all of these factors, plus your in-person interviews to rank the candidates for each Academy.
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 Homeland Security:
- U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut
One resides within the Department of Transportation:
- U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York
NOTE: You must apply to each service academy individually. Each Academy should assign a Liaison to work with you on the process.
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:
- 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 based upon their entrance requirements. 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.
Click here to fill out a Military Academy Nominations Form