Military Academy Nominations - FAQ

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 (excluding Merchant Marine Academy applicants)

What are the basic eligibility requirements?

Each applicant for a nomination must meet the following eligibility requirements as of July 1 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 1st Congressional District of Washington
  • Skill and Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy.

How and when do I apply?

The nomination application period opens May 24, 2022 for those candidates who are high school juniors and will be seniors the following school year, or who have already graduated. Please do not apply before May 24.

The deadline for submission of materials to the Congresswoman’s office is November 8, 2022 by 4:30 PM. Materials must be received by our office at that time; we will not accept materials postmarked by the due date and delivered after. All materials should be sent to:

U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene
Attn: Service Academy Nominations
450 Central Way, Suite 3100
Kirkland, WA 98033

Do not send any application information to the D.C. office as it may not be forwarded to the Kirkland office before the deadline.

What must be included in my nomination file?

A complete nomination file consists of the following items:

  • A completed and signed Military Academy Nomination form;
  • A one-to-two page essay explaining why you want to attend an Academy;
  • Two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from your high school or current institution;
  • A list of community activities, achievements, and any employment;
  • A sealed copy of your high school transcript;
  • SAT and ACT scores will added automatically to your applications; and,
  • A current photo.

What happens after I have completed my nomination file?

Interviews by an Academy Selection Board will be held in early to mid-December. The Board is comprised of former military personnel and other leading citizens from around our district. This committee is charged with evaluating each application, interviewing candidates and forwarding its final recommendations to Congresswoman DelBene.

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

Specific recommendation forms are not required. A letter of recommendation is sufficient. Please do not send more than the requisite number of recommendations.

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?

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.

What if I choose more than one academy? Will I be limited to a single nomination?

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 from different offices.

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 sent out by May.