Military Academy Nominations

Thank you for your interest in potentially attending one of our nation’s service academies. Admission to a service academy is a two-tiered process, and it is best to apply to an academy and apply for a nomination at least one year prior to the desired date of entry.

First, you must apply to the academy and meet the minimum admission standards set by them. These standards include (among others) medical, physical, and scholastic qualifications. The admission process is fully explained in each academy's catalog and web page.

Second, you must obtain a nomination from an official source, such as one of your U.S. Senators, your U.S. Representative, or the Vice President of the United States. Children of career and/or retired military personnel may also seek a nomination through the Office of the President of the United States. You should pursue all of these avenues to increase your chances of securing a nomination.

Members of Congress may nominate candidates for appointment to four of the five U.S. service academies: U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY; the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD; the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY. The fifth service academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT, does not require a congressional nomination for appointment.

Congressman Ratcliffe's nomination application period opens in April of each year for those candidates who are high school juniors and will be seniors the following school year, or who have already graduated. As long as a candidate meets the age requirement, they may apply post high school graduation.

Your completed nomination application packet must be submitted electronically in the prescribed format by the deadline listed on the application. If qualified, candidates will be contacted for an interview to be conducted on a date in November or December when Congressman Ratcliffe’s Academy Nomination Advisory Board conducts interviews.

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 of choice will make the final decision on selection and nominees will receive an appointment directly from the academy. It is possible to receive a nomination to multiple academies, depending on the number of applicants and on how competitive each year's pool of candidates is. It is also possible to receive appointments from multiple academies. Academies will begin to notify candidates of their admission status in February. All offers of appointment are generally sent out by May.

Have questions about applying? All prospective applicants are invited to attend the annual North Texas U.S. Service Academies Forum on Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 8 a.m. to noon at The Colony High School (4301 Blair Oaks Drive, The Colony, Texas 75056) to speak with congressional and academy representatives. 

Service Academy Applicants must be:

• U.S. Citizens
• Legal Residents of the Fourth Congressional District of Texas
• At least 17 years of age, but not yet 23 years of age, by July 1 of the year of admission (or not yet 25 years of age by July 1 of the year of admission to U.S. Merchant Marine Academy)
• Unmarried with no dependents
• By law, graduates of the service academies are appointed to active duty as commissioned officers and serve in the appropriate branch of the military for a minimum of five years.

Be sure to contact the service academy of your preference directly to establish a pre-candidate file. Candidates are evaluated for admission on the basis of academic performance (high school record and SAT or ACT scores), demonstrated leadership potential, physical aptitude, medical qualification, and other factors. Each service academy will be able to answer specific questions and schedule individual medical examinations. Ultimate selection of appointees rests solely with academy officials and is based on their competitive evaluation of all nominees.


Completed Application Request Forms should be emailed to

To obtain catalogs and other specific information on the academies, contact them directly:

US Military Academy U.S. Military Academy (Army)
Admissions Office
606 Thayer Road
West Point, New York 10996-1797
(800) 822-2769
U.S. Naval Academy
USNA Admissions
117 Decatur Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5018
(800) 822-2769
Air Force Academy U.S. Air Force Academy
Admissions Office
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80840-565
(800) 443-9266
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
Admissions Office
Kings Point, New York 11024-1699
(800) 732-6267 For admission to the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), congressional nominations are no longer required or submitted. Therefore, if you are interested in attending the USCGA, contact them directly:

U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Admissions Office
New London, CT 06320-4195
(203) 444-8501