Learn More About Military Service Academies
An appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, or U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is a distinct and rare honor. Acceptance of an academy appointment requires at least a nine-year service obligation, including four years at an academy and five years of active duty service.
Eligibility. To be eligible for appointment, you must be an American citizen, at least 17 years old and not yet 23 years old on July 1 of the year you enter an academy (25 years old for United States Merchant Marine Academy). Further, you must not be married or pregnant, and you must not have any legal obligation to support children or other dependents. To apply for a nomination through my office, you must also be a legal resident of Wisconsin.
Nomination. The nomination process is very competitive. I urge you to apply for a nomination from me as well as your Congressional Representative and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin. If you are interested in attending the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, and U.S. Air Force Academy, you may also qualify for nomination through other sources, including:
- President Trump, who nominates dependents of career military personnel, deceased or disabled veterans, military or civilian personnel in missing status, and Medal of Honor recipients;
- Vice President Pence, who nominates five individuals from across the United States per year; and
- The Secretary of the Army, Navy, or Air Force, who nominates members of regular military, reserve components, and participants in the ROTC.
Further information regarding application procedures for these nominations is available through each academy's website. Applying for more than one nomination increases your chances of securing a nomination. More than one nomination, however, is neither required nor of assistance in gaining an appointment. If another authority nominates you, please notify our office so that we may allow other candidates the opportunity for nomination.
Evaluation Criteria. The academies consider evidence of character, scholarship, leadership, physical aptitude, medical fitness, personal goals, and motivation in performing each nominee's "whole-person" evaluation. These are also the criteria I use to determine nominations.
Character. Absolutely critical in the course of evaluating a candidate is a positive determination of the candidate's character. Absence of high moral character is cause for disqualification. Candidates are considered to have high moral character unless evidence exists to suggest otherwise.
Scholarship. Each element of a candidate's academic record is carefully evaluated by a service academy's admissions board. The elements evaluated include a complete high school record (and college record, when applicable), class standing, and either the SAT or ACT scores.
Leadership. Participation and achievement in organized athletics, student body and class government, clubs and class extracurricular activities, scouting, boys or girls state, and church or other community-related activities demonstrate evidence of leadership potential. Candidates who have found it necessary to work to provide family support are considered to have demonstrated desirable leadership potential.
Physical Aptitude. The academies' fitness tests are designed to determine each candidate's readiness to undertake their rigorous athletic and physical education programs. Each academy has its own test requirements. Results of the examination are evaluated, assigned a numerical score, and included in the whole-person evaluation by West Point. The Air Force, Naval, and Merchant Marine academies evaluate the results on a pass-or-fail basis.
Medical Fitness. A candidate who meets minimum scholastic standards will be scheduled to take a service academy qualifying medical examination at a military or civilian contract facility near the candidate's home. Although medical qualification standards vary among the academies, only one exam is required. Different tests may be necessary, however, depending upon the academy. Scheduling and evaluation of the exam are arranged by the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB). Candidates who have questions about their medical exam results should direct them to:
Medical scheduling and evaluation are time-consuming processes, especially if consultation, re-testing, or corrective action is required. The process may take from six weeks to four months.
Motivation. Motivation is an intangible quality and difficult to evaluate; however, since it is most frequently the factor that determines an appointee's success or failure at a service academy, I make every effort to gauge a candidate's motivation. An attempt to measure motivation may be made through observation of the candidate's interest level in attending an academy and serving as an officer in the armed forces. Motivation may also be measured through an evaluation of correspondence, personal contacts, and care with which application materials are prepared.
Applicant Evaluation by Service Academies
Each academy uses a questionnaire to make an initial assessment of an applicant's potential for appointment. The results of this evaluation are provided by each academy to Members of Congress to assist them in screening their applicants. Soon after the applicant returns the questionnaire, the admissions office will provide the applicant with an evaluation of the applicant's demonstrated ability to meet admissions standards.
An applicant who meets the standards is declared a candidate; those who do not meet the standards at that point may later submit additional test scores or information to the academy for re-evaluation. The applicant must provide the following information: academic standardized test scores (ACT, SAT-I), class rank and grade point average, Social Security number, and participation in high school extracurricular activities. Be sure to complete a pre-candidate questionnaire for each academy in which you are interested.
Service academy websites are:
United States Military Academy (West Point)
Address correspondence regarding your application for a nomination to
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson
Attn: Janet Clark
219 Washington Avenue, Suite 100
Oshkosh, WI 54901
Deadline for applications: October 5, 2018