Service Academy Nominations - FAQ

Service Academy Seals

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

1. 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
  • The Vice-President of the United States

2. 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 (25th birthday for the Merchant Marine Academy)
  • Citizenship: Be a U.S. citizen or national
  • Marital Status: Be unmarried, not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents
  • Residence: Reside within the boundaries of the 14th Congressional District of New York
  • Skill / Fitness: Meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy

3. How do I apply for a nomination?

To apply, you must complete a Service Academy Nomination file online.

4. When do I apply for a nomination?

The nomination application period opens May 15th of each year for those candidates who are high school juniors and will be seniors the following school year, or who have already graduated.

5. What is the deadline for completing a nomination file?

The deadline for submitting a complete nomination file is 5:00pm (EST) Friday, November 1, 2019.

6. What must be included in my nomination file?

Nomination files must be electronically submitted via our online form. A complete nomination file consists of the following items:

  • High school transcript(s)
  • American College Testing Program (ACT) results and/or College Board Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) results
  • List of extracurricular activities
  • An essay stating why you want to attend a service academy (500 words or less)
  • Two letters of recommendation, one must be from a teacher who taught you a core subject (i.e. Math, English or Science)

7. What happens after I have completed my nomination file?

Applicants who submit a completed nomination file will be scheduled for an interview in mid-November/early December. Nominations will be announced December 2019/ January 2020.

8. 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, character and motivation are taken into consideration and compared with other applicants.

9. How many academies are there?

There are five service academies.

Please note that the U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination for appointment.

10. 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 above 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. Please note that in addition to applying for a nomination from my office, you MUST also apply directly to the academy of your choice.

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

Two letters of recommendation are required to complete your nomination file. It is important to ask individuals who know you well and have watched you develop in various aspects of your life. Letters may not come from immediate or extended members of your family. One of the letters must be from a teacher who taught you a core subject (i.e. Math, English, or Science). Some of the people applicants typically seek recommendations from include:

  • Teachers
  • Counselors
  • Employers
  • Coaches
  • Clergy
  • Scout Leaders

A specific recommendation form is not required. A letter of recommendation is sufficient. The same letters of recommendation submitted to the academy may be submitted to us.

12. 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.

13. Does the nomination in my file get forwarded to the Service Academies?

No. Your nomination file at Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez's office is only used to decide regarding a congressional nomination. Your service academy file is maintained separately by the service academy. It is the responsibility of the candidate to forward all necessary information and documentation requested by the academy’s admissions office.

14. 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.

15. When will I know if I have been offered an appointment by an academy?

Academies will begin notifying candidates of their admission status in February. All offers of appointment are generally sent out by May.


For assistance or more information on the application process, please contact my district office at (718) 662-5970 or via email at