The U.S. Military
Service Academies offer young men and women the opportunity
to earn a college degree (Bachelor of Science Degree) and commission
as an officer for the U.S. Armed Forces. The Army, Navy, Air
Force, Merchant Marine, and Coast Guard have their own Service
Academy. An education received from one of the Military Academies
is ranked among the best in the nation. In addition to a rigorous
academic curriculum, an Academy education offers cadets extensive
hands-on training and an opportunity to participate in varsity
and intramural sports, music groups, and various clubs. Students
also must live under a strict, regimented personal and ethical
code to develop the discipline necessary to become leaders in
Undergraduates are considered members of the U.S. Armed Forces
and engage in regular military training.
Upon graduation from a service academy, young men and women
receive a college degree as well as military experience. Graduates
of the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy
are commissioned as second lieutenants and serve at least six
years of active duty. The U.S. Naval Academy commissions its
graduates as ensigns in the U.S. Navy or as second lieutenants
in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years. Graduates of the U.S.
Merchant Marine Academy receive a license as a Merchant Marine
from the U.S. Coast Guard and may be commissioned for the reserve
corps of the U.S. Navy or for active duty in another uniformed
service. They are stationed either in the U.S. or abroad to
complete their required service obligation. Coast Guard Academy
graduates are commissioned as ensigns for five years in the
U.S. Coast Guard.
Appointment to a service academy is extremely competitive. Interested
students must be in good academic standing and physical condition.
It is important that interested candidates begin the application
process by the Spring of their junior year of high school and
provide the requested information promptly. Each of the academies
requires applicants to take either the SAT or ACT college entrance
exams and recommends that the exam be taken early. Successful
applicants have usually taken the most advanced college preparatory
courses offered at their respective high schools and participated
in varsity sports, as well as other extra-curricular activities.
Admissions officers will also give priority to applicants who
have shown outstanding leadership skills, a commitment to extracurricular
activities or employment, and community service. Military Academies
award full scholarships to students accepted for admission which
cover tuition, room and board; each student also receives a
monthly stipend to meet cost of books, supplies, clothing and
Each of the service academies, with the exception of the Coast
Guard Academy, requires a political nomination for appointment.
The nomination process is extremely competitive, and it is best
to apply as early as possible. Nominations to any of the service
academies are usually by the candidate’s Senator or the
U.S. Representative. There are also appointments made by the
President, Vice-President, and members of Congress for certain
numbers of enlisted regulars and reservists.
If you are interested in learning more about the military service
academies, eligibility requirements, benefits, and application
procedures, visit the web site for each service academy:
Guard reports directly to the Department of the Navy only in
wartime; in peacetime it falls under the jurisdiction of the
Department of Transportation.
Career Profiles of Military Service Academy
Cadets - Coming
If your son or daughter wants to see what a real-life career
in the Military Service Academy can be like, introduce them
to these five people. They represent a cross-section of services,
backgrounds, and occupations.
Marine • Navy
Force • Coast
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