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Military Service Academies
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 today’s military.
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 personal expenses.

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:

United States Military Academy
Director of Admissions
600 Thayer Rd
West Point, NY 10996-1797
Tel. (914) 938-4041
Fax (914) 938-3021

United States Naval Academy
Candidate Guidance Office
117 Decatur Rd
Annapolis, MD 21402-5018
Tel. (800) 638-9156 or (410) 293-4361 or 4348

United States Air Force Academy
Director of Admissions
2304 Cadet Dr., Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80840-5025
Tel. (719) 472-2520
Fax (719) 472-3647

United States Merchant Marine Academy
Director of Admissions
Kings Point, NY 11024
Tel. (800) 732-6267 or (516) 773-5391 or 5390

The Merchant Marine Academy has a close relationship with the U.S. armed forces but is not part of the Defense Department.

United States Coast Guard Academy
Director of Admissions
15 Mohegan Ave
New London, CT 06320-4195
Tel. (800) 883-8724 or (203) 444-8501
Fax (860) 437-6700

The Coast 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 Soon!
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.

Merchant Marine
Air Force
Coast Guard

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U.S. Armed Forces


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