Depending upon where you are in the process, you may have done some of the items on this list. Skip them. Be happy you’re done. Move on to the next:
If you’re serious about attending the USNA or any other military academy, buy a few books (or check them out of the library) on the process. It’s worth the investment because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more of your time and money before you achieve your goal. Better to make sure this is the direction you want to go.
Here are two books to get you started:
From the perspective of a woman who was accepted and how she accomplished it. Down-to earth, personal, definitely not dry, and should give confidence to any teen, male or female, considering a military academy as their college of choice.
A general and useful overview of the USNA application and the academy in general
Seniors–Check for Letter of Assurance
These start coming out in the Fall. Few get them. Most candidates get a letter of Acceptance without a LOA. Don’t think too much about it, but if you get one, cheer.
Seniors–follow up on the B&G Interview
Seniors–Apply for a Candidate Weekend Visit
Even if you’ve already received your offer, attend this exciting weekend. You’ll get to see the Yard, visit with current Mids, ask more questions, see how the academics work. It’ll help you decide if you’re not sure, or clinch your decision to attend.
Get DodMETS done. If you required a waiver, follow up. Make sure it comes through. A good rule is to do everything you can until the ball is in someone else’s court so to speak. Don’t expect a waiver to happen without lots of personal attention.
Click here for background on DodMETS
Seniors–get the CFA done
If you didn’t pass CFA during Summer Seminar, or didn’t attend that event, arrange for your high school gym coach or someone else you trust to administer the full exam and get that out of the way. If you pass it, you’re done. If you don’t, you have until you submit your application to pass it. Check out what’s required (crunches, shuttle run, mile run, etc.) and make sure you’re prepared. It’ll feel good to have that out of the way.
Seniors–Follow up on all steps of the application
Check the binder you set up over the summer to be sure everything is submitted. Check CIS–Candidate Information System–the online application site for candidates only. Be sure USNA has everything you’ve sent. If they don’t, resend and/or talk to your B&G Officer. In fact, stay in close touch with your B&G Officer at this stage in your application process. He’ll be interviewing you and passing his recommendation on to the Admittance board.
Make copies of every piece of paper you submit. Then, if (when) they disappear across the country in Annapolis, it won’t be a show stopper.
Seniors–follow up on the Letters of Recommendation from teachers
Teachers are very busy writing these for many seniors. You may have to stay on top of them to be sure they get out. Don’t worry. Your teachers won’t mind. They’re used to it.
It’s probably this month. To prepare for the Congressional Interview, read:
The B&G (Blue and Gold) Interview allows the Naval Academy one more opportunity to insure that they appoint candidates who will make it through the next nine years. It has to occur before you are accepted and shows up as complete or pending on the CIS. Prepare for it. Don’t take it for granted because you think your B&G Officer ‘likes’ you. It’s his job to be an applicant screen for USNA, not your buddy.
Take SAT and ACT
Juniors/Seniors–If you’ve taken it and are over 1400, you’re doing great. If you’re not, take it as often as possible. There’s a trick to the test that you’ll figure out as you take it over and over. A lot of colleges offer a PSAT-type tests for free. Take advantage of those opportunities. That’ll keep costs down and provide feedback on what you should work on.
Hone these critical skills
All USNA applicants and grads are leaders. If you’re a freshman, even a sophomore, not sure if you have enough of the leadership gene, check out these posts to see how to develop these traits:
- How to solve problems
- How to manage your time
- How to prioritize
- How to get along with people
- How to think
Check out the Marine Corps summer reading list
Freshmen/Sophomores–Attend an Academy Night
These occur throughout the year, so keep your eyes open. They’re offered through the School District or your representative’s office. Check those websites to find out when you should go.
Click here for more information on Academy Nights.
Tour a warship
These tours are offered through your Blue and Gold officer or any number of other avenues. Find a tour. Take it. You want to be sure the Naval Academy is right for you. Seeing how officers work on a Navy ship is a good idea.
Be a leader
Wherever there’s an opportunity to be a leader, take it. The Military Academies want to see you as a proactive, can-do person, not a follower. Officers are the ones who make things happen and inspire the enlisted to do their best. Be that person.
Create your resume
Check how to create your resume. List all of your activities, awards, community service. The best time to start this is as a freshman, but if you’re older than that, do it now. And keep it up to date throughout high school. It’ll remind you of all your accomplishments when you’re filling out applications and essays.
Continue Community Service
Most colleges want to know you give back to your community; Military Academies are no exception. Do as much as you can. Give as much of your time and labor as you can afford. No, it doesn’t mean you do less in academics or sports. Figure out how to do it all. That’s the kind of person USNA, USAFA and all military academies like.
Are you a Future USNA Midshipman?
Read the qualifications of a Midshipman here. See what you think.