Posted by: Jacqui Murray | April 8, 2019

What’s happening in April at USNA

usna

By now, you’ve finished your Congressional Interview, maybe even your BGO Interview.  You’ve attended a Candidate Weekend Visit. You have one big job remaining: Keep your grades solid, your attitude positive, and your goals clear.

If you’re the parent of a child who has been accepted, it’s time to start thinking about Plebe Summer:

If you’re just starting to think about attending the US Naval Academy, here’s your guide to making that dream come true:

Building a Midshipman: How to Crack the USNA Application

…and then read these posts:

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | April 1, 2019

April To Do List for USNA Applicants

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

First Steps:

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 to 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 their first choice college.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | March 25, 2019

We Celebrate Medal of Honor Day

medal of honorMarch 25th is National Medal of Honor Day – when we pay respects to service members who distinguished themselves through “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty”. Citations for Medal of Honor recipients describe feats of courage, strength, and resilience. Recipients overcame the paralysis of fear, and in some cases, they persevered in spite of wounds that would normally be so painful as to be disabling. Some of these heroes willingly gave their lives for the sake of their buddies.

From my friends over at ArmyLive , here are eight surprising facts about the award.

1. The earliest actions for which the Medal was awarded took place before the Civil War

Bernard J.D. Irwin was an Assistant Surgeon in the Army when he voluntarily went to the rescue of 2d Lt. George N. Bascom who was trapped with 60 members of the 7th Infantry. Irwin and 14 men began the 100-mile trek to Bascom’s forces riding mules. After fighting and capturing Apaches along the way, as well as recovering stolen horses and cattle, Irwin reached Bascom’s forces and helped break the siege. The Medal of Honor was awarded to Irwin on Jan. 24, 1894 – more than 30 years after he performed his heroic deed.

2. Originally, the Medal of Honor was only awarded to enlisted service members.

On March 3, 1863, this was extended to include officers as well.

3. There are three versions of the Medal of Honor: U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force.

Members of the U.S. Marines Corps and U.S. Coast Guard are eligible to receive the Navy version. Each of the armed services maintains their own regulations governing the award.

4. Only one woman has received the Medal of Honor and her award was temporarily rescinded.

President Andrew Johnson presented the Medal of Honor to Dr. Mary E. Walker on Nov. 11, 1865 for her work as a Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon in a series of battles from First Bull Run in 1861 to the Battle of Atlanta in 1864. Caught by Confederate troops and arrested as a spy, she also spent four months as a Prisoner of War. Although her award was rescinded along with hundreds of others in 1917, upon the passage of legislation that stated the medal could only be given to persons who had engaged in “actual combat with an enemy,” Walker’s Medal of Honor was restored on June 10, 1977 by President Jimmy Carter.

Because of her selfless service during the war, Dr. Mary E. Walker became the only woman in U.S. history to receive the Medal of Honor, which was rescinded in 1917 and restored in 1977.

5. The Medal of Honor recommendation process can take in excess of 18 months

It requires intense scrutiny every step of the way because of the need for accuracy. The following organizations and individuals play key roles in the Army Medal of Honor recommendation process: the Soldier’s Chain of Command, a Member of Congress, Department of the Army Personnel Command, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of the Army, Secretary of Defense and the President. To see a visual depiction of the process, visit http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/steps.html

6. Children of Medal of Honor recipients are not subject to quotas if they are qualified and desire to attend the U.S. military academies.

Colin Romesha, son of former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, is escorted off the President’s podium during the Medal of Honor ceremony in honor of his father at the White House in Washington, D.C., Feb. 11, 2013. Romesha received the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions during a daylong firefight in Afghanistan in October 2009.

7. Medal of Honor recipients have uniform privileges

They are allowed to wear their uniforms at any time or place they choose, unlike other military personnel or retirees.

For the eighth, please visit ArmyLive! for their great article on this topic and more.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | March 4, 2019

March To Do List for USNA Applicants

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

First Steps:

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 their first choice college.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | March 1, 2019

What’s happening in March at USNA

usnaHere are important events you’ll want to read about in March:

Now check March’s ToDo list to see if you’re up to date:

March To Do List for USNA Applicants

More articles worth reading:


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of two military-tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days (starring the USS Bunker Hill), and over one hundred resources on integrating tech into education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, adjunct professor in technology-in-education, a columnist for TeachHUB, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her tech books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | February 6, 2019

What’s happening in February at USNA

usna

By now, you’ve finished your Congressional Interview, maybe even your B&G Interview.  You’ve attended or are preparing for a Candidate Weekend Visit. Here are a few items you want to think about in February:

Summer STEM at USNA

The formula for love

Beyond those, you have one big job remaining: Keep your grades solid, your attitude positive, and your goals clear. Here’s how:

Now check February’s ToDo list to see if you’re up to date:

February To Do List for USNA Applicants

More articles worth reading:


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of two military-tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days (starring the USS Bunker Hill), and over one hundred resources on integrating tech into education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer, adjunct professor in technology-in-education, a columnist for TeachHUB, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | February 1, 2019

February To Do List for USNA Applicants

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:

First Steps:

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.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | January 6, 2019

What’s happening in January at USNA

usnaHere are important events you’ll want to read about in January:

Now check January’s ToDo list to see if you’re up to date:

January To Do List for USNA Applicants

More articles worth reading:


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of two military-tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days (starring the USS Bunker Hill), and over one hundred resources on integrating tech into education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer, adjunct professor in technology-in-education, a columnist for TeachHUB, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | January 4, 2019

January To Do List for USNA Applicants

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:

First Steps:

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.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 14, 2018

Happy Holidays!

HappyHolidaysUSNA-NetI’ll be taking a week (or so) off–until after the New Year–to rework my website, work on writing projects with a deadline, and wish my military children could be with me, here. I may drop in on you-all as you enjoy your holidays, but mostly I’ll be regenerating.

I wish you a wonderful season, safe and filled with family.

See you shortly!

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 12, 2018

A Soldier’s Christmas Poem

christmasThis is one of the most popular military Christmas poems I’ve seen. Here’s it’s history, from “A Soldier’s Silent Night”:

“The true story is that while a Lance Corporal serving as Battalion Counter Sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th & I, Washington, D.C., under Commandant P.X. Kelly and Battalion Commander D.J. Myers (in 1986), I wrote this poem to hang on the door of the gym in the BEQ. When Colonel Myers came upon it, he read it and immediately had copies sent to each department at the Barracks and promptly dismissed the entire Battalion early for Christmas leave. The poem was placed that day in the Marine Corps Gazette, distributed worldwide and later submitted to Leatherneck Magazine.”

Schmidt’s original version, entitled “Merry Christmas, My Friend,” was published in Leatherneck (Magazine of the Marines) in December, 1991.

As Leatherneck wrote of the poem’s author in 2003:

“‘Merry Christmas, My Friend,'” has been a holiday favorite among ‘leatherneckphiles’ for nearly the time it takes to complete a Marine Corps career. Few, however, know who wrote it and when. Former Corporal James M. Schmidt, stationed at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., pounded it out over 17 years ago on a typewriter while awaiting the commanding officer’s Christmas holiday decorations inspection…while other leathernecks strung lights for the Barracks’ annual Christmas decoration contest, Schmidt contributed his poem to his section.”

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 8, 2018

Army vs. Navy 2018

December 8th, 2018 is the 119th annual Army-Navy Game, at noon in Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia PA, noon PDT.

This is an American college football rivalry game between the teams of the Black Knights of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point and the Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis and has come to embody the spirit of the  United States Armed Forces. Navy leads the all-time series 60-51-7. Army won last season’s meeting 14-13.

Here’s a video that embodies the rivalry. Watch it, then watch the game:

A Game of Honor

Here are Army-Navy Spirit Spots:







Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 7, 2018

Remember Pearl Harbor

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, which is annually on December 7, commemorates the attack on Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii, during World War II. Many American servicemen and women lost their lives or were injured on December 7, 1941. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day.

Pearl Harbor

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and  Twenty-four Days (starring the USS Bunker Hill). She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. She is the parent of a Naval Officer and an Army Sergeant. 

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 6, 2018

What’s happening in December at USNA

usnaBy now, you’ve finished your Congressional Interview, maybe even your B&G Interview.  You’ve attended or are preparing for a Candidate Weekend Visit. You have one big job remaining: Keep your grades solid, your attitude positive, and your goals clear. Here’s how:

Now check December’s ToDo list to see if you’re up to date:

December To Do List for USNA Applicants

More articles worth reading:


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of two military-tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days (starring the USS Bunker Hill), over one hundred resources on integrating tech into education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, adjunct professor at UC and CSU, a columnist for TeachHUB,  and mother of a LT CDR in the Navy and a SGT in the Army. 

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | December 3, 2018

December To Do List for USNA Applicants

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:

First Steps:

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.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | November 6, 2018

November To Do List for USNA Applicants

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:

First Steps:

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.

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | November 1, 2018

What’s happening in November at USNA

usnaHere are important events you’ll want to read about in November:

Now check November’s ToDo list to see if you’re up to date (available: Nov. 6th):

November To Do List for USNA Applicants

More articles worth reading:

39 Reasons to Love the Marine Corps

Happy Thanksgiving!

Qualifications of a Naval Officer


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of two military-tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days (starring the USS Bunker Hill), and over one hundred resources on integrating tech into education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer, adjunct professor in technology-in-education, a columnist for TeachHUB, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | October 8, 2018

What’s happening in October at USNA

usnaHere are important events you’ll want to read about in October:

Now check October’s ToDo list to see if you’re up to date:

October To Do List for USNA Applicants

More articles worth reading:

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | October 1, 2018

October To Do List for USNA Applicants

usnaDepending 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:

First Steps:

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

Read More…

Posted by: Jacqui Murray | September 10, 2018

September To Do List for USNA Applicants

image partial credit: NemoDepending 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:

First Steps:

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 high school student who was accepted. 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.

Read More…

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