Posted by: Jacqui Murray | 07/15/2011

July To Do List for USNA Applicants


Get into USNA

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.

A general and useful overview of the USNA application and the academy in general

Seniors–through Summer Seminar? DodMETS

Get DodMETS done. Immediately. If you completed Summer Seminar and they gave you your candidate number, that means they’ll be inviting you to take the medical exam.If you’re healthy, don’t wait. Who knows what happens later.

Click here for background on DodMETS

Seniors–get the CFA done

Get it out of the way. 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. Summer is a good time to do that because you can concentrate on the physical aspects without worrying about your all-important high school grades.

For information on the Candidate Fitness Assessment, click here and then here.

Seniors–if you have a Candidate Number

Set up a binder to keep all of your application material together. I recommend a two-inch binder so  everything you do is in one spot. Make a tab for every activity, i.e., CFA, Congressional Interview, online Preliminary Application, etc..

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.

Take Summer School

This summer and every summer, take classes that

  • will get you ahead of the curve
  • will give you extra time to study the more difficult academic courses (AP Physics, Calculus, etc)
  • will improve the bad grade you got in a class
  • will enhance your resume (Spanish III)

At military academies, there are no summers off. You get a brief leave, but the rest of the time is spent learning your craft in situ–on a ship, a sub, a YP.

Juniors–get the preliminary application completed

That’s on A preliminary application must be submitted to become an official candidate for next year’s entering class.  If you applied for the Summer Seminar program, do not submit a preliminary application.

January is the deadline to complete preliminary application if you want to be included in next year’s application process.

Juniors, request a Congressional Nomination Package

These are due in Fall, with interviews in November/December. Get one from your Congressperson and both Senators. Fill them out. Double check to see that everything is accurate. Mail the packages to the Senators. Often, they do all of their selections via mail–no personal interviews. For the Congressperson, hand carry it to them. When you drop it off, try to meet the aide responsible for this activity. Say hi, chat for a moment. S/he may remember you from the Academy Night, and will definitely remember you when you come in for the interview in November/December.

To prepare for the Congressional Interview, read:

Prepare for CFA

Juniors: You can take this as soon as you have a candidate number. For information on the Candidate Fitness Assessment, click here and then here. This will be given during Summer Seminar. 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 in August to have that out of the way.

Take SAT and ACT

If you’re 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.

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. First and foremost, you want to be sure that a Naval Academy choice is right for you. Seeing how officers work on a Naval ship is a good idea.

Visit Colleges You Might Like to Attend

Applications aren’t due until September (early apps) or November/December for the rest. Be prepared. This time, before the earliest decision, is the time to determine which colleges serve you best. A word of advice: Have back-up schools to USNA. Even if you’re accepted, you want to know it’s the best choice for you, so investigate the competition. Make an informed decision.

Focus on your unique skill

With summer comes less academic work. A good time to get back in touch with whatever it is that sets you apart from others. Military academies like that side of you. They want to know you can do everything, not just academics and sports.

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?

–taken from Building a Midshipman: How to Crack the United States Naval Academy Application

Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman.  She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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  1. Wow this is great and a lot to go through but worth it! i was wondering is the preliminary application done before starting the congressional nomination? Im a junior in high school…


    • Yes–absolutely. Your Congressperson will want to know you’re a valid candidate.

      Get yourself to a Summer Seminar next summer. There, they’ll help you fill out the initial app if you pass the physical (you will–right?)


      • Thank you for replying, and yes i should be able to pass the pysical and how would i be able to join or qualify for a summer seminar? thank you for your help


      • Here’s the USNA link. It appears dates are still being finalized. Your B&G officer can make sure you’re out front of this, or keep an eye on the website. As soon as applications are open, apply!


      • How would i get a hold of my B&G? because i ahd already spoke to my guidance counsler about this but he didnt know who to reach for this type of information and only the regular navy came to visit our school.


      • There’s probably a local Service Academy night, offered by your school district or your Congressperson. This is a summary of how to apply for and be a competitive candidate to any of the Service Academies. Attend that night–as soon as possible. You’ll find B&G officers there and they’ll get you started. There’s lots to get started on. They’ll review your credentials, see where you need work, and point you to the NASS (Naval Academy Summer Seminar).


      • OK thank you for the information on your blog i was losing hope in the biggest dream ive had in my life after hearing how hard it is but i decided to do even more research and stumbled upon your blog and it has really boosted my confidence and made me realise that it is possible with hard work and dedication i will try to frind out when a service academy night is held. I currently live in wisconsin


      • One of the most important traits they look for at all of the Military Academies is perseverance. Never give up.


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