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 in time and money because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more before achieving 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.
A general and useful overview of the USNA application and the academy in general
You should have received your Permit to Report. All appointees should notify the Admissions Office of their intention to accept or decline by May 1st.
Seniors–Get a Passport
You’ll need one eventually, and sometimes, they take a while to get. Don’t run out of time. Get one now.
Seniors, Check your application status often
Acceptances are out–but not all of them. That’ll take through June. I’ve known seniors who didn’t hear until right before I-Day, so don’t give up. Check online to find out what’s missing from your application and rectify it. Check with your B&G officer, too. He’ll direct you to solutions for any shortfalls.
Juniors–Preliminary USNA Application Available
As of April 1st, the Preliminary Application to USNA (and probably the other military academies) is available on USNA website. It is quick, brief, nothing like the final document. If you’ve made the decision you want to go to USNA, fill it out. At that point, you’ll be in the system and you and the Naval Academy can determine if this is a good fit.
Juniors–In NASS? Arrange Time Off School
If you have an application in or are accepted and want more information, click for NASS, AFASS. Don’t worry if the Summer Seminar ends up in the middle of finals or other big academic events. The Military wants to know you can get everything done in not enough time. Figure out how to make it work. Talk to teachers, guidance counselors, parents. Reschedule finals or big tests. Do whatever it takes to make it work. This is a good opportunity to show you are a leader with a take-charge attitude.
For more information on USNA Summer Seminar, read this post
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.
Juniors–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 July 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 test 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
Academy Nights are when interested high school students can meet current students at all of the military academies, listen to their stories, begin to decide if one of these is the right choice. You also can meet your Congressperson and the academy representative who will shepherd you through the process should you choose to apply. They 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.
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 vessel is a good idea.
Create your list of college choices
Applications aren’t due until September (early apps) or November/ December for the rest. Be prepared. This month, four months before the earliest decision, is the time to determine which colleges serve you best
Say hi to military reps who show up on your campus
Chat with them. Pick their brains. Find out what they can tell you about life in the military. It’s a different world and any way you can assure yourself it’s for you, do it.
Focus on your unique skill
Even as finals approach, stay 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
All grades: Check this post on creating a 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
All grades: 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 can 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.
- Read this post on Why We Serve
- Read this Qualifications of a Naval Officer from Reef Points
- Read about the USNA Honor Concept
- Read what you might not know about USNA
- Read Six reasons why you might be a midshipman…
- Read 9 Secrets for Getting in USNA
- Read Life the USNA Way
Follow USNA or Bust on Twitter
Jacqui Murray wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco blogger, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.