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Old 02-03-2010, 05:51 AM
 
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Are there any graduates of the service academies on this forum?

My son is a sophmore in HS and would like to attend the Naval Academy. I realize that it is very difficult to get accepted there, so what are the things he should be doing right now?

He should meet the academic requirements, plays 3 varsity sports (plus weight lifting). He was the captain of his JV football team and I think he will be a captain of his wrestling team at some point in the future.

He coaches youth football in the fall.

What else should he be doing?
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:59 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
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Their web site is probably the best way to start out, they explain the 10 steps here: USNA Admissions - Steps for Admission

I would not ignore the other academies.


Rich
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Texas
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My dh is a USNA grad. His grades were decent, but mostly his football skills are what got him in. It sounds like your son is doing all the right things. Great job!
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Camberville
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Sounds like he's doing the right things. We had at least one and often 2 students a year from my high school attend an academy and all were in the marching band (which excludes them from most other sports). The few other people who made it into the academies from my county were almost always marching band as well, so football obviously isn't the only way.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Hawaii
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As someone else mentioned don't discount the other services, additonally don't forget the Coast Guard and Merchant Marine academies.

Many people are only aware of the big three, Navy, Army and Air Force.

Take a look at these too:

United States Coast Guard Academy

United States Merchant Marine Academy
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
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He will need a formal nomination from a senator or congressman too.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Hawaii
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I believe the Coast Guard Academy is the only one that does not require a nomination.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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A Congressperson may make a nomination for the Merchant Marine academy, but it is not required, as I understand. Each applicant completes against all other candidates from his state and the academy makes the final decision. The academies look at academics, SAT/ACT scores, demonstrated leadership and command potential, desire to serve, and personality traits.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:21 PM
 
Location: AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgoldie View Post
He will need a formal nomination from a senator or congressman too.

Yep, Start greasing the wheels now... If you want some face time with an elected official you need to make a campaign donation/volunteer now. He will give priority to the people that support him.

My best friend (marine) and both his brothers (navy) are Naval Academy graduates. Their dad (marine) was very active in local politics.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
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If he's really, really good and confident in his abilities, but can't get a nomination from a Congressman in your district-join a service and take a chance. Pick the service he most wants to go to. Don't discount the idea of the Army or Air Force, however-if I had to do it again, I'd have tried for Annapolis. I think the Navy and USMC team is about to take a huge leap in relevance with the littoral concept and the USMA ability to rapidly deploy heavy-ish, tailored combat teams that far outstrips the Army's.

All the Academies run a Prep School and the Army for sure has ~150 nominations set aside for active duty service members. Once in, apply for an active-duty appointment, and/or to Prep School.

Academies look for the "whole person" concept. A 3-letter varsity athlete with only a 2.0 *might* get in, but it's doubtful. A student body president who can't pass a physical fitness test and struggles with algebra *might* get in, but it's doubtful. A 4.0 student who has absolutely no extracurricular activities *might* get in, but it's doubtful. Get just a little more than normal in each area and you have a great shot. My own profile, that succeeded for one of the Academies:

-3.4 GPA
-1200-ish SATs (on the old scale of 1600)
-1 sport, varsity lettered each year, and monster fitness that I routinely worked on, on my own-spent a lot of personal time in the weight room and running the trails-I knocked the preadmission test out of the water, and had a documented non-high school combat sport (Greco-Roman).
-Foreign exchange student
-No elected student government-but several volunteer/appointed positions
-Volunteered-not a huge amount, but on a regular basis. *REGULAR*. Don't do it once for a day and add it to resume, go for a couple of hours a week and build up a track record.

Notice *none* of those are particularly impressive. But there apparantly weren't many people who pulled off a little bit each in the scholar/athlete/leader fields, and that combination of being well-rounded (some would say dilettante, but they didn't get in) easily put me over the top.

The only Academy this doesn't apply to: Coast Guard. They have a very firm points system (at least they used to), and your points have to be in the categories they are looking for. Eagle Scout? x points. Student Body president? x points. Exchange student for a year to a southwest Asian country, full immersion? 0. Volunteer on a regular, documented basis building housing for homeless? 0. Get above the cut line, you're in. No wiggle room for 'damn, that's kind of cool, but not on the list'.

Hope this helps, and good luck to your son.

By the way-I didn't graduate. I resigned for family reasons (and ended up commissioning anyway through ROTC when I'd resolved that situation-hilariously, about the same year group as my USMA class). But I DID get in, I have to say it DOES seem to be worth the effort, and advice from someone who cracked the admission code is what I think you are looking for.
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