Application Period is Open for U.S. Service Academies

From a Rep. Nick Rahall Release

At my request, representatives of the U.S. Service Academies will be in Huntington and Beckley on Saturday, October 5, to help students and parents in understanding the application and admissions process for service academy candidates.  The locations for these Academy Days are Huntington High School, Huntington, from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., and at Woodrow Wilson High School, Beckley, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Each year, college-age West Virginians have the opportunity to apply to one of the five U.S. Service Academies in our Nation: the Military Academy at West Point, New York; the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland; the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado; the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York; and the Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut.


These institutions provide American students with a tuition-free, four-year undergraduate education and prepare them to be officers of five of the seven U.S. uniformed services.  Upon graduation, service academy graduates are commissioned as officers in the active or reserve components of the military or the merchant marine for a minimum of five years. 


It is a great honor for our young people to attend and represent our State at one of the U.S. Service Academies, and to be asked to participate in the very difficult but rewarding process of developing their academic and leadership skills so that they can become future leaders in the U.S. armed forces.


As a Member of Congress, I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of West Virginians to attend the service academies.


Such students must be a U.S. citizen between the ages of 17 and 23 (as of July 1), and a resident of the Third Congressional District in West Virginia.  In addition, I look for qualities such as academic achievement, leadership in athletics, extra-curricular activities, and community service, and outstanding character. 


If nominated, applicants will be placed among a select group of candidates, although each academy will make the final decision.  As well, candidates must be able to meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy listed on its website.


The deadline for requesting a nomination is November 1 but candidates should begin their application process to the academies much earlier in the latter part of their junior year of high school.  Deadlines and requirements vary by academy but each is a lengthy process that involves taking medical exams and meeting fitness requirements, as well as collecting and submitting the appropriate academic test scores and biographical material.


You can be nominated to multiple academies and it is also possible to win multiple appointments. 


Students and parents with questions should feel free to call my Congressional office in Washington at 202-225-3452 to request more information, or you can visit my website at

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