The Nomination Process
To be considered for an appointment to a service academy, an applicant must meet the eligibility requirements established by law and be nominated from an authorized person including a Member of the United States Senate or the House of Representatives. I may nominate applicants who are legally domiciled within the boundaries of the Third District of Texas.
Who Is Eligible?
An applicant for a nomination must meet the following eligibility requirements as of July 1 of the year of admission to a service academy. He or she must be at least 17 years old, but not have passed the 23rd birthday, must be a United States citizen, and must be unmarried, not pregnant, and have no legal obligation to support children or other dependents.
Applying To My Office For A Nomination
Ideally, students interested in a congressional nomination should contact my District office in the spring of their junior year or just before starting their senior year in high school. They can obtain details on the nomination process and have a nomination application packet mailed to them by emailing my office through this website. In order to be considered for a nomination, the completed nomination application and the other required documentation must be returned in its entirety to my District office. For the 2013 nomination cycle, this completed information must be submitted to my District office by Monday, November 4, 2013.
Also, please note that it is extremely important that the student begin a separate application process with the academies directly themselves.
In September, I will host my annual Service Academy Forum for student and their families interested in pursuing an academy education. The free informational event is open to students of any age wanting to learn about the process. Parents, educators and counselors are welcome as well. The event will take place on Saturday, September 28 at 9:30 a.m. at the Collin College Springcreek Campus, Conference Center, 2800 E. Springcreek Parkway, Plano, Texas 75074.
There are five Service Academies: The United States Air Force (USAFA), Naval (USNA), Military (USMA), Merchant Marine (USMMA), and Coast Guard (USCGA) Academies. Nominations are required for all but the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, to which appointments are made on the basis of an annual nationwide competition. There are various nomination authorities, with each eligible young person being able to apply to both United States Senators from the applicant's state, his or her United States Representative, and the Vice President (if very highly qualified). The other nomination categories are military-affiliated. With respect to the Congressional category, each Representative and each Senator is allowed to have at each of those academies at any one time five persons charged to his or her quota.
There are three methods of nominating, and I use the competitive method. For each vacancy, ten nominations may be made on a strictly competitive basis. The competitive method provides that the nominees compete among themselves for final appointment determined by the admissions authorities. They take into consideration the following categories:
1) a nominee's academic record,
2) extracurricular and athletic activities,
3) physical aptitude,
4) ACT and/or SAT scores,
5) leadership ability, and
6) medical qualifications.
Such facets of an applicant's record are also considered during the nomination selection process. No person will be offered admission if he or she does not meet the physical standards of the Academy unless awarded a medical waiver. As competition for nomination and appointment is very keen, it is wise for all interested persons to apply through all sources for which they are eligible and for all Academies in which they have a real interest. An individual may be nominated by more than one nominating authority and/or to more than one Academy.
My Application Requirements
- APPLICATION completed and signed by applicant and parent or guardian. The application must be legibly written or typed. If you need an electronic copy please contact the Congressman’s District office.
- PROFESSIONAL RESUME with your email address listed.
- A PERSONAL ESSAY on why you wish to attend a service academy and what type of career you would like to pursue in the military. Please keep this typed statement brief and limited to one page.
- CURRENT WALLET SIZED PHOTOGRAPH with your name written on the back. (Note: this is for identification purposes only)
- A CERTIFIED COPY OF YOUR HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT including GPA through the end of your junior year on a 4.0 scale, and class rank. (Note: please confirm the class rank includes all grades including the spring semester of your junior year. Many schools mail these directly to the Congressman’s office after you make the request.)
- OFFICIAL COPY OF COLLEGE TRANSCRIPT (if applicable) including courses currently in progress and GPA on a 4.0 scale.
- OFFICIAL SAT/ACT SCORES sent directly from the college boards. Note: Test scores must arrive by November 4, 2013. Please carefully review the dates you take these tests to ensure they will arrive from the testing organizations at the District office by the November 4th deadline. Photo copies of your test scores are not acceptable. Scores listed on the back of your certified high school transcript are considered official.
- RECOMMENDATION LETTERS are accepted but not required. These can be submitted with your application or sent directly to Lori McMahon’s attention. We will accept up to three letters of recommendation.
- INTERVIEW WITH AN ACADEMY LIAISON OFFICER (ALO) from the academy of your first preference. The ALO will let us know once these are complete, please do not call the Congressman’s office about this issue. You do not need to submit anything with your application. It is your responsibility to find out from the academy who your assigned ALO is and for you to reach out to them.