Ben Cardin - Senator for Maryland

Academy Nominations

The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), U.S. Military Academy (USMA), U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) require a nomination from an authorized source before consideration for appointment. Authorized sources include your U.S. Senators, U.S. Representative, and the Vice President of the United States. Active military members, children of deceased or disabled veterans and children of career military may qualify for additional sources of nomination and should contact the service academies directly.


The service academies require that applicants:

  • Be at least 17 years old but not have passed your 23rd birthday as of July 1st of the year of acceptance.
  • Be a U.S. citizen on the day of admission.
  • Be unmarried, not pregnant, and have no obligation to support children or other dependents.
  • Be in good health and physical condition (the academies require a physical before acceptance).

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin requires that applicants:

I. SUBMIT A COMPLETED NOMINATION APPLICATION BY THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2014 AT 5PM TO:

U. S. Senator Ben Cardin
100 South Charles Street
Tower 1, Suite 1710
Baltimore, MD 21201

Click here for the application packet

The completed nomination application is required to be submitted in one complete packet and physically at this address before November 6th at 5pm.  Applications must be originals; faxed applications will not be accepted.   

A complete packet must include:

  1. BASIC FACT SHEET, QUESTIONNAIRE, AND ESSAY
  2. OFFICIAL SAT SCORES

    SAT scores must come directly from the College Board and be recieved by the deadline, November 6, 2014. The reporting code for our office is #5468.

  3. OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT(S): HIGH SCHOOL, PREP SCHOOL, COLLEGE

    Official transcripts should be in sealed envelopes that are signed across the flap by a school official.

  4. CURRENT COURSE SCHEDULE

    High school students must include a list of senior year courses, if they are not listed on the official transcript.

    College and Prep School students must provide a list of courses for the fall 2014 semester from the registrar or another official source.

  5. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION (LOR): THREE REQUIRED

    You must have one LOR from your high school counselor or principal.

    If you are home-schooled, you must have a LOR from an individual who serves in the capacity of your counselor or principal and is not a family member.

    The other two LORs should be from individuals who know you well and can speak to your character and the qualities that will make you a good service academy candidate, e.g. coach, teacher, pastor.

    Letters of recommendation must have original signatures (no copies) and should be in sealed envelopes that are signed across the flap by the person making the recommendation.

    Recommendation letters from family members are highly discouraged.

II. BE AVAILABLE FOR AN INTERVIEW: Each applicant is required to participate in a personal interview.  Interviews will be conducted on Thursday, December 4, 2014 and Friday, December 5, 2014.  USAFA, USMA and USMMA applicants will be interviewed in the Bowie office and USNA applicants will be interviewed in the Baltimore office.

III. Begin an application at the Service Academy for which you are seeking a nomination by November 6, 2014.

Please Note:

  • Applications must be submitted in one complete packet. If your application is complete, you will receive a confirmation letter in the mail. If your application is incomplete, or if there are any issues, you will receive an email.
  • Please do not staple or bind the application.
  • We require SAT scores; ACT scores will be accepted as a supplement to the application, but not in lieu of SAT scores. Our ACT code is 7140.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, PLEASE CONTACT SEAN MCKEW IN MY BALTIMORE OFFICE, SEAN_MCKEW@CARDIN.SENATE.GOV OR 410-962-4436.

Academy Websites

Only the service academies can make an offer of appointment (acceptance). A nomination does not ensure admission to a service academy but is required to be considered for admission to the USNA, USMA, USAFA, and USMMA. All applicants seeking a nomination must have also applied to the service academy for which they are seeking a nomination from our office.


U.S. Service Academy Preparatory School Applicants
Applicants who have been offered an academic experience at a U.S. Service Academy Preparatory School will not be considered for a nomination by our office.

Applicants who have successfully completed an academic year at a U.S. Service Academy Preparatory School will not be considered for a nomination by our office and should seek a nomination through the academy.


The U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) offers appointments based on a national competition. There are no nominations to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Interested candidates should contact the academy directly.

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