Service Academy Information

Thank you for your interest in obtaining a nomination to a U.S. Service Academy.  One of my greatest responsibilities as a United States Senator is to nominate qualified young women and men for our nation’s military academies.  The application for the class of 2023 can be found at https://oampublic.senate.govconstituent/login/2430cb13-4f88-4265-9730-c47862e63187. The deadline for submission is Nov 1, 2018 at 5 PM. In an effort to ensure a more sustainable future, the application process is all done online, no paper applications or documents will be accepted.  Below you will find general information, requirements, and guidelines regarding the nomination process.

Thank you in advance for your interest.


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:

1. Submit a complete application packet by 5 PM on November 1, 2018. Each applicant may only seek a nomination to one service academy through my office. 

A complete application packet consists of the online questionnaire and all checklist items (see list below).  In an effort to reduce waste, all supporting documents from outside sources must be submitted electronically using the links in the online application. If any items are missing from the application package after the deadline, the applicant will be withdrawn from nomination consideration.

Required Check List Items:

  • Basic Fact Sheet, Questionnaire, Acknowledgement Statement and Essay Questions (through online application link).
  • Official SAT and/or ACT scores (sent directly from College Board and/or ACT).  Reporting test codes are: SAT #5468, ACT #7140
  • Official Transcript(s): High School (required), and College or Prep School if applicable.   Transcripts must come from your high school and/or college via the online application link or mailed by the institution, they may not be emailed, scanned or faxed.  
  • Current Course Schedule
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (LOR):

*LOR1 must be from your high school counselor or principal.  If you are currently attending college or prep school you may use your current academic advisor. If you are a home school student you may use another source that can speak to your academic work ethic and achievements.

*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. teacher, pastor, coach, employer).

*LORs must be submitted electronically using the links in the online application.  

2. Be available for an interview on November 29th and 30th, 2018. 

*Applicants for the USAFA, USMA and USMMA will interview in Senator Cardin’s Bowie office (address below) and applicants for the USNA will interview in Senator Cardin’s Baltimore office (address below). 

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin’s Bowie Office:
10201 Martin Luther King Jr. Hwy
Suite 210
Bowie, MD  20720

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin’s Baltimore Office:
Tower 1, Suite 1710
100 S. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD  21201

3. Meet all service academy age, citizenship, marital status and health requirements and initiate a pre-candidate file at each Academy to which they are seeking a nomination.  

Please Note:

It is the responsibility of each individual candidate to be sure their application packet is complete by November 1, 2018, including all documents that are being supplied by outside sources (e.g. Standardized Test Scores, Letters of Recommendation).  You can check the status of your documents anytime by logging into your application account.  Any packet that is not complete by the deadline will be withdrawn from consideration.  Material that is postmarked on or after November 1, 2018 WILL NOT be accepted. 

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, PLEASE CONTACT AMY_DAIGER@CARDIN.SENATE.GOV.