Press Release

September 12, 2011

The five U.S. service academies – the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and U.S. Coast Guard Academy – are recruiting top-notch young American men and women who will appreciate an excellent education and a chance to serve their country.

Every year, it is my privilege to nominate some of the brightest, most dedicated students in Maryland to four of the academies. No nominations are necessary for admission to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.  The Coast Guard Academy offers appointments solely on the basis of an annual nationwide competition. 

Each applicant for a nomination must meet certain eligibility requirements.  To receive a service academy nomination for the class entering in July 2012, you must be a U.S. citizen of good moral character, at least 17 years of age, not have reached your 23rd birthday by July 1, 2012, in good physical condition, unmarried and have no legal obligation to support children or other dependents. For the Merchant Marine Academy the requirements are the same, except you must not have passed your 25th birthday by July 1, 2012.

To apply for a nomination, visit my website:  and click on Students and then on “Academy Nominations.”  If you have additional questions, you can contact Anne Irby, or Sean McKew, of my staff .

In evaluating nominees, the academies consider evidence of character, scholarship, leadership, physical aptitude, medical fitness and motivation.  To be competitive for a nomination, students should be in the top 20 percent of their high school class, have minimum SAT scores of 1200 in combined critical reasoning and math, and participate in extracurricular activities demonstrating leadership. All applications for nomination must be complete and in my Baltimore Office, 100 S. Charles St., Tower I, Suite 1710, Baltimore, MD 21201 by Friday, November 4, 2011 at 5 p.m.

In addition to applying to my office for a nomination, all candidates need to directly apply to the academy they are interested in attending for a nomination in order to be considered by my Academy Review Board for an interview. 

The Academy Review Board will meet on Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3, 2011 to interview and evaluate applicants. Based on the recommendations of this Board, I will submit a slate of nominations to the various academies.  The academies make the final selection from among all the nominees nationwide. Selected nominees will receive an offer of appointment (acceptance) directly from the academy.  Please note that a nomination does not guarantee an offer of appointment.


Attendance at a U.S. service academy carries with it a great responsibility. In return for an excellent free education, anyone attending a service academy must fulfill a service obligation.  The Department of Defense academies, which include the Naval, Air Force and Military academies, require at least five years of service.  The Merchant Marines require at least a six-year commitment in either the maritime industry or on active duty as an officer in the armed services.

A service academy education is an honor that is afforded only the best and the brightest of our nation. If you are interested in a service academy education, I hope you will contact my office.