DeRIDDER, La. (Fort Polk Progress) - As high school students consider plans for their future, many may consider applying for an appointment at a military service academy-which include the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
"We have seen many local high school graduates achieve success in military service academies across the nation," said Michael Reese, Fort Polk Progress chairman. "I would encourage all students -- military-connected and civilian -- to consider this amazing opportunity to pursue a higher education and serve their country through military service."
And while the application deadline is in the fall, there are many steps to take and things to consider to prepare for the completion of the nomination process. Louisiana Fourth District Congressman Mike Johnson's Office detailed the application process for prospective candidates as follows:
In order for a student to attend a military service academy, they must commit to serve in the military for at least five years after graduating.
There are usually ten nominations for each open vacancy, and each service academy has their own admission guidelines. An appointment offer from each service academy is made based on their own standards and the desire shown by candidates to devote a career and lifetime of military service.
Members of Congress may nominate candidates for appointments to four of the five service academies. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination for appointment. Candidates may seek a nomination by a U.S. Representative that represents the district in which the applicant resides, both U.S. senators from the state, or the Vice-President of the U.S.
Prospective candidates in the area can reach out to Johnson for a nomination. The selection for nomination is competitive, and qualified candidates will be interviewed by a non-political selection committee. This service board makes the nomination recommendation.
"Freedom is a blessing enjoyed by everyone in this country, but few truly understand how fragile it can be. I applaud all of the young men and women who make the courageous decision to defend our freedoms by joining the U.S. Armed Forces through a service academy nomination," Johnson said in a statement. "These decisions are not taken lightly, and I am grateful for each student's willingness to serve. We wish them all the best in this process."
To be eligible for Johnson's nomination, candidates must be at least 17 years old, but not past their 23rd birthday; be a U.S. citizen; be unmarried, not pregnant, or have a legal obligation to support a child; must reside in the Fourth Congressional District; and meet medical, physical and academic requirements of the academy.
Students should begin applying to the academy online as early as the spring before their senior year, as an application must be open at the respective academy before they are nominated by Johnson. Students considering an academy should also consider attending a summer seminar at the academy of their choice the summer before their senior year.
In addition to the eight-page application, nomination files must include: a current headshot photo, high school transcripts, official ACT and/or SAT testing results, a one-page resume, a 500-or-less-word essay stating the candidate's motivation for attending an academy, and three to five letters of recommendation. Application packets are due on or before Monday, October 28, 2019.
Once applications are submitted, candidates will be notified at least a week in advance of their interview appointments with the selection committee, which will be scheduled in November or December of this year. All nominations will be sent to respective academy in early January.
Academies will begin notifying candidates of the admission status in February 2020 and are complete by May 2020.
Johnson's Office urged potential nominees to request a nomination through all sources available to them - presidential, vice presidential senatorial or through a U.S. representative. If the candidate has a father or mother who has served or currently serves in the military or who was killed in action, they may be eligible for a presidential nomination. For more information, please contact the service academy.
However, candidates cannot submit an application to another U.S. representative who is not their congressman. For nomination information from Congressman Johnson's Office, please contact Jerrie LeDoux at 337-458-6078 or via email at email@example.com.
U.S. senators or the Vice-President, can be contacted as follows:
Senator Bill Cassidy
5555 Hilton Avenue, Suite 100
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Shawn Hanscom at 225-929-7711 or 225-229-8720, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator John Kennedy
101 La Rue France, Suite 503
Lafayette, LA 70508
Attn: Dana Brignac
Vice President Mike Pence
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Copyright 2019 Fort Polk Progress. All rights reserved.