Many new folks on here starting the 2021 process. Here is how the story unfolded for my DS who will be a plebe at USNA starting June 30. Best of luck! So it has been a little more than a year since my DS decided to jump on this roller coaster. We are not a military family. He goes to a small rural high school (30 in his senior class) and no one from his school has ever gone to a service academy. We were about as clueless to start with as they come so I thought I would jot down some of the process we went through. Others who have also gone on this ride may wish to chime in things as well. 10th grade- DS and I are discussing colleges and he tells me he might be interested in applying to a S.A. (His older brother was briefly interested earlier but soon decided it was not for him). I told him to investigate it and tell me if he was still wanting to go for this. I also told him to kick his college search into gear in general, initially the academies were only one of the things he was looking at. I did a little preliminary research myself to see what the application process was all about. I also began helping him look at other colleges and scholarships. I helped him with pre-SAT prep because from his 10th grade Pre-SAT scores we knew he had a shot at National Merit. He was already in lots of sports and extra-curricular things... Summer after 10th grade- He says he wants to apply. I ask him some questions as to why? He gives me some well thought out answers. He says he is excited by the potential life as an officer in the military. He says he wants to be surrounded by the very high quality individuals that will be there. He says he is not interested in the “typical college party crap” that is too often such a big part of traditional college. He says he wants to study engineering at a top school and he wants to try and qualify to fly jets or helicopters. Frankly his answer impresses me. It was better than I expected from a 16 year old. We decide to get serious about it. I tell him I will help but I will not do it for him. I will provide assistance but that if he wants this, then he must own it. I kinda thought he wouldn't get it all done. Junior year- Lots happened. Took Pre SAT (got National Merit Commended but missed National Merit by 8 pts).T ook the real SAT 3 times (by taking it 3 times he was able to inch math and reading over 700. His super score was 2080. Completed preliminary applications to USNA, USAFA and USMA (this was a great deal of work and a lot of supplemental items were required). Targeted his workouts toward the candidate fitness test. He really had to work on pull ups because he is large framed (football linebacker). He went from 3 pullups the first time he tried to 9 on the day he took it for real (Oct. of senior year). Won state championship on math team. He also worked on the nomination applications. This was a lot. I was surprised at his determination. He had matured a great deal. He had a ton of leadership, academic and athletic accolades but he had a kid nipping at his heels for Valedictorian so he had to keep his grades high. I don’t remember exactly when but somewhere in here he achieved official candidate status with all 3 S.A.s, They sent him for a medical and an eye exam. We learned what DODMERB stood for. He passed the exams with no problem. In fact he had 20/15 vision. Senior Year- Completed all parts of the candidate files by early Oct. (recommendations, Writing samples, transcripts, CFA…). Completed nomination application packets to Member of Congress, State Senators and V.P. Got invited and attended blue chip candidate dinners by local West Point and Naval Academy Alumni groups (West Point’s was very nice but Navy’s was better, got to meet Roger Staubach and Ross Perot). It was at this time that he realized he had a good shot at this. It seemed they were interested in him. I wonder how many at those dinners got appointment offers? Then came the nomination interviews with the M.O.C. committee. They asked him to rank his choices. At that time he ranked USAFA as his first choice. They asked him if he would accept a second or third choice if that was all he got. He said absolutely. Around Christmas he learned that he had received nominations to all three SAs. This was a surprise but a good surprise. He also applied to 3 “regular” colleges. One of them only took 20 minutes for the entire application which DS found surreal. Then within a 10 day period at the end of January he got offers of appointment from all three academies. Air Force sent an email only, West Point and USNA sent big fat envelopes. The one from West Point was by far the nicest. He was hoping to get into one and he was floored to get into all three. He had a really nice problem. So after visits, investigations prayers and dinners with a few ex-pilots and aviators who graciously answered more of our dumb questions, he selected USNA. He ordered a” Don’t Give Up the Ship” flag and now ends every correspondence with “Go Navy Beat Army”. Now we are clueless again…uncharted waters ahead! But man, this is exciting!