Accepting Appointment


USAFA ‘25 | USNA & USMA Appointee
Jul 11, 2020
Let’s assume someone had an offer of appointment to USAFA that was conditional upon a receipt of a medical waiver. Let’s also assume that they have been granted waivers and appointments to both USNA and USMA, although USAFA is miles ahead as their first choice. Lastly, remember that said person’s acceptance of their offer of appointment to USAFA would “legally bind” them to show up on I-Day, assuming a waiver is received. Please consider the following scenarios:

1. They accept USAFA’s offer of appointment, but do not receive a waiver. By the time they receive notice of the waiver’s denial, all deadlines for responding to other colleges’ and academies’ offers have passed. For the sake of specificity, consider the situation with other service academies. Also realize that USMA is preferred over USNA. Should the student have accepted both offers to USMA and USAFA? Who should they have reached out to prior to the deadlines or who can they talk to now?

2. They do not respond to USAFA’s offer of appointment by the May 1st deadline, and lose their seat. However, they do accept USMA’s offer. Several days after May 1st, they receive a waiver from USAFA, their dream school, and wish they had accepted their offer instead. Should they have accepted USAFA instead and risked not attending any service academies?

Ideally, there would be some promise from DoDMERB of a final waiver status prior to May 1st, or some deal to be made with the academies, but I am unsure if the individual would be granted this luxury from either party. However, I do hope I am wrong. Thank you for any insight into this relatively complex scenario.


Feb 28, 2021
I believe that DODMERB must be cleared by April 15 in order to be appointed. If it isn’t, then you have time to accept one of the others before the May 1 deadline.
Jul 27, 2019
Accepting an appointment to a service academy is not legally binding. This may be different when it comes to medical waivers, and if that's the case, let me know and we can work out other scenarios.

Each school knows that some candidates will have the decision between multiple academies, and as such, will do their very best to clear waivers before the acceptance deadline. This shouldn't be an issue in the near future.

The service academies "compete" with each other somewhat when it comes to appointing future officers. All three understand that some appointees will decline their offers, and instead attend a different academy. Each academy also understands that some appointees will accept and later retract their acceptance to take an offer from another school.

Waiver process should finish up soon, at which point you can make your decision. Worst case scenario, you accept both and tell your #2 choice in late May that you won't be coming. It sucks, but kids backing out of appointments happens.