CFA Update


Nov 22, 2016
Yesterday I received an email from my Field Force officer, the West Point equivalent of a Blue and Gold Officer. The email surrounded an update to West Point's CFA administration. Here is the email:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is a somewhat edited communication from Captain Timothy Light, Southeast Regional Commander - West Point Admissions. I wanted to send it to you in hopes it would be helpful as you begin to complete the application requirements to possibly receive an offer of appointment next spring to the United States Military Academy. Please read it carefully.

Please let me know, by email or phone, if I can help you in any way through this process.

We have officially completed the cycle for 2021 and are starting to focus on the Class of 2022. The Second Step Kit (SSK) will open in August, so please remind your candidates to get their teachers and counselors contacts so they can begin the process promptly. They should be submitting their official and SIGNED transcripts, sending in official SAT/ACT scores if they have not done so already, as well as contacting the Congressional Offices. The more information we have early in the process, the better chance they have to compete for an LOA or LOE. If they know they have a medical concern, starting early will also allow them to get the medical going so the waivers are approved in time and we don't have someone miss out on an offer because they waited too long.

A few notes of interest:

One major challenge that will come is the CFA video requirement. According to COL McDonald, every applicant will have to include a video of their pushups and pullups/flexed arm hang. The guidance for the videos can be found on the admissions website.

Regional commanders will have to watch ALL of those videos. Because of this requirement, CFA retests will be granted on a much more stringent basis. What would help is if you all could make sure that the videos that the candidates submit are nearly perfect as they will be graded by the department of Physical Education. ( is a link to a guide for prep for the CFA. This plan is by no means endorsed officially by West Point but I feel watching the videos can help clear up questions of technique the videos show good form for the exercises. You may consider having them look at these videos for an example of what the exercises should look like.

Very Respectfully,
Timothy Light
CPT, AV -- USMA, 08
Southeast Regional Commander
Admissions, West Point
Fax: 845-938-3021

Will this be required for other academy CFA's? If anyone has any information regarding this, it will be greatly appreciated.
I must say I can't imagine anything less interesting -- or doing anything less productive -- than reviewing hours of candidates doing pushup and the flexed arm hang. Seriously.:rolleyes:
^^^^ I agree. Apparently WP started that a couple of years ago along with that statement from the PE person since they found a lot who were struggling during BCT compared to their CFA scores. What WP chooses to do may be different from USNA. For the OP, I would focus on whatever the current requirements are for the SA's you plan to apply to.

Did they consider that the candidates might have taken the CFA up to a full year before reporting to Beast?? I know that USNA tells BGOs to remind candidates not to stop working out in April, May and June of their senior year b/c they know that someone who is in good shape in early April -- and does nothing to stay in shape between then and PS -- may well show up out of shape.

Oh well . . . it's their school and their approach.
Wow....willing to bet that some stashed 2nd Lt is going to spend alot of time in front of the computer screen reviewing videos. I suspect that there is some quality control problem. I don't see USNA going there --