I see that the topics are changing to more admission-type issues from the new plebe dominated issues of the past few months. To all the newbies, welcome. There is a wealth of information on this forum that will be of great assistance to you. There is also a bit of philosophizing, which will at least give you some sense of the regard in which the USNA is held by its graduates. They all want it to be the best it can be. I was a newbie 12 months ago, totally bewildered by the process my son was facing. Persevere - it will become clearer to you as the months go on. If I learned one thing, it is that there is nothing you can do to force it. Once your child is a "candidate" and his paperwork is moving through the system, you have to sit back and sweat it out as it grinds along. If I were to offer one piece of advice, it would be to get on the MOC (Member of Congress) application process ASAP. Our US rep was not particularly helpful, but that is where my son's nomination came from. Whoda thunk? Believe me, I am still a newbie, asking dumb questions. Those that went before us are a great reference, but remember many things change from year-to-year, so what happened X number of years ago is not necessarily how it will happen this year or next.