Getting Nominations for multiple academies


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Dec 28, 2008
I am a junior and will be applying to USNA, USAFA, USMA, USCGA (I know that USCGA does not need a nomination) and I have listed them in my oder of preference (with USNA as a big #1!)

i seem to understand that my possibilities for a nomination are my MOC, 2 senators, and the vice president

that being said, how do i set out to get a nomination to all three SA's? From what I have seen, in the nomination app, you are asked to rank your preferences? should i put a different one as my first choice for each and then double up on navy, or always put navy first?

Help! This really confuses me and juggling 4 SA apps is really stressful (as I'm sure so many of you know!)

THANKS!!! :)
I got my Congresswomen's principle nomination to both USNA (first choice- definite) and USMMA. All I did was inform them that I was applying to both and after my interview she gave me both nominations with the understanding that USNA was my first choice and USMMA my second. I live in California so it's pretty much a really competitive state but you can still definitely be double nominated. Hope that helps.
While it is possible to get a nom to multiple SAs in some areas it rarely occurs. Each MOC determines their own procedures. If you are in a competitive district/state you may not be able to get more than one nom. Some MOCs require that you list your selection in order of choice, others let you select all while some will only let you list one. Research your MOC & see if they require that you make a choice now. Many Reps will allow you to re-rank your order if your preference changes after researching the SAs.

I suggest you research each SA & confirm that USNA is your 1st choice - apply to each summer seminar & attend each, if possible. While many kids do apply to multiple SAs, by fall of their Sr. year they typically realize that one SA is not going to be a good fit for them & may even decide not to finish that application. If it can be narrowed down to 2, then stack the deck towards your #1 choice & toss #2 in for good measure, where possible. For instance, many senators coordinate & won’t consider the same person for the same SA so splitting the Senators between a 1st & 2nd choice is often a good strategy - it just depends on the way your Senators do it. If your rep allows you to rank order, you place a 1st choice & 2nd and then let the cards fall where they may.

Now is the time to thoroughly research the different services. I suspect your MOC apps are not yet due - in the nom process getting the app done early does not gain you anything so take some time. Begin to get the info together that is required but the most important thing you can do to assist your case at this point (aside from the obvious grades/test scores/ECs) is to do some very real soul searching & figure out where you feel you best fit - & where you would not fit - narrow it down to 2 (excluding CG because they don’t need a nom). If USMMA is on your list, depending on where you are from, you can leave them on the list too because all the MOCs I deal with are willing to give a USMMA nom as a 2nd nom because there are so few applicants from our area.

I have been involved in MOC processes & I tell all candidates that they must do real research & identify the mission of each service & what they would be doing post graduation. I assure you kids frequently change their minds on what SA they want to attend. Our MOC district requires 2 essays, one is of the mission of each SA & how they each work independently of each other as well as how/when they work together. Through that essay we find students more fully understand the SAs for which they are applying & every year we get a few that change the order of their preference as a result of that essay.

Further, I can tell you that I have been told by many applicants that they come to a point where they realize that there is one (or two) SA’s where they do not fit and that they would not accept an appointment, regardless of if they got their first choice. That being said, it would behoove you to figure out if there is one SA that you would not attend and don’t bother trying to get a nom there. You will likely say now that you would accept any appointment offered but after some review I think you will find a last choice which, with real truthful consideration you may realize you ‘hope not to get an appointment to’.

I know of a few candidates who have changed preferences & ended up with noms and even in one instance, an appointment to a SA for which they don’t want to attend. Even this year I know of an individual currently sitting with a nom to a SA that he will not accept if appointed. He did not get the nom to the SA that was 1st choice because he did not tell the MOC staff his choice had changed so the MOC gave the nom he had initially asked for. The slate is full & now the MOC cannot juggle it for him. I know this situation well because it is in our area in a neighboring MOC district. He was a top candidate & will almost certainly get an appointment to a SA for which he once thought was his 1st choice & now does not wish to attend at all. He does not have a nom to his 1st choice SA nor is he going to get one from a rep or either Senator. Don’t know how that is going to work out - it is a very difficult situation because without a nom it’s tough to get in (he qualifies for a sup & VP so he may still get in, he is well qualified but without a nom he can’t even get to the national wait list).

So - bottom line - figure out where you fit best & go for it. If Navy is your first choice, research the others as well in order to confirm it & then go for it with all you’ve got.
thanks so much for your advice!

yes, I will be applying to all 4 summer seminars (have already been accepted to USMA's, waiting on USAFA's, and waiting on the open date for USNA and USCG) and I am hoping to narrow down my list a bit through those.

on that note, through my research, I actually have already changed my first choice. I used to always consider air force to be my first and have recently decided that navy appears to be the better fit, and has more of the programs I am interested in. (air force is still close behind) coast guard MAY (note the *MAY* even be before westpoint) I really want to go into engineering and aviation, and coast guard seems to have a better program than army.

that being said, I am reluctant to turn down my USMA SLS invitation, even if I do get into USNA's and USAFA's.

also, I do live in So. California (pasadena area) so i would assume its fairly competitive? last year at my school, one girl went to USAFA (she was also given a nomination for West Point) and one guy went to West Point. note this is out of a graduating class of 100

thank you again!
I know for Dole and Burr in NC, they didn't repeat anybody for multiple noms. That is why it is very important on how you number the list. There were kids on DS's list that had a nom for the AFA from Dole, but not the USNA, and from Burr it was the exact opposite. These kids all landed up with 3 noms, but only 1 for ea. service.

I agree with 2011. Too many kids look at the SA, and get wrapped up in traditions of ea., forgetting that, that part is only the 1st part of your career. Annapolis is beautiful situated on the water, and although I am an AF family, I must admit the mids look much sharper in their uniforms than any other branch, however, that is not a reason to choose the have to have a desire to be on a boat for 5 yrs after your graduation.

You state you want to fly...and everybody on this site knows this is my pet peeve. Your 1st job will always be an officer in that branch, not a flyer, a boat driver or a tank driver.

REALITY CHECK You might not ever fly.
You might be med dq, (as a jr, you haven;t even taken your DODmerb...look around these threads there are kids who never knew their eyes were an issue, and fail the eye test)... or land up having ear troubles...or break a bone that causes you not to be ejector seat qual.
You might not grad from the SA (@25% do not), but you might still owe time back.
You might not get a pilot slot due to the pipeline closing down (this is predicted in the AF)
You might fly an unmanned instead of that super neat 35...will you be happy with that?
You might not grad. from UPT and be washed out, and now you owe time and you become the A & F officer, nowhere near a plane.

So many things can need to really remove the thought of I am going to fly and that is why I want that branch. You need to ask yourself do I want to be on a boat for 6 mos out of 18 as the Intel Officer? Do I want to be with the Army as a Public Affairs officer? Will I be happy in the Air Force as the SP commander?

When you can see yourself in the absolute opposite position you would ever want, than look to see the uniform you are wearing and choose accordingly. You will not fly your entire career, you might have to step out after your 1st Op tour and take a job with a sister service. Whether it does or doesn;t the minute you earn those wings you can owe 8 yrs or more (Bullet and I saw many yrs ago, the AF went from 8 to 10 in 1 yr, and the very nexxt yr they went back to 8...those with 10 had to stay with 10) It is a long time to be in the service you really don't like as much as the other.

i've also heard (which means i may completely be wrong) but the vast majority of air force officers DO NOT spend their time flying, as their more jobs around the plane than actually in the plane
could be wrong though!

also for flying, of all service academy's, West Point actually sends the greatest percent of kids who try out to flight school
Well then you also go into the fact that you need to know whether you want a fixed wing or not...Not alot of helos for the AF, more so for USNA and CG and definetely more for USMA. (Last time I checked when the Army needs to get somewhere fast they ask the AF for a ride...Bragg is attached to Pope, Richardson is attached to Elmendorf, Dix is attached to McGuire. There's another one in the south...just can't remember the names and then there is Dover) I do not know if WP sends more statistically to pilot training than the AFA, but from what I do know if you want to fly and grad from the AFA, it is pretty much a guarantee. Again, the AFA will be sending their grads to UPT for fixed wing, unless they request helos, and I think the WP will be sending theirs to whatever is their equivalent for helos. Personally as a wife of a fixed wing flyer ... I like the survival chances more for them. In 93 when Pope had their crash, many helo pilots didn't understand why the pilot ejected. The reason they could not understand is b/c for helos they stay with it until the end since their survival rate is much lower (rotors make it difficult to eject)

As far as fliers and desk indeed step out of the cockpit IF you want to make field grade, esp. 0-5. Bullet and I know several guys who just retired as 0-4's, (passed over 0-5) because they flew their entire career. Just like the SA's want a rounded cadet, the services expect their AD members to get out to attend PME and do jt assignments.
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Don't worry I am not "set on flying". I'm not even sure if that's exactly what I want to do. I would prefer to someway be involved with avaiation in general, actually possibly as an engineer more than as a pilot. I never said I wanted to be a pilot. I would be open to looking into it, though.

Having said that, I completely understand how hard it is to become a pilot and the extra commitment that is involved. One of my uncles graduated from USNA and was a navy fighter pilot, my other uncle works on planes for the air force, my grandpa was a gunner on a plane in WWII, and another relative of mine flys helicopters. so my point is that I want to go into AVIATION, not neccessarily piloting. (and yes, the need of the Navy/Air Force/Army come first!)

I really appreciate your advice, but don't worry I'm not ignorant on how complicated and difficult it is in the piloting field.
Say thank you to your family for serving our country...and remember if you go to the AFA that you'll get winged gold. Being biased to the AF, I hope you realize that 1 of their nicknames is the little engineering college in the rockies. You would have the chance for great engineering classes there and I am pretty sure they revolve around aviation...:shake:
thanks! I am really really torn between USAFA and USNA, that's why I want to visit them!

likewise to your husband! (and you have a child who is a mid, correct?) THANK YOU! :)
thanks! I am really really torn between USAFA and USNA, that's why I want to visit them!

likewise to your husband! (and you have a child who is a mid, correct?) THANK YOU! :)

It's better to look at the branch than the school as you will spend 4 years in the school but 5 times more in the branch. :wink:
good point! how do i find out more about each branch? just through the internet? (hahaha and LOTS of conflicting family input....that's what happens when one side is air force/army and the other side it navy)
Look on the net, see the jobs that they have for officers and see which ones appeal to you.

You might like all of the branches. If you do, start looking at their mission. Do you want to be at sea 6 out of 18 mos? You are not married now, but in 10 yrs from now, will it bother you to miss the birth of your 1st child?
Do you want to be on the ground, and typically the front line action? Are you willing to pack up in a moments notice and leave for an undeteremined amount of time for the front line?
Do you want to be involved in the AF, but not fly? If so, are you okay with all of the glory going to the flyers...i.e. flight pay and bonuses as you work just as hard as they me after yr 10 when you see your classmates drive up with the new sports car b/c they just got handed a 50K bonus and you have credit card debt it can be a little wearing on you.

Those are the negatives that you should be aware of.

Finally, I know it sounds stupid, but look at where the bases and posts are. This can also be tied to your happiness. Korea might be fun for someone else, but not you, the same with Lubbock Texas or Ft. Hood. In the AF your plane decides where you go.... if you are in the Strike, you now have 3 bases to rotate to...SJAFB, RAF Lakenheath and Mt. Home Idaho. Trust me Mt. Home is the hub of Elmore county with about 10K people, SJAFB has about 35K and Lakenheath is known as Little America (don't envision thatch roof cottages). In the Army, if you are a jumper, that will decide where you are assigned to Ft Bragg, Drum, Benning. Ft. Drum gets more snow than Alaska. I personally liked Bragg, but many people don't because it is known as Little Viet Nam.

Again I am the glass half full person when it comes to advice, because I truly believe if you expect the worse, but hope for the best, you will never be unhappy, since everything will always beat your expectations.

FWIW I loved every base we were ever stationed at, there was something unique about all of them...and that includes Mt. Home, however I have met many miserable people because they were stationed somewhere and never gave it a chance. If you hate where you live and complain about it all the time, you will never be happy in your job. This goes for your spouse too...if she hates it all you will be concerned about is trying to get out of there, instead of trying to do the best.
thank you i'll definately be looking into all of this and doing a lot of thinking. thanks so much for your input, i want to make the most informed and best decision possible for my future.

(btw i am a girl so i'd hope i'd be there for the birth of my first child hahaha but i get the point *grin*)
It really, really makes no sense to base your decision on where bases are located. Where you are based depends not only on what service you choose (USAF, USA, USMC, etc.) but what branch of that service you choose.

For example if you are a submariner, you will spend time in one of the Navy ports that hosts subs (there aren't many). Shore duty is more difficult to predict, but there are generally a finite number of likely places you'll end up. Likewise, if you're in the USA artillery, you'll have a different set of places to be stationed than if you are infantry or air defense.

And, even then, there are exceptions. My father spent 24 yrs in the USAF, moved 23 times, yet spent 11 straight years in Omaha. A close friend has spent her entire career in the DC area. Also consider that you TYPICALLY have some say in where you go. Needs of the military always predominate, but it is rare that someone has zero choice regarding where he/she will be stationed. Also, bases close, so a garden spot or a not-so-garden spot that exists today may not be there by the time you serve. Two places I was stationed are no longer military bases.

Focus on what branches each service offers and whether you like them. You may or may not get your first choice in service selection, so ensure that there is a Plan B. Where you may be assigned over the course of 5-20+ years should not be a major factor at this time.
Two words...."Kings Bay" garden spot of GA!
Maximus! In 1991 King's Bay was so new...that we bought a house in Fernandina Beach, FL and hubby commuted to KB :) It was a wonderful time in FL. As far as duty stations (married to a submariner) we lived in Orlando FL, Saratoga NY (schools); then Norfolk VA (fast attack), Naples Italy (shore tour AWESOME), Groton CT, KB GA (Fdna Bch FL...), and back to: NORFOLK for the rest of the time. So: up and down the east coast with a stint overseas. Hubby had choices and went where he wanted (pretty much) Did finally get assigned to that Fast attack sub out of Pearl Harbor (his dream job)...but it happened to be during pre-commissioning and we spent the whole tour with him at Newport News Shipyard...the ship then went on sea trials but didn't go to Hawaii until after he had finished his tour :) The navy life really was wonderful nonetheless and we would not trade it for anything!
If you still can't decide, go to your nearest recruiter hub. I have one around me that has every branch. They may try to recruit you (since you will probably be very successful in whatever you do) but they will give pretty good advice.
If you still can't decide, go to your nearest recruiter hub. I have one around me that has every branch. They may try to recruit you (since you will probably be very successful in whatever you do) but they will give pretty good advice.

Agreed, THEY WILL TRY AND RECRUIT YOU, because you are an outstanding high school student looking to go into the military. They want you to enlist with them, and they will continue to ask you about enlisting until you sign those papers and send them off to the academy.

I'm personally not a big fan of recruiters (if you couldn't tell already :smile: ). Every single recruiter I went to (even for AFROTC and NROTC stuff) discouraged me from going to the academy or ROTC. They do so very subtly of course by telling you how academy grads/ROTC officers are not respected as much as officers who "worked their way up" in force, or how officers who "work their way up" from an E-1 to an officer are much more successful. It's kinda upsetting for military people to say that... So I would not recommend going to a recruiter to get advice unless you are looking at enlisting after high school. I'm not bashing enlisting or recruiters for that matter, but you will get more accurate information and honest answers from this and the CC forum.

Sorry, a bit off topic :topic: Please forgive me :redface:
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yes, they will work to recruit you, i know that very well, but some have good advice on how to better prepare yourself

also, I've been wondering, what is the CC forum that some people talk about? Probably a stupid question