How does the Naval Academy locate the potential plebes?


5-Year Member
Dec 14, 2016
I never heard of the Naval Academy before April 2016. Earlier this year I completed an application I received by e-mail from the Navy(not the academy). I check off the sports I participate in, track, karate, etc. and then received information about Summer Seminar and Candidates weekend. In September I received an email stating I was a candidate and given a candidate number. So, how does the Naval Academy find potential plebes?
Through nominations by congressmen, senators, presidential, vice presidential, ROTC, etc. You'll probably need to read the USNA website thoroughly.
I think the OP is asking how USNA searches out perspective applicants. Similar to most colleges, they probably use a number of means of identifying those candidates. When you take the PSAT or SAT/ACT, for example, you will most likely start getting information from a number of potential colleges, even if you have never previously heard of them.
Through nominations by congressmen, senators, presidential, vice presidential, ROTC, etc. You'll probably need to read the USNA website thoroughly.

I read the website thoroughly. The website does not indicate how potential candidates are even on the radar of the USNA. Please note, the USNA contacted me. I have a nomination, that is not an issue. I have spoken to Navy and Army recruiters at the Armory numerous of times, but they never mentioned any academy. West Point is the next county over, yet they never contacted me. Thank you Kinnem and Time2 for your responses, I have a better understanding now. Have a great weekend!
So, how does the Naval Academy find potential plebes?

The Naval Academy doesn't really need to "find" candidates as there are usually more than enough applicants to choose from. With the Naval Academy's obsession with diversity over the past decade, they actively look for "potential plebes" in what has been euphemistically called "under-represented areas of the country". That is Admissions Office code for "minority candidates".

And, of course, there is always the need to "find" outstanding athletes to meet their goal of having a competitive Division I sports program. It's not a coincidence that a disproportionate (compared to the rest of the Brigade) number of the football team attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School. As any successful college sports program will attest to - you don't build a successful sports program based on high ACT scores, high school class standing or whether they ever took a course in Physics or Chemistry. Ergo ... the Naval Academy Preparatory School.
The USNA does advertise, but not in the traditional sense you may think of. They advertise through their sports, the army/navy football game just had huge ratings. They are on social media with lots of posts on facebook, instagram, etc. They send midshipmen home on breaks and they go back to their school to promote the program. They publicize the community service the midshipman perform throughout the community. They promote the academic achievements of their midshipman (over 50 rhodes scholars). They run a summer STEM, summer seminar and numerous summer sports camps. Blue and Gold officers throughout the country represent the academy. There are regional information seminars. And the list goes on and on.

USNA gets 17,043 for a class of 1,077. The word is out there. And USNA does an effective job of advertising.
The USNA does advertise, but not in the traditional sense you may think of.

Yes, like the very controversial (and highly deceptive) "Fulfill Your Destiny" commercial spots that got a previous Superintendent in some very hot water, mostly because of the exorbitant expense in producing those spots. For instance, they dedicated an entire segment about how you can attend the Naval Academy and become a doctor - highlighting an Indian midshipman who had aspirations of performing the first "brain transplant". What they don't tell you is that the Naval Academy has a very limited quota of those allowed into the Medical Corps that often represents less than 1% of the Brigade. In each case, the commercial spots were brazenly targeting minority candidates. You won't be seeing any of those on TV any more. Yet, they are still archived on YouTube for your perusal. Judge for yourself. You can be an astronaut! You can be a Blue Angel! Give me a break. Once you watch all those spots you wouldn't even know that the Navy has submarines. Yet ... you can be a doctor!
Compared to what this cost. (referring to NapTown Funk video)

That video, as well done as it was, was not a Navy-funded project. It cost the taxpayers NOTHING. It did not come out of the Naval Academy's or the Navy's budget. That was a personal project of a particularly talented midshipman, Rylan Touhy. He created, directed, choreographed and filmed the entire thing. And, I'm sure he did it for PENNIES compared to the cost of the "Fulfill Your Destiny" series.

Scroll down and watch FoxNews interview Midshipman Tuohy. He said it was a "zero dollar budget". Besides, at least his video is FUN and not deceptive. There is no intent to deceive minorities to attend the Naval Academy in hopes of being an astronaut or doctor. It's just plain old fun ... which, in the final analysis, is probably a better "recruiting" tool.