I could use some advice...


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Sep 27, 2008
Hello, everyone. I am fourteen years old and have made it my personal goal to get accepted into either West Point or Annapolis. I am currently a freshman at a private preparatory school in Alabama. I am making straight A's and taking as many honors classes as I can. I also participate in football, track, and weight lifting. I have been discussing my chances of being accepted into one of the military academies with my parents, and the topic of military prep schools came up. I looked into military prep schools in the area, and the closest one is Lyman Wade Military Academy in Camp Hill, Alabama. If I were to attend LWMA, would it increase my chances at a military academy, and if so, by how much? Thank you very much in advance for any advice.
First of all, congrats on knowing what you want so early in your HS career. My opinion is that you need to stay at your competitive HS taking the hardest classes you can succeed at. Meanwhile, you need to compete in sports and develop leadership (team captain, scouts, boys state, etc). When you are older, you should apply for SLS (between Jr. and Sr.) year. You are on the right path...stay straight and true to the course. :thumb:
I agree with mom3boys - don't go to a military high school because you want to get into West Point.
Feel free to stay at your public high school.
Go for a solid, challenging high school education. Keep active in athletics and allow your leadership abilities to develop either with your team or by being active in clubs at school.
I don't know of any 'bump' given to kids who attend military high schools.
Why Not?

A good military academy with a strong reputation can help. It certainly isn't a guarantee, but it does help stack the deck in ones favor. Most schools do not offer a JROTC program any more, and that is what military academies are based on. Attending a private military high school will immerse a young man in this lifestyle and help him get a better understanding of what to expect in the future. These schools are not for everybody, but someone who is striving for the service academies should take a good long look at them. There are a few good ones out there.
In my opinion: what I have seen in the southeast is that military schools (for high school) are not primarily a place one chooses to go to live a military life in preparation for a service academy. Instead, they are a place many parents choose as a "last resort" for some pretty ill-behaved young men.
Mom3 brings up a good point. I think that is true in many areas of the country actually- not just the southeast unfortunately.

If your goal is to attend West Point then focus on what West Point is looking for. But you can do that very, very successfully right from where you are without making a life altering decision like switching to a Military Academy "because West Point might like it". Don't do anything in your young life ONLY for that reason- you will find that comment resonate throughout these forums. Most of our sons and daughters, whether they got an appt or not, I will venture to say- did not attend a military academy. I'm sure this did not count against them in the least.

Now- If you want to attend for other reasons. Kudos to you :) Just please do your homework and make sure you and your parents check out the place thoroughly before making any decisions.

Geez I hope that didn't sound too preachy. That would be the mom in me showing:redface:
From what I've heard and read, It seems that most military preparatory schools will not accept children that do not wish to attend. However, I could be wrong. Thanks for the input. :smile:
Soldier532 - This is true but parents have a very powerful influence over what their children wish to do. It is true that some kids are "sent" to military school by their parents. It could be willingly but sent nevertheless.

Again - if you want to go to military school then go. It certainly does NOT have to be a part of your strategy to get into West Point.
Not many cadets come from military school at all. Most were not even in JROTC.

If you like the high school that you are attending, the classes are good, you fit in with your peer group then I see no reason to change. If on the other had you feel like you would like the military school environment and all that goes with it, good and bad then check it out. Don't make your desire to go to West Point part of your decision.

Military prep schools do serve a purpose and many kids do very well and excel. Their purpose is not to prepare their students to attend a service academy.

From the website of LWMA - I suggest you read these testamonials:

If any of these describe you - check it out. If you are thriving in your school, there is no reason to spend the money on military school. You will get enough of it at West Point.
A conversation on "willingness"

Son: I do not want to go to military school.
Parent: Fine. If you don't agree to go, we will ship you off to live with _____(fill in the name of least-desirable relative who lives in least-desirable location).
Son: I am willing to go willingly.

To paraphrase JAM: parents can be quite convincing.

This is especially true when kids are very hard-headed. :bang:
I can definitely see your points. I guess going to a military school would be something that I would like to do because of the environment, even if it would not improve my chances of being accepted into a military college, such as West Point. However, if it would in anyway decrease (I don't see why it would) my chances, I would completely forget about going to a military school. So, I guess what I am trying to say is, my main goal is to get into West Point or Annapolis; but, I am also willing to do whatever it takes, including going to a military school, to get in. I believe a military school would really help prepare me for things that my school cannot. At a military school I would be able to participate in JROTC and get a feel for the strong discipline that will be expected later in life. I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but I will think about and discuss this with my parents. Thanks again for all of your replies, they are greatly appreciated.:smile:
The best way to get into West Point is to have the qualities of the kind of individual they are looking for - namely being a scholar, leader, athlete.
Take the correct courses to prepare you for West Point's rigourous curriculum. Challenge yourself academically with your core courses in English, History, Science and Math. If you can, aim to take calculus in high school and make sure you take Chemistry with a lab and also preferably Physics. Cadets at West Point also take foreign language. While it isn't required it is beneficial to take 3-4 years of a foreign language.
Participate in athletics, team sports are great. Shoot for making Varsity and provide leadership to your team.
Leadership activities - these are many and varied depending on each candidates experiences. If you want some military exposure and JROTC is not available seek out Civil Air Patrol or Sea Scouts.

Soldier532 - I am not trying to discourage you just make sure you are making an informed decision. Military school, West Point included, provided a structure and discipline that is very difficult to live with. My concern is that after 2-3 years at a military high school you will realize that to go to West Point you will have to sign on for 4 more years and lose your enthusiasm. There is a sacrifice - to your social life and life "on the outside" in general.
Talk to your parents, your guidance counselor and the folks at the school. Ask them if how many cadets have applied, received appointments and gone to West Point.

Go to:

read through these pages and get on the mailing list. Apply for the West Point summer seminar in your junior year.
Good luck and keep studying!
hey, what's up, Soldier532. i've finally found someone who is very similar to me in many ways. i also aspire to go to USMA/NA and am also a high school freshman. i had at one point also been considering going to a high school military academy, but decided against it for the following reasons: consider that you will lose all your friends that you have made over the years and will have to make new ones. also, you will live in a very structured environment and you should want to make your high school years the best time of your life and have some fun because you won't be able to get them back. besides, they will teach you all the discipline you'll ever had wanted when you get to USMA/NA. finally, attending an HSMA will not increase your chances of acceptance very much if at all over one from a regular school. they, along with all colleges, are looking for students who will make the school look good and make a contribution back to that school by having gone there (in other words, alumni), and are looking for those who will be good leaders.
Thanks again for everyone's replies. Cadet2012, It's very nice to hear form someone in the same situation. I'll definitely think about the points you have brought up. I hope to see you in New York or Maryland in the future. :thumb: