If a Cadet/Middie decides the Academy is not for them after the 2nd year...


15-Year Member
Aug 25, 2008
If they decide to transfer, will they be able to take te credits to another ?University? If they stay a 3rd year and decide that they don't want it or they get bonced, do they have to serve as an enlisted person? What rank would they go into the service with?
Yes, they can leave PRIOR to the start of their 3rd year. How much credit is accepted at the college they transfer to is TOTALLY up to that new college. They decide what they give credit for. As for starting the 3rd year; if they start and leave for whatever reason (Shy of medical or some other reason that would prevent them from enlisting voluntarily); they WILL have to spend time as an enlisted person. The rank, would depend on the service and the amount of college they achieved. I.e. enlisting for 4 years with an associate's degree normally gets you in as an E-3. There's a lot of variables. l
You will want to get the latest official guidance on this from BGO or Admissions, but in general, at the start of the USNA fall academic year as a 2/C, the final commitment papers are signed. After that point, midshipmen who depart either voluntarily or who are separated for specific reasons (usually conduct/honor/performance), are required to pay back X dollars if they depart with 2 years left, Y dollars (at six figures now, I hear) if they depart with 1 year left or during 1/C year. I'm not sure how academic separations are being handled 2/C year and later, in terms of payback.
The Academy figures two years is a generous time period to figure out whether to stay or go. Plenty of briefs on this topic.
The "Fleet option" has varied over the last few years in terms of whether it's offered. I have observed some prior enlisted personnel returning to the Fleet to complete their obligation at their prior rank. I have seen some midshipmen separated for negative reasons offered the opportunity to go to sea duty for some period of time as an enlisted person (very junior) and then re-apply, if the leadership sees some potential for "rehabilitation." If the reason for separation was the kind that would make service as an enlisted person unacceptable, then monetary payback is the only option.
As with any college, academic transcripts will be available. USNA is an accredited institution similar to civilian colleges. The usual courses will transfer. The professional development classes, such as Navigation, don't.
I assume it's service to service. The paygrade for someone leaving CGA is in the Coast Guard Regulations. I don't have them on my now, but I believe, if you leave as a 1/c (or was it 2/c) you will be an E-5. If you leave as 2/c (or was it 3/c), you will be an E-4. And it keeps going down from there.
Per my son - if you are separated from USMA after you begin your third year, you owe the Army 5 years as an E-4 (non-promotable).