Service Academy related books - Michael Dobson


My son read this summer, and I am reading now the helpful book How to Get Into a Service Academy by Michael Singer Dobson. Helpful with application process. However, the book mentions they have an updated .pdf every year available on the web with any updates to the processes at the academies. The website printed in the book is broken (the correct one I found by trial and error is **LINK REMOVED BY MODERATOR**) The book was only published in 2014. However, the link to the updated .pdf for August 2018 is broken. Does anyone know how to access this update or a more recent one than 2014?
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5-Year Member
Please refer to West Point Administration web site for the most current and up to date information. There is no real secret, inside lane or special hand shake. On SAF we go by past trends and predict. Much has changed in the last few years. And always have a Plan B and C

Push Hard, Press Forward


10-Year Member
Books can be helpful in terms of a broad/general understanding of the process -- for example, how the SA application process and nomination process work and are related, rough guidelines in terms of timeframes, generally the attributes SAs are seeking, etc.

However, I also urge caution. Each SA is somewhat different in terms of what is requested, how those elements are evaluated/weighted, when and how notifications are made, and even to some extent, what each SA is looking for in an applicant, so there's no "one size fits all." More importantly, the above can change over time -- which is why SA liaison officers must attend training at least every 5 years (for USNA and assume is similar for other SAs). Deadlines also can change, though that's less frequent on the SA side.

The situation with MOCs obviously changes each time there is a change in the person holding the office. And the same MOC has been known to change deadlines from year to year, change whether he/she conducts interviews when and with whom, and what needs to be submitted.

Each SA has a website dedicated to admissions. It is designed for those with no/very limited knowledge of the process. Always start with that, as it's the official source. Each SA has trained liaison officers who are there to answer questions from candidates. And, finally, each SA has Admissions officers, who are the ultimate source of information.

So, read the books for background and then, with that in hand, go to the websites for the SA(s) of choice.


CGA Admissions Partner
5-Year Member
Quite out of date, but there is an interesting book on The book was printed in 1878 but the first African-American to graduate from West Point. A search of "West Point" will turn it up, along with some others.


I loved the book Absolutely American by DAvid Lipsky. It is probably fairly dated now (about the class of 2001), but I thought it well done.
Fencersmother, I absolutely loved that book as well. Checked it out as e-book from library after you post and really enjoyed it. Quick read but yes it was kind of dated but still helpful for general sense of what USMA is like.


10-Year Member
Founding Member
I believe there is a somewhat altered milieu at USMA now, and probably at other SA's too, with the long-term war, multiple fronts, who's-the-bad-guy, change of leadership....

I wonder how many profiled in that book might still be active duty, almost 18 years later.