Transfer to service academy?


10-Year Member
Jan 14, 2007
Hey guys- This past year I applied to The United States Military Academy at West Point and although I haven't been told I didn't get in, I'm not sure I will as of now (basically the USMA doctors reviewing my file are taking wayyyyy to long to review it, and all the slots are being filled, even though my medical should pass!!! ahh!!). So as my backup, I have a 4 year Army ROTC with tuition, room/board etc.. My goal is to attend ROTC next year then and then re-apply to both West Point and the Air Force Academy.

Q: I was wondering if anyone had done that, or what type of support you will get from your ROTC Commanders? I've read something about a Commanders nomination? What is that?? And also, is it looked down upon to apply to AFA even though I'm an Army ROTC cadet (either from the Army or AF perspective)? Any help on this issue would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!!!
Army ROTC is a great backup plan so congratulations on receiving that scholarship!

I know that you can apply for an ROTC nomination. Unfortunately I don't know the process. After you begin your school year you should check with your ROTC office on campus to inquire about the process. You should still apply for nominations through your Members of Congress and the Vice President (and President, if you qualify).

West Point looks favorably on candidates that apply more than once. I would assume the other academies feel the same way.

I'm sorry I can't help with the rest of your questions. Hopefully someone else can address those. Good Luck.
Hey, I was in your shoes two years ago. Kinda a crappy situation, but in the end everything turned out to be awesome...and now I'm only 25 days from Herndon!

I got denied from USNA, and took the NROTC scholarship to Univ. of Washington in Seattle. I loved it there so much, I'm returning in less than two weeks for intersessional leave.

Anyway, once you get official word of your status, notify your liason officer..MALO or ALO or whatever y'all call it. If you don't get in, tell him that you indeed intend to reapply, then fill out the pre-lim application to start the process over. The application process is exactly the same as before, only now you have to send in your HS transcript AND your fall semester/quarter transcript. I wouldn't try for professor's recs unless you get to know yours on a personal basis...which is a helluva lot harder than HS considering there will be upwards of 100-200 people in your classes.

Take the basics like Calc, Chem, maybe a history or english class, and your ROTC class....AND GET As or Bs!! Be sure to consider the worst-case senario of being denied again and staying at your Univ. for the long haul. See what classes might also be in your desired major.

The ROTC nomination you heard about is just like another nomination, except your CO can only give it to one mid/cadet per unit per year. I didn't know it existed until my LT emailed me in october asking If I wanted the Captain's nomination...I replied that I did, and didn't have to do anything else. The CO wrote up a recommendation, and I was added to another nomination pool (in addition to my MOC nom). Just ask your freshman ROTC advisor about it.

My Captain said he was proud of me for going, but sad to see me go. He told me that just about every year they sent one to the Academy, so it is definitely not looked down upon. Though the mids would beg to differ...I caught a lot of good-natured ribbing for leaving for Canoe U.

As for doing Army ROTC and applying to AF, I'm sure that any type of prior experience shows dedication to the service, and would be looked upon favoribly...though the AF is downsizing, they still might be glad to steal someone from Army.

There ya go...any more questions, just ask. Who knows, you may end up not wanting to leave your ROTC unit and stay!
Hey-- thanks for the great advice!!

I had no idea about the Commanders nomination. This year I was nominated by my local Congressmen (Tim Johnson) and Senator Barack Obama. I was told by many people that I was likely to get into West Point this year as long as medical clears. We were unsure if it would, and has taken way longer than it should have to get looked at. Army ROTC will most likely clear me so I can take my scholarship, and my USMA admissions officer told me that if Army ROTC cleared it, USMA should too. If that happens soon enough (within the next week at the very latest), then their is still a prayer for me attending this year. So that's my current status.

That's great to hear from others who have gone through the same situation. It's extremely hard knowing that I've come so close only to have the doctors reviewing my case take too long. But that won't be any reason to stop me. I'll def apply next year, and now that we have all the proper medical info for DODMERB and whoever else, hopefully we can get all that passed early next year. But who knows, maybe I'll fall in love with army ROTC?

One more question. Did you take the ACT again during your fresh year of college in order to apply for the service academy again? My scores were fine, but I was a little weak in math. Would you suggest re-taking it again? Since they take the best sub-scores, could I take it again and try just to improve on math? Or do I need to start clean.

Thanks again!!
I only took the ACT once and that was to see how I would do. I took the SAT three times to get my desired scores. It was the old one, and I got a 1340 total score. I think Math was 680 and Verbal 660. I'm by no means a genius...or like my friend who went to a concert the night before, didn't sleep at all, and got a 1590.

You only mention the ACT. Did you take the SAT? Take both and see how you do, if you haven't. Your best resource would be comparing your score to the class of '10 or '11 on the admissions page. The best place to be is in the upper end of the 'average score' or whatever. For USNA, the majority of applicants were in the 600-699 range, and I fit in there pretty well.

Also, ask your MALO...if there's any doubt in his voice whatsoever, retake it and do your best on every part. Strive to can only help.

To answer your question, my BGO didn't suggest retaking it, and I never took the SAT again during the reapplication process. The three times I did take it were all during senior year.

First off, in the reapplication process, your DoDMERB medical and waivers are good for two years so, assuming you end up medically qualified, you will not have to go through that process again.

Secondly, yes your Army ROTC Commander can nominate you to West Point. No cross service, so you would apply to USAFA exactly as any other college freshman would. The ROTC nomination does not relieve you of the responsibility of obtaining all the other "regular" nominations, just as you did this year.

Try the SATS if you haven't already. Talk to admisssions at each Academy about package weaknesses and the necessity of retaking the exams. Also talk to them about the course work that they would prefer to see from your civilian college. USNA specifically states at least 15 semester hours with calculus, chemistry, and English composition. World history would probably complete a nice package.

If you carefully read WP admissions literature, it is probably admissions that is holding up your medical waiver, not the medical department. Medical will only look at the nominees which admissions directs them to waive.

Good luck.
your DoDMERB medical and waivers are good for two years

The DoDMERB medical is good for 2 years. The physical examination must be valid on I/R-day, or your report date for ROTC. So in certain cases it may just a bit shorter than 2 years.

Each service sets the rules on the waivers. A medical waiver for USNA, USAFA, USMA, and USMMA is only good for one year, so the wiaver authority will review it again. For USCGA, AROTC, AFROTC and NROTC they are good for 2 years.
Keep in mind when transfering to a federal service academy even if you have enough credits to be a senior you will still be a plebe having to do the four years over. So make sure thats something you can accept.
Hey thanks for all the great information. I had no idea about some of this stuff. All great to know.

I'm a senior in high school and have taken the ACT several times. My West Point admissions officer told me that my scores were fine, and that their wasn't any need to worry really. I wouldn't mind getting my math up slightly though, everything else was at or slightly above the averages for USMA c/o 2010. The reason I never took the SAT is because I took the PSAT (like a pre-SAT test), and I didn't score overly well. So that kind of made me choose the ACT over the SAT.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for USMA this year, but if not, then I'll do ROTC next year and hope for c/o 2012!! Thanks!!
Transfer from one SA to another?

Is it possible to transfer from one SA to another (i.e. USMMA to USNA, or USNA to USMA)?
Is it possible to transfer from one SA to another (i.e. USMMA to USNA, or USNA to USMA)?

Not in the true sense of a transfer. You are more than welcome to reapply to any of the service academies, but you get to start all over and get no preference based on the fact you are at an Academy (actually it probably hurts you a bit). I had a plebe classmate of mine from USMMA end up restarting at USNA.