Transferring Academies


New Member
Dec 30, 2022
Hello All,

Is it possible to transfer from a certain academy to another? I really want to attend the AFA, but I received a nomination to USNA instead. Can I transfer to the USAFA after a year at the USNA? Thanks!
No. There is no transferring. Someone would have to reapply while at their current SA to the other. They would have to repeat their 4|C year again. Can it happen? Yes. Has it happened? Yes. Like 1-2 times in 10-20 years. I believe the last time this occurred it was an athlete and probably had some strong backing from the gaining SA team.
That's impossible. Last year when I was a Doolie, I asked my former West Point admissions officer whether I could transfer to West Point while retaining my class year and rank as a cadet. The answer was no. I'm currently applying for a semester exchange slot at West Point during my 2 deg year.
Now the only exception is when you are a victim of a sexual assault case. But hopefully that never happens to anyone.
I flew with a guy who was able to graduate from the USNA and get a AF Commission back in the 80's. The vision standards were easier and his Dad had serious pull. About 20 students did the switch.
I flew with a guy who was able to graduate from the USNA and get a AF Commission back in the 80's. The vision standards were easier and his Dad had serious pull. About 20 students did the switch.
Here's a couple I know...

My classmates from USAFA '83 (Scott's also my HS classmate).

It can be done (service swap at graduation) takes work.
@AA787DRIVER and @flieger83 are correct in cross-commissioning opportunities. It can surely be done (I had a classmate who commissioned as USAF 2nd Lt and went on to UPT and I know a USAFA grad in Navy flight school). The cross-commissioning process takes a lot of initiative. It is not really advertised, so you have to do the leg work to put a package in. You also have to have a good reason for doing it. "I think USAF flying is cooler than USN/USMC flying" won't cut it. Stuff like an acquired interest (i.e. during your time as a cadet/mid) in a field exclusive to a different branch backed up by evidence (e.g. I talked to 12 different people in this field, got a letter of rec, visited this unit, etc., medical considerations, and family considerations are usually extenuating circumstances.

I will give my personal opinion that one should attend an Academy in good faith. You should be committed to serving in that Academy's branch/branches. It is not wrong to have preferences, but one should not attend an Academy as a stepping stone to a different service. It is a lost opportunity for someone who really wants to be there.
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Completely agree with Usnavy2019's comments.

My classmates "were going to be fighter pilots" they said...right until our 2nd class summer when they both went to a US Navy program at Coronado...something about navy dive training, etc. Okay, that's 41 years ago so my memory is probably faulty but had to be SEAL related as it was run by SEAL instructors, and at the end, they both returned to USAFA with navy dive pins.

And then we ALL heard about SEALS...which until then we all knew were circus animals involved with blow-up beach balls. And they began a two-year process to swap. Again, LOOOONG memory...but I think Brian told me that they had to find USNA grad's that were willing to cross to the USAF...but again, it's been a long time.
And the long pole in the tent here, as I am fond of noting, is the needs of the AF and the needs of the Navy will rule any decision. The manpower goals must be met each year out of various commissioning sources for each Service. It’s not a matter of “let’s have a few of these, a handful more of those, that should do it.” If the needs of the Services are met, it can be done, but it is still rare.

We had a USNS sponsor mid go to USMA on an exchange semester, loved it. They loved the mid. They started working on their package, laying the groundwork, hitting the checkpoints outlined by @Usnavy2019 and others. Several USMA officers added LORs to the package. They wanted this mid. The mid was required to service assign in fall of 1/c year; the Marines wanted this hard charger. February of 1/c year, request to cross-commission was disapproved, just not in the manpower cards that year. They are a fully committed Marine helo pilot now, happy and proud in their path, and can’t imagine being anything else. They took their shot, got a decision, focused 100% on Marine path.