As the representative of Kentucky’s Second District, each year I have the distinct honor and privilege of nominating a limited number of people to our nation’s service academies. Choosing to attend a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve our great country in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation.
In addition to the unmatched opportunity of achieving the highest goals and standards in the area of service, you will also receive a competitive and high-quality education. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine academies are all excellent institutions for higher education and training.
If you are interested in applying for a Congressional nomination, you must fill out this form.
After you complete the Academy Application, you must turn in the following items:
1. Completed application form
2. Personal and brief letter from you to Congressman Guthrie stating why you want to attend an academy
3. Minimum of 3 evaluation forms required from the following sources:
a. High School Counselor or Principal
b. High School Teacher
c. Supervisor of an extra-curricular activity in or outside school
Note: the evaluation form can be found on the Academy Application. Please use this form rather than submitting a letter of recommendation.
4. Current photograph (A good snap shot is sufficient.)
5. List of extra-curricular activities inside or outside school (please specify any honors, awards, and leadership positions)
6. Official transcript of grades through junior year
7. Official rank in class to include total number in class **Please have your guidance counselor contact my office at 270-842-9896 if your school does not use a class ranking system.**
8. SAT and/or ACT scores
9. Completed academy application process acknowledgement form.
All materials must be turned in by November 16, 2018. Please turn in your completed application to Congressman Guthrie’s District Office, located at
996 Wilkinson Trace, Suite B2
Bowling Green, KY 42103
Important Dates to Remember
Application Deadline – November 16, 2018
Academy Day 2018 – August 23, 2018
*All other important dates to remember will be posted as they become available*
ACADEMY INFORMATION (Please click on the links below to view helpful resources and find out important information to apply for a nomination from Congressman Guthrie.)
Applying for a nomination
Eligibility for a nomination
Congressman Guthrie's Annual Academy Day
The nomination process
General guidelines for applying
Obtaining an Application
Overview of Service Academies & Requirements
Start a file - your Candidate Kit
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions, Congressman Guthrie’s Service Academy Coordinator, Matthew Leffer, can be reached at 270-842-9896 or Matthew.Leffer@mail.house.gov.
Applying for a nomination [Return to Top]
Members of Congress may nominate applicants who meet the eligibility requirements established by law. Representatives in Congress by law can only nominate those individuals who live or have a home of record in their congressional district (except the Merchant Marine Academy.) In addition to a Congressional Nomination, applicants may also apply to their Senators and the Vice President.
To verify that you are eligible to request a nomination from Congressman Guthrie, please confirm that you live in Kentucky’s Second District by clicking here.
To apply for a Congressional Nomination from Congressman Guthrie, please follow the following steps:
1) Apply directly to the academy(ies) for admission
2) Obtain and complete all parts of Congressman Guthrie’s nomination application (Please click HERE to download the application)
If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please contact Congressman Guthrie’s Service Academy Coordinator, Matthew Leffler at 270-842-9896 or Matthew.Leffler@mail.house.gov. Applications may be requested at any time, but are due back to the Bowling Green District Office with all required information in the fall of the student’s senior year of high school, or nominating year if already graduated.
3) Turn in completed application to the Congressman’s Bowling Green District Office by November 16, 2018.
Once you have turned in your application, you will then await a confirmation letter verifying receipt of your application by Congressman Guthrie’s office. Once your confirmation letter has been received, you will await a response in regards to a nomination from Congressman Guthrie.
Eligibility for a nomination [Return to Top]
Eligible applicants must meet the following requirements as of July 1st of the nominating year:
-Age – Must be at least 17 years but not past your 23rd birthday
-Citizenship – Must be a U.S. Citizen.
-Marital Status – Must be unmarried, not pregnant, no legal obligation to the support of children or other dependents.
Congressman Guthrie's Annual Academy Day [Return to Top]
Each year, Congressman Guthrie’s office conducts a Service Academy Information Day for all interested students and their parents who are interested in receiving more information on the various United States Service Academies.
Academy Day is designed to help make the nomination and appointment application processes clearer and easier. Each event will consist of presentations given by representatives from the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the Merchant Marine Academy. There is also a question and answer session, as well as information available for the students on each of the academies listed above.
There is no cost for Academy Day events. Sign-up information is sent to each school and board of education in August for students to attend. If you did not receive sign-up information through your school, contact our District Office at 270-842-9896 to receive that information. There is no age requirement to attend these events, as Congressman Guthrie and his staff encourage anyone interested in attending an academy to begin researching the application process as early as possible in their academic career. All students and their families are encouraged to attend. Should you have any immediate questions or would like to receive sign-up information directly to your home, please contact Congressman Guthrie's Service Academy Coordinator, Matthew Leffler at 270-842-9896 or Matthew.Leffler@mail.house.gov.
Academy Day 2018:
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Elizabethtown High School, 620 Mulberry Street, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Meet and greet: 5 - 6 p.m. EDT
Presentation: 6 p.m. EDT
Service Academy Fair Information Packet
The nomination process [Return to Top]
The application process...
Once you submit your application to the District Office, the Service Academy Coordinator (Matthew Leffler) will contact you to discuss the contents of your application. Matthew will work with you to make sure your entire application is complete with the correct documentation required to be considered for a Congressional nomination from Congressman Guthrie. Please note that your application is incomplete until you have received a letter from Congressman Guthrie's office confirming completion.
Applications must be completed and confirmed through the District Office by November 16, 2018. Congressman Guthrie's selected Academy Board will meet to review the applications and make their recommendations based on the eligibility requirements and qualification standards set forth by law. Congressman Guthrie’s Academy Board consists of community leaders, former military members, and prominent figures from around Kentucky’s Second Congressional District. Based on the recommendations made by the Board, Congressman Guthrie will make a final decision concerning nominations. The nominations are then made by the Service Academy Coordinator to the respective service academies. Once nominations are made, a letter is sent to each applicant informing them of this action. The application then falls under the jurisdiction of the academies for further processing and for the final determination of appointment offers.
It is important to note that a nomination through any authority DOES NOT guarantee acceptance into a service academy. Final acceptance into one of the U.S. Service Academies is made by the individual academy, NOT Congressman Guthrie.
Obtaining an Application [Return to Top]
The 2018 application can be obtained HERE. If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please contact Congressman Guthrie’s Academy Coordinator, Matthew Leffler, at 270-842-9896 or Matthew.Leffler@mail.house.gov. Applications are due back to the Bowling Green District Office with all required information in the fall of the student’s senior year of high school or nominating year if already graduated.
General guidelines for applying [Return to Top]
These guidelines on the admissions process to attend United States service academies are general in nature. You should consult literature published by each service academy for specific information regarding qualifications and programs. Also, applicants MUST submit their own SEPARATE application(s) to each academy for which they are seeking admission. Nomination applications are NOT admission applications.
Click HERE for an overview of the service academies and requirements or HERE for a PDF copy.
Overview of Service Academies & Requirements [Return to Top]
As a student contemplating your options for a college education, you are encouraged to consider the unique benefits the United States service academies have to offer. The military service academies are among the most prestigious and enriching higher education programs in the world. To become a cadet or midshipman, you must meet stringent academic, physical, and medical requirements specified by law. An applicant to any service academy except the Coast Guard Academy must also obtain a nomination from an official in the federal government. An applicant may seek a nomination from his or her representative in Congress, both of his or her senators, or the Vice President. Children of service members who meet certain criteria may also seek a nomination from the President. Members of the regular military, reserve components, and participants in ROTC may also seek nominations from the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, or Air Force. (See Appendix A)
Service academies annually admit between 1,000 and 1,300 young men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds all across the United States. Nurtured by the military environment, this diversity helps young cadets/midshipmen gain a cultural as well as a rich educational experience.
As a candidate, you are evaluated for appointment to a service academy on the basis of academic performance (high school record and SAT or ACT scores), demonstrated leadership potential, physical aptitude, and medical qualification. Academies seek class composition of top scholars, leaders, athletes, women, and minorities to maintain diversified collegiate environments and student bodies. Candidates with outstanding qualifications in one or more areas and those who have extenuating social, financial, or family circumstances limiting athletic, academic, or leadership opportunities may receive special consideration for admission.
Attendance at a service academy includes a fully funded four-year college education. Tuition, room, board, and medical and dental care are provided. As members of the Armed Forces, you will also receive a monthly stipend to cover the cost of uniforms, books, personal computers, and living incidentals. By law, graduates of service academies are appointed on active duty as commissioned officers and serve in their respective services for a minimum of five (5) years.
a. General Requirements
Each candidate must:
· Be at least 17, but not yet 23-years-old (25-years-old for U.S. Merchant Marine Academy)
· Be a U.S. citizen at the time of enrollment
· Not be married
· Not be pregnant or have a legal obligation to support children
b. Academic Qualifications
Each candidate should have:
· An excellent high school or college academic record
· Strong performance on standardized tests (ACT or SAT)
Service academies use the results of your ACT/SAT, high school class rank, cumulative grade point average, and the recommendations of your faculty to determine your academic qualification. Consideration is also given to the types of courses taken and the percentage of students from the candidates’ schools who attend four-year colleges after high school, as reported by the Education Testing Service.
Candidates should have a strong college preparatory academic background.
Recommended areas of preparation are:
· Four years of English
· Four years of math (algebra, plane geometry, trigonometry)
· Two years of a foreign language
· Two years of laboratory science (biology, physics, chemistry)
· One year of U.S. history
It is recommended that students have three total years of social science (including one year of U.S. history) if courses in economics, geography, or government are available. Students are also encouraged to take pre-calculus and calculus if they are offered.
College courses taken prior to enrolling at one of the academies may be substituted for the high school courses listed above.
c. Standardized Testing
The service academies do not establish minimum scores to be considered for admission; however, the higher an applicant scores, the more competitively they will be considered for admission.
The SAT and ACT are administered at test centers throughout the world. A testing fee and advance registration of several weeks are required. For information on SAT or ACT testing in your area, consult your high school counselor or visit their websites at sat.collegeboard.organd actstudent.org. The final date for taking the SAT or ACT to be considered for admission is usually the scheduled date for the January SAT or February ACT of your senior year, or the year you plan to enroll. For more specific deadlines, contact the admissions offices at the individual academies to which you are applying.
Service academies do not accept non-standardized scores for evaluation; candidates must take the standardized, timed version of the SAT or ACT. Either set of scores can be used for evaluation, but we recommend candidates take both tests.
ACT, Inc. and the College Board (which administers the SAT) use electronic score updates which students can access through their websites. By using electronic score reports, you can speed the application process, especially if applying under the Early Action plan in December.
Although not required for admission, Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations are considered in several subject areas, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, history, and other social sciences. Results are evaluated for award of credit for course completion or to place admitted students into higher level sections or classes.
To ensure the admissions offices at the service academies receive your score reports, list their code numbers on your registration forms for the SAT and ACT. (Codes for the academies and Congressman Brett Guthrie’s office are in Appendix B). If your Member of Congress is not Brett Guthrie, contact the office of your Member of Congress and ask for the code you should use when registering for your tests. If you are not sure who your Member of Congress is, call Congressman Brett Guthrie’s Bowling Green Office at 270-842-9896 and a staff member will gladly assist you.
d. Medical Qualifications
· Be in good physical and mental health
· Pass the Department of Defense Medical Examination
Although medical evaluation standards differ among the various commissioning programs of the Armed Services, only one medical examination is needed to meet the application requirements of all service academies and four-year ROTC scholarship programs. If you are a competitive candidate, you will receive instructions for taking the exam from the Department of Defense. For more information, you may contact them at:
Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB)
To find contractors (physicians) in your area that can conduct the medical exams, please visit the following website: www.dodmets.com
e. Physical Qualifications
Each candidate should have:
· Above average strength, endurance, and agility
· Adequate performance on the Candidate Fitness Test (CFT)
To prepare for the rigorous military training, physical education, and intercollegiate programs you will participate in at a service academy, you should improve your physical strength and endurance through vigorous competitive sports, individual sports that require sustained exertion, distance running, and strenuous conditioning exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups.
Your physical qualifications are determined by assessing your performance on Candidate Fitness Test (CFT). The exam consists of five events. Your score is a combination of your best efforts on each of the five events. You will be mailed a CFT test form and instructions for your coach or physical education instructor to conduct the test.
In order to qualify for admission, you must pass the CFT. A good way to prepare is to practice the events prior to having your coach or instructor conduct the examination. Each service academy may have different requirements for passing the CFT. To prepare for the CFT and the physical demands that will be placed upon you in the academy, you are strongly encouraged to participate in a strenuous team sport and vigorous conditioning exercises.
f. Leadership Qualifications
You should strive to develop the personal traits that will allow you to be an effective leader in school and in your community. Participation in secondary school extracurricular activities, both athletic and non-athletic and the attainment of positions of responsibility in those activities, provide valuable leadership experience.
The following high school experiences will develop and demonstrate your leadership potential:
Class, club, or student government positions
Awards in academics societies, such as National Honor Society
Participation and achievement in athletics
Participation and success in public speaking and other non-athletic activities
Participation and achievement in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, or Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC)
Membership in community or religious organizations
The service academies consider it more valuable for you to achieve distinction in a specific activity, rather than participation in a number of activities without any evidence of leadership achievement. If you have to work to provide financial assistance for your family, service academies view that work experience as a demonstration of your leadership potential even thought it will limit participation in school activities. If so, this should be noted in your application.
Start a file - your Candidate Kit [Return to Top]
Admissions offices will start your candidate file upon receipt of a completed Candidate Questionnaire (CQ). Your CQ will be reviewed, and you will be notified of your qualification to compete for admission.
You may complete a Candidate Questionnaire by contacting the academies’ admissions offices or by filling out the online request form. (Addresses, telephone numbers, and websites for service academies are listed in Appendix C).
Applying for a nomination
All service academies except the U.S. Coast Guard Academy require a nomination from a nominating source in order to compete for admission. A nomination is the legal authority to offer admission and the nomination is independent of the service academy’s evaluation. The authority to grant nominations is allocated by law to the Vice President, President, representatives in Congress, senators, and the Department of Defense.
You should apply for a nomination from each source for which you are eligible. At a minimum, you should contact the offices of your U.S. senators and the Congressman or Congresswoman representing your district to apply for a nomination; you should also apply through the office of the Vice President to increase your chances of receiving a nomination. Candidates should contact their local congressional offices for the proper mailing addresses for nomination request letters. Each representative in the federal government may have a different application process for nominations; be sure to visit their websites to obtain the relevant information. Because some Members of Congress will not accept applications for nominations after a specific date, interested candidates should request a nomination as early as possible.
Click HERE for an application.
Candidate Questionnaires are reviewed by the admissions offices. Candidates who pass the initial screening will receive a Candidate Kit and scheduling instructions for their Physical Aptitude Exam. Medical examinations will be scheduled as candidates become competitive for admission. Candidates who do not pass the initial screening will be notified. The application packet contains all the administrative forms that must be completed as you progress through the application process. Promptly return all forms you receive from the admissions offices and the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board.
Follow-up with Nomination Sources
Each year, nearly 13,000 candidates open files for admission to each service academy. Only about 5,000 receive congressional or service-connected nominations. It is important that you aggressively pursue every nomination available to you. If you are uncertain about the status of your nomination, you should follow up with each of the offices to which you have applied.
Receiving an Appointment
An appointment, or formal offer of admission, is possible as early as November for fully qualified, outstanding candidates who have completed all the application requirements and received nominations. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis with the majority of appointments announced by mid-April. Files not completed by the deadline will be closed shortly before the new classes enter in June. Appointments are conditional from the time of offer to the time of enrollment.
Candidates found fully qualified for admission but not selected for the specified vacancy for which they were nominated are placed on a national waiting list. Several hundred nominated candidates are offered appointments from this list annually.
A number of fully qualified students not offered appointments may be selected to attend a service academy preparatory school or nominated by the admissions office for a limited number of scholarships to attend a civilian preparatory school.
Visits to Service Academies
Admissions offices conduct orientation visits for prospective candidates (high school sophomores or older). Cadets/midshipmen volunteer to escort each candidate individually, offering the candidate an opportunity to visit classes, view the barracks, eat lunch in the dining halls, and attend admissions briefings. Competitive applicants should take full advantage of this opportunity to see the academies first hand; this will help students who receive appointments from multiple academies make better, more informed decisions. A group orientation is provided simultaneously for parents. Contact the admissions offices for more information.
Summer Academic Programs
The service academies conduct week-long summer programs for academically gifted high school students completing their junior year. The programs, normally conducted in June, consist of academic workshops, military training, physical fitness training, and intramural athletics.
· U.S. Air Force Academy - Summer Scientific Seminar
· U.S. Military Academy - Invitational Academic Workshop
· U.S. Naval Academy - Summer Seminar
Additional information on summer academic programs is available from the service academy admissions offices, your high school counselor, and service academy liaison officers.
Downloadable forms [Return to Top]
Frequently Asked Questions [Return to Top]
These answers to frequently asked questions for United States Service Academies are general in nature. Each nomination source may have different requirements for applicants to be considered for a nomination. If you are applying for nominations from multiple sources, you should consult literature on their application processes for more specific information. Also, applicants MUST submit their own SEPARATE application(s) to each academy for which they are seeking admission. Nomination applications are NOT admission applications.
You can view a PDF copy of these FAQs by clicking HERE.
How many service academies are there?
There are five service academies.
U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland
U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York
U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut
Are the requirements the same for all of the service academies?
No. Although many of the qualifications are similar, each academy operates under its own admissions guidelines. For each academy’s particular admissions qualifications, visit the academy of your choice via its website that is listed above.
What is a nomination?
Applicants to the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy must seek a nomination from a government official. Applicants to the Army, Navy, and Air Force academies may seek a nomination from the following:
· A member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the applicant’s district
· Either or both U.S. Senators from his or her state
· The Vice President of the United States
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy only accepts congressional nominations. The President of the United States also nominates relatives of armed service members who meet certain criteria. Members of the regular military, reserve components, and participants in ROTC may also seek nominations from the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, or Air Force. Applicants to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy do not need to seek nominations, asthe U.S.C.G.A. accepts candidates based on their own testing criteria.
What are the basic eligibility requirements to apply for a nomination?
Each applicant for a nomination must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Must be at least 17 years old, but not 23 years or older (25 for the Merchant Marine Academy)
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Must be unmarried, not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents
- Must reside within the boundaries of Kentucky’s Second Congressional District (if you are not sure if you are in the Second District, feel free to contact Congressman Guthrie’s office at 270-842-9896)
- Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy
How do I apply for a nomination?
All applications submitted to Congressman Guthrie’s office MUST be postmarked by November 16, 2018. Applications may be obtained by clicking HERE or by calling 270-842-9896. Once the application has been completed, send it with the enclosed requested information to:
Congressman Brett Guthrie
ATTN: Matthew Leffler, Service Academy Coordinator
996 Wilkinson Trace, Suite B2
Bowling Green, KY 42103
When do I apply for a nomination?
Congressman Guthrie’s nomination application period opens in the spring of each school year for those candidates who are high school juniors and will be seniors during the following school year. It remains open to them until November 15. It is also open to those constituents who have already graduated from high school until they are 23-years-old (25-years-old for the Merchant Marine Academy).
What happens after I have completed my nomination file?
Applications that are found to be completed in full will go for review to Congressman Guthrie’s Academy Board in November/December of 2018. If an interview is necessary, it will be conducted in early December. All Board recommendations will be made to the Congressman who will make his nominations in December 2018 or January 2019.
What must be included in my nomination file?
A complete nomination file consists of the following items:
· Completed application form
· Brief letter from applicant stating why you want to attend an academy
· Current photograph (good snapshot is sufficient)
· Official high school transcript (through junior year unless already graduated)
· ACT and/or SAT official score report (scores must come directly from ACT or SAT, or printed as an official form from your online account with them. Copies of official scores will not be accepted.)
· Official rank in class to include total number in class (If your school does not use a class ranking system, please have your guidance counselor contact Matthew Leffler at 270-842-9896.)
· Resume of extracurricular activities
· Minimum of three evaluation forms from the sources listed below (**NEW as of 2018, these evaluation forms will take the place of letters of recommendation. For questions, call 270-842-9896.**). Evaluation forms can be found HERE.
Whom should I ask to fill out my evaluation forms?
It is required to turn in at least three evaluation forms from the following sources:
· High School teachers, counselors or principals
· Supervisor of extra-curricular activity in or outside of school (i.e. coaches, clergy, scout leaders)
Please have each evaluator provide some form of letterhead or identifying information (i.e. business card) with the completed evaluation form. And, if you have questions about who should or should not complete your evaluation form, contact Matthew Leffler at 270-842-9896.
Click HERE to download the evaluation form.
What is the deadline for completing a nomination application?
All application materials are due to Matthew Leffler in my Bowling Green office by November 16, 2018.
Will the information in my nomination file be sent to the service academies?
No. The information in an applicant’s nomination file is used solely for the purpose of deciding whether or not to award the applicant with a nomination. Applicants MUST submit their own SEPARATE application(s) to each academy for which they are seeking admission. Applicants should follow each individual academy’s guidelines to ensure that their admissions offices receive all the information necessary to complete the applicant’s file. This information is available on each of their websites which can be found on the Academies Contact Page. Also, a nomination through any authority does not guarantee acceptance into a service academy. Final acceptance into one of the U.S. Service Academies is made by the individual academy and NOT the nominating source.
What criterion is used in selecting candidates?
Nominations are based on a "whole person" evaluation. Factors such as academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, character, and motivation are taken into consideration and compared with those of other applicants.
Will I automatically be selected by the academy after I receive a nomination?
No. You will be placed among a select group of nominees, and the academy of your choice will make the final decision. If selected, you will receive an offer of admission (an appointment) directly from the academy. A nomination through any authority does not guarantee acceptance into a service academy. Final acceptance into one of the U.S. Service Academies is made by the individual academy and NOT the nominating source.
What if I choose more than one academy? Will I be limited to a single nomination?
No. You can be nominated to multiple academies depending on how well you have competed among the pool of candidates. In fact, it is strongly recommended that you apply to more than one academy to increase your chances of receiving a nomination to one of them. It is also possible to receive multiple appointments.
When will I know if I have been offered an appointment by an academy?
Academies will begin to notify candidates of their admission status in February. All appointments are generally sent out by May. Congressman Guthrie will personally make every effort to contact applicants to inform and congratulate them of their admission to an academy if they are selected.
Should I apply to more than one nominating source?
Yes. Applicants should use every avenue possible to apply for nominations. Applicants should apply to their prospective Member of Congress, senators, and any other source(s) that may be available to them. (i.e. the Vice President, the President, the Secretary of Army, Navy, Air Force, etc.)
What should I do if I still have questions?
If applicants still have questions or concerns after reviewing this packet of information, they should contact Congressman Guthrie’s Service Academy Coordinator, Matthew Leffler, at the Congressman’s Bowling Green Office by calling him at 270-842-9896 or emailing him at Matthew.Leffler@mail.house.gov.