Thank you for your interest in the U.S. Service Academies.  As your 50th Congressional District Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives,  I have the privilege each year of nominating a limited number of people to four of the five service academies.  The honor of attending a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation.  Best wishes to you as you pursue your goal of attending one of the U. S. Service Academies and serving our country.

Seeking a Nomination: Frequently Asked Questions

Who can give a nomination to a Service Academy?

Members of Congress may nominate applicants who meet the eligibility requirements established by law.  A candidate may seek a nomination from the following:

  • A member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents the congressional district in which the candidate resides.
  • Both U.S. Senators from his or her state.
  • The Vice-President of the United States.
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What are the basic eligibility requirements?

For West Point, Air Force and the Naval Academy, you must be at least 17 and not past your 23rd birthday on July 1st of the year that you would enter the academy.

For the Merchant Marine Academy, you must be 17 and not past your 25th birthday on July 1st of the year that you would enter the academy.

For the Coast Guard Academy, you must be 17 and not past your 22nd birthday on July 1st of the year that you would enter the academy.

Marital Status:  Must be unmarried, not pregnant and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents.

Residence:  Must reside within the boundaries of the 50th Congressional District.

Skill/Fitness:  Must meet the medical, physical and academic requirements of the Academy.

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Are the requirements the same for all service academies?

No.  Although many of the qualifications are similar, each academy operates under its own admission guidelines.  Visit the academy of your choice via the websites noted for each academy's particular qualifications.

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The Nomination Process

1. Nominations for West Point, Navy and Air Force:

A letter requesting consideration for a nomination should be sent to Congressman Hunter's office as soon as a decision has been made to pursue a military academy nomination as an education/career choice.  This is usually done midway through the junior year of high school or later.  An academy application/data sheet can be downloaded from this website.  The fully completed application packet must arrive at Congressman's Hunter's El Cajon office no later than the last day of October.

Upon receiving a properly completed nomination application packet  the candidate will be scheduled for an oral interview/evaluation by Congressman Hunter's Academy Nominee Selection Board in early November.

The Board is primarily made up of former military personnel with a unique knowledge of the requirements of the academies.  The Board will closely look at all aspects of those individuals being considered.  Basic competitive nomination considerations are covered later in this document.  Those who qualify will be ranked in order of merit, with the most highly qualified individuals receiving nominations as availability at each academy allows. This slate will number up to ten individuals per each opening available.  There may be more qualified applicants than available openings.  In such case, the first ten will be submitted with the other applicants placed upon a stand-by list.

The selected nominees will  be  announced  by  December 31st.  The slate of ten nominees chosen for each opening, (minus the Academy Nominee  Selection Board's  rankings), will  then be forwarded to the academies indicated, where they will be evaluated by the Academy Selection Board of each institution.  Once more the nominees will be ranked in order of merit, with the most highly qualified being offered an appointment to fill the vacancy at the academy.  Other qualified nominees on the slate may be considered by the academies for  appointments as qualified alternates.  Normally the appointments by the Academies are offered prior to the end of April, although at times they may come later.  Upon receiving an appointment, the academies will provide guidance on those tasks which will be required by their institutions.    

2. Merchant Marine and the U. S. Coast Guard Academy:

For the Merchant Marine Academy, the initial nomination selection process is similar to the other academies, however there is no dedicated position available.  Each nominee must then compete statewide for the vacancies and selection is then made by the Merchant Marine Academy.

For the Coast Guard Academy a congressional nomination is not required since the Coast Guard Academy accepts candidates based on their own selection process.  A candidate interested in applying must contact the Coast Guard Academy directly.

3. Competitive Nomination Considerations:

  • The FIRST consideration is academics. Each individual's grade point average (GPA), class rank , SAT and or ACT scores will be considered.  Every candidate must have a SAT and or ACT score available for the interview;
  • The SECOND consideration is leadership experience and potential command ability. This is based upon the individual's extra-curricular activities as submitted in a statement with the application packet. This would include involvement in sports, school, civic, work and personnel/social activities;
  • The THIRD consideration is established upon the motivation and desire of the candidate to attend a service academy and serve in the armed forces.  To arrive at this consideration, each candidate is asked to complete and submit an essay of 500 words entitled  "Why I wish to attend the (name of academy) Academy and serve in the armed forces." Evaluations will be based on upon writing skill and content;
  • The FOURTH and final consideration is comparative in nature, appraising each applicant's attributes  against all other who are applying.   

4. The Application Packet:

— Printable Academy Application Data Sheet 

The academy application data sheet above should be downloaded and filled out completely and returned to Congressman Hunter's office in El Cajon.  The mailing address is contained on the application.  You should include:

  • A sealed official  copy  of your high school and/or college transcript to include your grade point average (GPA) and class rank;
  • A recent small (approximately 3" x 4") photograph of yourself;
  • A copy of all your SAT and or ACT scores;
  • A statement of your extracurricular activities;
  • A 500 hundred word essay on why you want to attend a service academy and serve in the military.

The application form will ask that you list in order of preference your choice of  academies.  Only those academies desired should be listed.  The completed packet must arrive in Congressman Hunter's office by the last day of October.  Packets submitted after that date may possibly be considered, depending on the circumstances and availability of openings at that time.

5. Additional information:

All candidates in addition to applying to Congressman Hunter's office must also apply directly to the specific academies that they are interested in and fill out a  candidate questionnaire via the respective academy web pages.

All candidates should arrange to have their ACT/SAT scores sent to Congressman Hunter's office.

The SAT number for Congressman Hunter is 4263.

The ACT number for congressman Hunter is 7289.

Additionally, contact should be made with the High School or College Career Counselor to obtain any information which they might have regarding the appointment process.

Should you desire further information, please contact Ms. Angelica Rodriguez in my El Cajon, CA office at 619-448-5201 or by email at 

I wish you the best in your pursuit of your dream.  My staff and I will do all we can to assist you in your request.