In addition to standard personal data and essays, Service Academy Applicants must also complete a medical screening, fitness assessment and congressional nomination (except US Coast Guard Applicants). The Congressional Nomination process includes application, essays, interview and a very competitive selection process.
Cadets and Midshipmen forego the normal summer of high school graduates and traditional college students. Instead, Appointees (incoming freshmen) attend a grueling military indoctrination where they shed civilian clothing and individuality and adhere to military standards. This Basic Military Training must be completed before Appointees are allowed to join the Corps of Cadets (USMA and USCGA), Brigade of Midshipmen (USNA), Regiment of Midshipmen (USMMA), Cadet Wing (USAFA) and begin their academic year. Upper-class cadets and midshipmen spend the majority of their summer involved in some type of military training.
During the academic year cadets and midshipmen attend all the standard college classes found at technical and liberal arts universities. The service academies curriculum includes military training and mandatory athletic competition. Cadets and Midshipmen matriculate their college years adhering to an Honor Code or Honor Concept. Service academies develop future military leaders with outstanding moral character by emphasizing integrity as the bedrock principle of all thoughts and actions. United States Service Academies have mottoes involving words like: Duty, Honor, Country, Knowledge, Deeds not Words, Integrity, Service and Excellence.
Upon graduation, all will serve our nation. Most will wear the uniforms of our armed services. Some will find themselves in harm’s way fighting on foreign soil, flying combat missions in hostile airspace and projecting sea-power in international waters. Some have chosen to protect and save lives. Still others will focus on non-hostile missions involving commerce, transportation and shipping safety. And yes, if history is any indication, in a few short years some will give all in the line of duty. Although their military careers are in their infancy it is obvious that these young patriots are destined to be Great Americans and deserving of our support.