US Service Academy Nomination Packet

Dear Applicant:

The following information is meant to assist you in applying for Congressman Jim Himes’s nomination for one of the U.S. Service Academies. The academy application process is very exciting; however, it is also a rigorous one and will strengthen your desire to serve your country. Please be aware that the timely submission, completeness, accuracy and appearance of your application are important aspects of the selection process. The nominating process begins with you filling-out and submitting the accompanying application packet. Please review the information and guidelines below, and retain a copy of all documents that you submit to Congressman Himes’ office.


Nominees must adhere to the following eligibility requirements:
  • Nominees MUST BE United States Citizens.
  • Applicants MUST BE PERMANENT residents of Connecticut AND the Fourth Congressional District.
    ** Please note that the town of Shelton is divided between two congressional districts. By law Congressman Himes can only provide nominations to those who reside in his district. If you live in Shelton please confirm with your Registrar of Voters that you reside in the Fourth Congressional District.
    ***Please note that Congressman Himes does not nominate applicants to the Merchant Marine academy if they reside outside the Fourth Congressional District.
  • Candidates must be at least 17 years old, but not have passed their 23rd birthday by July 1 of the year of admission.
  • Candidates for admission to the Merchant Marine Academy must be at least 17 years old, but not have passed their 25th birthday by July 1 of the year of admission.
  • Candidates must be unmarried.
  • Candidates must have no legal obligations to support any dependents.
  • There will be physical aptitude and medical testing requirements to qualify.
  • Academically, the majority of students accepted to the academies are in the top 20% of their class, with higher than average test scores in Math and English.


Admission to the Academies is a two-tiered process. You must first receive a nomination from your Congressman or Senator, and then your application will be reviewed by the Academy for final appointment/admission to the respective Academy. To be eligible for a Congressional nomination and an appointment to a U.S. Service Academy, you MUST follow two procedures at the same time:

1) Consideration for a Congressional Nomination (Congressional Office)

When your completed nomination application (included in this packet) is received, a file will be opened and maintained in your name in Congressman Himes’ Bridgeport office. You may add information, letters of recommendation, transcript, SAT scores, etc. at any time BEFORE October 30, 2020. Keep in touch with the Congressman’s office at (866) 453-0028.

2) Consideration for an Academy Appointment (Academy Admissions Office)

When each academy receives your completed pre-candidate questionnaire (which YOU MUST request from each academy), a file will be opened and maintained in your name in the admissions office. You may add information to your file at an academy, as instructed by each academy. Be aware of deadlines and keep in touch with academies!


To get a copy of an application for nomination, please visit Congressman Himes’ website at or contact his Bridgeport district office at (203) 333-6600. This application process is for nominations, and is separate from the application you must complete for the academies. Congressman Himes accepts nominations to the following service academies. The service academies may be contacted earlier in the calendar year to request candidate information sent directly to your home. *The U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London does not require a congressional nomination.

U.S. Air Force Academy
Air Force Academy Admissions Office
HQ USAFA/RRS, 2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 200
USAF Academy, CO 80840-5025

U.S. Military Academy at West Point
West Point Director of Admissions
600 Thayer Road
West Point, NY 10996-9902

United States Naval Academy
Naval Academy Candidate Guidance Office
117 Decatur Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5018

United States Merchant Marine Academy
Merchant Marine Academy Admissions Office
Kings Point, NY 11024-9997

Congressman Himes uses a “competitive” form of nomination. Using this method, the Member of Congress submits to the academy an unranked list of nominees for each vacancy. The academy then reviews the list and selects the most qualified candidates.

Due to the competitiveness of this selection process, it is strongly recommended that each candidate apply to both U.S. Senators and their U.S. Representative. Applicants may wish to consider applying to the Vice President for nomination. Please refer to the academy catalog or an admissions representative for further information.

An applicant who has a parent who is an active or retired military person, a disabled or deceased veteran, a POW/MIA, or a Medal of Honor winner, may wish to contact the academy to learn of additional means of receiving a service connected or Presidential nomination.


An application file is considered complete in Congressman Himes’s office when it contains the following items:

1) Completed application form. Applications must be entered below. For your convenience the application is posted on

2) Personal Statement and Essay. Please attach a brief statement illustrating your reasons for wanting to attend the academy of your choice. Please keep it no more than one page in length and include your name at the top of the page.

3) Official Academic Transcript. Please provide a copy of your official academic transcript(s) (high school and/or college). All transcripts must be originals bearing your school’s official seal. Transcripts must come from the high school guidance counselor. (College students are required to submit both high school and college transcripts).

4) SAT and/or ACT scores. Please submit all available scores. Applicants may choose to notify the SAT/ACT testing centers to requests that scores be sent directly to Congressman Himes’s office. The SAT code is #6173. The ACT code is #7312. Due to costs of requesting original copies guidance counselors may submit these scores with the candidate’s official transcript in a sealed envelope.

Please note candidates who receive appointments to the academies usually are in at least the top 20% of their class, with higher than average test scores in Math and English. We recommend that you check the websites of each academy for up to date detailed information on average test scores.

5) Letters of Recommendation. Please obtain recommendations from three people, including two from academic sources. The other recommendation may come from an academic source or a non-academic source such as coaches, employers, clergy, neighbors or other non-family members who can accurately comment on the applicant’s character, abilities and potential. Please have your recommenders use the online LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION FOR SERVICE ACADEMY NOMINATION at - to submit their recommendations and letters.  You may wish to provide this link to your recommenders in a separate e-mail so they can easily click the link to access the recommenders site. 

All letters of recommendation must be submitted via the website listed above.  All three letters must be submitted by October 30, 2020.  On your application form below, please provide the recommenders names, title, relation to you, and years known of those whom you expect to write your recommendations.


1) All required documents MUST be submitted to Congressman Himes’s office NO LATER THAN OCTOBER 30, 2020, in order to be considered for his nomination. Please send all documents to:

Office of Congressman Jim Himes
Attn: Stephen Blinder
211 State Street, 2nd Floor
Bridgeport, CT 06604

This deadline will not be extended. If all materials are not submitted by the deadline, your file will be closed as incomplete and you will not be considered for nomination. Additionally, all applicants should open and account and at least begin the process of applying to the academies of their choice.

2) Please be sure to submit all documents to our office as ONE COMPLETE PACKAGE IF POSSIBLE.

3) You will be asked to appear for a personal interview (see Selection Process).

4) If, after applying for the nomination, you decide you are no longer interested in an appointment, please notify Congressman Himes’ office.


Following the receipt of your completed application on or before the stated deadline, Congressman Himes’ office will notify you of a personal interview with his Academy Nomination Advisory Panel. Nominations will be based on the recommendations of this Advisory Panel, which is comprised of former academy graduates, community leaders, and former and current members of the U.S. Armed Services who will interview and evaluate candidates. Interviews are TBD. Applicants will only be required to attend one evening. Phone interviews are available for applicants out of the area.

After nominations have been submitted to the academies, the Admissions Office of each academy will offer the actual appointments to successful nominees. The announcement of appointments can begin as early as January and will continue for several months until the ranks of the next entering classes are full.

A congressional nomination does not guarantee admission to one of the service academies. The academies’ respective admissions boards ultimately decide who is admitted. The four service academies that require congressional nomination include the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (USMA), the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA); the U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require nomination.

Because the nomination process is extremely competitive, be sure to apply to all nominating sources available to you. Also, you should indicate your alternative academy choices in case you don’t receive a nomination to your first academy choice. Give yourself the benefit of every opportunity. Please read this application packet thoroughly and follow instructions carefully. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call my main district office at (203) 333-6600.





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