Most school districts offer a Service Academy Night introducing students to the pros and cons of the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, West Point, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and the United States Coast Guard Academy. There will be a moderator and Academy representatives, as well as those that will interview you for the Congressional Nomination. Often, they invite students from each Academy to talk about their background, qualifications, and academy life.
During the event, you will have a chance to ask questions, introduce yourself to the school representatives (the Naval Academy calls theirs a Blue and Gold Officer) and meet with your local Congressional Nominating Committee spokesperson. The more often the Blue and Gold (B&G) Officer and the Congressional representative talk to you, the more informed their decision about your chances for success in the military lifestyle. Take every opportunity to attend these events and say a few words with these people.
After the event, each Academy staffs a table allowing time to informally answer questions for attendees. You want to know how the school addresses the participation of women—are requirements different (yes—at least the physical requirements)? What career opportunities are available (the same, except for submarine service)?
During the twenty-nine months spanned by the application process, you attend five of these events, in three separate locations. The USNA and USAFA representatives know you by name, as well as enough background to ask about your progress with AP classes and SATs. It also allows you to become comfortable with these critical people who will later interview you and be responsible for submitting a recommendation on your prospects for success at the Academy.
To find one, contact your school, school District office, Congressional representative–or Google it.
More on finding out about USNA:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, CSG Master Teacher, a USNA columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, and a weekly contributor to Today’s Author. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers next summer.