Military Academy Nominations
Congressman Sessions' nomination process for U.S. Service Academy selection begins in the spring semester of your junior year. You should send a letter to his District Office expressing your desire to attend one of the five military academies. Please include the following information:
- Name of school attending
- Contact information (phone-home & cell; email; address)
- Anticipated graduation date
- Parents' names
Application packages will be sent out in the spring and they will be due back in the District Office in the middle of October. Please check for the specific date each year. Applications this year are due in the office no later than 5:00 p.m. October 14, 2016. Applications received after that date and time will not be accepted for the class entering in June 2017.
Congressman Sessions utilizes an Academy Selection Board chaired by Chad Hennings. The board will review all applications to determine which candidates will be interviewed. Interviews are held in November and the Congressman will make his nominations no later than December 31st each year.
Specific questions should be forwarded to Rachel Wong in the District Office at 972.392.0505.
Each year, Congressman Sessions joins his North Texas colleagues in hosting a Service Academy forum for middle and high school students, and their parents, interested in learning more about the US Service Academies. This year the hosts include: Senator John Cornyn, Senator Ted Cruz, Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12), Congressman Sam Johnson (TX-3), Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-5), Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26), Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33), Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25), Congressman John Ratcliffe (TX-4), and Congressman Joe Barton (TX-6).
Saturday, April 2, 2016
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Registration Begins at 7:30 a.m.
Sam Houston High School
2000 Sam Houston Drive
Arlington, Texas 76014
There are five Service Academies:
- the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), located in Colorado Springs, CO
- the United States Naval Academy (USNA), located in Annapolis, MD
- the United States Military Academy (USMA), located in West Point, NY
- the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), located in Kings Point, NY
- the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), located in New London, CT
GETTING NOMINATED TO A UNITED STATES SERVICE ACADEMY: HOW IT WORKS
Nominations are required for all but the USCGA, to which appointments are made on the basis of an annual nationwide competition. For the USAFA, USNA, and USMA, there are various nomination authorities. Each eligible student may apply for nomination to both United States Senators from the applicant's state, to his or her United States Representative, and to the Vice President of the United States. For the USMMA, the locality boundary for nomination by a Representative is the State in which the District lies rather than just the District itself.
Each Representative and each Senator is allowed to have five students charged to him/her at USAFA, USAMA or USNA at any one time. For each vacancy the Congressman or Senator can submit 10 names. In the spring of your junior year of high school, you should begin the application process with the academy of choice and, if applicable, submit your request for a congressional service academy nomination to Congressman Sessions' Dallas office and to the offices of Texas’ U.S. Senators. It is advisable to apply to all three sources, as well as to the Vice President of the United States, in order to maximize your chances of receiving a nomination. Also, plan to take both the SAT and the ACT during your junior year. Each of these tests has a slightly different emphasis, so it is advisable to take both tests to see which one measures your educational background more favorably. Then, if you feel you may improve on your previous scores by retaking the test, it may be possible to do so prior to the deadline for application.
GENERAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR SERVICE ACADEMIES
1. As of July 1 of the year of entry to a service academy, you must be at least 17 years old, but not have passed your 23rd birthday.
2. You must be a citizen of the United States, unmarried, not pregnant, and have no legal obligation for support of a child or other dependents.
Members of Congress want to nominate outstanding individuals who will have the best chance to qualify for appointment. The nominations are very competitive and are based upon a combination of academic achievement, leadership performance, and athletic participation.
All applications are due in the district office in mid-October of any year and interested candidates should contact the office well in advance of that date to ensure they have sufficient time to complete the application package. To meet the fierce competition for appointment and the demands placed on cadets at the academies, a thorough preparation is necessary. Applicants’ dedication, desire to serve others, ability to accept discipline, sense of duty and morality, and enjoyment of challenges will be given careful consideration. The decision to seek a nomination must be your own. The influence of parents, friends, or others, no matter how well-intentioned, seldom provides motivation to meet the rigorous challenges you will encounter at the academies. A college preparatory high school education provides the best background for the academic challenges at the academies. Four years of English, four years of math, a strong background in algebra, trigonometry, functional analysis and analytic geometry, will better prepare you for the ACT and the SAT, as well as the academic expectations of the academies. To meet the physical fitness requirements, you should participate in both individual and team sports throughout high school.
Where possible, these should be organized, competitive sports. In addition, individual fitness programs to strengthen the upper body, improve your running speed, and build your endurance should be your objective. If you do not already know how to swim, you should learn. While not required for admission, you must be able to swim at least 500 feet in five minutes to pass the swimming test during the first summer. Quality of involvement in athletic and non-athletic activities, rather than quantity, is the key. Leadership in a few select activities, rather than being a "joiner" of many, is a real plus. Congressman Sessions and his staff hope this information is helpful to you in preparing for your entry into the nomination process. If you have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact Congressman Sessions' Dallas office at 972.392.0505.
Letter to Soon to be Midshipmen and Cadets
From: James Winston, USNA Class of 2006
It wasn’t long ago that I sat where you are today. June 18th, 2002, was my Induction Day in Annapolis, Maryland. I remember the day well. I remember the first sweaty night in Bancroft Hall, back before air conditioning was installed. I remember calling my parents from my cell phone to let them know that I had made it safely, and that it was surreal to be at the Naval Academy after dreaming about it for so many years. I remember watching the Blue Angels fly overhead shortly after I took the Oath of Office with approximately 1,200 classmates in Tecumseh Court. We were the first class to join the Academy after 9/11: after a few radical Islamists, knowingly and deliberately, attacked free Americans on American soil, killing about 3,000 innocent civilians.
I am writing this letter to you today because I want to emphasize the importance of the Oath of Office, and what it means to those who take it. You will proclaim that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. You will bear that support on a daily basis. You will take your oath freely, without any mental reservations or purposes of evasion. And finally, you will faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter. So help you God.
This is not to be taken lightly, and once you raise your right hand and swear or affirm these things, this is not an option: this is a COMMITMENT. Commitment is hard. Some of your classmates will want to give up and quit. Don’t be one of them. Don’t take an oath and then have a change of heart, or say that your point of view changed on a political issue, or that the current circumstances are uncomfortable. Have enough intestinal fortitude and backbone to follow through on your commitments. Otherwise, don’t go. Don’t start something you’re not willing to finish!
Some people will start with you on I-Day only interested in graduating and serving, others will be committed to it. Here’s how to tell the difference. When people are interested in something they only do it when time and circumstances permit. When people are committed to something, they accept no excuses, only results. The weather will be unbearable. You’ll be far away from family and friends. The days will be long; nights may be longer. People will yell at you when you make mistakes. You won’t be the best at everything. You will face adversity. It’s what you will do in the presence of adversity that will make all the difference. Those that are committed will stand and fight and endure the hardships that come with earning the respect of a military officer.
Keep this in mind: you’re not taking an oath to get a Bachelor’s degree, learn how to fly, become a SEAL, drive a ship, serve in the infantry, or any of the thousands of things that you may get to do while you serve our country. You are taking an Oath to defend the fundamental principles of the Constitution and if you are lucky, you will lead other Americans in the process.
Additionally, there’s something that you should know and will memorize when you get to your respective Academy. There are six articles of the Code of Conduct given to service members as guiding principles if they become captured while serving their country. I’ll save all six for your summer training, but I want to give you a taste of the first and last:
Article I) I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
Article VI) I will never forget that I an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.
The Constitutional ideas of liberty and freedom do not come at a cheap price. You will grow up faster than your high school friends. Upon graduation you will be sent into harm’s way. Evil people around the world will want to capture or kill you because of your freedoms and the Constitution that you swore to defend. You will have friends die in the line of duty: either in combat, or in training for combat. The person that sacrifices their life for our nation may be you. If this scares you, you’re normal, but you must overcome this fear with courage. Courage, however, will not eliminate this fear, but it will allow you to make confident decisions in the face of it.
Feelings of anxiousness and excitement are to be expected. You have been selected to attend some of the finest, most selective academic institutions this country has to offer. You have also been guaranteed the opportunity to become an officer in the finest military in the history of the world. Don’t forget that. Don’t forget about the people that have fought and died for our nation so that you might live in peace and have the opportunities you are about to embark upon. As you leave home, I wish you Godspeed. As an Academy grad and former Marine, I expect one thing: Have the courage to keep your commitments and defend our Constitution.
The people that will serve under your command deserve your best. Give it to them.
USNA, Class of 2006