Senator Sinema greeting a serviceman

We have the honor and privilege to recommend some of Arizona’s most talented and skilled individuals for selection to the four service academies that require nominations: the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and the U.S. Military Academy West Point.

We are now accepting applications for the Class of 2025. The deadline to submit applications is October 1, 2020.

Each applicant requesting a nomination must meet the basic eligibility requirements set forth by the service academies:

  •     Must be at least 17 years old, but not have passed their 23rd birthday (25th birthday for the Merchant Marine Academy);
  •     Must be a U.S. Citizen and legal resident of Arizona;
  •     Must be unmarried;
  •     Must not be pregnant and have no legal obligation to provide financial support for children or other dependents; and
  •     Must be qualified to commit to a minimum of five years of active duty service upon graduation from an Academy
  •     Prior to applying for a nomination from our office, please contact your academy or academies of choice to request a pre-candidate questionnaire. Once you have completed the questionnaire and have sent it to the academy or academies to which you are seeking admission, they will inform you of any special physical, medical, or academic requirements particular to their institution.

How to send test scores and letters of recommendation:

All interested applicants must complete an application and submit all required documents online. Documents must be uploaded into the portal by 5PM AZ on October 1, 2020. 

In addition to submitting an online application to our office for nomination, it is also your responsibility to complete and submit the admissions application to your academy or academies of choice prior to their listed deadline in order to ensure that the institution(s) opens an admissions file for you. For general inquiries regarding this step in the process, you may contact the academies:

Army: 1-800-822-ARMY, http://admissions.usma.edu

Navy: 1-410-293-1857, http://www.usna.edu/admissions

Air Force: 1-719-333-2520, http://academyadmissions.com

Merchant Marines: 1-800-732-6267, www.usmma.edu/admissions

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy no longer requires a Congressional nomination for appointment. Applications must therefore be made directly to the Academy.

Securing a nomination from our office does not guarantee an appointment (i.e. offer of admission). It is at the ultimate discretion of each respective Academy to make the final, culminating decision. You are encouraged to apply for as many nominations as you may be eligible. As a matter of courtesy, we ask that you inform our office if you are seeking a nomination with another Congressional or Senatorial office.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How do I submit my application materials? If I submit my completed application, may I resubmit any updated documents?
    • All application documents must be submitted before the October 1st deadline online via the Office Application Manager for Senator Sinema. If you are having challenges submitting transcripts, letters, or any other documents, please reach out to our team at serviceacademies@sinema.senate.gov.
  • Will the SAT be required this year? Will SAT/ACT scores be waived? Due to COVID-19 many testing centers have been canceled: what effect will this have on my nomination?
    • At this moment our office is not requiring students to submit an SAT/ACT score for their application to be considered complete. However, we recommend students schedule their SAT/ACT scores as soon as it is possible. We also encourage students to also reach out to their individual Service Academy for guidance on SAT/ACT score requirements for applications.
  • Is it possible to apply for a nomination even though I am still not a US citizen but will most likely be before the academy starts?
    • You must be a US citizen in order to be considered for a nomination. You are welcome to apply for a nomination once you have obtained US citizenship.
  • If I am a rising senior, should my first-semester classes for this upcoming year be included in my transcript submission?
    • We ask all applicants to submit their most current transcripts.
  • What do board members think is the most important quality a candidate must demonstrate? What makes a candidate stand out?
    • Board members are looking for a candidate that has a balance of scholarship, athleticism and leadership potential. Candidates should possess personal confidence, good presentation skills, and know why they want to attend a Service Academy.
  • What is the best way to prepare for an interview?
    • Know some basics about the academies, particularly your first choice.
    • Know what major you want to study at the Service Academy and why.
    • Know what job options are possible after graduation at each of the Service Academies, and what you would like to do post-graduation.
  • What will the interview process look like due to the COVID-19 pandemic? When will the interviews happen?
    • Our office will be addressing the safest way to host interviews with the advice of our Service Academy Board Members. Applicants selected to interview will be contacted via email in October.
  • What is something the board looks for in a candidate during the interview process that cannot be seen in an application packet?
    • Interviews are a critical stage in the selection process. Candidates should keep the following in mind during their interview with the board:
      • Sincerity
      • Confidence
      • Personality
      • Attitude
      • Post-graduation commitment
  • Who is a great author of a letter of recommendation?
    • Board members suggest that an ideal author of a letter of recommendation is someone with personal knowledge of the candidate’s character and leadership experience. The letters should be used to give the board subjective insight into who the candidate is. The following list an example of potential authors:
      • An adult that knows you well
      • Varsity Coach or Club Sport Coach
      • Community Service Organizer/ Adult Mentor
      • Math/Science Teacher
      • Extracurricular Coach
  • What should be included in the essay?
    • The only requirement for the essay portion of the application is that it must be a minimum of 500 words. The following are suggestions from board members on what a candidate may include in their personal statement:
      • Why you want to go to a military academy
      • What/who/why were you inspired to choose this path
      • An exceptional hardship you have overcome
      • How you have faced and overcame adversity
      • Compelling life story
  • What is one piece of advice board members could offer to students applying to the Service Academies?
    • The academies are a path to commissioning. Therefore, all serious candidates should be considering and pursuing other commissioning sources (ROTC, OCS, etc.)
    • Don’t hesitate to reapply if you don’t get an appointment on the first try.
    • Commitment and persistence are desired character traits in our officer corps.
    • Apply to the US Merchant Marine Academy - There are options upon graduation to either to go Active Duty in the Armed Forces of your choice, or be an Internationally Licensed Mariner (Mate or Engineer) in combination of be a Reservist in the Armed Forces of your choice. 
    • Apply to several Service Academies (not just one or two), when considering one’s career path.
  • I’m interested in the medical profession, do you think the service academies are a good pathway for me?
    • No, the service academies are structured to commission officers into their respective war fighting communities. Interest in serving as a military medical professional would be best pursued through an alternate path.
  • I’ve heard about the Merchant Marine Academy but don’t necessarily want to serve on a merchant vessel. What are my options?
    • The Merchant Marine Academy allows for graduates to commission into any of the services. For example, this may be a great opportunity for those looking to pursue an engineering degree and aren’t entirely sure into what service they’d like to commission at this stage.

For any other questions related to service academy nominations, please contact ServiceAcademies@sinema.senate.gov.