ROCKVILLE, MD – Congressman Jamie Raskin’s (MD-08) District Office is accepting applications for Service Academy nominations for the Class of 2026 through Friday, October 1, 2021. Each year, Members of Congress have the privilege of nominating qualified students to attend four of the five U.S. Service Academies: the U.S. Military Academy (USMA), the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA). A nomination is required to gain admission to these four Service Academies. However, the nomination does not guarantee admission. Admission is ultimately decided by the academy to which the candidate has applied. The fifth service academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), does not require a congressional nomination for admission.

“It’s one of my great honors as a Member of Congress to be able to nominate students to the Service Academies,” said Rep. Raskin. “I am regularly in touch with my former nominees who are now Academy students and love hearing how they are growing and thriving in their educational journeys. I look forward to following the careers of all my nominees who receive an offer of admission by the Academies for the Class of 2026 and wish all candidates the best of luck as they pursue their educational and career goals.”

Eligibility Requirements:

To apply for a nomination and appointment, each candidate must meet the following eligibility requirements set out by the Academies:

  • On July 1 of the year of entry, be 17 years old but not yet 23 years old to enter all academies, except the Merchant Marine Academy, which has a maximum of 25 years of age
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be unmarried, not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents
  • Be a legal resident of:
  • Maryland's 8th Congressional District, for nominations to the Naval Academy, Military Academy (West Point), and the Air Force Academy
  • The State of Maryland, for nominations to the Merchant Marine Academy

Each candidate must also meet the medical, physical and academic requirements of the Academies.

Rep. Raskin’s Applications Checklist:

The following is a detailed list of the components of a completed application from students seeking a nomination from Rep. Raskin:

  • A completed online application by Friday, October 1, 2021
    • The online application includes basic biographical information; school information; short-answer writing prompts about academics, athletics, extracurriculars, and other leadership activities; an order of preferences for the Academies; and more.
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Applicants typically seek recommendations from teachers, counselors, employers, coaches, clergy, or others who have supervised, instructed, managed or coached the applicant. Letters from family members and extra letters will not be accepted.
  • Transcripts for high school and college courses
    • Each applicant is required to submit a high school transcript. The transcript should include a GPA, complete junior year course work, and senior year classes. Applicants should also provide a transcript for any college course work.
  • Personal essay
    • Each applicant is required to submit a personal essay, 500 words or less, outlining why they are interested in becoming a military or merchant marine officer.

The letters of recommendation, transcript(s), and personal essay should be submitted as attachments in one email to with the subject title formatted as “Applicant Name, Documents.”

Key Dates for Rep. Raskin’s Nomination Process:

  • Monday, May 3, 2021: Applications open for Rep. Raskin's nomination
  • Friday, October 1, 2021: Deadline to submit completed applications and supporting materials
  • November 2021: Mandatory interview with Rep. Raskin’s Service Academy Advisory Board
  • January 2022: Candidates notified of Rep. Raskin's nominations decisions
  • February to May 2022: Candidates notified by Service Academies of appointment offer(s)

The honor of attending a service academy comes with the obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation. To request a Service Academy nomination from Congressman Raskin, please click here.