Academy Nominations

Our nation’s military academies are elite institutions that train students to excel in academics and military affairs.These institutions seek well-rounded individuals with a high level of academic achievement as well as a commitment to athletics, student activities, and civic organizations. Famous graduates of these institutions include Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Jimmy Carter, as well as legendary Generals Robert E. Lee, George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, and Norman Schwarzkopf. The academies have also produced numerous astronauts. The second man to ever walk on the moon–Buzz Aldrin–was a graduate of a U.S. military academy.

As your 1st District Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, each year Congressman Fortenberry has the privilege of nominating a limited number of people to four of the five service academies. The following information provides details regarding the nomination process. If you need additional information, please contact my Lincoln Office at (402) 438-1598.

Seeking a Nomination: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a nomination?
Members of Congress may nominate applicants who meet the eligibility requirements established by law. A candidate may seek a nomination from the following:

  • A member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents the congressional district in which the candidate resides
  • Both U.S. Senators from his or her state
  • Apply directly to the Vice-President of the United States

What are the basic eligibility requirements?
Each applicant for a nomination must meet the following eligibility requirements as of July 1st of the year of admission to an academy:

  • Age: Be at least 17 years old, but not have passed the 23rd birthday
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Marital Status: Must be unmarried, not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents
  • Residence: Must reside within the boundaries of the 1st Congressional District of Nebraska
  • Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy

Who do I contact to request an application?
Contact my Lincoln District Office at (402) 438-1598 to request a nomination packet.

When do I apply for a nomination?
My nomination application period opens in May of each year for those candidates who are high school juniors and will be seniors the following school year, or who have already graduated.

What is the deadline for completing a nomination file?
The deadline for submitting a nomination packet to my Lincoln District Office is October 15th.

What must be included in my nomination file?
A complete nomination file consists of the following items:

  • Current photo
  • High school transcript
  • American College Testing Program (ACT) results and/or College Board Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) results
  • Resume of extracurricular activities
  • An essay of 500 words or less; the topic is announced annually. Your essay should be the essence of your application packet, demonstrating your ability to write
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation

What happens after I have completed my nomination file?
Applicants who submit a completed nomination file will be scheduled to meet with my Academy Advisory Committee. The interviews will be conducted in late October or early November (interview date to be announced).

Why does Congressman Fortenberry use an Academy Advisory Committee?
The committee evaluates applicants and recommends candidates for nomination. This well-qualified, non-partisan board will ensure a fair and impartial process.

What criteria does the board use in selecting candidates?
Nominations are based on a "whole person" evaluation. Factors such as academic achievements, extra-curricular activities, leadership skills, physical aptitude, character, and motivation are taken into consideration and compared with other applicants.

What is Congressman Fortenberry's "method of nomination"?
I use the Competitive Nomination method which is the method preferred by the academies and used by most Members of Congress. This process allows me to nominate up to ten qualified candidates for each available opening. The academy itself will make the final selection.

How many academies are there?
There are five service academies.

Three reside within the Department of Defense:

One resides within the Department of Transportation:

One resides within the Department of Homeland Security:

Are the requirements the same for all of the service academies?
No. Although many of the qualifications are similar, each academy operates under its own admissions guidelines. Visit the academy of your choice via the web sites noted for each academy's particular admissions qualifications. It is not necessary to seek a nomination to the Coast Guard Academy. U.S.C.G.A. accepts candidates based on their own testing criteria.

Who should I ask to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?
Some of the people applicants typically seek recommendations from include:

  • Teachers
  • Counselors
  • Employer
  • Coaches
  • Clergy
  • Scout Leaders

Congressman Fortenberry does not require a specific recommendation form. A letter of recommendation is sufficient.

How should I submit my SAT/ACT scores?
Test results should be sent directly to Congressman Fortenberry's office by the testing service. The 1st District of Nebraska institution code for SAT scores is 6029 and for ACT scores the code is 7513.

When will I be notified of the results from the interview with the Academy Advisory Committee?
You will be notified in December.

Will I automatically be selected by the academy after I receive a nomination?
No. You will be placed among a select group of nominees, and the academy of your choice will make the final decision. If selected, you will receive an offer of admission (an appointment) directly from the academy.

What if I choose more than one academy? Will I be limited to a single nomination?
No. You can be nominated to multiple academies depending on how well you have competed among this year's pool of candidates. It is also possible to win multiple appointments.

When will I know if I have been offered an appointment by an academy?
Academies will begin to notify candidates of their admission status in February. All offers of appointment are generally sent out by May.


  • Request Nomination Application — May of Junior Year in High School
  • Nomination Application Deadline — October 15th of Senior Year
  • Congressman Fortenberry’s Nominations Announced — December of Senior Year
  • Offers of Appointment from Academies — Beginning February of Senior Year
  • Candidates Must Accept/Decline Offers of Appointment — By May 1st of Senior Year
  • New Classes Enter Academies — July after High School Graduation