One of the greatest privileges for a Member of Congress is to nominate worthy candidates to attend one of our nation's great service academies. The 53rd District always has a wealth of potential candidates seeking a limited number of nominations. In order to forward the most well-rounded candidates to the academies, I use a competitive nomination system that includes a written application and oral interview with a selection board.
The application process for the class of 2024 begins April 1, 2019. I recommend that potential candidates begin reviewing the application process the summer before their senior year of high school. If you’re interested in attending a service academy and live in the 53rd District, download my application for a nomination. (You’ll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to open this document.) Following submission of an application, applicants will be contacted to schedule an interview after the application submission period has closed. If you have questions about any part of the nomination process, please call my service academy liaison at (619) 280-5353.
The Nomination Process
To be considered for an appointment to a service academy, an applicant must meet the eligibility requirements established by law and be nominated from an authorized person including a Member of the United States Senate or the House of Representatives. I may nominate applicants who are legally domiciled within the boundaries of our district.
Who Is Eligible?
An applicant for a nomination must meet the following eligibility requirements as of July 1 of the year of admission to a service academy. He or she must be at least 17 years old, but not have passed the 23rd birthday, must be a United States citizen, and must be unmarried, not pregnant, and have no legal obligation to support children or other dependents.
Applying To My Office For A Nomination
Students interested in a nomination should contact my San Diego office in the spring of their junior year in high school. Also, please note that it is extremely important that the student begin the application process with the academies themselves.
There are five Service Academies: The United States Air Force (USAFA), Naval (USNA), Military (USMA), Merchant Marine (USMMA), and Coast Guard (USCGA) Academies. Nominations are required for all but the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, to which appointments are made on the basis of an annual nationwide competition.
As far as the USAFA, USNA, and USMA are concerned, there are various nomination authorities, with each eligible young person being able to apply to both United States Senators from the applicant's state, his or her United States Representative, and the Vice President (if very highly qualified). The other nomination categories are military-affiliated.
With respect to the Congressional category, each Representative and each Senator is allowed to have five persons charged to his or her quota at each of the academies. There are three methods of nominating, and I use the competitive method. For each vacancy, ten nominations may be made on a strictly competitive basis. The competitive method provides that the nominees compete among themselves for final appointment determined by the admissions authorities. They take into consideration a nominee's academic record, extracurricular and athletic activities, physical aptitude, ACT and/or SAT scores, leadership ability, and medical qualifications. Such facets of an applicant's record are also considered during the nomination selection process. No person will be offered admission if he or she does not meet the physical standards of the Academy unless awarded a medical waiver.
As competition for nomination and appointment is very competitive, it is wise for all interested persons to apply through all sources for which they are eligible and for all Academies in which they have a real interest. An individual may be nominated by more than one nominating authority and/or to more than one Academy.
With regard to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, 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 may nominate ten candidates each year to compete for admission.