United States service academies

The United States service academies, also known as the United States military academies, are federal academies for the undergraduate education and training of commissioned officers for the United States Armed Forces.

There are five U.S. service academies:


Service academies can be used to refer to all of the academies collectively. However, in popular usage, this term is more often used for the academies of four branches of the military: those of the Army, Navy, and Air Force (under the Department of Defense); and that of the Coast Guard (under the Department of Homeland Security). These are the only four academies whose students are on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States from the day they enter the Academy, with the rank of officer cadet or midshipman, and subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Students at these academies cannot, however, count this active duty time towards military active/retired pay and allowances nor can they claim the time for years of service for retirement. In the case of the Merchant Marine Academy, midshipmen may elect to receive an active duty or reserves commission in any branch of the uniformed services, including NOAA and the U.S. Public Health Service, most are commissioned into the Navy Reserve, Strategic Sealift Officer Force.

In the context of college football, the term "service academies" most often refers specifically to the grouping of Army, Navy, and Air Force, the three academies whose football teams compete in the top-level NCAA Division I FBS. The three schools compete annually for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. Coast Guard and Merchant Marine compete at the NCAA Division III level and play each other annually for the Secretaries Cup (formerly Secretary's Cup when both academies were under the Department of Transportation).

The United States Coast Guard, and therefore the Coast Guard Academy, is part of the United States Armed Forces,[1] albeit under the Department of Homeland Security, but in time of war it can be placed under the Department of the Navy.

Congressional nominations

Applicants to all service academies, except the United States Coast Guard Academy, are required to obtain a nomination to the schools. Nominations may be made by Congressional Representatives, Senators, the Vice President and the President. Applicants to the Coast Guard Academy compete in a direct nationwide competitive process that has no by-state quotas.


The admissions process to the US service academies is an extensive and very competitive process. The US Military Academy at West Point, the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, and the US Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs all require an applicant to submit an on-line file and proceed through pre-candidate qualification before an application is provided. The US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point New York requires an applicant to submit part 1 of the 3 part application prior to receiving a nomination. All these schools have an extremely competitive application process and are ranked annually by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes.com as some of the most selective colleges and universities in America. The average acceptance rate is between 8-17% for each of the schools.


Students at the United States Military Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, and the United States Coast Guard Academy are cadets. Students at the United States Naval Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy are midshipmen. All cadets and midshipmen receive taxable pay at a rate of 35% of O1 under 2 years of service (which can be used to pay for textbooks and uniforms), free room and board, and pay no tuition or fees, with the exception of USMMA who receive taxable pay at $1006.80 a month only during their required 300+ days at sea during their 4-year studies.

Duty commitments

Upon graduation and the receipt of a Bachelor of Science degree, the former students become second lieutenants or ensigns and must serve a minimum term of duty, usually five years plus another three years in the Reserves. If the student's chosen occupation requires particularly extensive training (such as aviation or Special Operations), the service commitment may be longer.

With respect to the Merchant Marine Academy, midshipmen repay their service obligations through a variety of methods depending on their selected career path. On average, about one third of the graduating class each year will actively sail on their Coast Guard License as either Unlimited Third Mates or Third Assistant Engineers in the United States Merchant Marine, about one third will go to work in the civilian maritime industry ashore, and the remaining one third will enter active duty military service. A midshipman who enters active duty military service will typically assume a service obligation similar to those of cadets and midshipmen entering the military services from their respective service academies (i.e. a Merchant Marine midshipman entering the US Marine Corps would assume a similar obligation to a midshipman from the Naval Academy entering the Marine Corps). Merchant Marine midshipmen not entering active duty typically assume an eight-year obligation to the Naval Reserve Strategic Sealift Officer Program, unless they have elected to enter another reserve branch of the armed forces. In addition, midshipmen who do not see service on active duty are restricted from working outside the maritime industry or merchant marine for a period of five years following graduation and must seek annual MARAD approval for their employment.

Preparatory schools

These schools provide for strengthening of academic potential of candidates to each of the above-described United States service academies. Admission is restricted to those students who have applied to an academy, failed initially to qualify, either academically or physically, but who have demonstrated an ability to qualify during the initial admission selection process:

See also


  1. ^ 10 U.S.C. § 101(a)(4)

External links


Commandant ( or ) is a title often given to the officer in charge of a military (or other uniformed service) training establishment or academy. This usage is common in English-speaking nations. In some countries it may be a military or police rank. It is also often used to refer to the commander of a military prison or prison camp (including concentration camps and prisoner of war camps).

Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board

The Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DoDMERB) is an element of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) which processes the medical components of admission for applicants to the United States Service Academies; Service Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs; the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS); and other officer accession programs as directed by the Department of Defense (DoD).

DoDMERB schedules, examines, evaluates the results of the medical exam and applicant medical history, and determines whether applicants meet or do not meet medical accession standards.

Applicants determined to not meet medical standards may be considered for a medical waiver from the specific program to which they've applied. Waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis under specific conditions, including cases where the applicant is competitive for an offer of appointment, awarded a scholarship, or meets particular performance standards in a campus-based ROTC program. The medical waiver authorities are designated by the Academies, ROTC programs, USUHS, and officer accession program headquarters. There may be different decisions by the different waiver authorities based on the "needs" of that Service/Program. A risk analysis is performed to determine if an applicant can safely and without exacerbating the disease, illness, condition, and/or injury, train, be commissioned, and be worldwide deployable without restriction, after graduation/initial training.)

Depository Library Act of 1962

Depository Library Act of 1962 is a federal statute revising the depository library laws passed in the United States from 1895 to 1939. The Act of Congress mandated the availability of U.S. government publications through the Superintendent of Documents for public information. The statute established requirements for two depository libraries as allocated by U.S. Congressional representatives per their respective congressional districts. The U.S. federal law provided provisions appointing land-grant colleges and the United States service academies as depository libraries for U.S. government publications. The 87th U.S. Congressional legislation authorized regional depository libraries allocating two depository libraries per U.S. state as defined by a United States Senator. The Act repealed Public Law 76-281 designating the United States Coast Guard Academy library as a depository of U.S. government publications while redelegating the New London, Connecticut office of the Superintendent of Documents.

Gordon McLintock

George Gordon McLintock, Vice Admiral (USMS), (February 10, 1903 – April 23, 1990) was the longest serving Superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, one of the 5 United States service academies and a service academy which cadet corps is privileged to carry a regimental battle standard, some having served and died in every major US military conflict, commencing with World War II. Gordon McLintock served as this illustrious Academy’s Superintendent from 1948-1970.

Born in Dysart, Scotland of a long tradition of British merchant marine seaman, McLintock first went to sea on a passenger liner with his merchant marine officer father, William McLintock, at the age of 3 years. Himself, commissioned a cadet in the British merchant navy in 1918, McLintock had a 30-year career as a merchant marine officer before being named the 4th Superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1948. McLintock, who became a naturalized United States citizen in 1921, was chief inspection officer of that country’s War Shipping Administration during the Second World War. He was also president of the American Institute of Navigation from 1947-1949. The Vice Admiral was a graduate of the United Kingdom’s Sevenoaks School (founded 1432 AD). He died of bone cancer in Chevy Chase, Maryland.Medals. Worn: 20 Year U.S.N.R. (3 stars), American Theatre, WWII U.S.N., World War II Victory, U.S.N., World War I Victory, British (Star), Phillipine Legion of Honour (8 point Star), French Order of maritime merit (Rosette), Order of Polonia Restitute with Rosette, Polish Silver Cross of Merit with Swords.

Medals Not worn: World War II Victory Medal U.S Merchant Marine.

Other Awards: Order of Saint Dennis of Zante (Greek) Knight Commander, American Legion Distinguished Service Medal, Greek American War Veterans medal.

Junker (SS rank)

SS-Junker or Standartenjunker was a paramilitary Nazi rank that was used by the Schutzstaffel (SS) between the years of 1933 and 1945. The rank was a special position held by those aspiring for officer commissions in the armed wing of the SS, first known as the SS-Verfügungstruppe and later as the Waffen-SS.

The SS rank of Junker was an appointed position with an SS member required to enlist in the SS for at least six months to a year before consideration could be given for officer training. SS-Junker was also strictly a rank of the Verfügungstruppe and Waffen-SS and was not used by the Allgemeine-SS ("General" SS).

Typically, a Waffen-SS member reaching the rank of Rottenführer could choose either to embark on the career path of an SS non-commissioned officer or could apply to join the officer corps of the Waffen-SS. If choosing the latter, an SS member was required to obtain a written recommendation from their commander and undergo a racial and political screening process to determine eligibility for commission as an SS officer. If accepted into the SS officer program, an SS member would be assigned to one of several Junkerschulen and would be appointed to the rank of SS-Junker upon arrival. Situations did exist, however, where SS members would hold their previous enlisted rank while at the Junkerschule and only be appointed to the rank of SS-Junker after a probationary period had passed.

This officer candidate system was to ensure that future SS officers had prior enlisted experience and that there were no "direct appointments" in the Waffen-SS officer corps as was often the case in other SS branches such as the Gestapo and Sicherheitsdienst (SD). Ample evidence exists, however, that certain SS members with "connections" could obtain an appointment as an SS-Junker without ever having served in the enlisted ranks or with only a few weeks of basic enlisted training before transferring to a Junkerschule.

Linda Garcia Cubero

Captain Linda Garcia Cubero (born 1958) is a former United States Air Force officer, of Mexican-American-Puerto Rican descent who in 1980 was a member of the first class of women to graduate from the United States Air Force Academy. She is the first Hispanic woman to graduate from any service academy.

M. P. Moller

Mathias Peter Møller, commonly known as M.P. Möller or Moeller (29 September 1854, Østermarie, Denmark – 13 April 1937, Hagerstown, Maryland, US), was a prolific pipe-organ builder and businessman. A native of the Danish island of Bornholm, he emigrated to the United States in 1872 and founded the M.P. Moller Pipe Organ Company in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, in 1875. The city of Hagerstown, Maryland, took notice of Möller's early successes and induced him to move his business there in 1881 to help make it a viable business center in Western Maryland. The company remained in business until 1992, with hundreds of employees at its peak and a lifetime production of over 12,000 instruments.

Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference

The Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference or MCHC is an ACHA Division 3 league made up of smaller colleges, universities, and community colleges in the Northeast United States.

Military education and training

Military education and training is a process which intends to establish and improve the capabilities of military personnel in their respective roles. It begins with recruit training, proceeds to education and training specific to military roles, and may also include additional training during a military career. Military training may be voluntary or compulsory duty.

New Mexico Military Institute

New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) is a public military junior college in Roswell, New Mexico. Founded in 1891, NMMI operates under the auspices of the State of New Mexico, under a dedicated Board of Regents that reports to the Governor of New Mexico. A land-grant institution located in the city center of Roswell, New Mexico, NMMI enrolls nearly 1,000 cadets at the junior college and high school levels each year. NMMI is the only state-supported military college located in the western United States and has many notable alumni that have served at senior levels in the military and private sector.

Academic school years at NMMI usually begin with nearly 1,000 cadets enrolled, with slight attrition occurring during the school year due to the demanding nature of academic and physical requirements on students. The school's 2-year Army ROTC Early Commissioning Program (ECP) commissions approximately 30 cadets each year as US Army 2nd Lieutenants, and almost 100 cadets each year go to one of the five major United States Service academies.The school's motto is "Duty, Honor, and Achievement." NMMI's athletic teams are the Broncos (junior college) and the Colts (high school). The school's colors are scarlet and black. The Cadet Honor Code, which was voted into place by a unanimous vote of the Corps of Cadets in 1921, states "A Cadet Will Not Lie, Cheat, or Steal, Nor Tolerate Those Who Do" and is administered by an Honor Board of Cadets, advised by Cadre and Staff.

Officer (armed forces)

An officer is a member of an armed forces or uniformed service who holds a position of authority.

In its broadest sense, the term "officer" refers to commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, and warrant officers. However, when used without further detail, the term almost always refers to only commissioned officers, the more senior portion of a force who derive their authority from a commission from the head of state.

Patriot League

The Patriot League is a collegiate athletic conference comprising private institutions of higher education and two United States service academies based in the Northeastern United States. Outside the Ivy League, it is among the most selective group of higher education institutions in NCAA Division I and has a very high student-athlete graduation rate for both the NCAA graduation success rate and the federal graduation rate.

The Patriot League consists of 10 core members: American University, the United States Military Academy (Army), Boston University, Bucknell University, Colgate University, College of the Holy Cross, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Loyola University Maryland and the United States Naval Academy (Navy).

All 10 core members participate in the NCAA's Division I for all Patriot League sports that they offer. Since not all schools sponsor every available NCAA sport, such as ice hockey and wrestling, most schools are affiliated with other collegiate conferences.

Additionally, the Patriot League has a unique arrangement for football. Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, and Lehigh are members of the Patriot League's Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conference. Of the five other conference members, American, Boston University and Loyola Maryland do not sponsor football while Army and Navy play in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision; Army is an independent while Navy currently competes as an associate member of the American Athletic Conference.

Four other private institutions are Patriot League members only for specific sports and are referred to as 'Patriot League associate members.' Fordham University and Georgetown University are associate members in football, while MIT is an associate member in women's rowing and University of Richmond is an associate member in women's golf.

State university system

A state university system in the United States is a group of public universities supported by an individual state or a similar entity such as the District of Columbia. These systems constitute the majority of public-funded universities in the country. Each state supports at least one such system.

State university systems should not be confused with federally funded colleges and universities, at which attendance is limited to military personnel and government employees. Members of foreign militaries and governments also attend some schools. These schools include the United States service academies, Naval Postgraduate School, and military staff colleges.

A state university system normally means a single legal entity and administration, but may consist of several institutions, each with its own identity as a university. Some states—such as California and Texas—support more than one such system.

State universities get subsidies from their states. The amount of the subsidy varies from university to university and state to state, but the effect is to lower tuition costs below those of private universities for students from that state or district. As more Americans attend college and private tuition rates increase well beyond the rate of inflation, admission to state universities is becoming more competitive.

United States Maritime Administration

The United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation.

Its programs promote the use of waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system, and the viability of the U.S. merchant marine. The Maritime Administration works in many areas involving ships and shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, vessel operations, national security, environment, and safety. The Maritime Administration is also charged with maintaining the health of the merchant marine, since commercial mariners, vessels, and intermodal facilities are vital for supporting national security, and so the agency provides support and information for current mariners, extensive support for educating future mariners, and programs to educate America's young people about the vital role the maritime industry plays in the lives of all Americans.

MARAD also maintains the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) as a ready source of ships for use during national emergencies, and assists the NDRF in fulfilling its role as the nation's fourth arm of defense, logistically supporting the military when needed.

United States Merchant Marine Academy

The United States Merchant Marine Academy (also known as USMMA or Kings Point), one of the five United States service academies, is located in Kings Point, New York. It is charged with training officers for the United States Merchant Marine, branches of the military, and the transportation industry. Midshipmen (as students at the academy are called) are trained in marine engineering, navigation, ship's administration, maritime law, personnel management, international law, customs, and many other subjects important to the task of running a large ship.

United States Military Academy Preparatory School

The United States Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS), sometimes referred to as West Point Prep, is a preparatory school for the United States Military Academy (USMA). Located in West Point, New York, its official mission is "to provide academic, military and physical instruction in a moral-ethical military environment to prepare and motivate candidates for success at the United States Military Academy."

Valley Forge Military Academy and College

Valley Forge Military Academy and College (VFMAC) is an American independent college preparatory boarding school (grades 7–12) and, as of Fall 2006, coeducational independent military junior college located in Wayne, Pennsylvania that follows in the traditional military school format with Army tradition. Though military in tradition and form, the high school portion of VFMAC, Valley Forge Military Academy, is a college preparatory boarding institution specializing on student leadership. VFMAC's administration is composed almost entirely of current or retired military. The Board of Trustees are almost entirely alumni. Some graduates pursue careers in the armed services, and VFMAC has one Rhodes Scholarship recipient. The school has established a tradition with the British Monarchy and follows an American military academy model and practices the American Army tradition.

VFMAC has a British Army Garrison Sergeant Major with William 'Billy' Mott, OBE MVO, Welsh Guards (organized the British Armed Forces for the Royal Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, Ceremonial Funeral of Baroness Thatcher and 13 Trooping the Colours) as the first Garrison Sergeant Major appointed as VFMAC staff.

The Valley Forge Corps of Cadets, which is entirely student run, is the only American military organization that maintained British rank, drill, customs and ceremonies. All cadets must pass a board and earn a "Capshield" to be a member of the Corps of Cadets. It is the only Corps of Cadets in the United States to still have a traditional mounted battalion of one cavalry troop and one artillery battery. College cadet uniforms are styled after the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. VFMAC Regimental Sergeant Major, Drum Major and Field Music Drum Major wears the British Army Foot Guard uniform. Cadet Senior NCOs carry a British Military pace stick.

Valley Forge Military College, "The Military College of Pennsylvania", is the only private military junior college in the United States where the entire college student body consists of military cadets from the United States and international cadets. All students are members of the Corps of Cadets. The Academy and College was once fully residential, but in recent years the academy also offers a day student program. VFMC is the only junior military college that caters to all branches of the United States military through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) and the "Prepster" program for all five United States service academies.

Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets

The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets (VTCC) is the military component of the student body at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Cadets live together in residence halls, attend morning formation, wear a distinctive uniform, and receive an intensive military and leadership educational experience similar to that available at the United States service academies. The Corps of Cadets has existed from the founding of the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1872 to the present-day institution of Virginia Tech, which is designated a senior military college by federal law. According to program staff, about 1400 students participate as of September, 2018.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons football

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons football team represents Wake Forest University in the sport of American football. The Demon Deacons compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Wake Forest plays its home football games at BB&T Field and is currently coached by Dave Clawson.

Wake Forest struggled in football for much of the second half of the 20th century. The university is the sixth-smallest school in FBS in terms of undergraduate enrollment (behind only Rice, Tulsa and the three FBS United States service academies). It is also the smallest school playing in a Power Five conference. However, since the start of the 21st century, the Deacons have been mostly competitive. The Deacons won the Military Bowl in 2016, the Belk Bowl in 2017, and the Birmingham Bowl in 2018.

Operations and history
United States federal service academies and military colleges
Service academies
Staff colleges

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