Service Academy Nomination

Thank you for expressing your interest in the United States Service Academies. As your Representative, each year I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of people to four academies. By contacting my office, you have already shown your commitment to serving our nation, and I applaud you. Our United States Service Academies will push you to reach your full potential, both mentally and physically, while giving you the education and skills needed to serve your country as an officer.

Applicants should begin the nomination process in the summer before their senior year of high school. To start the application process you must apply to each academy that you are interested in. The service academies are extremely competitive; you should consider applying to more than one to give yourself the best opportunity. You should then contact my office in addition to both Senator’s offices to request a nomination. Remember that you should seek nominations from every source, including myself and our Senator’s, and the office of the Vice President.

Our nomination processes are also competitive. I look at a number of factors such as your history of displaying leadership, commitment to community involvement, academic achievement, athletic ability, and strength of character.  By reading this and submitting your application, you already have placed yourself among excellent company and I look forward to reviewing your application.

Application Process

All materials must be complete and received by November 17, 2017. No late materials will be considered. Do not submit your package until it is complete. Incomplete packages will be returned to be corrected. Submit all materials in a double pocket portfolio folder with your name on the front. Your nomination package must be organized, legible, and in order of numerical assignment. Register as a candidate with the academy(ies) you wish to be considered for (See below). You will not be considered for a nomination to an academy unless you have also opened a candidate file with that particular academy. If you have not, please do so before you send a completed packet.

Print the application, instructions, and checklist here

  1. Interest Form: You can find the district nomination interest form here. Please fill this form out as early as possible as it will notify our office to expect your packet and will allow us to keep you up to date on events and deadlines related to the Service Academy Nomination process.
  2. High School Transcript: Sealed and certified; it is submitted as part of the nomination package. You may have it forwarded directly from your school.
  3. First quarter senior grades or quarter/semester progress report: An official print-out from your school’s website can fulfill this requirement. If you have graduated high school, you will also need to provide grades/progress report from all higher education institutions you have attended.
  4. SAT/ACT Scores: Official Student Score reports or copies of these sheets are preferred, but website printouts are acceptable if necessary. Copied information on transcripts provided by your school is not acceptable.
  5. Résumé: Please do not exceed one page in length. You may use any standard résumé format that best highlights your particular accomplishments.
  6. Personal essay: There is no length requirement. This is your best opportunity to share your thoughts, ideas and goals concerning your possible appointment to an academy and your subsequent service to our country. Please realize this will be a nominal factor in your interview process. The essay should express to Representative Kilmer your reasons for attending an academy and your future goals upon graduation.
  7. Three letters of recommendation: one must be from an invested teacher, guidance counselor, or principal of your high school. Letters of recommendation should be written by individuals who can assess your character, leadership ability and participation in activities outside of academics. Submit your letters with your complete package in sealed envelopes; please avoid having individuals send their letters of recommendation directly to the office if possible.
  8. Photo: Please submit a recent photo of yourself no larger than 5x7 inches in size. It doesn’t have to be a school photo. You may use this as an additional opportunity to express yourself as an individual or to highlight one of your accomplishments.

Mail to:

U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer
ATTN: Academy Nominations
950 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98402

If you meet the qualifications you will be scheduled for an interview with a panel of retired and active-duty military officers from the district. After reviewing the nomination packages and interviewing all the candidates, the panel will submit their recommendations. Representative Kilmer will then nominate the most qualified candidates for appointment to the academies.

For more information about each service academy, please visit their websites:

US Air Force Academy
Director of Admissions
Colorado Springs, CO 80840

US Naval Academy
Director of Candidate Guidance
Annapolis, MD 21408

US Military Academy
Admissions Office,
West Point, NY 10996

US Merchant Marine Academy
Admissions Office
Kings Point, NY 11024

US Coast Guard Academy
The United States Coast Guard Academy does not require congressional nominations. If you are interested in attending the USCG Academy, you can contact the Academy directly at: 

USCG Admissions Office
New London, CT 06320

Should you have any questions about the nomination process or submission requirements, please contact my District Representative Rob Richards in my Tacoma office at (253) 272-3515 or