Service Academy Nomination

Thank you for expressing interest in the United States Service Academies. As your Congressional Representative, each year I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of people to 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.

As an applicant, you should begin the nomination process during the summer before your senior year of high school. The first step is to apply to each academy that you are interested in. The service academies are extremely competitive and you should consider applying to more than one to give yourself the best opportunity. You should seek nominations from every source, including myself and our senators, as well as the office of the Vice President of the United States.

The nomination process is very competitive. I look at a number of factors such as your leadership experience, commitment to community, 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

Application packages will be accepted from November 01, 2018 to November 16, 2018.

Do not submit your package until it is complete. Incomplete packages will not be accepted. 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. You must also submit, on a thumb drive, PDF copies of all application materials, excluding those required to be submitted in sealed envelopes.

Register as a candidate with the academy, or academies, 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.

The 2018 Application Packet is now live. Click here to download the pdf file.  If you have questions, please call Rob Richards at 253-272-3515.

Print the application, instructions, and checklist. 

  1. Interest Form:  Please submit this as early as possible so we can 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. 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 or hand-deliver to:

U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer
ATTN: Academy Nominations
950 Pacific Avenue Suite 1230
Tacoma, WA 98402

If selected, 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 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