Each year, Jim nominates a limited number of people to four of the five U.S. Service Academies. The honor of attending a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation.

To be considered for a nomination, students will need to open a candidate file in Jim’s Seattle office. Applicants will be scheduled for an interview once their file is complete. Because obtaining a nomination is only one step in the application process, applicants are encouraged to contact the academy of their choice to start a candidate file as soon as possible.

To open a candidate file, please submit the following information to the Seattle office:

  1. A sealed and certified copy of your high school transcript;
  2. Three letters of recommendation (at least one must be from your high school principal or counselor);
  3. A copy of your SAT or ACT scores (Note: Congressman McDermott’s identification number with the Educational Testing Service for the SAT test is 4424, and for the ACT test, it is 7744. If you have not yet taken the test, you may list this code number on your request for scores reports to be sent directly to my office.); and,
  4. A 500-word essay detailing why you believe you are qualified for a nomination.
  5. A telephone number where you can be reached.

All documentation must be sent in the same package to the following address:

Congressman Jim McDermott
Attn: Academy Nomination Coordinator
1809 7th Avenue, Suite 409
Seattle, WA 98101-1003

All information must be received on or before FridayNovember 13, 2015. Interviews will be held in the Seattle office on Saturday, December 5, 2015.  Below, you will find answers to frequently asked questions.  If you have any additional questions about applying to a United States Service Academy, please call 206-553-7170.

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 at least one of the following:

  • The member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents the congressional district in which the candidate resides;
  • Either U.S. Senator from his or her state; or,
  • 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 older than 23;
  • 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 7th Congressional District of Washington; and,
  • Skill / Fitness: Must meet the medical, physical, and academic requirements of the Academy.

Who do I contact to request an application?
You can locate the application instructions and form at the top of this page. Please call 206-553-7170 if you have any questions.

What is the deadline for completing a nomination file?
The deadline for submitting a nomination packet to Jim’s Seattle Office is Friday November 13, 2015.

What criteria are used in selecting candidates?
Nominations are based on a holistic 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.

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

Students only need to be nominated to the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.  The U.S. Coast Guard Academy accepts students based on their own testing criteria (more information about the Coast Guard Academy’s application process can be found here:

Are the requirements the same for all of the service academies?
No. Although the qualifications are similar, each academy operates under its own admissions guidelines. Visit the academy websites for each academy's specific admissions qualifications. It is not necessary to seek a nomination to the Coast Guard Academy, as the U.S.C.G.A. accepts candidates based on their own testing criteria (more information about the Coast Guard Academy’s application process can be found here:

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

  • Teachers
  • Principals
  • Counselors
  • Employers
  • Coaches
  • Clergy
  • Scout Leaders

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.