Rank Insignia - Enlisted

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Rank Insignia - Officers

Military Benefits

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Military Scholarships


Military Academies

The service academies represent the military's most outstanding opportunity. Graduates of a military academy not only receive a free state-of-the-art education, but are considered "elite," not only within the military itself, but also in the private sector. To put it bluntly: There are not many academy graduates on the streets; they do very well in all environments. The education provided is outstanding and personalized. Most classrooms accommodate small class sessions of 12 to 20 students. Not all instruction takes place on the grounds of the academies-training ships, planes, and other military hardware are utilized at various locations as part of the learning process.

The military academies do not charge for tuition; the cost, including room, board, and medical and dental care, is borne entirely by the U.S. government. In addition, most candidates receive a monthly salary to pay for supplies, clothing, and personal expenses. Prior to admission, most academies require candidates to deposit approximately $2,500 to help defray the initial cost of uniforms and supplies.

Basic Admissions Process

The candidate must:
1. have basic eligibility
2. obtain a nomination
3. qualify scholastically
4. qualify medically
5. qualify physically
6. be selected for an appointment

Basic Eligibility

Age: 17-23
Status: U.S. citizen Unmarried Not be pregnant or have a legal obligation to support a child or children
Medical: Must be in good physical and mental health Must be able to pass a Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board medical examination
Physical: Must be able to pass the Physical Aptitude Examination (PAE)

Candidates to the military academies are required (by law) to have a nomination to attend a particular academy; the only exception is the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where entrance is by merit only. Since the nomination process is lengthy, you should seek a nomination as early as possible. To increase your chances of being selected, you should apply for a nomination from your U.S. Representative, your two U.S. Senators, and the Vice-President of the United States. They may nominate up to ten candidates for each vacancy. Vacancies occur when cadets graduate or leave prior to graduation. You also may be eligible for a nomination in one or more of the military-affiliated categories. Most members of Congress do not accept requests for nominations after October, so you should contact them in the spring semester of your junior year (sample letters have been includ ed at the end of this chapter).

Nominations/Appointments Authorized (Cumulative)
The authorized appointments are at maximum strength for each nomination category. Cumulative appointments are the total number available, of which approximately one-third will enter each year.

Click Here for the Military Academies Chart



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