To be considered for admission to a service academy, you need both a nomination and a completed application with the academy (or academies) to which you are applying. There are two nomination categories - Congressional and Military-Service Connected. If you meet the eligibility requirements you may apply for and receive nominations in both categories. You are also urged to apply for nominations with Oregon's two U.S. Senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. Congressman Walden makes annual nominations to the following service academies:
- United States Air Force Academy
- United States Merchant Marine Academy
- United States Military Academy
- United States Naval Academy
You must meet the following eligibility requirements as of July 1 of the year of entry to an academy:
- Be at least 17 years old, but not have passed your 23rd birthday.
- Be a United States Citizen and a legal resident from the Second Congressional District of Oregon.
- Be unmarried, not pregnant, and have no legal obligations for support of a child or other dependents.
The service academies consider evidence of character, scholarship, leadership, physical aptitude, medical fitness, goals and motivation. To help Representative Walden and his committee determine these qualifications for a nomination, you need to establish a file in his Medford office. The completed file will contain the following:
1. A completed application form, which you can obtain by contacting Troy Ferguson in his Medford office at (541) 776-4646.
2. Three recommendations, at least one of which is from a teacher, school advisor or principal. The other two should come from personal friends or acquaintances who have known you long enough to attest to your character.
3. SAT or ACT scores. You are encouraged to take these required examinations as early as possible in the testing cycle. This may help you qualify for an early offer of an appointment, and also allows you a chance to retake the tests if you need to improve your scores. When taking the SAT, use the code number 4722 on the test application form, and direct that a copy of the results be sent to Representative Walden's Medford office.
4. A one page essay outlining why you want to attend the academy and pursue a military service career.
5. A transcript (including class rank) from the last completed semester of high school and, if beyond high school, the last completed quarter grades.
6. A recent wallet size photograph of yourself.
As mentioned above, each year Representative Walden convenes a board of current and retired military officers in late November or early December to review the files and interview all qualified candidates. He then reviews the board's recommendations and makes his final nominations in December to provide the academies the opportunity to make early appointments. The deadline for completed files is the last Friday in October.
The United States Coast Guard Academy is the only one of the service academies that offers appointment solely on the basis of an annual nationwide competition. There are no Congressional appointments or geographical quotas involved.