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Seek Your Nomination

No One Becomes a Cadet Without Help

Before you can be considered for appointment to the United States Air Force Academy, you must obtain a nomination. This is a competitive process, and you should seek a nomination in each of the categories for which you are eligible.

Nominating Categories

When seeking a nomination, first determine the categories for which you are eligible.

The majority of applicants to the Academy obtain the following nominations:

The Academy also reserves a select number of cadet appointments for the following nominations:

Nomination Deadline

The Academy must receive your nomination by January 31. If we do not receive notice of a nomination by this deadline, you will be disqualified. Nominations do not carry over from year to year.

Each nominating authority has its own processes and deadlines. Once you determine the categories in which you will seek a nomination, you must contact the appropriate authority to make your request, then follow their application processes to obtain one. Since the process of securing a nomination is lengthy, it is recommended you request them during the spring semester of your junior year or when you are completing your Pre-candidate Questionnaire.

Congressional

Each member of Congress is allowed to have a maximum of five cadets attending the Academy at one time. For each cadet vacancy that occurs, the member may nominate up to 10 candidates to be considered for appointment. Vacancies occur when cadets graduate or leave prior to graduation. To request nominations in this category, follow the guidelines in the Congressional Nomination Request Sample Letter.

You should request a nomination from both of your U.S. senators and your U.S. representative. Because members of Congress want to nominate outstanding individuals from their state or district, they consider academic achievement, leadership performance and athletic participation. While you must be a legal resident of the state or congressional district in which you are applying, it is not necessary to know your member of Congress personally.

Be prepared to identify your place of residence by ZIP Code, state or congressional district. You will then access each member’s website for specific instructions on the nomination application process, including which office to contact and specific deadlines.

If selected for a congressional nomination, you will likely receive notice from your member of Congress first. After the member has submitted the nomination to the Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy Admissions Office will send you written acknowledgment. Please be patient, as this may occur as late as 30 days after you have been notified by your member of Congress.

Contact Information

Most congressional offices prefer you contact them in the spring or summer of the year before you desire to enter the Academy. While some offices will accept requests through the fall, most do not accept requests for nomination after October and may submit their nominations to the Academy as late as January 31.

Each congressional office has its own procedures and closeout dates for accepting nomination requests.

Get up-to-date contact information:

Visit Senators Website
Visit Representatives Website

Vice Presidential

The vice president of the United States may nominate candidates from the nation at large and is allowed to have a maximum of five cadets attending the Academy at one time. For each cadet vacancy that occurs, the vice president may nominate up to 10 candidates to be considered for appointment. Vacancies occur when cadets graduate or leave prior to graduation.

Request a Nomination

All pre-candidates are eligible for this nominating category. Do not mail your request for a vice presidential nomination to the Academy. Instead, the Academy will make recommendations to the vice president based upon your admissions file.

The office of the vice president will not accept paper applications.

If you wish to request a nomination from the vice president, you may complete the online application.

The deadline for requesting a nomination in the Vice Presidential category is January 31.

Military-affiliated

If you are eligible to apply in one of the military-affiliated categories, follow the specific instructions for that category as detailed below.

Presidential

There are unlimited nominations, but only up to 100 appointments available annually in this category. Vacancies allocated to the president of the United States have been reserved for children of career military personnel. This includes enlisted, warrant and commissioned members of regular and reserve components who are on active duty (other than for training) and who have served continuously on active duty for at least eight years; and military retirees either living or deceased who have received retired or retainer pay. Reservists must be serving as members of reserve components and be cre...

There are unlimited nominations, but only up to 100 appointments available annually in this category. Vacancies allocated to the president of the United States have been reserved for children of career military personnel. This includes enlisted, warrant and commissioned members of regular and reserve components who are on active duty (other than for training) and who have served continuously on active duty for at least eight years; and military retirees either living or deceased who have received retired or retainer pay. Reservists must be serving as members of reserve components and be credited with at least eight years of service computed under section 12733 of Title 10 (at least 2,880 points); or who died while they would have been entitled to retired pay under chapter 1223 of Title 10, except for not having attained 60 years of age. For adopted children, the adoption proceedings must have begun before their 15th birthday.

Children of Deceased or Disabled Veterans

There is no limit to nominations, but appointments authorized in this category are limited to 65 cadets at the Academy at one time. Vacancies are available for the children of deceased or 100 percent disabled armed forces veterans whose death or disability was determined to be service-connected; or children of military personnel or federally employed civilian personnel who are in a missing or captured status. If you are eligible in this category, you will NOT be considered in the Presidential category.

Air Force Regular and Reserve Components

There are unlimited nominations, but only 170 appointments available annually in this category. Vacancies are available for enlisted members of regular and reserve components of the Air Force. The deadline to receive Air Force regular and reserve nominations (AF Form 1786) is December 31. For more specific instructions on nominations in this category, see How Can I Prepare?: Enlisted Airmen.

Children of Military or Civilian Personnel in Missing Status

The child of a parent who is in missing status is eligible if the parent is a member of the armed services or a civilian employee in active government service who is officially carried or determined to be absent in a status of missing; missing in action; interred in a foreign country; captured, beleaguered or besieged by a hostile force; or detained in a foreign country against his or her will.

Children of Medal of Honor Recipients

Vacancies have been reserved without appointment limit for the children of Medal of Honor recipients who served in any branch of the armed forces. If pre-candidates meet the eligibility requirements and qualify on entrance requirements, they receive an appointment to the Academy.

Honor Military Schools and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps

There are 20 appointments total for all categories. Honor military schools are designated by the Department of the Army, Marine Corps and Navy to nominate U.S. Air Force Academy candidates annually from among their honor students. Each honor unit may nominate five students to compete for vacancies. Students should request a nomination from their senior ROTC instructor.

Members of college and high school honor Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC and AFJROTC) units may also apply in this category. Five students from each detachment may be nominated to compete for the authorized v...

There are 20 appointments total for all categories. Honor military schools are designated by the Department of the Army, Marine Corps and Navy to nominate U.S. Air Force Academy candidates annually from among their honor students. Each honor unit may nominate five students to compete for vacancies. Students should request a nomination from their senior ROTC instructor.

Members of college and high school honor Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC and AFJROTC) units may also apply in this category. Five students from each detachment may be nominated to compete for the authorized vacancies. Students should request a nomination from their professor of aerospace studies or their aerospace science instructor who will then recommend nominees to the head of the institution.

Request Guidelines

To request a nomination in the Presidential, Children of Deceased or Disabled Veterans, Military or Civilian Personnel in a Missing Status, or Children of Medal of Honor Recipients categories, follow the guidelines in the Military-affiliated Nomination Request Sample Letter. Additional categories may have their own forms and guidelines.

The deadline is January 31. Mail your nomination request letter to the Admissions Office:

HQ USAFA/RRS
2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 2400
USAF Academy, CO 80840-5025

U.S. Territory

If you reside in a U.S. territory, you must contact the appropriate representatives to secure one of the available nominations for your territory. To request a nomination in this category, follow the guidelines in the Congressional Nomination Request Sample Letter.

Puerto Rico

If you’re from Puerto Rico, seek a nomination from the governor of Puerto Rico and from the resident commissioner. The governor and resident commissioner of Puerto Rico are allowed to have a total of six cadets at the Academy at any one time. For the governor of Puerto Rico, submit your request to:

Honorable (name of governor)
Governor of Puerto Rico La Fortaleza,
San Juan, PR 00901

For the resident commissioner of Puerto Rico, submit your request to:

Honorable (name of appropriate delegate or the commissioner)
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Other U.S. Territories

Delegates in the House of Representatives are allowed the following number of cadets at the Academy from the remaining U.S. territories at any one time:

American Samoa: two cadets
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands: two cadets
District of Columbia: five cadets
Guam: three cadets
U.S. Virgin Islands: three cadets

Submit your request to the delegates in the House of Representatives from the District of Columbia, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the resident representative of the Northern Mariana Islands to:

Honorable (name of appropriate delegate or the commissioner...

Delegates in the House of Representatives are allowed the following number of cadets at the Academy from the remaining U.S. territories at any one time:

American Samoa: two cadets
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands: two cadets
District of Columbia: five cadets
Guam: three cadets
U.S. Virgin Islands: three cadets

Submit your request to the delegates in the House of Representatives from the District of Columbia, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the resident representative of the Northern Mariana Islands to:

Honorable (name of appropriate delegate or the commissioner)
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

International

If you are a citizen of a country other than the United States, you must be nominated by your country.

Nominations from your government are processed through the United States Defense Attaché Office/American embassy serving your country.

Nominations must be received by the U.S. Air Force Academy by December 31 for the class entering the following June.

For more information, see How Can I Prepare?: International Students.

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