To help explain the process of congressional nominations to high school students and recent graduates interested in applying to U.S. military service academies this fall, representatives from Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and Rep. Steve Pearce, will host a Military Service Academy Night, Thursday, April 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Mayfield High School Library, 1955. N. Valley Drive.

“Each year, I have the privilege of nominating some of the best and brightest young people from across New Mexico to our nation’s military service academies,” Udall said. “The service academy information sessions offer a great opportunity to learn more about the nominating process and to meet with representatives from the academies and New Mexico collegiate ROTC programs.”

Four of the five service academies — the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy — require a congressional, vice presidential or service-connected nomination as part of the application process. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy does not require a nomination.

U.S. military service academies are among the most competitive colleges in the nation due to the limited number of students each service academy can admit each year.

In addition to providing information about service academy nominations, representatives from each Senator’s office, the New Mexico congressional delegation and the military service academies will be available to answer questions from prospective applicants and parents about state Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs, ROTC scholarships and interview processes.

Service academies provide college-age Americans with a tuition-free, four-year undergraduate education and prepare them to be officers of some of the U.S. uniformed services. Upon graduation, service academy graduates are commissioned as officers in the active or reserve components of the military or the merchant marine for a minimum of five years, according to a 2016 report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress.

The report also mentions that although a nomination is an essential component of the application process, a congressional nomination does not guarantee an individual’s admission or appointment to a service academy. In addition to securing a nomination, prospective candidates must also submit an application and fulfill other service academy requirements.

For more information, contact LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren, pdahlgren@lcps.net, (575) 527-5808.