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  • Writer's pictureLTC Brechin, USAF, Ret.

What Can an Academy Admissions Coach Do for You?

Updated: Mar 18

Call them an Academy consultant, an Admissions counselor, a Service Academy coach, or simply a mentor, but the role of an 'admissions coach' for the U.S service academies can be very productive and effective.

Coaches, teachers, and mentors play important roles in our lives. I have personally served in all of these roles throughout my life. I have been a teacher and mentor as a Physics teacher at the U.S. Air Force Academy for three years and as an AFA Admissions Liaison Officer for 12 years. I also served a Boy Scout Camp counselor and director as a high school student as well as a supervisor and mentor for junior employees during my professional career. I found it very gratifying when one of my teammates was promoted to a new position with more responsibility and prestige. I take this same approach with my students as an Academy Admissions Coach: how can I help you obtain your goals?

Often, we use coaches to learn new skills, improve current strengths and alleviate our weakness in a sport or other endeavor. A tennis coach works with you on your serve, a basketball coach has you practice drills to improve passing and shooting, and a boxing coach spars with you to provide realistic conditions for your upcoming contests. A coach does not participate in the match, but he or she is there to support you throughout the game! An Academy Admissions Coach does the same.

Often, I am asked does a student 'need' a coach? I respond with a quick "no" as thousands of candidates complete the process each year by themselves. However, just like a tennis player or wrestler desires to improve their capabilities to enter the upper echelons of their sport, a candidate for the U.S. Naval Academy (or other service academies) will want to do the same. Often, I provide that extra edge that other candidates do not possess. (And in 2022, that happened for 10 of my 12 students!)

As an Academy Admissions Coach, I will provide that additional set of skills and preparation for the appointment process. About 3500 candidates will be qualified each year by each of the U.S. military academies, including receiving a nomination to the school. Sixty percent of those students, however, will not receive an appointment. As a coach, I ensure that you are part of the 40% that receive an Academy appointment.

So, what will an Academy Admission Coach, like me, do for you? Here is a quick list of the services a coach will offer:

  • Creating your tailored admissions plan for both academy and ROTC applications

  • Providing military career counseling and advisory

  • Authoring a résumé

  • Consulting on extracurricular activities, leadership, academics and athletics

  • Guiding Letters of Recommendation and their submissions

  • Providing prep and pro-active engagement with the ALO, BGO and FFR

  • Leading essay prep sessions

  • Conducting progress reviews and ‘next steps’

  • Advising and tracking nomination applications progress for all sources

  • Providing ad hoc availability and consulting as events and results dictate

  • Leading interview prep sessions

  • Fitness tests advisory for both the CFA and ROTC PFAs

  • Counseling around the military medical evaluation

  • Post-appointment (and ROTC scholarship) advisory and preparation

I believe this list provides the difference between applying for an Academy appointment and winning one!

Recently, one of my students received a guidance letter from the Northeast Regional Commander at the United States Military Academy’s Directorate of Admissions, Capt Richard Simpson. He simply stated, "I have very little sympathy for candidates whose applications suffer 'self-inflicted wounds' . . ." noting a long list of errors that candidates make. The Captain then writes that, "every one of these examples (and many more) costs great candidates their cadetships each year. Don’t be that candidate!" As an Academy Admission Coach, my students avoid costly errors throughout the application process.

A counselor, coach and mentor for the admissions process for the U.S Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the U.S Merchant Marine Academy will focus on your desire to serve in the U.S. armed forces as a commissioned officer. However, unlike other civilian college coaches and counselors, an Academy Admissions Coach works with you to prepare for the unique, extensive, and thorough military application process.

[Give me a call (and include your parents) so that we may discuss how I can help you achieve your aspirations of earning an Academy appointment or ROTC scholarship. Reach me at (503) 515-7406 and ]

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