Western Pennsylvania All Service Academies' Ball

United States Military AcademyUnited States Naval AcademyUnited States Coast Guard AcademyUnited States Air Force AcademyUnited States Merchant Marine Academy
  • US Service Academies
  • USMA
  • USNA

United States Service Academies

The United States Military Academies, properly known as the United States Service Academies, are federal academies for the undergraduate education and training of commissioned officers for the United States armed forces. The term Service academies can be used to refer to all of the academies collectively; however, in popular use, it is more often reserved for the three academies that fall under the Department of Defense, and also play NCAA Division I-A football: Army, Navy, and Air Force.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy is under the Department of Homeland Security but the Coast Guard is an armed service which may be placed under the control of the U.S. Navy in time of war. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is under the United States Maritime Administration, a part of the Department of Transportation, although every student at the Merchant Marine Academy is appointed as a Midshipman, Merchant Marine Reserve, U.S. Naval Reserve, and has an eight-year military service reserve commitment upon graduation.

Students at the other Service academies incur a five year active duty commitment and if in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine Corps have an additional three year reserve commitment. The U.S. Marine Corps does not have an academy of their own but instead commissions officers from the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Students at the Military Academy, the Air Force Academy and the Coast Guard Academy are Cadets, while students at the Naval Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy are Midshipmen.

United States Military Academy

West Point

The United States Military Academy, also known as West Point, or simply USMA (or Army, for NCAA purposes), is a United States Army fort and military academy. Established in 1802, it is the oldest military academy in the United States. Students are referred to as cadets. Collectively, graduates are known as "The Long Gray Line" because of the color of cadet uniforms and the unbroken line of West Point graduates.

The Academy is located at West Point, New York, on a scenic overlook of the Hudson River, about 50 miles north of New York City. Occupying over 16,000 acres, it is one of the largest school campuses in the world. Its unique combination of facilities includes a ski slope and artillery range, in addition to the academic buildings and sports facilities found on a typical university campus. The post itself was first occupied in 1778, and it is thus the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United States.

Location: West Point, New York (approx. 50 miles from NYC)
School Colors: Black, Gray and Gold
Founded: 1802 by President Thomas Jefferson
Enrollment: approx.4400 cadets
Motto: Duty, Honor, Country
Mascot: Army mules, named Crusader, Ranger and Traveler
Nickname: Black Nights
Notable Alumni: Presidents: Grant & Eisenhower,
Generals: Patton, MacArthur, Westmoreland, Petraeus
School Website: http://www.usma.edu
Parent Club Site: http://www.west-point.org/parent/wppc-western-pa
Notable Facts: Oldest federal service academy
First college to have class ring
Two alumni served as US presidents

United States Naval Academy

Naval Academy

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) was established October 10, 1845 as an institution for the undergraduate education of officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps and is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The Academy is often referred to simply as "Annapolis" although naval officers normally refer to it in conversation as "the Academy," "the Yard," or "the Boat School." Sports media refers to the Academy as Navy, and this usage is officially endorsed. ROTC graduates, Officer Candidate School graduates as well as cadets from the Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), USNA's traditional rivals, often refer to the Naval Academy as "Canoe U" and "Shipwreck Tech."

The Academy's motto is ex scientia tridens, which is Latin for "from knowledge, seapower". The Academy also supports the Navy core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment, in addition the general idea of "excellence without arrogance."

Location: Annapolis, MD
School Colors: Navy blue and gold
Founded: 1845 by Secretary of Navy, George Bancroft
Enrollment: approx.4300 midshipmen
Motto: Ex Scientia Tridens: From Knowledge, Seapower
Mascot: Bill the goat
Nickname: Midshipmen
Notable Alumni: President Carter, John McCain, H. Ross Perot,
Alan Shepard, Roger Staubach
School Website: http://www.usna.edu
Parent Club Site: http://www.wespanapa.com
Notable Facts: One alumnus served as US president
Five Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
First college to incorporate hat toss in graduation

United States Coast Guard Academy

Coast Guard Academy

Unlike the other Service Academies, admission to the Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) is purely merit-based, and does not require a Congressional nomination. The Academy is regularly cited as being the most difficult U.S. college-level institution to gain entrance into. Each year some 400 students are selected from an applicant pool about eight times that size for appointments to the Academy. About 280 of those 400 students accept the appointment and report to the USCGA in early July for "swab summer," a basic military trainingprogram designed to prepare them for the rigors of their Fourth Class year. Each cadet takes two semesters of classes during the school year and then spends the majority of the summer in military training. After four years of study and training, approximately 175 cadets will graduate with a B.S. degree and be commissioned as Ensigns in the United States Coast Guard, to begin serving their five years of obligatory duty. Around 30% of the Corps of Cadets is female.

The roots of the academy lie in the School of Instruction of the Revenue Cutter Service which was started near New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1876, using the Revenue Cutter Dobbin for its exercises. With changes to new training vessels, the school moved to Curtis Bay, Maryland in 1900 and then again in 1910 to Fort Trumbull, a Revolutionary War army installation near New London, Connecticut.

The modern academy dates to the 1915 merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and several other marine services which formed the modern Coast Guard. The town of New London donated its current location above the west bank of the Thames River in 1932. In 1947, the academy received as a war reparation the German barque Horst Wessel, a magnificent 295 foot "tall ship". It was renamed the USCGC Eagle, and it serves as the main training vessel for academy cadets and Officer Candidates.

Location: New London, CT
School Colors: Royal blue and orange
Founded: 1876 aboard the schooner, Dobbin
Enrollment: approx.950 cadets
Motto: Scientiae cedit mare: The Sea Yields Knowledge
Mascot: Objee, the black bear
Nickname: Bears
Notable Alumni: G. William Miller, James Loy, Thad Allen,
Erroll M. Brown, Timothy S. Sullivan
School Website: http://www.cga.edu
Parent Club Site: currently reforming
Notable Facts: First year it graduated females in 1980
2003, Coast Guard was transferred to Department of Homeland Security
Gave its 1st Doctorate in Letters on Alex Haley, 1988

United States Merchant Marine Academy

Merchant Marine Academy

The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) is charged with producing officers who are the most important element in a productive merchant fleet and a strong transportation industry. USMMA graduates men and women with a Bachelor of Science Degree who are intelligent, dedicated, well-educated and competent to the United States Merchant Marine, branches of the military, and the transportation industry. Midshipmen are trained in navigation, ship's administration, maritime law, personnel management, international law, customs, electrical and mechanical systems, and overall, running large ships.

The Academy represents Federal involvement in maritime training that is more than a century old. Since the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant, the U.S. Government has initiated various programs to train its citizens for service in the merchant marine. The United States Merchant Marine Academy, dedicated in 1943, represents the realization of these efforts. The Academy has since grown in stature and has become one of the world's foremost institutions in the field of maritime education. Under the helm of newly inducted Rear Admiral Helis, the mission continues to educate and graduate licensed merchant mariners and leaders of exemplary character who serve America's marine transportation and defense needs in war and peace.

Location Kings Point, Long Island, NY
School Colors Blue and gray
Founded 1942, dedicated in 1943 by FDR
Enrollment approx.910 midshipmen
Motto Acta Non Verba: Deeds Not Words
Mascot Mariner
Nickname Mariners
Notable Alumni Albert J. Herberger, Skip Prosser, Mark Kelly
School Website http://www.usmma.edu
Notable Facts First academy to admit women in 1974
Academy is part of the U.S. Dept of Transportation
Only academy to carry a regimental battle standard with the colors

United States Air Force Academy

Air Force Academy

The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is an institution for the undergraduate education of officers for the United States Air Force. Graduates of the four-year program receive a Bachelor of Science degree and most are commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force. The program at the Academy is based on its core values of "Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do".

The Air Force Academy is often referred to informally as "The Academy," "The Hill", "The Zoo" (originally "The Blue Zoo") or "Wild Blue U." Unlike the service academies at West Point and Annapolis, which are often referred to by their respective city names, the Air Force Academy is rarely referred to as "Colorado Springs." In athletic events, the Academy is generally referred to simply as "Air Force." Air Force Academy cadets and graduates are often referred to as "Zoomies."

Location: Colorado Springs, CO
School Colors: Air force blue and silver
Founded: 1954 by Dwight D. Eisenhower
Enrollment: approx.4500 cadets
Motto: to education, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character, motivated to lead the US Air Force in service to our nation
Mascot: falcon
Nickname: Fighting Falcons
Notable Alumni: Kevin Chilton, Susan Helms, Joe Lombardi,
Kim Read-Campbell, Ralph Eberhart
School Website: http://www.usafa.af.mil
Parent Club Site: http://www.freewebs.com/usafapawp/
Notable Facts: Parade uniform designed by Cecil B. DeMille
Vietnam was the first war in which graduates served
It is the youngest of the 5 federal academies