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NOV 25 2014
Dear Blue and Gold Officers:
The admissions cycle for the Class of2019 is well underway, but I wanted to thank you for
all of your efforts this past year with the remarkable Class of2018. With 1178 U.S. students
admitted, the smallest class admitted since the Class of 2001, as well as an acceptance rate that
exceeded 85 percent, this was one of the most competitive classes ever admitted to the Naval
Academy. You should be very proud of your contributions as this year's Plebes broke several
records. Here are some highlights:

Most number of class validations by any incoming USNA class;

One of top three classes in performance on the PRT administered at the end of plebe
Strong leadership attributes with over 66 percent having been.selected as sports captains
and 69 percent of the class as student body leaders;
The greatest representation of females in any class ever admitted with 302 (25.4 percent)
in the class;
Strong representation of the cultural diversity represented in America with about onethird of those admitted with diverse backgrounds; and
Admission from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Guam.

All in all, these superb statistics were possible through our vast network of dedicated
volunteers. You are to be commended for making history!
The Class of 2019 promises to be just as competitive and I would like to take this opportunity
to ask for your continuing support in a few areas. As you are aware, Title 10 drives the
Admissions process and mandates geographic representation. There are many challenges we
face in attracting females, minorities and other under-served students to the Naval Academy. We
attribute this to the general lack of awareness about service academies, and/or an opportunity to
serve the nation as an officer. We are competing against Ivy League and top engineering schools
across the nation in attracting these candidates to the Naval Academy. Your assistance in
identifying and encouraging these young men and women is appreciated greatly. We have
found that a visit to the campus is also a great motivator in getting them to apply.
Several programs including Naval Academy Summer Seminar (NASS), STEM camp, and
Candidate Visit Weekends are key to raising this awareness across the country. Although
designed to increase awareness and excitement toward Science, Technology, Engineering and
Math, we are finding that students who applied to STEM camp also gain interest in being
admitted even if they do not attend camp. The program is still small, but an application to STEM
also provides us information to invite the student to a visit weekend, Admissions Forum or
summer seminar. So, please encourage the rising 9th, 10th and 11th graders in the schools you are

assigned in your high schools to apply. The application is online on our website and will be
available this year from 5 Jan 15 to 15 Apr 15.
We are all aware that Summer Seminar has been our most important program for admission
over the last several years. From my perspective, it is because it motivates nearly 70 percent of
the students on average to finish the application, and Summer Seminar students do well in our
admissions process with generally about one third gaining acceptance. One of the issues that is
presented with Summer Seminar, however, is the perception by many students and parents that
non-acceptance is an early flag that they are not competitive for admission. Frankly, this could
not be further from the truth. Each year, more than two-thirds of those we admit in the incoming
classes were not Summer Seminar attendees and many were turned down for the program. So,
please encourage students who have not been accepted into NASS to keep working on their
applications. It is important to let students know that the true key to getting an appointment is
finishing the application, rather than attending NASS. We are shifting the emphasis for
Candidate Visit Weekends toward juniors, particularly those not accepted to Summer Seminar.
The programs we have mentioned above highlight that we are making every effort to shift our
emphasis to increasing awareness toward 9th and 1oth grade so that we do not have to work as
hard with 121h graders in getting them to be prepared for USNA, apply for admission and finish
the application. Your efforts in being proactive toward finding top candidates and deepening our
talent pool are appreciated greatly and can't be overemphasized. Target major urban and rural
areas where we get few applicants and identify schools with excellent potential but where our
traction is weak. Your assistance in identifying influencers in your communities such as
counselors, principals, school officials, and youth club leaders helps you and us increase
We see BGO interviews as extremely important in our admissions process and of great value
to our Admissions Board in evaluating candidates. Please insure your evaluations are supported
by the write ups, and that an evaluation of"Top 5%" is used only for the candidate who is truly
deserving. The Area Coordinator Steering Committee is working closely with us to reinforce
We hope that you also see BGO interviews as we do; that they should be a byproduct of our
collective efforts to increase awareness. I am always mindful that we are mentoring and
assisting young men and women who are interested in serving their country, and we should be
doing our best to encourage and mentor them to as an officer whether it is through USNA or
NROTC/OCS regardless of our perceived evaluation of their credentials. I encourage you to
look for leadership, determination, and other intangibles that are not easy to find in metrical data
provided in the application for admission, but you know will contribute to building of strong
military officers. We also need to understand that we are working to attract great, talented
students from across the nation who represent a wide array of backgrounds and with different
cultural attributes from a generation that is exposed to new and challenging societal issues. We
need to understand these differences as we mentor and evaluate them, and as well as staying
relevant to the challenges they face growing up and pursuing their dreams.

We have an outstanding set of BGOs and Area Coordinators all across the country and world.
My staff is working hard with the Area Coordinator Steering Committee to provide you all with
the appropriate tools to succeed. Despite this, we do understand that there are problems many of
you face. Please continue to bring these issues forward by using your BGO Chain of Command
starting with your Area Coordinator. I understand you are all extremely busy with your personal
lives, but it is important to take advantage of the BGO Training events this year. We are
working on several options to make it more readily available.
Again, thank you for all of your hard work. My staff and I look forward to working with you
this cycle and bringing in the best and brightest for the Class of 2019.