I went to the US Naval Academy (Class of '86 ;) and when I was in your shoes, the most helpful thing I did was talk to a school counselor about my desire. They helped me understand what I would need to do to get accepted, put me in touch with a Blue & Gold officer (previous graduates who volunteer their time in recruiting for USNA) and helped me create an action plan to prepare for my application (what classes to take in high school, what activities to participate in, etc...). It was also helpful to have someone to talk to during the time between my decision to prepare & apply and when I was actually accepted. I was accepted straight out of high school. One of my roommates at USNA was prior enlisted (enlisted & then applied later) and one attended the Marine Military Academy (1 year program) prior to getting accepted. You have to pay tuition to attend, but they have a summer camp that would give you a taste of what you will experience in the military. As Andrei said, each Academy has a prep school and I would check them all out online to see what opportunities they have to offer. The US service academies are hard to get into and they have a pretty high attrition rate. Attending a prep school can increase your chance of getting accepted and getting a taste of what to expect is a good way to check your commitment level and increase your chances of success once you get in. Best of luck to you in your decision, Christian.
John recommends the following next steps:
- Contact your school guidance counselor
- Research the prep schools for summer programs
- Research the academies to see which one best fits your interests
- Create an action plan