Service Academy Appointments at SJNMA

Oct 24, 2018

At the end of School Year 2018, four St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy alumni were attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a fifth one had just accepted his appointment to attend there in fall 2018.

In fact, in reviewing a list of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (SJNMA) graduates over the past 25 years, there has been a total of 31 service academy appointments that were awarded to our graduates: 23 at United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York; three at United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland; two at United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado; and three at United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. In addition, during this same period, somewhere between 100 – 120 ROTC scholarships were offered to our graduates.

A question recently posed to our SJNMA alumni at West Point was, “How did SJNMA prepare you to succeed at West Point?” Speaking on behalf of the other SJNMA alumni at West Point, 2LT Wagner, a 2018 West Point graduate said, “St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy definitively provided us with a strong foundation and prepared us for success. It provided an edge above our peers going into the USMA. When we entered the Academy our plebe (freshman) year, we were miles ahead of our peers in both overall military knowledge and social awareness of how to conduct ourselves in the military. While our peers spent time learning how the Army works, we could focus on getting ahead on academics and making strides in other areas of the academy. In addition, SJNMA taught us personal drive, self-discipline, time management, and strong study habits.” He believes that self-discipline is the key to success. “At any college, you must manage your own schedule and obligations. There are no teachers or parents to keep you on track, so you had better have it when you arrive or else you won’t make it.”

Major General Paul Lima, U.S. Army (Retired), the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for the State of Wisconsin and a great resource in assisting SJNMA cadets in attaining their goal of a USMA appointment, provided some insightful information in regard to SJNMA cadets seeking West Point admissions. Reviewing statewide statistics for the past five years of cadets who applied to West Point (graduating classes of 2018 through 2022):
– 781 candidates opened admissions files throughout the state of Wisconsin
– 283 candidates received congressional nominations
– 89 cadets entered West Point

In reviewing the acceptance statistics over the same five-year period from Wisconsin high schools for those 89 candidates who entered West Point:
– 72 high schools had at least one cadet
– 61 high schools had only one cadet
– 8 high schools had two cadets
– 3 high schools had more than two cadets
– SJNMA holds the record with five cadets

General Lima stated, “I believe this tells the whole story—SJNMA is the only high school in Wisconsin with a graduate in every class, including the Class of 2022. Your graduates are doing well and taking advantage of the education available to them. This is a great testament to the academic program and leadership development training of SJNMA.”

Now as we are about to move into a new era at SJNMA, which will include female cadets, the new question at hand is, “How long will it be before an SJNMA female cadet wins an appointment to West Point or one of the three service academies?” While we do not know the answer, the entire faculty and staff of SJNMA look forward to that day!