Personal Question about Attending USNA as women...

FYI: I did post this on the Service Academy Forums

Hi, to everyone who views and replies.?

I’ve been Recruited to run Track and Field at USNA. I’ll Be class of 25’. I’ve never really thought of going to a military academy until the coach contacted me at the beginning of this school year. I’ve always seen going into the military as a last resort type of thing.
However, I know about how good of a deal this opportunity is , in regards to my desire to attend a very good Engineering School that can offer accelerated education (4+1 Programs) or really good/strong Connections with Co-op and internship opportunities, all while being able to compete and improve competitively in Track and field.

All in all, what I’m most worried about is the 5 years of service. I don’t mind doing the 5 years of service after I graduate, what I’m most worried about is having to spend most of my service on Ship. I been reading and I know that this is a serious decision since, when I graduate I’ll be an officers and enlisted soldiers will rely on me to fulfill my duty as an officer.
I really am not fond of spending a lot of time on the ship. And I want to blame it personally on the fact that as a woman, when I Graduate I’ll be 22, just like anybody else I’ll want to start working my way into a career but also work towards a relationship and starting a family. Now tell me if I’m wrong - but is it possible to do that during my 5 year service?

Is being placed on a ship Mandatory ( probably dumb question- cause you know it is THE “NAVY”) ?
How long does an Avg. USNA graduate spend time on a ship after graduating (minimum months/years)?
If, not, what are the other available options to undergo during my 5 years?

Hello! I literally signed up for this website because I saw this post! I don’t really have a great answer to your question but I really want to share what I know.
I don’t know plenty about life after the academy besides all the career options available that I was able to find after doing some research. I would say it all depends on what you want to pursue, it can be going to naval pilot school (pilot has to serve at least 8 years), nuclear power school and then submarines, SWO, EOD, marine corps, etc. I would say it is inevitable that naval officers will eventually be on ships with the exception of submarine officers. (more about this in 3rd paragraph)
I actually feel so relatable to you! I’m also getting recruited by USNA, but for women’s volleyball. I will also be in the class of 2025! In my college & volleyball search I look for strong engineering schools, great opportunities for co-ops or internships, and competitive sports like you as well. I never considered going to service academy until Air Force head coach reach out last year. I play multiple positions in volleyball and he recruited me with the intend to play one certain position that I am not particularly a fan of and he said the position I want to play already has an athlete committed, so I stopped talking to him. I would say that was actually one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made because since then I’ve realized that the opportunity service academies offer is so unique and valuable that it would be an honor to get in no matter what. Then soon after, USNA volleyball coach reached out to me and I am so grateful for another opportunity. I am now just waiting for an official visit and hopefully everything can go as I hoped!
I get that the five years of required service sounds a bit scary, because after all, you will be in military, getting deployed and so on, definitely not a lot of time for personal life. I have watched many youtube videos of people’s experiences on ships, and what I got from it is that long distance relationships will be close to impossible if the relationship is new. Most people who are dating in the military are either dating with people on the same ship or would say that is the only good idea. I have thought about this a lot because I also have other things in my bucket list I wish to complete. But in the five or more years of service there are many chances to explore the world and getting to meet plenty of people. Many people have also found their significant other during service. I get that the earliest to get out of service is when you will be 27 or so, and it sounds like our young years will be gone, but I truly believe that those adventures and experiences acquire during that time will be all worth it. And try to look on the bright side, you will be guarantee to have a job for five years, and that when you apply for jobs, it is required by law for employers to view and prioritize your application first because you will be a veteran.
There are definitely a lot of pros and cons, and most of the cons being making sacrifices. But it is only then there can be so much rewards and satisfaction and pride in yourself for doing all this. Lol, I’m seriously not trying to sound like a nerdy philosopher, haha.
I’m actually worrying about things that happens during the academy more. Such as wearing glasses during plebe summer that I am certainly not looking forward to since I wear contacts daily… The short summer time that you will be free because the majority of it are spend for you to explore different careers in the navy. And there’s the sea trial at the end of plebe year that I don’t understand how people survive. Getting yell at in the face and having to yell in numerous occasions such as chow calls. Getting lasik surgery if you have bad vision and want to be a pilot. Female stuff like period and so many more things I will just have to deal with and face the fact that getting out of comfort zone is how we grow, and the naval academy is famously known for the development of leadership and character.
And there are also so much fun moments you can have and strong bonds that you can develop there. From listening to all the people that spoke from experience as the alum of USNA, they all enjoyed it despite the constant challenges, and wouldn’t have chosen another place otherwise. And I truly believe that is the case.
If you want to talk to someone going through the same thing as you I am more than willing to get in touch. Who knows~ maybe we will both end up going there and be besties! Haha. Best of luck in your college search and track & field recruitment :slight_smile:

@Thaunagamer and @“dcn_vball’25” - I am an Academy grad (USMA - Go Army!). I will give you a few insights.

First, great questions and comments from both of you. A good source of information will be to ask your recruiting coaches to get you in contact with the local Parents’ Club for the Naval Academy. They will be a huge source of current information. They will also be more open about the current environment for women at the Academy. A coach is going to try to sell you, minimize the downside, its all upside, right? I’m not sure if recruiting rules allow it, but ask the coach for contact info for a player that just finished plebe year. They can give you some great info.

Second, how motivated are you to serve in the military? Yes, this should probably be the first thing to reconcile with. Contact with parents and their students will actually help with this also. You have identified the “why USNA” - top engineering school and opportunity to play D1 sport. Hate to break it to you, that’s not enough. There is the daily grind. The intense introduction to the military is only about 8 weeks in the summer. It’s not like you go to boot camp. You are training to be an Officer, the basic training that is more infamous is for enlisted sailors entering the military. But, there is obviously a military overlay to every day life. You attend formations, eat at prescribed times and have extra classes related to military skills and knowledge. It is a different life than a ‘normal’ college.

Unfortunately, I do not have much perspective on being a woman at the Academy. I felt my female classmates were the same as me, struggling to make it through the grind. My classmates run the full spectrum of success in the military and civilian sectors.

Ask yourself this - do you want to serve your country through service in the military? I encourage you to do some research and see where you stand.

Some other intangibles that you might not have discovered yet.


Guaranteed job after graduation
No student loans
A chance to work internationally ( yes, travel is fun)
If you stay in the military, grad school is covered.
If a career in the military is not your thing, an Academy degree is an strong introduction in any job interview


For me, I value the freedom we enjoy in this country. I feel we all owe the country service of some sort. I chose to fulfill that service through time in the military.

My daughter graduated from Navy and has a good marriage and 2 children. You can pick your community and she did pick surface warfare officer (ships) but that doesn’t mean that every assignment is on a ship. You can also switch communities etc. She has many friends still in as she is also still active duty and many are having children now. It can take some planning, but it’s definitely doable.

@Thaunagamer hasn’t posted since this thread (6/1), so she may have moved on.