One method of obtaining a 4-year college degree is to participate in one of the Military Academy programs offered in the United States. There are four military academies, but one of the most well known is the program in Maryland, at the United States Naval Academy. The Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland has been in existence since 1845, and works to give a well rounded education, not only academic but person, relational, and social, as well as preparing the next group of leaders for our Navy and Marine Corps services into the future.
To gain entrance to the U.S. Naval Academy you have to be appointed. For many years this meant that a Senator or Representative from your home state had to sponsor you, and this was and still is a highly competitive method of entrance. Then they expanded the means to enter, and made it possible to attend a preparatory academy where you study and work both academically and physically to show your qualifications. If you graduate from one of these types of academies, then you may qualify for appointment by the Secretary of the Navy. This method is not as well known but does provide for additional opportunities for Naval Academy appointment.
The Naval Academy is a four-year program of study, which leads to a college degree but also an appointment as an Ensign in the United States Navy. You will be trained in some of the finest academic training, but that is just the start. You will also participate in military and physical training, both during the school year and during the summer. Summertime training will often be with active duty Marine and Navy units, where you will learn a wide variety of skills including seamanship, navigation, weapons, and various other subjects. The Navy also stresses physical conditioning during the educational stay of a midshipman at the Naval Academy. Participation on Academy Sports teams is mandatory; there are a wide variety of opportunities to play. The Naval academy sees this participation as a necessary part of the training, to learn sportsmanship, fair play, as well at an important part of staying in top physical condition. This will help make midshipmen mortally, mentally and physically ready for their future in the Navy.
One additional element of the education at the Navy Academy is in morality. They operate under an honor code. They do not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate dishonesty. Infractions are brought before an honor board, made up of other midshipmen, and infractions can result in fairly minor punishments, up to major punishment including being dismissed and expelled from the Academy.