How to Play Football for the Army

The Army has a historic tradition when it comes to football. The United States Military Academy, or West Point as it is commonly known, fields a Division I football team that competes against universities from across the country. Those who are interested in playing football for the Army must get into the rigorous academic academy in order to play football. The school has produced three Heisman Trophy winners. Former Army general and U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower played football when he attended West Point. The annual Army-Navy football game is one of the most anticipated games of the college football season.

Playing Army Football

Begin preparing in high school. As a high school athlete, you must put in the time, practice and effort to become one of the best at your position in order to garner the attention of Army coaches who recruit players. You must be in top physical shape, not just to compete at the college level, but also to get into the academy. To gain entrance, you must pass a physical fitness exam that tests endurance, strength, power and agility. High grades in academically rigorous classes are important as well. Finally, be sure to become involved in other extracurricular activities at your school and in the community. The school looks for leaders in the admissions process.

Getting into the Military Academy is tough. You must be between the ages of 17 and 22 when you are admitted, meet strict academic requirements, have a high ACT or SAT score, pass a physical fitness test and have a recommendation from a member of Congress to be admitted to the academy. Information about the academic and fitness requirements can be found on the United States Military Academy admissions website.

The United States Military Academy does not charge tuition. Instead, those admitted to the academy are required to commit to five years of service in the military. Upon graduation, cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Army.

Some candidates begin at the United States Military Academy Prep School before moving on to the academy. You do not apply to the Prep School separately. West Point’s Director of Admissions decides if it is necessary for you to attend the Prep School first.

Once you’ve gotten into West Point, you are eligible to play football. The football team offers spots to students directly out of high school or the Prep School. A day in a cadet’s life is strictly managed between academic, athletic and leadership training. Those who commit to playing football for the Army should expect to maintain a strict standard in all of these areas.