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Military Families

Guiding Families Interested in a U.S. Service Academy


Through U.S. Service Academy visits and interviews, I learned how their admissions policies work, and I want to help you through the process.

Gene McGuirk, Seton’s Director of Academic Counseling, is motivated to help students and families make good academic and career decisions. He is especially enthusiastic about providing guidance when the Armed Forces are involved.

Gene’s reasoning is, “It is important to have leaders with good moral formation in the armed services. That’s why I’m driven to support high-quality Seton students who wish to pursue such service to our country.”

He’s also at the ready to help families when needed. As homeschooling mom Jani Thomas recently explained in Seton Magazine’s Seton Gives Us the Resources to Stay on Track, Gene was always there to guide her as they explored military careers and Service Academies.

We sat down with Gene McGuirk to discuss how Seton has prepared and stands ready to help students gain admission to military and service academies. Here is what he had to say:

I’m Prepared to Help You

“Over the years, many Seton graduates have expressed an interest in attending military and service academies. I have visited West Point, the Coast Guard Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy, and the Naval Academy to better understand what these schools expect from applicants. I have also visited N.Y. Maritime College, the Naval Academy Prep School, and the Military Academy Prep School. I have met with representatives of the Air Force Academy and the Virginia Military Institute. The admissions representatives of all of these schools were very interested in the Seton program and offered advice and help.

Through these visits and interviews, I learned how their admissions policies work, which equipped me to better help you, our families, through the process.”

If More is Required

In some cases, academies may require a high school graduate to complete a post-graduate high school year to bolster their academic readiness before admission. With its flexible and tailored approach to education, homeschooling can be an ideal option to meet these requirements.

Contact me with any questions at 540-635-4728 or

Seton Grad at the Head of His Class at West Point

Seton students have been accepted, enrolled in, and graduated from all of the academies and colleges named. We are proud of them all but call out one for special recognition, Jonathan David Bate, who graduated at the head of his class from West Point in 2006.

Bate was the honor graduate; that is, he was first in his class. In his four years at the U.S. Military Academy, Bate received numerous awards. Among these were the Truman Scholarship for the study of International Affairs, the Gen. Pershing Memorial Award for the highest military rating in Military Science, the Gen. Wood Distinguished Cadet Award, and several others.

“Homeschooling helped me develop strong study skills and the self-discipline necessary to succeed in a rigorous academic and military environment.”
Jonathan David Bate

Editor’s Note: Since his Academy graduation, the U.S. Army has sent Bate to Harvard for his Masters Degree and to Stanford University for his Ph.D.

About Deacon Eugene McGuirk

Deacon Eugene McGuirk directs the Academic Counseling Department at Seton Home Study School. Married for over 30 years, he is the father of 4 children homeschooled through Seton. He was ordained a deacon in 1988. Meet Deacon Eugene
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