Gouge \ˈgauj' or 'goo-hay'\ : Essential pieces of information; the heart of the matter. A person who is tired of hearing all the extraneous information surrounding a problem might exclaim "Just give me the gouge!" The volunteer fleet of Blue & Gold Officers (BGOs) is spread throughout the country and it is at full-speed ahead supporting the Class of 2013 candidates. BGOs can offer a wealth of information that can add to this excellent website. What is the role of a BGO in the US Naval Academy? Hopefully if you are a candidate for the Class of 2013 you know the answer to this question. If not, a Naval Academy Information Officer, commonly referred to as a BGO has three primary responsibilities to candidates: Provide candidates candid counsel and encouragement. Discuss academic, physical and medical requirements. Offer positive encouragement, tempered by fair and candid presentation of the high standards of USNA. Perform and submit a timely and comprehensive BGO interview. The interview is a mandatory requirement of the admissions process. This interview is very important since it might be the only physical contact a candidate may have with anyone involved in the admissions process. Work with those individuals who do not qualify. Counsel unsuccessful candidates, assessing their possibilities for future success if they decide to apply again the following year. Educate the applicant of other Service Academies and Officer Accession programs such as NROTC and OCS. A BGO is not: On the Admissions Board. The only contact a BGO typically has with the Admissions Board is through their BGO interview. A Varsity Athlete Recruiter. That is the responsibility of the Naval Academy Athletic Association (NAAA). You personal college admissions consultant. You are one of many candidates on your BGO's slate and they are all volunteers often with day jobs, families, etc. Be considerate of their time just as they should be considerate of yours. Your DODMERB advocate. Due to privacy laws, BGOs are not allowed become involved in your medical qualification process. Some guy/gal 'on the inside that can pull some strings' to give you an edge. We are mostly just a bunch of moms, dads, grads, and fans that want to do something positive for USNA and the kids around us trying to gain admission. Someone who knows why you REALLY did or did not get an appointment! This is my last one. BGOs do their best to counsel candidates but they don't sit on the Admissions Board (see note 1) and they don't have the secret sauce. They are pleased when candidates are offered appointments, they are stumped at times when candidates are turned down. This statement is not at all faulting the Admissions Process and Board (I think given the thousands of candidates, the Board does an excellent job), it is again emphasizing...note 1. Here is a sample of gouge your BGO has at their disposal: Do you have what it takes to be a Midshipman at the Naval Academy? Here is the Class of 2012 Profile to help you answer this question. The Trident is an online periodical that services the US Naval Academy. It can give you insight into the happenings around The Yard. The US Naval Academy no longer requires an entrance fee. The entering class of 2011 was required to pay a $2500 entrance fee, the last to do so. Click here first when you have the question "How do I apply to the US Naval Academy? The Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) is not a pass/fail assessment. A candidate's raw scores will be converted to scale scores (0-100 points) based upon their performance on each event. This score is part of the 'whole-person' evaluation used by the Admissions Board. More information as well as the 100-point maximum score, by event and gender, are listed here. Since 2006, only 5% of the candidates offered appointments in my Blue & Gold Area were accepted to Naval Academy Summer Seminar (NASS). Also, in the same period of time, the majority of candidates offered appointments did not have an LOA. Candidates who visit the US Naval Academy can attend an admissions briefing in Leahy Hall. Interested students, parents, and educators are encouraged to attend one of four daily briefings (two on Saturday). These briefings will start with a 15-minute video and conclude with an informative discussion led by an active duty Navy or Marine Corps admission officer. These officers are admissions experts and can address the questions you have about gaining entrance into the Naval Academy. Do you think your are a USNA varsity-caliber athlete? While the varsity coaches always have the final answer, your BGO can offer you advice on general criteria that can help you answer this question. Are you Linebacker that can run a 4.7/40? Are you a Top-15 ranked tennis player in the Missouri Valley? You might be a viable varsity recruit. Check with your BGO and then have your coach contact NAAA. Congressional nominations are typically due to your Senators and Representatives no later than October 31 or November 1 of the candidate year. Click the links below to find your deadlines: Vice President Nominations Senate Nominations House of Representatives Nominations Finally, since joining this forum I have seen a disturbing number of candidates stating they do not know who their BGO is or how to contact them. Here is a little trick. Follow this link to the online catalog. This is the contact information for all the BGO Area Coordinators. Start there. If you are still having trouble contacting your BGO after this, send me a message via this forum's Private Message functionality. Good luck and BEAT ARMY!