Congressional Letters

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by wang93, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. wang93

    wang93 Member

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    I'm currently writing letters to my Congressman and Senators to begin the nomination process. I'm following the format on the West Point Admissions website. However, I am also interested in pursuing a nomination for the Air Force Academy. In the letter, should I say that I am interested in BOTH West Point and AFA, or should I write separate letters for each academy? (ex: Send one letter saying I'm applying for WP, and another saying I'm applying for AFA).
     
  2. Riv-Rod

    Riv-Rod Member

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    If you'll go to their websites you can get the packet from each senator and your congressman to apply for a nomnation.
     
  3. BAJohnson

    BAJohnson Member

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    I wouldn't write a letter. Most MOC don't even post what they want in their packets until the summer at the earliest.

    I would get 2 teacher recommendations, copies of your birth certificate, and pull together a resume (list of activities/awards/etc).

    I only wanted a nom to USMA so I'm not sure how kids who applied for noms to multiple schools handled it. I do know that if you are in a competitive district/state though that it is unlikely to get a noms to multiple service academies unless you are a stellar candidate or get a nom from the president/other source since the MOC many times try to get as many kids as possible a nomination and don't like giving the same kid several noms.

    I just looked at the USMA website. I suggest going to your senators/congressmans website for better instructions.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
  4. wang93

    wang93 Member

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    Thank you for responding.

    Both of my senators have their applications online. However, I am required to contact my Congressman's office for a nomination packet. What's the best way to contact my Congressman?
     
  5. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    A book I have suggests writing letters is the way to go. It states that writing letters shows initiative. Also, if you write a letter the congressman's office would be sure not to get your address wrong.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010
  6. BAJohnson

    BAJohnson Member

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    Yes, writing a letter is infinitely better than e-mail. If you live by your congressional office though actually stopping by might be the best idea. That way they see your face as well. Letter > E-mail though definitely.
     
  7. lotrjedi13

    lotrjedi13 _

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    When I contacted my congressmen for a request packet, I sent them a letter. At the time, I was deciding between USMA and USNA, so I mentioned that my requested nom was for USMA or USNA. Then, when the follow-up packet arrived a couple weeks later, I had to rank my two choices. I didn't have the option of doing anything online, though, for either my senators or my representative.
     
  8. coffeecup3

    coffeecup3 Member

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    wang93: It varies by senator and congressman. I believe that most senators allow you to list one choice only while congressman allow a rank list; it really depends though so check their websites. I applied to USMA and USNA. So heres what i did:
    Senator 1: USMA
    Senator 2: USNA
    Congressman: 1. USMA, 2.USNA

    And I received my nom for USMA only from my congressman.
    I would advice that you do not write a letter unless their website tells you so. I know that my congressman said to receive a nomination packet to fill out, you had to send him a letter requesting the packet. But this wasn't the case for my senators who had their packets online. Best of Luck!!
     
  9. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I agree that it definitely depends on your individual MOC. Ours were similar to wang93's in that everything for the senators was online and there was no real reason to contact them beforehand, but you needed to request the info from the congressman. However, I tend to disagree with the advice to write rather than email, especially as you get further into the process. It seemed in our case that if we sent anything by mail (other than the final completed packet), we had no idea of confirmation, if it got to anyone, or was just read by someone in the mailroom and then tossed. My son tried making phone calls and leaving messages and wouldn't get a reply, or would weeks later. But once we got the staffer contacts, he found that emails were nearly always answered instantaneously - even in the evening or on weekends. So scanning and emailing and getting a quick reply (and documentation that they had received it) made that route much better with our MOC's. You'll have to find out which yours prefer but using whatever they DO prefer makes it more likely that it will be processed more quickly.
     
  10. BAJohnson

    BAJohnson Member

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    @marciemi, valid point. Follow up e-mails? "I sent you a letter you a letter a week ago, etc..." in addition to the mail? I wouldn't say mail is needed every single time but it is a good thing initially.
     
  11. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I do agree that the actual letter looks more professional at first. Plus, you may not have the staffer's email initially anyway. But I think a lot depends on just the preferences of the people you work with. My son's RC at WP was like "I hardly ever have time to check my email - phone calls work better". The congressman's staffer was like "Emails are so much easier - sometimes I don't get a chance to check my voicemail for a couple weeks." Might be worth asking up front and honoring their preferences!
     
  12. wang93

    wang93 Member

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    Thank you for the advices!
    Did anyone use the sample letter on the USMA Admissions website?

    http://admissions.usma.edu/prospectus/step_02bs.cfm

    It says to include the Social Security number...I'm hesitant to include that in there because the letter could accidently fall in the wrong hands.
     
  13. lotrjedi13

    lotrjedi13 _

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    I don't know whether I used that exact one, but I definitely used one which was very similar (which included my SSN). At first, I was worried about that, but then I figured that at most, it will be in the postal system for a day (since it was just going across town) and the risk was fairly minimal.
     
  14. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    For all the official packets (when sending everything), my son included his SSN. But when he sent anything follow up, on in emails, he always just included his last four of the SSN, so he'd write SSN: x1234, so they could at least match it up (he has a very common first and last name).
     
  15. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    Every MOC handles their noms a little differently. Each of my senators only let me apply for one nom; my congressman let me rank my choices. The number one important thing for noms is to FOLLOW DIRECTIONS EXACTLY. You would not believe it, but this is where a lot of the people competing for noms get wiped out of the game. Being careful and dedicated enough to jump through every hoop exactly the right want helps prove that you really want the nom(s) you are requesting.
     
  16. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    That's funny, that reminds me how my book pointed out how people who do not follow directions are at a disadvantage. Here are some highlights from it:

    -Taking directions/packets from a rep/sen and using it for another rep/senator is a bad idea. Each congressman has their own methods and such.

    -Send in the given number of letters of recommendations. One staffer remembers how she was not too happy when she got 16 letters from one candidate and 20 from another. The first three are taken in these cases and may have hurt them if they wern't the best.
     
  17. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    Yes, and I must stress, make sure you handle everything yourself! I have a friend who relied on his school councilor to send the recommendations out for him, and the councilor forget to get them in on time. There are no excuses, though! He did not stay and top of it. Be a pest to your school administrators and teachers when it comes to deadlines. In the end, every document that gets submitted reflects you, even if you did not complete it or mail it out.
     
  18. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    The way I see it, a candidate that takes matters in his or her own hands shows more effort and determination. But I would agree with the statement that the application process is certainly a feat not to be taken singlehandly.

    I've been in my guidance counselor's office so many times that one time he was surprised that I had not come in earlier. I'm pretty sure he's borderline psycho from me. :shake:
     

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