Extra Spot in Congressional District

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by WestPoint2017, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. WestPoint2017

    WestPoint2017 Member

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    We all know that each member of congress can have 5 cadets at USMA at one time. When it comes to the year in which they have two open spots, who determines if they use both of those spots that year (assuming there are enough qualified candidates)? Is it up to the congressman or west point? If there are two open spots, with two triple qualified candidates are they guaranteed an appointment?
     
  2. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    To answer your questions, working backwards:

    No, a candidate can be triple qualified and still not receive an appointment. Triple qualification is just a final screen to narrow the pool.

    Nobody "determines" if a slot will be filled as it depends on the nomination process of the congressman. If it is the Principal-and-Numbered Alternate process, then, yes, both slots will be filled assuming the congressman submits 2 separate lists. If he/she submits only one, chances are only one will be filled. If it is a Principal-and-Competitive-Alternates and the Principal candidate turns down an offered appointment, then there is no guarantee that the Academy will go back to the list to offer the appointment (this is a real sore spot with a lot of people). Legally, the Academy MAY or MAY NOT go back to the list---no guidance is offered as to what they should do. If the process is the Competitive Alternate list, the same situation applies.

    My thought is the Congressman should have plenty of push to have his/her slots filled by the Academy but different Congressmen have differing interests with regards to the Service Academies. A phone call from the Congressman's office to the Admissions Office expressing a strong desire to have the two slots filled that year by a couple of the fine qualified candidates in the lists submitted SHOULD swing some weight, to my thinking. In fairness to the Congressional offices, the actual charging of the appointments is done at the very end of the cycle and busy congressional staffs often miss just exactly who got charged to whom unless they are focused on it. They may THINK that their two slots are going to be filled but find out differently much later after the class has been filled.
     
  3. WestPoint2017

    WestPoint2017 Member

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    Still kind of confused, sorry.
     
  4. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    I agree. Just ignore the last paragraph.
     
  5. WestPoint2017

    WestPoint2017 Member

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    So the nomination process is competitive, ten names are sent up that's it. And there are two spots open and there are two candidates that are 3Q'd with noms. One is guaranteed an appointment, what about the other? From what I understand the second place (by WCS) fully qualified is not guaranteed an appointment, even though the congressman has an extra slot available? That's what I or from your post. Thanks for the response!
     
  6. 845something

    845something Member

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    Think of it like this: for nomination A, there are ten names. #1 gets it if they are fully qualified. That's the simple part. Nomination B is where it can get confusing. The ten names could be the same or different. IF they are the same ten names, and #2 is fully qualified, and it happens early enough that the class isn't full OR nomination A would still leave that representative with less than 4 cadets at the academy OR that 4/5th potential Cadet helps make the class stronger OR that representative puts pressure on the academy to fill it, then yes both should be filled.

    The catch, you won't know if you are #2 or likely any of that other information. The implication is you do your best to make your file as strong as possible, stay in close contact with your Field Force rep, and show West Point that you are the best possible candidate that they could select. Then keep trying if you come up short (making sure you listen to what you need to improve).
     
  7. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    There are 3 methods by which a congressperson nominates candidates:

    1. Principal with numbered alternates The congressman submits a list from one to ten with the number one person his Principal and the rest stacked according to how the congressman wants them considered for the appointment. #1 is his golden boy and #10 has a tough time walking and chewing gum. The Academy by law (no choice in the matter) MUST take #1 if he is 3Qed. If that candidate falls out for whatever reason, the Academy MUST take #2 and if that person falls out MUST take #3 and so on down the line.
    2. Principal with competitive alternates. In this case the congressman submits a list with his Principal identified and the other 9 as a non-ranked pool. The Academy MUST take the Principal. If the Principal falls out for any reason, that Academy MAY or MAY NOT choose someone from the remaining pool of 9 according to their wishes. All of them could be 3Qed.
    3. Competive Alternates. The congressman nominates and submits an unranked list of 10 candidates. The Academy appoints one but is NOT required to but in all cases does to keep the congressman happy. If that appointee falls out for any reason, the Academy MAY or MAY NOT go back to the list of the remaining 9 for an appointment.

    So the first thing you need to know is what nomination method your congressman uses. However, a congressman can change his nomination method from year to year, from service academy to service academy, and from slot to slot. All of this is beyond your control as you can imagine and there can be any number of combinations and permutations of the appointment process and perfectly good 3Qed candidates may well not get selected which is normal. In the case of 2 slots being open, just double all this. The short answer to your question is that just because a congressman has 5 slots available at the Academy does not mean that they are always filled.

    As 845 said, it means you do the absolute best you can in the application process and let the chips fall where they may as it is not a perfect system. There is a lot of luck in the whole process when you realize 15,000 apply, 6000 are 3Qed, and 1100 actually get appointed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  8. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Another reason why the second slot may not filled is the decision of the congressperson themselves. He or she may not have any graduating seniors and if he fills both slots this year, he may have none next year. That is a baaaaad situation for a politician to be in with his voting constituents----"Sorry, no nominations this year due to my poor planning. Better luck next year."
     
  9. WestPoint2017

    WestPoint2017 Member

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    Great, thank you both for responding and making it clear on the processes. I did not apply for class of 2016 (missed nomination), QNS for class of 2017 and hopefully appointed for Class of 2018!
     

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