First Generation USNA Applicant - Please Help

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by informe, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. informe

    informe Member

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    Hi
    I am a parent of a rising Junior [High school] who is interested in the USNA. He did his initial application 2 weeks ago and was informed last week that he will be a candidate for the next step.
    He is first generation applicant. We have no one in the military [ever]. So completely new to the process. I want to encourage and support my son in what ever he wants to do. Please help with some of the questions.

    1) Can any one guide us what we should or should not do?
    2) BGO - Is he some one we can contact with the application questions ? [like what I am asking this forum] or he is more official and is only for the "interview".
    3) My son does not know his 11 grade English teacher so well[we know this because when she filled a reference for a local hospital volunteering she said she did not know him very well but gave good remarks] but knows his 10 grade English teacher very well. Can she be used for English reference [if he applies now before the start of the senior year - since it says current or lat year's English teacher].

    We are at the stage of getting references. Next will be to apply for nominations from the senators and congressman.

    If it is okay, we will sound off on this forum with questions as they arise.
    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. parent

    parent Member

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  3. goldtrim3

    goldtrim3 Member

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    my insights may be dated, so take it for what its worth. My son was a 1st generation applicant, but he made it through the process. I can share what we did. We had a similar situation with the English teacher but we sent the request to the 11th grade teacher. We sent each teacher a letter over asking him/her for the refererence. We also included a resume' to help them in remembering some of his activities. We gave them a desired due date. BGOs vary. Ours was excellent. She made herself available for any and all questions so we definitely used her as a reference point. For the congressional nominations, there are required references and we used the same approach with them of providig due dates and stamped envelopes with the Congressman's address already on it.
     
  4. goldtrim3

    goldtrim3 Member

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    When you cant get to the BGO just search this blog and you will likely find your answer.
     
  5. informe

    informe Member

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    Thank you Goldtrim3
     
  6. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    The BGO was created to answer those types of questions but out of courtesy for his/her time, research the Academy and the Admissions website first to see if the answer is there.
     
  7. Natalie Ford

    Natalie Ford New Member

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    Sorry, he applied as a rising junior? I thought they could not apply until mid- junior year? ( I have a rising junior as well)
     
  8. informe

    informe Member

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    @Natalie
    Sorry, it is a rising senior..
     
  9. 2018midmom

    2018midmom Member

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    The application portion needs to be completed as much as possible as soon as you can. Completing a certain percentage will trigger a letter allowing for the DODMERB medical exam and the Blue and Gold Officer interview. Speak to the guidance counselor about confirming the academic and extracurricular activities (he/she will get an email telling them how after you input their info into the app). Contact the MOCs ASAP as they may have early application deadlines. The earlier a candidate completes the full application the better. Good luck.
     
  10. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    OP, I'm writing as if to your son, who should be taking the lead on many of these action items, with your support, of course.

    I was an applicant from a completely non-military family, although one grandfather was in the USN during WWII and Korea as an enlisted man (therefore no help with USNA). I also completed my applications without my parents' support. I would suggest you get on both Senators' and your Representative's web pages ASAP for nomination packet instructions. They will want some of the same things USNA does: academic transcripts, SAT/ACT score reports, and letters of recommendation. You'll potentially save some time when you identify the letter of recommendation writers by giving them all recipients' full addresses. It's also possible that each individual will want unique items, so you'll want to be aware of, and plan for, those items as necessary. Typically, the nomination packages are not due until September - December, but get a jump on these now. Plan on applying to all three MOCs (members of Congress) from whom you're nomination-eligible.

    Contact your BGO and set up a meeting. Treat it like a job interview: dress appropriately and have a resume/CV ready. Your BGO will have a typical agenda for that first meeting, but plan on bringing specific questions yourself. Start making a list of questions if you haven't already, and add to it as you do your research and think of other questions. Take a notebook and WRITE DOWN responses to your questions.

    If you have the financial means, you might consider a visit to USNA. You might also be offered an official visit, a candidate visit weekend, if you're particularly competitive or attractive as a candidate.

    Do you play a sport? If so, and you're interested in continuing at USNA, contact the coach. If you visit navysports.com, each intercollegiate team has a page, and most (if not all) of those include recruit contact information or web forms.

    The most helpful thing for me was keeping a calendar of due dates and action items. You can do this all electronically now, of course, but definitely do it.

    Best of luck.
     
  11. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

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    I am in the same boat as you. My son is also a rising Senior who has been named an official candidate. I went through the beginnings of this process with his older brother who was called instead to be a minister rather than a warrior. (he is now a happy Soph. on full ride at Baylor) So here is what I learned.
    1. Get in close contact with the H.S. counselor and teachers that must do references. They can be hard to find in the summer. There does seem to be a bit of an advantage to getting most of the required docs in as early as possible. We have everything but the fitness exam, the Blue and Gold interview and the medical exam in already. I am the Superintendent at the school district my son attends so I had a leg up on rounding up the school folks.
    2. Start training for the fitness test. My son is a big strong muscular multi-sport player but pull ups are hard for big fellas. He can do 4 now and will hopefully do 8-10 by the time he does the test. He is running almost every day.
    3. Start the applications from all nomination sources. They are all independent of each other and each application is different.
    4. Get your son to take the lead. I am helping with reminders and organization but its gotta be him that wants this. There is a reason that there is a mountain of paperwork. Don't do it all for them. There is no dishonor if it is not right for them, heck its not right for most.
    5. Good luck.
     
  12. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Tons of those who apply and appointed are from non-military families. To be honest if you do your research, really follow the admissions guidance and talk with the BGO you will be fine. Forums like this are a great help. Read the stickies at the top of the forum for each SA. You have all summer to get a ton of this done. There are many opinions on all this, but I believe your DS needs to take the lead (it sounds like he is) on all the coordination, reaching out for recommendations and speaking with the BGO. Ownership of the process to me is very key for a young man or woman who wants to walk this path. One of the reasons the process is so long and arduous is to ensure candidates really want it and push them to complete it. Many start it down the path and quit. Best of luck, sounds like a great young man.
     
  13. informe

    informe Member

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    Thanks to all of you who responded.

    Yes, I do believe that it should be my son who should do the research and take the lead. If I am doing the work for him then he is not made for USNA or for that matter any college, that is exactly what I have been telling him. I have asked him to do the research so he truly understands what he is getting into [that is not a video game, it is the millitary]. He chose to apply, I am making sure that I am there to guide him. He is in his exam week and will be finishing up this week. I have ordered a book online which will be here this week. Once he has the material and it is up to him to make sure he gets it done on time. If he truly wants it, he will do it.
    Thanks again.
     
  14. informe

    informe Member

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    We did not know that getting references from English and Math teachers was important [he did not suck up to his English teacher .:) ].
    It is what it is.
    He is an athlete, he is the Captain of the Rowing Club [3 years], brief stint in Jujitsu, has several ECs, Model UN, Hospital Volunteering [3 summers], Selected by Peers for Peer to Peer Counselling group in school, he is average in his studies. He has from what I understand just barely enough ACT scores and GPA to make the cut.
    He is not a runner [and he bulked up to row in heavy weight] but has made up his mind to start training. He said he looked up the physical fitness criteria and feels he can do it easily!!!!
    So from here on, it is his references, his interview with the BGO, and his perseverance that will make the difference, I guess.
     
  15. informe

    informe Member

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    I forgot, he is a Certified Scuba Diver since he was 14 years old.
     
  16. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    informe, sounds like a great kid. Not sure how great a rower your son is, but it might be worth it to visit the navysports.com website and fill out the athletic candidate questionnaire. Rowing is a huge sport at Navy and they have tons and tons of walk ons. Might be worth at least reaching out and seeing what they say. They think he is "good enough" or tag him as a recruit it can help in admissions.
     
    2018midmom likes this.
  17. informe

    informe Member

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    @NavyHoops
    Thanks for the information. I have asked him to take a look at this forum for such valuable advice. I will ask him to visit this web site you mentioned.
    Thanks.
     
  18. informe

    informe Member

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    @NavyHoops
    He is a fanatical rower [addicted to rowing], but I do not think he is of recruitable caliber. Still I will ask him to look at the web site.

    @parent
    Thank you for your post, I did not know, I had to expand it to read it, I only read it today, I agree with you 100%.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Just my 0.0198653 cents

    1. Concentrate on his nomination package. Most MoCs require essays, use the summer to write, edit and re-edit the essays. This should not be a last minute submit at midnight project.
    ~ Some MoCs interview, and the essay maybe a make or break for the interview.
    ~~ No interview may equate to no nomination. No nomination equates to no appointment.
    ~ Some states the MoCs talk/spread the wealth. IOWS, 1 nomination is all they will get between the 3 sources.

    2. You have held back a big factor. I have no desire to know what his SAT/ACT score is, but if he is just in the median, than sign up for the Sept. tests. They superscore.
    ~ Have him study, study, study during the summer.

    3. Apply for the NROTC scholarship as plan B.
    ~ Their 1st board typically meets end of Aug/Sept. It is a queue, many NROTC applicants will have their files completed come 1st of July. The longer he waits to submit, the lower in the pile he will be for boarding.
    ~~ NROTC is national, not geo centric like USNA. There are many candidates that get a TWE, an NROTC scholarship at least allows him to move further with a lower financial burden. Plus, if he gets the TWE, and reapplies as a freshmen in college he will have an ROTC nomination...one more slate before he hits the NWL.

    4. Get your medical records in order if you think there is going to be an issue.
    ~ You do not want to be juggling remedial/DQ, MoC noms, college applications, SAT/ACT testing, job, volunteering and sports all in Sept.

    Good luck. God Bless. Thank you for supporting his desire to defend this great nation.
     
  20. informe

    informe Member

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