Getting to Know your congressman

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Sheaisland, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. Sheaisland

    Sheaisland Member

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    Hey guys,
    When people say "Get to know your congressman", does that mean I should start writing emails to my congressman just showing my interest towards USNA?(I'm a Sophmore) or as in know who they are by studying their website? I'm a little blurry in this area, I've talked to my BGO already, but I haven't talked to any congressman.
    Thanks!:smile:
     
  2. rocatlin

    rocatlin Member

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    The nomination process is supposed to be non-political so knowing your congressman personally isn't critical. The ultimate decisions on your package are made by his/her nomination committee. When the time comes to submit your material, just make sure you follow directions carefully of what is expected by the nomination source. Be prompt and cordial working with any liaison they have, etc.

    Having said that, you can always look for any sponsored academy days the MOC may have.
     
  3. USMC_95

    USMC_95 Member

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    Of course you should follow the steps as stated above, but there are ways you can give yourself a slight edge in the motivation category. Speaking with them now and discussing the process will not hurt. If you want to arrange a meeting and speak about what they believe will lead to a successful application process from their experience, then it would be fine. I personally know of people who have done this beginning freshman year simply to show commitment and a desire to attend an academy. However, others may have better insight as to whether you should or not.
     
  4. batinhand1

    batinhand1 Member

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    I guess I was the person who made that comment in a different thread but here is my rational.
    My DS made an effort to meet our congressman who lives 4 hrs from where we live. When the congresman came to our hometown, he went and said hello to put a face to the name. Required? No, but he felt it was important. My son is Student Government President and invited him to his school to speak as well. I don't think it helped him get his Principal nomination but it didn't hurt.
     
  5. batinhand1

    batinhand1 Member

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    ...also, they both share the same polical views so he wasn't schmoozing.
     
  6. jebdad

    jebdad Member

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    probably not necessary

    I would say that it is most likely that your MOC is far too busy with other things. That is why they have a committee to handle the process. Your MOC just wants the pub when its time to stand with you in front of the camera. So, I would say it does no good to schmooze your MOC.

    That being said, a girl from our town began sending a copy of her straight A report cord to the nomination coordinator starting in 6th grade. Each year she would forward it and they would add it to her file. They certainly knew who she was when the time came along. That was fairly harmless. She was not calling them and asking them to meet with her.
     
  7. USMC_95

    USMC_95 Member

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    Right. The individuals I know met with the staff who handles academy business not the member of Congress. The staff will have a bigger involvement in the process when the time comes anyway. At least from my experience.
     
  8. time2

    time2 Member

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    Going out of your way to invent reasons to call/meet/email your MOC can also backfire if it simply looks like schmoozing to increase your chances of getting a NOM. They and their staffs are wise to that and you fool no one when you try to do that. It might get you 'noticed'.....but NOT in a good way. :smile:
     
  9. Sheaisland

    Sheaisland Member

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    Thanks for all your replies. Everyone I've talked to has been nothing but helpful. I think,I'll explore their websites and see if they have any weekends for service academy hopefuls. Also, I'll talk to some people in my town to see if they know the congressman in my state. Thank you once again!:shake:
     
  10. mdn18

    mdn18 Member

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    Yeah I mean to be honest, I don't even know how someone would get to "know" his/her Congressman. I never talk with my Congressman's liaison before calling about the nomination application. I would say the best thing to do is know what your Congressman's political views might be. Some MOC's might not like your interview answers. Maybe that's not true, but I did read that in the Naval Academy Candidate Book (by Sue Ross). Very good read, you should check it out.
     
  11. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    The nomination interview will most likely be with the MOC's selected board, and could be anywhere from 1 person to 6 or more. The MOC may or may not be there. He/she most likely will not sit on the board, but may meet and speak with candidates afterwards. Or you may be invited to a reception to meet him/her after nominations are handed out.

    Just saying that the MOC's office staff are the ones who collect, sort and process the applications. The MOC's board reviews the selected applications and interviews the candidates, then the board gives their recommendations to the MOC. Personally knowing the MOC will not have any weight in the process, and you definitely do not have to have the same political views.

    Those on the interview boards never asked my DS political questions. They asked "why" he wanted to attend a SA, they asked random "what, who & how" questions (like what was the last book you read, who from past history do you admire, how would you handle a certain situation, among other things).

    If your MOC happens to be in your town or high school, you can introduce yourself and mention that you're applying for the class of 20xx. But don't worry if you don't have that chance -- you'll have your chance to shine when it's most important, during the interview.
     
  12. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    This seems like overkill, sending in report cards 5 years before she's eligible to apply to a service academy. And considering the SA applications only take high school info (grades, ECs, athletics, etc) into account, personally I'd be annoyed if I had to maintain one file (of irrelevant info) for someone who is more than a year from even applying. But that's just me...:cool:
     
  13. faststreet

    faststreet Member

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    A friend of my DS who got a pricipal from our local moc for class of 2017 actually went and volunteered at the moc's office during the summer for his re-election campaign. By the time he went in for the interviews he knew just about everyone in the office and on the panel. He was an outstanding candidate regardless, but I'm sure the fact that everyone already knew him didn't hurt.
     
  14. 2018midmom

    2018midmom Member

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    My 2 cents

    My DS is a principal nominee/appointed USNA c/o 2018. If you know your MOC uses the principal nomination method ABSOLUTELY get to know him/her and staff. Someone in that office IS responsible for the SA panel and sees dozens of super great candidates yearly. If they use the principal method then they likely take their choice seriously. They WANT their chosen candidate IN. You just cannot convey your desire for service/outstanding qualities (and nearly all candidates are outstanding) in one interview and essay. Do what an earlier poster suggested-volunteer in the office. Make an "off season" appointment with the staff panel member. Don't be a pain or suck up. Just be genuinely interested and show your dedication.

    DS got to know all of those involved in the process over a period of about 18 months. He developed a personal relationship with the MOC. In what was described to him as the most competitive year in recent memory for USNA noms he got the principal and knew he was appointed before Thanksgiving. They were "on his side" and wanted to be a part of his goal. It was more personal than the process usually is-unknown great kid shows up gets nom goes to SA never see great kid again.

    If your MOC uses the competitive method the same would apply (in our state DS was competing to be 1 of 10 out of more than 100 and he turned down noms b/c he had an appointment before the others turned in their slates). Why diminish your chances in ANY way?

    This is my opinion obviously but there are ways to be involved in the process without being the candidate who annoys.
     
  15. kar57

    kar57 Member

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    And then there's this side of the story... DS was nominated by the same congressman twice - once as a high school senior USNA candidate and the second time as a USNA Foundation sponsored prep at NMMI. No extraordinary contact with this MOC - just the submission (via regular mail) of the applications (both times) and a couple of follow up phone calls and the interviews by the MOC's panel (both years). DS also attended the reception at which all the congressman's SA nominees for the year were introduced - one reception in December of his senior year and one reception the following December as a Foundation Prep student. AND then this year, just last month, when DS returned to the Yard (now as a USNA plebe) after winter break there was a package awaiting him, from the same congressman! In it was a letter inviting him back to the late December nominee reception as one of his former nominees and current midshipman, in uniform, to answer questions newly nominated candidates might have. Unfortunately the letter had arrived after winter break had begun, and so DS didn't see it until he was back on the Yard at the beginning of January. So there was the letter AND some goodies! A can of Skyline chili - it's a Cincinnati thing and some candy! When DS told me about this I was pretty impressed!
     
  16. futuremarinemom

    futuremarinemom Member

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    It's one thing to volunteer for the reelection campaign of a politician whose views you agree with. But some MOCs are so far in the opposite direction, that I don't know how anyone could, in good conscience, do that. As has been said, most MOCs have a committee that makes the selections, and politics is not involved. My DS received a principal nomination, having never met his MOC (and in spite of the fact that he had written a letter to said MOC the previous year urging him to reconsider his stand on a political issue).
     
  17. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Politics...

    Applicants should stand on their own merits. Volunteering, getting to know the MOC, etc. is a thinly veiled way to get an edge over other applicants.

    Worthy candidates fill their resume by working hard, volunteering for worthy causes, excelling on the field or court, etc.

    I believe that in most cases the MOC will simply approve the choices of the committees and staff. To do anything other than go with the recommendations of the people that have been appointed to interview and rate the applicants smacks of favoritism. That is inherently against the nomination and appointment process.

    The sending of information from the sixth grade is comical, as is the parental manipulation of the kid's political activism.

    Yep, good old politics.
     
  18. 2018midmom

    2018midmom Member

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    All applicants do stand on their own merits. Any type of nom does not equal an appointment unless the SA qualifies the applicant in all categories.
     
  19. futuremarinemom

    futuremarinemom Member

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    Interestingly, when we finally met our MOC at a fundraising dinner he had invited us to, he told us right to our faces that if HE chose the nominees instead of a committee, only candidates of a certain race would ever be selected!!
     
  20. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    I read your statement 4 times because I thought I was misunderstanding what you were saying, but that's a scary thought if he really feels that way. I sure hope he doesn't vote on bills/laws with only that one race of citizens in mind.
     

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