Is it "Who you know"?

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by homewith4, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. homewith4

    homewith4 Member

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    Twice within the past week, I've heard comments regarding congressional nominations to the effect of "Well, my husband used to work with Senator 'so-and-so', that should help come nomination time".

    I understand there is no "set" answer to the question, but could that really affect a nomination decision? Is there really a political element in the process?
     
  2. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    No, not any more. Not for a long time. 75-100 years ago, it may have been expected that the appointee's family make a large campaign contribution to the MOC, or a "good friend" of the MOC might have a nephew who wants to go to West Point, but that kind of slime / sleaze today is unheard of.

    Then again, nothing a Congressman does would surprise me anymore. Winning an election does not suddenly make them more honest or give them morals. Cash in the freezer, foot-tapping in the airport bathroom stalls, alcohol/drug rehab. etc - they are just people, and sometimes "people" can be corrupted by power.

    Of course, if a MOC uses the "Principal" method to choose his nominees, they certainly can "steer" an appointment to whoever they wish, using it to appoint
    a key political supporter's son/daughter, or a relative of someone who has made large monetary contributions.

    But a vast majority use the "Competitive" method, essentially choosing 10 names and letting the Academy grant the appointments.

    I wouldn't believe that politics or "who you know" plays any part of the process anymore, as most MOCs use independent committees to choose the names anyway, and they probably don't see the names until they are chosen.

    I wouldn't worry about it - my son received a nomination from a Senator from the "other Party" whom I had voted against in every election. I don't think they're going back and checking your political affiliation, your voting record, or looking for familiar names when their nominations are decided.

    :cool:
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Most MOCs also have a committee that reviews their packet and the congressman signs off on it. Now if that candidate has a very close relationship and asks them to write an LOR, of course the MOCS letter is going to carry more weight than your boss at the Y.

    So in short it is IMHO a yes and a no. Yes it helps if you really do know the congressman very personally, no if its my folks volunteered on his campaign last yr.
     
  4. USMAalltheway

    USMAalltheway Member

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    I have a questions pertaining to this. I have two friends(older) who are on my congressmans committee for the academies. Would this provide any weight to my application?

    USMAalltheway
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am sure that the people you know will speak highly of you, but the nom is more than just about who you know. They can speak the sun, moon and stars about you, but if you come from a competitive area and have a weaker packet that is probably not going to sway them, this is about representing the state, not about helping out my college roomates child. The committees can be as small as 3-5 to a dozen people.

    DO not go down the path that I know so and so, thus, I can rest on the nom. Even if you get the nom, how do you get the appointment? The highest WCS wins and these boards know that. We knew nobody on any of the MOCS boards, DS got all 3 because his resume spoke for itself.

    FWIW Florida is competitive because you have some major military installations, Pensacola, Hurlburt, MacDill, Eglin, etc. When you have many large military installations, you will have many military children, even though they get a pres., they will also ask for the MOCs. Look at the competitive states, they are usually those that have a high amount of military.
     
  6. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I would tend to doubt it.

    I serve as the USAFA Nomination Committee chairman for my MOC. Occasionally we'll have someone coming before us that "is a friend of the MoC, or a staffer, or..."

    In my 15 years of doing this, EVERY TIME that has happened, that member has recused themself from that interview. I would imagine MOST would do the same.

    As previously said...a LOOOOOONG time ago, it was a very political process. The methods used now pretty much eliminate that.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  7. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    As stated above, most MOC's use committees to select appointee slates.

    Son had as one of his recommenders a very well connected gentleman who is a big Republican fundraiser. The man genuinely knows my son very well and has for years. Very familiar with son's leadership abilities in particular. So, we figured, "why not?"

    THe moment son called him, the gentleman got on the phone to both Senators and wrote them letters. Well, our Senator's recommendations involved an evaluation form that was to be filled out, sealed in envelope with evaluator's signature across the flap. Then sent in with our packet so they got it all in one envelope.

    So, there we were, not following instructions right off the bat.

    He completed the evaluation forms in a timely fashion and called son to come pick them up. He handed him the sealed evaluaitons plus envelopes, clearly on his personal stationery, addressed to each senator with their first name only and "confidential."

    We mulled this over for several days. :confused: If we didn't include this added little item, we worried our evaluator would find out somehow. :eek: If we did, certainly it would look like we were "not coloring within the lines." :confused:

    Ultimately, the cover letter we put in each Senator's packet included a bullet list of items included in the packet. On the bullet for this item, we made it clear that Mr. XXX specifically asked for that to be included.

    I would be interested to know how it was received. Son did not get nom from Senator that Mr. XXX has done extensive fund raising for. However, he did get a nom from other Senator as well as our Representative.

    I would advise to follow the instructions to the letter. Choose your recommenders carefully. Get a cross section of folks: not all from one of your activities, school, etc. Give those you ask a resume AND a write up of the type of kid the academy is looking for. Ask your evaluator that you need them to emphasize "my perseverance, dependability" .......whatever the qualities are that you feel set you apart from all the other smart, athletic kids seeking appointments!
     
  8. USMAalltheway

    USMAalltheway Member

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    Thanks guys for the replies, thankfully jennyp, I have some good recommenders. One of my recommendors is a teacher who has taught and will be teaching again at West Point again in the future. Thanks guys for your replies.

    USMAalltheway
     

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