LOA Without A Nom -- Watch Out

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by usna1985, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    For those out there who say that, if you have an LOA, don't worry about getting a nom because, if you don't get one on your own, USNA will "find" one for you . . . I'm here to tell you that is not always true.

    One of my candidates received an LOA and was medically and physicaly qualified, but did not obtain a nom. That candidate received a TWE - IOW, was turned down.

    The bottom line is that, when USNA says that the LOA is conditional on YOU obtaining a nomination, they mean it. So, for those of you applying next year and who receive LOAs: (1) apply for every nom for which you're eligible, and (2) put your heart and soul into obtaining one. Your appointment could well depend on it. (Obviously, this applies equally to those w/o LOA)

    One last thing . . . for those obsessed about getting/not getting an LOA . . . now you know that it's not always the golden ticket. As we BGOs keep telling you, focus on the appointment because, in the end, it's all that counts.
     
  2. fairwinds

    fairwinds Member

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    Thank you for posting this, usna1985! I have often wondered how hard recipient's of LOA's have had to work for a nomination. This is good information for future candidates!

    PS: Are you a BGO in a very, very competitive area?
     
  3. skc

    skc Member

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    Pointing to each step in the process is very important, no short cuts.

    Questions TWE -tiny white envelope IOW ?
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    TWE = Thin White Envelope
    IOW = In Other Words

    Also, I don't want to give the impression that the candidate I mentioned didn't try hard for noms -- as far as I know, the individual applied to all noms for which the candidate was eligible. So, even going all out may not make a difference. What I want to impress is that you should give your noms 100% of your attention, with or w/o an LOA -- at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you gave it your all.
     
  5. skc

    skc Member

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    thx....thought it was an USNA acronym that I missed.
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    This is another story of why nominations should not play a part in the appointment process. They prevent the USNA from selecting the most qualified candidates on the basis of their merit, rather than their home address.

    An obviously well-qualified candidate, a candidate whom the USNA had already accepted/guaranteed/reserved a spot in the incoming class, but through the whims of a Congressional staff/committee will not be appointed. Had he lived in another area of the country his appointment would have been all but a slam dunk.

    Merit should decide academy appointments, not geography.

    :cool:
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I'm afraid you'll have to take that up with Congress. I'm sure they'll be receptive to something that gives them less power over their constituents.:rolleyes:
     
  8. Stage4survivor

    Stage4survivor Member

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    I'm puzzled by this, please explain how someone with a LOA not receive a nomination?
    Was the competition in this CD so good that all the other candidates received appointments but, when it reached him/her all the noms had been depleted?
    Or is this just more political BS that some noms were selected on the basis of "gladhanding"???
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    First, I want to be very careful here so as not to compromise this candidate's confidentiality. Thus, I won't post any identifying information here or even via PM. I felt this was a terrific candidate and don't know what led to no noms and the turndown from USNA. In answer to your question . . .

    My area is extremely competitive in terms of geography. Thus, many qualified candidates don't get noms. I would guess that, if this candidate lived in ND, things would be different. However, can't be certain of that.

    LOAs are often given out on the basis of paperwork alone. Some candidates look good on paper but may not interview well -- I don't simply mean they aren't great interviewers (most 17-yr-olds aren't), but rather that they don't make a good impression or, worse, make a negative impression.

    MOCs don't have to give noms to the most qualified candidates. They generally do but aren't required to. Since I don't see all of the candidates applying for noms, I have no idea how this applicant stood up vs. the competition. That said, I have no reason to believe noms aren't given out on a competitive basis.
     
  10. Knarf

    Knarf Member

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    Hahahaha:yllol:
     
  11. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Congress has an 11% approval rating right now, there are many more important things they need to fix before they begin to address this issue.

    But I understand the process. I don't agree with it, but I understand it.

    Anything that prevents the Naval Academy from selecting the most qualified 1,200+ applicants on the basis of merit, rather than where they live is, IMHO, not the best method.

    So a less qualified candidate from North Dakota serves the USN better than a better qualified candidate from your area?

    Even more reason to eliminate the nomination requirement from USNA and instead select the appointments on merit alone.

    If you want the best possible class, take the top 1,200+ regardless of where they live.
     
  12. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I suppose that depends on the value of geographic diversity. The SAs (at least the ones with noms) are required by law to take qualified candidates from all 50 states. WY has 500,000 inhabitants and each candidate has 30 possible MOC nom slots. CA has 33 million inhabitants and each candidate has 30 possible MOC slots. Simple math suggests that #31 in a CA district may be more qualified than #30 in WY. Thus, it is possible that a lesser qualified (but still qualified) candidate from WY could get the nod. That does not mean, BTW, that candidates from WY are uniformly less qualified than those from CA or TX or MD.

    Again, we can debate the merits of the current system but it's been established in the law for many years and only Congress can change it. And I can virtually guarantee that isn't happening any time soon.
     
  13. Subdude

    Subdude Member

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    IMO, essentially forcing geographical diversity in the SAs is a good thing. People from different parts of the country think differently, and having exposure to that many different viewpoints can only broaden the experiences of the candidates, helping to make them more effective leaders. After all, the sailors that these USNA graduates will lead come from all over the country (although it always seemed to me like most came from NJ, Ohio, and Michigan :smile: )

    Also, if I play the numbers game, there are 100 senators and 435 congressmen. If each gets 1 seat in USNA each year, that means the majority of the people appointed each year come from other sources (alternates, prior service, Pres/VP, etc). I think that this gives the SAs ample opportunity to give those highly qualified candidates from very competetive areas a chance to get a spot.

    If you get the LOA but not the nom, something doesn't add up...either the SA screwed up, or the MOC staff did.
     
  14. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    This is why a LOA candidate should not assume they will get a nomination and should be proactive in securing a nomination. Sadly some MOC's assume they don't have to give a nomination to an LOA winner - the Academy will *find* them one. Some who win an LOA may become complacent and not follow instructions or may miss deadlines because they already were *accepted*.

    Of course, if the only thing keeping this candidate from USNA is a nomination then USNA could offer a Foundation scholarship. If they choose to do so.
     
  15. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Almost. Remember that each MOC can have up to 5 students at each SA at one time. Thus, on average 1/5 of the total will have an extra nom each year. Also, DC and the US territories get noms as well. So, the actual total assigned to Congress is closer to 660/year.

    However, the majority of the remainder who get appointments actually come from the MOC slates -- the candidates are "assigned" or slotted to another source (e.g., SecNav), but they get into the mix b/c they have a nom from an MOC. The rest come from other sources, as you correctly state.
     
  16. Subdude

    Subdude Member

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    Yep but I guess my point was that nobody tells USNA where to take the people from. They choose the other alternates themselves, off of the MOC nom lists, regardless of any common criteria other than being a type of person that the USNA wants to admit.
     
  17. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    But what is does mean, BTW, is that a candidate that the USNA deemed to have all the qualities it wanted in a Midshipman (he had an LOA) was denied entry to the USNA by an unnecessary obstacle that prevents them from choosing the candidates they want.

    I have no illusions about that. In fact, the only academy that chooses their class without regard to geographic diversity (USCGA) will be going to the same system in a few years, imho.
     
  18. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I don't fully disagree with that.

    But I disagree with a system that mandates the Academy take a lesser candidate based on geography.

    Two candidates from the same area - candidate A is rated at 95 and candidate B is rated at 94, only candidate A gets nomination (and the appointment). Candidate C (from somewhere else) is rated at 85 but is tops from his area, so he gets the nom and the appointment over a more qualified candidate solely because of where he lives.

    You believe that is a better system than picking by merit (i.e. - the best of the candidates regardless of where they live).

    You and I disagree. :beer1:

    But alas, the nomination system is not going away.

    (Sorry to go off topic - back on topic again)

    Yes, LOA candidates may fail to get a nom and thus not be appointed - it used to be just a rumor, but we now have verifiable proof that it does happen and can happen to you.
     
  19. Subdude

    Subdude Member

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    Luigi, I guess I don't completely disagree with you either, I just think that the system has some merits and the overall benefit to the class by trying to spread the appointments out to the entire country can't be measured by the Whole Candidate Score.

    An interesting thing to know (only one?) and to discuss endlessly :rolleyes: would be the pedigree of the lowest-scoring Apointee (by WCS), and how that candidate was able to secure his/her appointment over the (debatable) multitude of candidates who had better scores.
     
  20. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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