Meeting my MOC at a ROTC dinner

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by Altaica103, May 2, 2008.

  1. Altaica103

    Altaica103 Prospective

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    My JROTC unit is holding an awards dinner and has invited members of the community. I was informed that my congressmen will be in attendence. I am fairly confedent that my Colonel will "call me out" on my intent to apply to USNA (he rarely misses an oppertunity to :wink:). However I am unsure of what to say to the congressman if he does or how/if I should approach him if Colonel does not. I am not big on politics in that I do not like to get involved with people and struggle with starting conversation with people I do not know. I know I should try to sell myself and make myself memerable (my uniform is pretty flashy if I do say so myself :shake:) but otherwise I am unsure of what I should do/say. I also do not know what I should/could/can do to prepare myself for the conversation. I would like to make "the right" impression (if that's possible) but could use some help. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. SemperExcelsius

    SemperExcelsius USAFA Cadet

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    Sounds like an awesome opportunity! I would definently just at least introduce yourself to him. One of my senators visited my school recently and my JROTC instructor advised that I go at least introduce myself and mention that I will be applying for an academy nomination from your office etc. (I'm also not the best conversation starter). Just introduce yourself though, nothing really more than that. Most of them will be glad, IMO that you took the initiative to talk to him, and they WILL be good at talking. Let them talk, I'm sure they have lots to say.

    I'd just say make sure you kinda know what you're going to say instead of just getting there and saying something silly. But keep it short and simple maybe barely a minute.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Step 1: Deep Breath

    Step 2: Walk confidently up to your Congresmen. Wait your turn to speak to them (they will most likely be in a conversation with someone else).

    Step 3: When they make eye contact and turn towards you, you extand your hand, firmly, to shake theirs. (most likely, being a politician, he / she will extend their hand first. :smile:)

    Step 4: Smile. Firm hand shake. Maintain eye contact! And repeat after me: "Congressman So-and-so, it is an honor to meet you. My name is "First name, Last name". (Do not use your JROTC rank, they usually don't understand, and usually don't care. Besides, if you are in uniform, they can ask you your rank as a conversation starter.) "I am very interested in serving my country as a Naval Officer, and strongly desire to attend the US Naval Academy next fall to make this dream possible. I plan to contact your office in the near future to begin the process of obtaining your nomination to this Academy. Do you have any advice for me now?" (politicians LOVE to talk, especially to someone in their district who may vote for them! Asking a question will get them to open up to you.)

    Step 5: Let go of their hand (if you haven't done so already), or they will start thinking you're a little "off'. :shake:

    Step 6: LISTEN to them. Show interest! MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT! Smile some more. Laugh at their jokes (if they make one. If they don't, laughing now will once again make them think you're "off" :wink:)

    Step 7: Answer any questions the may ask (What do you wan to do in the Navy? What do your parents do?). Usually they will keep the questions simple, and expound instead on how much they LOVE the servicemen and women in their district, and how honored they are by them. Let the Congressmen know how honored YOU would be to join them in the service of your country.

    Step 8: Ask the Congressmen if they have a military affairs liaison, or someone who handles the nomination process, in their office Ask for the liaison' scontact information, or if that information is on their web-site.

    Step 9: After a few questions, smile again, extend your hand, firmly shake hands again and say: "Sir / Ma'am, thank you for your time. I really aprreciate it. I will be in touch with your office soon concerning the nomination process". Unless the Congressman WANTS to continue the conversation with you (usually obvious: they are grabbing your elbow, introducing you to others, and generally leading YOU in the conversation), they really don't have more than 5 minutes to talk to you. An attempt on you rpart to go past 5 minutes may seem "pushy" (again, that's bad, like "off" :wink:)

    Step 10: Walk away.

    Now, that's not so tough, is it? My last recommendation, ask your Colonel (or you parents) to practice this routine with you a couple of times before the big day so it comes naturally under pressure.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Soylent

    Soylent Candidate

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    What Bullet advised was great, but don't try to memorize anything. This can be nothing but good for your chances and this is a great opportunity.

    I was able to meet my Congresswoman before my interview because I was one of the first to go. I'm not sure if that had anything to do with attaining my nomination, but I doubt she had any second thoughts when she signed off on it.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    In case you don't know...I am bullet's other half.

    One thing that has not been mentioned is that at least for our state the MOC does not do the interview, they have a group of people from various walks of life that interview the applicant. Also our other MOC's had a review team, and it was based on your essays, scholastic and recs, but never met with the candidate until they received the nom!

    Remove the pressure that they may remember you for the interview process, because I cannot recall any applicant who actually interviewed with their MOC on this forum or CC....might be wrong, but on the whole, the MOC only signs off from the recommendation committee.

    JUST GO AND HAVE FUN!
     
  6. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    I thought I remember reading that McCain did his own interviews this year?
     
  7. Soylent

    Soylent Candidate

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    Very true- that's what I was trying to get across.

    That would be very cool to be interviewed by the MOC.
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    If you have the opportunity to meet your MOC, take advantage of it. But, for those of you who don't have the chance or can't make such an event, don't worry. You do NOT need to know your MOC to get a nom.

    I've told this story before but it bears repeating: When I was applying for a nom, my parents were actively working to unseat the current MOC. (Low level campaigners but still working in opposition.) I still got a nom from that MOC.

    Back in the really old days, you often did have to know your MOC and nepotism was common. Today, however, MOCs do their best to ensure there are no charges of nepotism. Most (if not all) use nominating committees made up of citizens who volunteer (who may or may not be of the same political party). Most have not personal involvement in the process.

    I don't mean to suggest that every MOC is perfect in this regard, but I personally have yet to hear of any situation where someone was advantaged or disadvantaged in obtaining a nom because they know or don't know their MOC personally, their parents are big contributors (or not), etc.
     
  9. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Whatever you do, DON'T walk up to him/her and say, "Your voting record sucks", even if it DOES. :thumb:
     

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