MoC interview: What not to wear

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by mom3boys, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Would like to hear from those who have sat on nom committees on this one. DS #2 wore a suit, as he was a HS senior interviewing. However, DS #3 is in the corps of cadets at a senior military college. He has permission to wear a suit, but we're wondering if it would be better to wear his dress ROTC uniform (freshmen are supposed to be in uniform at all times--even on weekends). He doesn't want to appear like he's trying to "milk the ROTC" thing. What are your thoughts, those who sit on boards or are ALO's and MALO's?
     
  2. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Overthinking it. I doubt wearing a uniform will make a difference.

    The nomination committee will look what's on the paper (transcript, scores, and etc) first, than if they need a tie breaker, they might go into "uniform."
     
  3. Craig

    Craig Member

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    What to wear.

    Some kids my not be so fortunate to own a suit or other nice business attire. I think what is important that whatever you wear it is worn with pride. Everyone can control their personal grooming. You can NOT chew gum. You can sit straight but be relax. Enjoy the interview and be yourself. And if he is suppose to be in uniform, then he better be in uniform.

    Good luck
     
  4. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    As I stated in the OP, he has permission to wear a suit from his PMS. Yes, some do not own suits...but I'm always surprised how casual some people show up for these interviews. I've seen several who do not treat it like the big deal that it is. My question was for those who sit on nomination boards to get their opinions or to see if this is just a non-issue.
     
  5. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Each nomination board is different. The nomination board I served on is pretty easy going and I am pretty sure what the kid wear is not the what makes or breaks an applicant. Our interview is pretty much tell me about yourself, why SA, and what do you want to do in the miltiary. After the interview is done, we rank order. So far my 10 years +/- on the board, what an applicant wore was never discussed.
     
  6. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Last year there was an Blackhawk pilot on the board. After learning DS's brother is a Kiowa pilot, the conversation became about which airframe was more badass. I think most boards truly want to get to know the applicant and make him/her comfortable. At least, that one did.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    This subject comes up every year and it usually becomes a heated debate.

    The things everyone will always agree upon are:
    1. If you wear a ROTC uniform, make sure it is perfect. Including using a lint brush right before entering. They better be able to see their reflection in his shoes!
    2. If you are going to wear a suit for the first time. Wear it at home for the first time. Get accustomed to how it is more constrictive than just a collared shirt.
    ~ Nothing is more distracting than watching a kid squirm because they didn't realize to unbutton the jacket before they sit or that if they aren't conscious of how to see in a jacket, they will probably end up sitting on the coat tails.
    3. If they are not use to wearing button down shirts, do the same because it is annoying to watch them subconsciously play with the cuffs and the neck.
    4. If you are a girl and intend on wearing a skirt or dress, sit at home in it because although it may be at fingertip length for school, when you sit it might be too short.
    5. Girls limit your jewelry especially if you know subconsciously you play with it when your nervous. I.E. playing with the charm on the necklace, twisting the bracelt around the wrist, twirling the stud in your ear. No big dangling earrings and bangle bracelets either! They may be fashionable, but the bangles will make noise when you move your hands and the earrings are not what comes to mind when you think officer. This is not an interview for Project Runway. Same goes for your hair. Many girls will play with it. This might be the day to put into a French braid or bun if it is long. Make sure you remove chipped nail polish while your at, and try to stay away from insane colors. Lime green may be your school colors, but it will draw the eyes to your hands and again it can be a distraction, especially if you fidget. No polish or neutral colors will not bring attention to your hands while you talk with them or you fidget.

    Our DS did not wear a suit. He wore dockers, button down shirt and tie. IOWs Sunday dress. He got all of his MOC nominations. As stated by Member, I don't think the committee gives points for those in a JROTC uniform. Caveat, the OPs DS is not in JROTC, but at an SMC. They may look at his resume and remark about him attending an SMC. They may wonder why he didn't opt to wear the uniform, especially when some JROTC cadets will wear the uniform.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    As someone who sat on an MOC committee years ago, I do think there can be the perception that someone wearing a uniform is trying to "play the military card" -- or "playing soldier." Obviously, not everyone will have that perception, but it only takes one.

    My view is that, if you're on active duty in the US military or activated National Guard, wear your uniform. Otherwise, wear a coat and tie/female equivalent.

    However, this is not a hard and fast rule . . . if the candidate is much more comfortable wearing a uniform, then wear the uniform. As Pima says, the key is wearing something that doesn't distract you from the interview itself.
     
  9. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    This is what I remembered from past discussions.

    I still think a suit is best---I think you should dress for the "job" you want. Candidates can borrow one or shop the thrift stores if they don't have one. JMHO, but khakis are extremely casual. My grad said kids were in khakis, open collar shirts, and Topsiders at his interviews. His interviewers were in military uniforms and suits so you don't want to be the only underdressed person in the room. JMHO of course.
     
  10. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Many many many posts on this.

    I would recommend your SUNDAY BEST but skip the uniform. If your DS wears just khakis and a polo, um, that may reflect poorly on him. Minimum shirt, tie, nicely pressed, no sneakers.

    Check out your local St Vincent DePaul or Salvation Army. Nice suits available for less than $20.

    Don't skip the tie. It's disrespectful.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Here's the problem with internet forums like this....we all come from different areas.

    For example,
    Florida is a very casual state compared to a state like NJ.

    NC residents from Wilmington are more casual than their peers from No Virginia
    ~ Our Sunday best at Goldsboro AF base chapel was khakis, polos and rainbows. Our church in town in No. VA would look at them twice! Even the outfit with boat decks would be rare. Sunday best is more formal. Heck, in. NCwe would wear jeans to Saturday night mass. Not here...No way....no how! Bullet and I now as empty nesters have gone to 7 a.m. and I wear a dress.it is just what is the norm here.

    The point is it is wrong IMPO to paint this with a broad brush stroke. Don't get me wrong, I don't think a polo and boat decks are appropriate, but I also don't feel that candidates should feel OMG, I was planning to wear khakis and dress shoes, but you guys are saying DON'T!

    Bullet wears khakis, dress khakis, not cargo style, every Friday to the Pentagon. He briefs 1/2/3/4 stars. However, he wears it with a white button down shirt, tie and blazer. That is casual Friday for him.

    Just saying, if it was me or my child I would not go to St. Vincent. I would go to JCPenneys. Buy a nice pair of dress khakis, a white button down shirt and borrow a tie from Dad. I would also buy a pair of black loafers if I can't fit in Dads shoes.

    Here are the reasons why.
    1. The suit is great for a nomination interview, but many candidates also apply for a ROTC scholarship. A suit impo is overdressed for a PMS interview.
    ~ That means another outlay of money for those interviews
    2. Come graduation, most schools require a dress code for graduation. Our DS was told black pants, white collared shirt and tie
    ~ That means again another outlay of money, whereas, had you gone to JcPenneys now, it is done!
    3. A suit can make them feel more uncomfortable, see my last thread.
    4. I think you are selling the candidate short and the committee short.
    ~ I get it, but the assumption being made, even with me that they have the 25 bucks to spare. Yet, there are candidates that know the folks are doing everything to keep a roof over their head. That McDonalds is a splurge. The idea of asking the folks to spend even 20 bucks is not in their wheelhouse. The fact that posters are placing an emphasis on dress code perceptions can make them walk in with it is all over! I couldn't afford to dress the part, hence those that can will get the nomination.
    ~~ Some JROTC cadets may opt to wear the uniform because financially they can't afford the money to but a suit.

    With all that being said, I truly believe that the committee can weed out regardless of their attire. Heck, my DS not only wore khakis, but he also had curly hair past his ears! NC kid! He was what we called well groomed. His hair style was common for HS students. His khakis didn't look like he pulled them out of the dryer. He was clean shaven, and nails were clean. IOWS he looked like an average 17 year old kid that was showing respect by wearing Sunday best. He didn't look like a cadet at any SA.
    ~ FWIW, there was a poster here at that time that wore his JROTC uniform.

    Guess who didn't get the nom? It wasn't my kid!

    Like i stated in a previous post this is always a heated debate.

    PS I know I am hard to figure out because just when you thought I would go right, I go left. I like to say that I am the devils advocate. If you can defend your position of why you chose the decision, than you will do great. However, if I give you even an ounce of introspection than you need to ask yourself why you are questioning yourself.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  12. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    I think USNA1985 said it best so my question is what "status" doe ROTC have?

    In AFA Prep they are considered active duty so my DS wore his Prep uniform to his interview this past weekend.
     
  13. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    If you are a "Prepster" (e.g., NAPS), wearing your uniform (if desired) would be fine because it's what you wear all day to class, etc. If you are ROTC, the "R" stands for "Reserve," so I would probably wear civvies.

    But, as noted, I'm not a stickler on this point. :smile:
     
  14. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Just to follow up: DS asked a mentor, who is a retired 2 star and former academy admissions staff what to wear. He said suit. He knows DS is at an SMC, but he says suit. Suit it is! Thanks for the feedback.:thumb:
     
  15. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Best of luck to your DS! :thumb: Fingers crossed!

    My candidate wore a suit, had a good haircut, shined his shoes, practiced his interview skills and he is now a West Point grad. It works! :smile:
     
  16. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    For Army, ROTC cadets are allowed to wear uniform for non-ROTC activities as long as the PMS approves. I didn't know but someone posted the paragragph from the Army Regulation about a year ago (I think).
     
  17. keseabolt

    keseabolt Member

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    Bow Ties

    What are the thoughts on bow ties for the interview? DS loves them over regular ties.
     
  18. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    :redface:Didn't even realize how stupid my question was until I read this!:yllol:

    Crawling back into my hole!:biggrin:
     
  19. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I think the question is not whether they "can" but rather they "should" -- to an MOC interview. :smile:
     
  20. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I say "go for it!" Bow ties are awesome! One of my sons wears them regularly! Just tell him to select something conservative, not martini glasses or slot machines like I saw at a store recently! :biggrin:

    Hopefully your DS is a bow tie purist and ties his own? :smile:
     

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