Nomination Predicament

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by rj9317, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. rj9317

    rj9317 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's the deal, Air Force is my top choice, but I just received a letter of assurance to West Point today. However, I'm submitting my nomination applications within the next few days, and I need to rank the academies by my top choice. I'm thinking of applying to one senator with West Point as my number one choice, since senators are going to be more competitive as they are statewide. I'll use my letter of assurance to raise my chances of receiving a nomination from this senator. Then, I'll apply to the other senator and my district's representative with Air Force as number one, because I do not have a letter of assurance there.
    How does this sound? I'm not sure if my rank has to be consistent across all three nominating sources, or if it would appear to be a greedy or anything. I don't know enough about West Point at the moment to put it as number one across the board, so I'm trying to buy myself time and hopefully raise my chances for two nominations.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Longhorn

    Longhorn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nomination Strategies?

    I have 2 letters to my top two choices,West Point & Annapolis. Of course both these fine institutions say,go all out on your top choice,but I have not made my final decision on top choice and I like you,am ready to hand in my nomination paperwork. My concern is assumming these Senators talk during this process,will they become discouraged with a lack of direction by a candidate when they appear on paper to not have a clear choice?
     
  3. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    Senatorial nominations are wild cards, my state senators gets 200 to 300 nomination requests.

    Interesting that neither of you mentioned your Congressman.

    My recommendation is to make up your mind on your first choice, make that your first choice for your Congressman and your second choice first choice for your Senatorial request.

    If or when Senators and your Congressman's offices talk, I was told they talk to not double nominate, not talk about what your choices were.
     
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    40
    RJ,

    Also make sure that you submit for the Vice Presidential nomination. Last year there was a candidate on the forum that received a LOA but could not get a MOC nomination. At the very end of the appointment process, the SA came through with his appointment and it was charged against the Vice President.

    And congrats on your LOA from WP. Well done!!!
     
  5. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    65
    This issue comes up every year, and there is no clean answer.

    It does seem to matter if you are in a competitive state. (Ex: GA senators average over 600 applicants)

    If so, you can almost guarantee that both senators will coordinate and not duplicate noms, even across academies. So you will likely get your listed first choice, and only that. Less of an issue with an LOA, but some feel it might reflect negatively if the two Senators see you have different first choices.

    Your LOA will make it very easy for them to give you a nom (put you on the slate), since they know they will not be charged for it.

    Your representative is the best shot for multiple noms. DS received a nom to his 1st & 3rd choice, even though he already had a nom for his 1st choice from his Senator. (Again, most likely due to his LOA)

    With less competitive states they do not seem to coordinate as much, so gaming the 1st, 2nd, 3rd choices may work. But I don't have experience there, so cannot comment.

    The general (and I think best) recommendation is to put your first choice for all and let it play out. You don't want to end up with your 2nd choice due to trying to game the nom process.

    If you have an LOA for your 2nd choice, you will likely still get a nom from someone.
     
  6. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you are not being honest and try to game the system, be prepared to answer the question at one of your MOC interviews, " Why did you select Academy 'A' as your first choice with Congressman 'X' and Academy 'B' as your first choice with Senator 'Y'. Your answer had better be good.
     
  7. aglages

    aglages Parent

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    4
    As said by a previous poster: this issue comes up every year. Most of the interviews occur close to the same time. I think it is extremely unlikely that your US Senators and Congressman will have had time to compare notes BEFORE your interview and therefor you will likely not be asked this question during your interview. If you have more than one LOA you might well be asked which SA you prefer. Many will compare slates to avoid duplication AFTER the interviews, but IMHO NOT before. I think you should list your top choice of SAs with your Congressman (best shot for a nomination because of the fewer candidates) and split your first and second choice between your Senators. Just my opinion.... Good luck!
     
  8. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    rj9317, ask agales his personal first hand experience. The Academy liaisons for all the MOC boards which I have served on all talked extensively before the interviews.
     
  9. aglages

    aglages Parent

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    4
    My "personal" experience last year was that it didn't happen in my state according to one of the MOC's academy liaisons. This person actually thought it was amusing to think that they would compare hundreds of candidates (that may or my not even show up for the interview) before actually forming their own "in person" opinions of the candidates. Now after the interviews....

    rj9317: perhaps you should review the previous posts from ALL the candidates that actually had to respond to Mongol's question. My son used the same advice that I gave you and never had to answer ANY questions about his other nomination requests.
     
  10. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Over 500 MOC boards with absolutely no standardization. If one goes in prepared for the worst, they will fare a lot better than someone going in hoping for the best. To give one false hope based on anecdotal evidence is irresponsible.
     
  11. aglages

    aglages Parent

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    4
    To frighten needlessly is worse. Each MOC board has the right to handle their nomination process however they choose. Thus the lack of standardization. I gave my advice and you gave yours. How about we now give it a rest.....at least until next year.
     
  12. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would recommend contacting the staffers for your specific MOC's personally and asking this question. My son had a similar situation (with a USNA LOA and goal of USAFA as #1) and asked the senator's offices. They told him that in our slate they compared nominations between the senators' officers before assigning them and wouldn't duplicate, even between academies. So if he listed USNA as #1 with one senator and USAFA as #1 with the other, he would NOT get both. No, he probably wouldn't get asked at the interview, but that's even worse because he wouldnt get the chance to explain. They said that if they saw that, they'd just fill him in whichever one THEY wanted, which might not necessarily be the one HE wanted. Knowing the situation helped him and he ranked USAFA as #1 for both and got it from one.

    At the same time he contacted the congressman's office who told him that they didn't compare with the senators, and would award as many nominations as the candidates qualified for. So if he put down USNA and USAFA and was in the top 10 for both, he would receive both. He did, was, and got both nominations and appointments. But...this may well not be true for any other district or state which is why I would recommend asking them directly rather than relying on anyone (myself included) here on the forums!
     
  13. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    65
    I don't think this is just fearmongering by Mongo... we've heard of the concern in our state as well.

    But it might be a competitive state thing. But it's even more complicated... In GA Senate boards for the previous two years, you only get interviewed by a board stacked by your first choice. IE: Army officers/retirees if you listed USMA 1st, similar Naval officers if you listed USNA, etc.

    Both of DS's senate boards were segregated by 1st choice branch. Both highly stacked with Army officers. Ex: 2 Star Army General, a Full COL, a retired COL, a MAJ, and one lowly Captain, etc. And they ask why you want chose USMA over the other academies, etc.
     
  14. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Of course not. Integrity and the perceived lack thereof is huge throughout the selection process. With the Admissions Office, rejections usually come out in Febuary at the end of the process. Of hundreds of rejections over the years, I can only think of three that were notified early on in the process. One, when asked his best 440 time, gave the USNA track coach his relay time instead of an actual 440 time. Another, when I pressured him to contact Admissions concerning a serious injury, when he finally did so, downplayed it. Another, I was told, simply had a "problem telling the truth". All three are at another Academy.

    Also, nothing will turn off a BGO or a MOC board more quickly than a candidate who is trying to BS. Remember, most are retired military members. Candidates, no matter how well they think they have been coached by their parents to bend the truth slightly, are amazingly transparent. One of my favorites which pops up more often than not is familiess who are moving to another district, think I care, and try to hide it. Another is the candidate who has, during the interview, "dreamed only of attending USNA since he was in diapers" who accepts WP or AFA the minute it is offered. He has lost my respect. Some of my best evaluation grades have gone to those who, up front, told me USNA was their second choice. I respect that. I even told one at the conclusion of the interview that, considering his goals, I thought he would probably be happier at his first choice.

    As a result of my collective experiences, I will always advise candidates to be totally honest and truthful. Anything they try to change will probably be discovered. And the results will usually not be favorable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  15. aglages

    aglages Parent

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    4
    The problem with many 17 & 18 year old SA applicants isn't that they are trying to game the system or that they are trying to be dishonest; it is more (as the OP said) that the process starts so early that they aren't sure which SA is their first choice. Clearly if an applicant knows that the only SA they would accept an appointment to is the USNA then they are better off listing that first on all their applications. However if they are still uncertain and still exploring their options then they should IMHO list different SAs on different applications. I believe we had a very lengthy discussion about this last Spring, specifically about how a candidate could/would be considered for other SAs when their interviews were done by SA specific boards.

    Obviously we will continue to disagree both on this issue and whether most MOCs compare applications prior to interviewing candidates and whether a candidate is likely to be asked "the question".
     
  16. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    343
    Dead-on accurate comments! :thumb:

    I can make similar statements of past experiences with candidates, as I would imagine most ALO's/BGO's and USMA colleagues could as well.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  17. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    1
    rj9317 DID mention his Congressman....

    I think the crux of the problem here is that he hasn't decided.

    One thing I might add: The Senators and Congressman do talk in Texas. Senators did not interview a couple years ago. They get 5-600 for each academy, so would not give a nom for one SA, then have other Senator give Nom for another SA. They ask the Congressmen who they nominated for each academy to avoid duplications as well. My son got lucky as our Congressman didn't get around to replying to the Senator, so he wound up with both nominations, which both offices told us is not supposed to happen.

    I agree with Mongo and flieger.....it seems like gaming the system......unless you have assurance from the Senator/Congressman's office that they dont' compare applications. In a small state with few apps, this might work. It is never a bad thing to talk to staffers in those offices and BE HONEST. Every state is different and the answers you get here are going to be specific to one state usually.

    I would recommend a trip to the SA's in question if that hasn't been done, followed by some soul searching and choice making!
     
  18. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    864
    Likes Received:
    176
    I agree that at this stage, many 17 and 18 year olds simply don't have a first choice.

    I am going thru this process with my daughter. At this point she would be equally happy and honored to attend either USNA or USAFA, and considers both of them her first choice. She went to both summer seminars, her parents both graduated from USAFA, her brother is at USNA, so she is familiar with both services and service academies. She clearly and honestly doesn't have a second choice, but still has to rank them on her nom apps. Our state is highly competitive, and she will only meet the board for her number one choice for each MOC. She split her first choice between her Senator noms, and is still undecided about how to rank her congressional app. She is really at the point where she wants to flip a coin, have faith, and believe that what is supposed to happen will happen. She is not trying to BS anyone or play any game, and there is nothing dishonest in her intent. I am confident she feels comfortable with this answer should she be asked by anyone on the MOC panel.

    (luckily she has a Presidential Nom to both already, so "some" pressure is off, but she understands the importance of maximizing her nominations.)
     
  19. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    1
    I am not an expert on this - I am just a candidate. But does she have an idea of what she wants to do as an Officer? Some SAs might be better geared to a specific area of study or action.
     
  20. rj9317

    rj9317 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the replies! I spoke with my West Point ALO and she said that I could change my mind during the nomination interviews. Fortunately, I'll be able to visit before the interviews occur, so we'll see how that goes. As far as my applications are concerned, I decided to put USAFA as number 1 on all of them and just be honest. I appreciate all of your input!
     

Share This Page