Preference Rankings

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by Candidate2239, Aug 29, 2010.

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  1. Candidate2239

    Candidate2239 Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Both of my senators and my rep. require that I rank my service academy preferences as in if West Point is my first choice,etc. My bottom line is that I want to be able to serve my country and attend either USNA or USMA. Do you think it would be a bad idea to put USMA as my first priorty for my rep. but then put USNA as first for my senators? Thanks for your time.
     
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    No.

    Each MoC, whether US Rep or US Sen, wants to know "...if I nominate this young man/woman, where do they want to MOST serve?" That's the value of rank ordering.

    Be honest and up-front. Don't put USMA as #1 unless you are "THAT is what I most want!" But...DO rank them in the order you'd like them.

    Bottom line, I have seen letters/app's for my MoC that stated something similiar to:

    "It is my desire to serve the USA as an officer in the armed forces. I most desire to serve as an "XXXXXX" officer and have placed USXXX as my #1 selection, however..."

    Something akin to that.

    But YOU must decide how to approach this.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  3. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    Decide, before you apply for a nomination. Where would you rather go? If you can’t decide then look into it more what career you would prefer. Land or sea? Things like that, and soon you should be able to decide what you want.
     
  4. Candidate2239

    Candidate2239 Member

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    So you think I should put the same number one priority for both senators and my rep? Although I should explain that Naval and Army service both appeal to me? Like I want to be able to maximize my chances of getting a nomination to both USNA/USMA, but don't want the MOCs to think I'm annoying putting different priorities.

    I honestly don't know. I've tried to look at it from that perspective, but each side appeals to me. For instance, the Army offers airborne and many different schools to attend while the Navy offers more travel and the ability to live on a ship.

    Thank you both for replying. I appreciate it.
     
  5. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    If you can't decide then flip a coin.
     
  6. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    If you want to be on a ship then do navy! You will be on one all the time in the navy, but not much at all in the Army, so if you’d prefer to live there pick that, after all thats where you’ll live for a good amount of time!

    Just my opinion though. Living on the sea may only be a minor plus, and not matter too much to you. But thats how I look at it, in the end its on you.

    Good luck!
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    But tpg....I heard we were doing away with the Marine Corps....
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    In my view, the answer depends ENTIRELY on whether you would be equally "happy" at more than one SA (leaving out USCGA for the moment b/c it doesn't require noms). If you truly would be happy going to USNA and USMA (or whichever two you're considering), then it makes sense to "split" your nom choices (pick one first for one and the other first for the second).

    However, if you have a preference, rank/choose it first for all. The reason? You must assume you'll get a nom to your "second" choice and not to your first. I've seen it happen with one of my candidates who put USMA down twice and USNA once when MOCs asked him to choose. He got two noms to WP and not even an interview for USNA. He asked me what he should do. I suggested he go to USMA since that apparently was his first choice (and he did go there).

    Some people say, I'd rather go to X SA than go to none. That is your choice. But be sure you mean it. Are you going to jump up and down or grimace when your appointment comes through for that SA and you really wish you'd put more energy into getting into Y SA? And will you be happy in that service, not just SA? The Army is very different than the USN than the USAF, etc. Be sure you want to be there as inter-service transfers are VERY rare (USMMA is somewhat of an exception to this).

    It comes back to what I said up front -- search your heart and soul regarding where you want to be and put all of your efforts toward that goal. If you are truly ambivalent, then you have more flexibility. But don't "settle" for a 2nd or 3rd choice as I can almost promise that you'll regret it.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I trust you were joking. This is a real dilemma for many candidates. One option is to apply to USCGA if that interests you. It's very competitive, but you don't need a nomination, so it doesn't have to figure into your preference rankings up front.
     
  10. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Actually no. This is a good way to decide if you think you are really undecided. Flip the coin and your reaction will tell you. Listen to your gut.

    Mom or Dad can factilitate this too. Say Heads Army and Tails Navy and flip. Mom and Dad watch your kid and when it says Heads Army - look at your kid's expression. If he/she smiles then that's it. If he/she is a little dissappointed then Navy is the answer.

    Regardless - If you are forced to decide between two choices and you would accept either then please convey this to your MOC. Many committees will try and find a slot for you especially if they know you are open to accepting a choice that is not your first.

    There ARE kids who really feel they would be happy either Army, Navy, AF - I think that's okay - the world is a big one and can be overwhelming. Just make sure your committee knows.
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I recommend buying a huge cage. Get a goat, a mule, a falcon, an eagle and a bear and have them "go at it". Which ever animal steps out alive....go with that school. I can tell you which one I think will survive, but I don't want to ruin the surprise.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Please tell me you are being facetious in that response!?!

    Flip a coin and look at their smile?


    The saddest thing ever is a candidate who gets a nom and an apptmt to a branch he/she doesn't want to serve in.

    How about you sit down with them as an adult and say, every service is unique and no matter what you will owe at least 5 yrs ACTIVE DUTY. The Army has a different mission than the AF or Navy. The Navy has a different mission then the CG. Military life can actually be a life and death situation...smiling should not be a factor when determining anything. Hey, I smile at the comment ...everyone likes twinkies, but the fact is I hate twinkies and smile because of the word twinkies, should that mean I want or like twinkies?

    How about you investigate the career paths within each branch and make a logical decision.

    Want to fly Helo's? AF is not the way!

    Want to rescue? Look at every branch, but review their mission

    Want to serve in Intel.. what part? Do you want to give Intel for missions? Again the branch will matter. An AF intel officer is not going to be the same as an Army intel since their missions are different.

    LITS has a point if smiling at the word of a military branch is your determining factor than ask them about how they feel about the SA mascot.

    In the end, push comes to shove it will be at least 9 yrs of your life, and you need to weigh that in your decision process. If they weigh out the same for every branch, I would say you didn't spend enough time researching each and every branch.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  13. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Dead. on. serious.
    Pima - you really need to read the whole thread AND my whole post. This is about a kid who either can't decide or has no preference. Yes, those kids exist when they are 17 years old and a high school senior.
    Not every child was conditioned from birth to believe the AF is the latest and greatest and nothing else will do. Maybe the kid doesn't know what he/she wants to do. It just isn't that easy.
    You can research all you want but some kids just really want to serve their country and they will gladly take whatever opportunities they are given. Not every kid has grown up being spoonfed military101.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Jam,
    And your response is to toss a coin? Yes, I know 17 yo are young, BUT we need as parents and posters to press upon them that this is not 4 yrs of your life, it is at least 9 YEARS. Instead of flipping a coin, how about advising them to research each SA?

    Flip a coin, well, that really sucks if the coin says Army over Navy and you hate TANKS. Sucks if the coin says NAVY over AF and boats aren't your thing.

    Every branch in the military has some positions which are like a VEN diagram...CG, NAVY, ARMY and AF all have Helo's, but let's be real in the AF that is a small % compared to the other services. All branches have jumpers, but again, if you want to be a jumper it would be wise to go Army. You want to become a PA officer/JAG/Weather/Nurse than you are on the mark...it doesn't matter.

    You want to specialize in military ops than flipping a coin or seeing a smile does more harm than good because every service exists for a specific mission. Gates does not expect the AF to run an Army mission, nor does he expect the Navy to run it either.

    Additionally, we hurt posters by not acknowledging the differences between the branches. 17 yo who will be at least 27 yo when they can leave should take the time to investigate the branches. Be honest and real, treat them like the adult that the military sees them as! Do you want an SA candidate to accept an apptmt because they thought every service was the same, and flipped a coin regarding their decision? I truly hope not.

    AS far as the slam to me regarding my DS and the AF inference. Here goes:

    You are 180 degrees off the mark. Guess what, after 20 yrs of traveling around the globe, the last thing we desired for our DS was the thought he would join the military and now we would follow him around the globe to spend time with him. We would have been happy like pigs in mud if he went the civilian route. He didn't opt for this, and I will not apologize for him being his own person like every other cadet when he decided he wanted to serve this great nation. Our very proudest moment came when he got winged last week. He could have taken gold props, but elected to take silver BECAUSE HE EARNED IT, he didn't want gold just because Dad was AF. He wanted it to be about him, and him alone, he denied his own military heritage...how does that work for your conditioning theory?

    Yes, our DS lived the military life, he carries in his wallet his military dependent card, but please don't say or insinuate "Not every child was conditioned from birth to believe the AF is the latest and greatest and nothing else will do." , because in this family, with our DS as a college student that was offered merit scholarships from other colleges and who interned on the Hill, I have bit my tongue on what path he chose. If I had my druthers our DS would have gone the diplomatic corps route just for my own selfish reasons so in your perception I failed conditioning my child!.

    I know as a wife what his family will endure. I know that the tears his wife and children will shed over the course of his career will be thousands of tears. Every time they say goodbye to me or Bullet there will be tears. Every time he deploys even in a safe zone, there will be tears shed. Every time their children move and say goodbye to their friends they will cry. The list goes on and on.

    Military children who follow their parents footsteps understand every tear because they endured it already as a child of a military member. G Bless them for still believing in this country enough to say I am willing to put my own family through it, knowing the pain they endured. SO if you want to say "conditioned" when military children opt to follow their parents go for it...I say G Bless because they love this country enough to walk in with eyes wide open and still say SIGN ME UP.

    "Condition" a child was inflammatory, gross, and down right rude to military parents who have children that decided to take up the flag for this country.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  15. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Pima - calm down. seriously. Never once did I mention your son or insinuate anything about him. If the shoe fits.....
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    No problem I will let YOUR AF conditioning from birth kid remark/comment go/slide...um
    ...funny you said AF and my child is AF, and Bullet was AD AF also! Why didn't you say ARMY? THOSE ARE YOUR EXACT WORDS WHICH APPEARED IN THE QUOTE. You decided to take a dig at the AF and military parents. I didn't. I just acknowledge that on this thread I am the AF parent of an AFROTC cadet.

    Now let's go back on topic.

    Can you seriously say that flipping a coin or a smile is how any candidate should determine which SA? Do you not agree that they should use this time wisely and investigate the SAs AND the branches since they will not walk away before they hit 26-27?

    Honestly, defend to me flipping a coin or a smile from a rational stance?

    I decided to go Navy because I flipped a coin?

    I get I can't decide between Army/Navy/CG/AF because I want to fly helo's. All of these branches have them in their inventory, but let's be real, if you want to fly helos's Army should be your 1st choice if you want combat, if you want to rescue because you saw it on Deadliest Catch than CGA is the way to go. Both are high risk and valuable

    I get I want to be in something akin to SEALS, RANGERS, PJ's etc, but then investigate your chances within each branch...don't flip a coin!

    To say to a candidate, flip a coin is FLIPPANT in its' own way. What WE ALL should say is investigate each branch regarding the career field you want when you are commissioned AND THEN decide.

    Competitive areas could mean that a candidate who never researched the SA's or the branches could get one nom...one appt...to a branch he realized he hated because he followed your advice and flipped a coin when he racked and stacked the SA's!

    We need to keep this on target. ANY candidate who is applying to ANY SA should become familiar with the branch. Don't pick an SA willy nilly, look at their course curriculum, look at your career options. Understand that you will be 27 at the earliest before you can leave. 5 yrs on a ship. tank, or runway can make you the most miserable person!
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  17. navy2016

    navy2016 Member

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    very intersting

    i would go with the falcon

    by logic

    the bear will eat both the mule and the goat
    however never reach the eagle nor the falcon
    since falcons are faster than eagles, the falcon will last

    going against the bear, the bear would simply get clawed by the falcon for eternity


    as for the thread:
    If i did not get my information wrong, Merchant Marine Academy allows its graduates to serve in any one of the service branches?
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    True, although I never said the size of the cage, and I would venture to guess that bears have longer life spans.
     
  19. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Yea, I think I like the "Cage" suggestion also. Definitely better than "Flipping a Coin".

    At first I really thought that "Flipping a Coin" was trying to be funny. But when you got analytical about it, mentioning watch the individual's reaction, I realized that you were dead serious. Well, I guess in a "Psycho-Babble" way of thinking, that makes some sense. My first degree was in Psychology, and I remember studying extensively, and seeing in real life, the conflict between what a person "Thinks" they want, and what they "Really" want. But trying to psychoanalyze such an important decision by trying to "Study" the individual's reaction, is simply bad advice. Want to "Skew" the results, have them flip the coin after after watching some "Hoorah" movie. The "Reaction" will go one way, compared to watching a movie like "Taking Chance" which is all about escorting the remains of a soldier back to his home town for burial. No, I can't go with the "Flip a Coin" method. What you react to today can and will be different than what you react to tomorrow.

    When you're in cadet basic training, or various branch equivalent; that "Feeling" you speak of is not what's going to get you through basic. That follow your instinct method is not going to get you through and not quitting. My suggestion is to first and foremost, FORGET THAT THE ACADEMY IS A GOAL. Sorry, but going to West Point, or Annapolis, the Air Force Academy, etc... should NOT be your goal or even your dream. The academies is 4 years of your life. It may sound significant, but it's not when put into perspective. The academy, or any college for that matter, is simply one of many means of reaching your goals and dreams. That's why some officers come from the academy, some ROTC, and some OTS. Some serve the military as enlisted. Some serve active duty, while some serve in the guard or reserves. So, forget that the academy is "Your Goal" and work backwards.

    Think about what you want to be and/or do when you grow up. Forget all this stuff that people have told you about what you CAN'T do. Forget about money. Forget everything that is socially engineered into you by your family, friends, teachers, etc... If money was no object. If school was no object. If where in the world you lived was no object. What would you want to be when you "Grow Up". It doesn't have to be just one thing. Maybe you have a list of 5 things you wouldn't mind. Maybe more. (These should be your goals). Yes, you can have smaller short range goals, but work backwards from your MAIN GOAL. Unless you're a Buddhist, you're not going to be able to do one life until you die, and then start all over again.

    Now, if you truly feel compelled and have a calling to serve your country in the armed forces, which of the branches of the military can most help you reach your goals. Not talking the academy, talking branch of service. Do you want to build bridges, skyscrapers, engineer a dam, etc... The Army is the way to go. Do you like the idea of working on Satellites, hi-tech R&D, electronics, etc... Air Force might be the way. (Please don't correct me and tell me that the Army ALSO has this, or the Air Force DOES THAT TOO, or the Navy is REALLY GOOD AT THAT. These are examples.) Once you've narrowed down which branches of the military you have researched and can help you reach your goals, (Maybe it's still ALL 5 branches of the military), then you have to decide in which "Environment" you want to do it. I grew up on the beach, on the ocean. I had no desire whatsoever to be on a boat ever again. So for me, ditching the Navy was a pretty simple choice. Even though I wanted to be an electronic engineer, and I knew that all branches of the military offered some pretty high tech electronics, I made a conscious decision that the Air Force and Navy were probably more into than the Army was. Just like I also like Mechanical Engineering; which I believe the Army to be better at. But because I went with Electronic Engineering, I passed on the Army. I passed on the Navy, because I didn't want the ocean again. So, for me, it was the Air Force. And my best friend in high-school went army, because that's what was best for him.

    There's enough circumstantial and even stereotypical information out there to tell you which branch of service tends to be the more involved with certain occupations and activities. The air force has plenty of Helicopter pilots flying in the air force. However, the Army is by far more involved with choppers. The Navy and Army definitely have a lot of their own planes, but the air force probably has a few more of them. All branches are into heavy and light weaponry. All are into IT/Telecom. All are into intel/R&D/etc... But if you figure out first, what your goals are in life, (Even if you haven't narrowed it down to just one); then I believe you will be able to determine which branch of the military might be more into that. Make that your first choice. And being you're OK with more than one academy, list the other as your second. And there is nothing wrong with getting your 2nd choice if it's available. It's the academy. It's not the rest of your life. There's a lot of individuals who change branches of the military after their initial commitment. Just because you went to West point or the Air Force academy, doesn't mean your ONLY 2 options after graduating is: 1)Spend 5 years and get out or 2)Spend 20+ years in that branch of the military. Best of luck to you. mike.....
     
  20. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    Even Buddhists CAN do it in one lifetime, Siddartha for example! You should know this stuff! :yllol: Just kidding

    Now back to the decision topic, I did similar to what you did. I worked backwards. I thought the sea would be fun, for a week, until I got bored and hated the ocean, so Navy and Marines were out. I knew coast guard wasn’t for me since I wanted to be as close to the action as possible, since I HATE sitting and watching. So I had AF and Army to choose from. Pilot was one of the things I may want to do, and I had really no preference wether helicopter or fixed wing, so that didn’t help. My next decider was what can an officer do besides fly. I looked into a CRO for the Air Force because I don’t want to be taking lives as much I want to be saving lives. Army or any service has much to compare to CRO’s and PJ’s. They can be right in the battle, saving lives, and when there are no wars there is always somebody to be helped. I decided Air Force was right for me. I don’t exactly NEED to know what branch I want to join yet, but its always nice to know

    Oh, and I say bear wins (if its a big grizzly bear) unless the cage has no roof, in that case I give it to the falcon. If the falcon can only accelerate in 15 feet the bear will swat it out of the sky, BUT if its coming in at full speed the bear is done.
     
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