Primary vs. Alternate

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by littlerascal, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. littlerascal

    littlerascal New Member

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    My son received a nomination from one of his Senators to the Naval Academy and he received an alternate nomination from his Congressional Rep to both the Naval Academy and Air Force Academy. He has applied to both and is fully qualified for both. On the nomination from his Congressional Rep, the Rep had indicated that he had provided a Primary Nomination to someone else and that my son was the only only Alternate nominated for the Naval Academy and one of five Alternates for the Air Force Academy.

    Does that mean that he will only be competing for the Reps only slot at the Air Force Academy if his Primary doesn't accept or isn't qualified? Or, is my son also thrown into the "national pool" to compete for acceptance at the Air Force Academy?

    Bottom line is that I am pretty confused by the Primary vs. Alternate and the Numbered Alternate process. Can someone better explain this process?

    Thanks
     
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    If your MOC didn't "number" his alternates (it's called Principal w/ Ranked Alternates) for the SA, then if the principal is "3Qd" they will receive that MOC's appointment.

    The remaining nominees will be placed in the qualified alternate pool and may be selected from there. Some years...a MOC will not have any of their alternates selected, and some years it's amazing! The best example I've seen personally was with Senator Jon Kyl several years ago. He had two openings and nominated 20 students; he does not use the principal/alternate method; he simply nominates and lets the SA do the selection.

    Long story short; he had his two "named appointments" credited to him by the USAFA for 2 of his 20 nominees. And in the course of the appointment process, he had 12 more of his nominees appointed!!!

    Yes TWELVE!

    He sent every AZ ALO a personal letter of congratulations and thanks for finding such wonderful candidates, etc...etc...it really looked good on all our records but we ALL knew the truth: we just had an amazing bunch of "kids" in AZ that year!!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  3. littlerascal

    littlerascal New Member

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    Thank you for your reply. In our particular case, our Congressional Rep used the Principal Method with numbered alternatives. In this case, does my son still get thrown in the qualified alternate pool? If not, is he only considered for this Congressional Rep's single slot? My fear is that he will only be considered for the single slot if the Rep's primary or alternates above him on the numbered list do not accept or are not qualified, which I assume will be a low chance of happening. If this is the case, do you have any recommendations?
     
  4. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Everyone who has a nomination from their MOC and is 3Q, but does not win the appointment from that MOC nomination, will compete in the national pool. I hope this clarifies things. Good luck!
     
  5. iDeltaStorm

    iDeltaStorm Member

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    What is the competitive method of nomination?

    My impression is that, when compared to the rest of the nomination methods, that he identifies the top 10 applicants, gives them all "equal nominations" and hands them off to the service academies to decide their fate?

    Is this a correct understanding?
     
  6. ctuma2

    ctuma2 Member

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    Is there a difference between a "principal" nomination versus a "primary" nomination or can they be considered synonyms?
     
  7. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    The proper, official term is "principal."

    The term "primary" is not used, except incorrectly.
     
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Correct. The SA will then choose one candidate from the slate.
     
  9. keep.trying

    keep.trying New Member

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    That's interesting. When I received the letter from my Representative, it says, "I have nominated you to USAFA as a Primary Nominee." I don't mean to repeat the question but is this the same as a principal nomination?
     
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    As Luigi said there are no Primary Nominees as far as USAFA is concerned. Read this PDF for a thorough explanation of the three types of nominations in use. Then call your MOC's office and work with a staffer to get clarification on the type of nomination you have received.
     
  11. MomofFutureLeader

    MomofFutureLeader Member

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    DS had same situation. He received from Congressman:
    Primary Nomination for USAFA
    1st Alternate for USNA
    4th Alternate for USMA

    I called the Congressman's academy staffer and was told potato, potatoe, it was the same thing. However, his website states that they use the competitive method. It would appear that they are confusing terminology all over the place. DS contacted the USAFA Admissions rep to see if they showed it as a Principal nomination or not and was told that they are not able to share this information and that he needed to contact his Congressman. So, a big circle. We are 99.9% sure that is is a principal nomination but that .1% nagging in the back of the brain is a killer.
     
  12. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Clearly this not like potato or potatoe. Terminology does matter (perhaps unless you are in politics). I agree with you MoFL. It does appear that your MOC is using the Principal with Numbered Alternatives method for their nominations. Congrats! Especially if your DS has USAFA as his #1 pick.
     
  13. MomofFutureLeader

    MomofFutureLeader Member

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    Yes, USAFA is 1st choice. He has received appointment BFE from USMA due to LOA and nom. Just received 4 yr Type 7 AF ROTC (any major) in the mail on Tuesday. At this point it seems a little silly applying for scholarships and such, but we are taking to heart what we have seen on here repeatedly. What if he breaks his leg, gets sick, car accident, whatever......Hate to think of such a thing but we are moving ahead as if he needs a college and scholarships so that if the worst came to pass then he will be lined up with other funding.
     

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