Principal MOC Nominations

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by 3rdGen, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. 3rdGen

    3rdGen Member

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    Parent of DS congratulated by our Senator as a " primary nominee. " His office told us he uses a Principal Nom candidate with competitive slate method. We are thrilled and relieved to apparently been awarded " a golden ticket nomination " ...almost.
    The followup letter used the term " a primary nominee" not the primary or " principal" nominee. When you are this excited you then get paranoid and hang on every word/ detail.

    I have read every thread available on the subject for clarity but the more I read the more confusing it gets. I am aware that the USNA has had some issues with not having appointed Principal Noms that were Q3 despite "the law". The USNA, according to others , have had some " carnage" in their appointment process in the past. See posts by usnabgoO8 on USNA Forum.

    My question is this. Why would my DS candidate - with a primary ( synomonous with "principal"? ) MOC nomination want or need to interview for other MOCs next weekend?

    If he is not appointed by the AFA From this MOC's slate , why would they appoint him from a different MOCs slate?

    Surely a second MOC board , informed of his earlier principal nomination, would'nt award him a second principal nomination and forego the opportunity to give it to another deserving, and competitive candidate. What would another, lesser ranked nomination serve when he already has been selected as someone else's #1?

    Is anyone aware of the AFA not giving an appointment to a MOC principal nominee ( who was otherwise Q3 and well qualified leadership, athletics, etc. ) .

    You would think someone would quickly release Principal nominees from competing for other MOC nominations, and taking up room on other slates. Other, competitive candidates could use the extra nomination slot(s).

    My DS enjoyed interviewing, but we can't see how more interviews/ nominations, could help or hurt his AFA appointment process if he is in fact a Principal Nom.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
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  2. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Since no others chiming in yet, I will offer my almost valuless thoughts, because the lawyer in me can't resist. IF, and I mean if, the "primary" means the principal nomination, then I agree with you; your son would not need another nomination, because he is either 3 qualified or he isn't. If he is 3Q he is in, if not, then another nomination would do him no good regardless. I would get clarification from both the moc and the Academy, and make sure it is memorialized. Then follow up with an email confirming the same again.

    My read on the kids who get principal noms, then are denied is that the academies have some hidden subjective discretion on determining who is qualified in all categories. That is why no published minimums on things like CFA. And I do not believe that the academies like being mandated to select a certain candidate, whether it's statutory or not. This is probably particularly true if they believe the moc is "gaming" the system.

    My suspicion is that your son has his golden ticket, and to that extent, congratulations. But confirm and memorialize.
     
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  3. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I would encourage him to continue pursuing all of the nominations that he can. Even though it sounds like he has a place in the class of 2020, having all possible nominations gives him more chances. I would do is especially since the language in his congrats letter is not exactly the same term that the Academy uses. As Brovol said, you should verify.

    Also, even if it does not specifically help him, it does open the opportunity for the Academy to build the best class possible. Since Senator noms usually go to the very top candidates since they are state-wide, there may be exceptional candidates on the Senators slate below your son who the Academy wants. If your son has noms from other sources, the Academy can move the noms around to take the best candidates. My son was an example of this. He had an LOA, and noms from both Senators and his MOC (none of them used primary noms). The Academy originally slotted him to Senator A in November, then a month later moved his charging to Senator B. Later, he was changed to our MOC. The Academy moved his source in order to take the best candidates from each slate.

    Stealth_81
     
  4. 3rdGen

    3rdGen Member

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    Thank you both. I appreciate your input, esp the recognized logic in my thinking by the kind Esquire.
    We did clarify the language discrepancy with the Senator's Nom POC and "primary to them is same as " Principle".
    Given that my son did not list/ apply to any other SA, has no other source of nomination pending, and excellent WPS package with avg ACT scores - we are going to run with the first Principal Nom and not confuse the issue or be dead weight in the other MOC interview/selection slates.
    Have a call into the RD to confirm his Principal Nomination status as we did with the MOC office.
    Will email the other MOC offices and explain his status and reason for withdrawing.
    Wish us luck. He is going to wrestle his first tournament on the road to a State championship this weekend instead of interviewing further.
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As stealth mentioned, I would advise going to all interviews and applying to all nominations. Unless such time comes your son actually has an APPOINTMENT in his hands. That's how it worked for my son. He received an appointment, via a presidential nomination. Until he actually received the appointment, which came the first of November, he kept his interview appointments with the moc. Once he actually received the appointment, then, and only then, did he graciously tell the Mocs that he didn't require a nomination and to please give it to someone else. Sort of like when people ask me about investing in gold or silver. They talk about etf's, stocks, iras, etc. I tell them flat out.... If you can't hold the gold or silver IN YOUR HAND, then it doesn't really exist. So, the same applies here. Until he has an actual appointment presented where he has to accept or reject, keep the other nomination appointments open.

    I will say about brovol's comment, the academy does not have some hidden agenda. If an individual actually receives a principle nomination, then they DO and WILL receive an appointment. The academy has absolutely no say so in the matter. Unless of course the individual doesn't qualify. And if that's the case, they won't receive an appointment even if they have 4 nominations. And there is absolutely no way that an applicant shouldn't know if they aren't qualified. You'll know if your act or sat scores are too low, or if you have a medical issue, or if the cfa scores are bad. In other words, if the academy doesn't give you an appointment with a principle nomination, you're not getting an appointment at all, no matter what. The academy doesn't like principle nominations, but there's nothing they can do about it. If you're qualified, and have a principle, you will get the appointment. But back to the original poster. Until your son has the appointment, I wouldn't take a chance on ambiguity. Even Mocs make mistakes. Until you have the appointment, go for all the nominations.
     
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  6. brovol

    brovol Member

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    That's great! Congratulations again. I hope my son is as fortunate. He has applied to the big three accademys, and has a nomination to each, with complete applications, 32 ACT, very solid CFA, captain of both soccer and baseball team, NHS pres, and otherwise great résumé, but hasn't even received a LOE from any academy. He is getting nervous. He did get an email from west point regional commander saying his application was very strong and he was looking real good, but that's it. Lol. This process is a character builder. Hope we laugh at it one day.

    BTW, I used to be "Esquire", and practiced law, but have been on bench for several years, so I wasn't giving " legal advise". Just sharing a thought or two to a friend. Now go celebrate with your kid.
     
  7. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I am as cynical as anyone could get, but I have not seen any definite evidence that there are some "hidden subjective discretion on determining who is qualified in all categories," or least not at West Point.

    The medical is done by DoDMERB. Granting a medical wavier is qualifying a candidate that is disqualified, not disqualifying a candidate that is qualified.
    CFA, for West Point, once the result is submitted, it shows up on the FFR database as pass or fail. So it will be hard to fail a candidate that failed.
    Academic qualification is where some subjective could come in, but hard to disqualify a candidate when the evaluation is based on class rank, GPA, SAT/ACTs.[/
     
  8. brovol

    brovol Member

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    I didn't say or suggest that the academy has a hidden "agenda". I said it has hidden discretion in terms of determining whether a candidate is qualified in all categories. At least part of the analysis in evaluating a candidate is subjective. If it was not we would all simply be able to plug in the scores of each candidate, and, like a math problem, calculate if the kid is in or out.

    "Leadership" is not something which is objectively determined. Some admissions evaluators may consider captain of the football team to be more reflective of leadership than say being the captain of the debate team. Or playing varsity softball compared to being on the judo club. Some may value band membership more than others do. The CFA minimum scores aren't published, and they may change from year to year. Regardless, my point is that the academy has the discretion to determine that one candidate is qualified, while another is not, even if side to side the numbers look the same for both kids.

    I see a lot of kids asking on this board whether their CFA scores are "passing" and there are conflicting views on the question; so I think there may be circumstances where a candidate does not know if he or she is "qualified".

    I very much believe that the admissions process is fair and honestly administered. I think the people involved are honorable, and take the job very serious. And they give each candidate exactly what they need to put together a winning application. I don't question the process at all. But there are some gray areas for sure, and it makes for an interesting wait for a candidate.
     
  9. 3rdGen

    3rdGen Member

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    Christcorp - I want to take the opportunity to thank you for the many well written and detailed posts that I found to be a beacon of enlightment. As new parents to the nomination and appointment process, and all things SA, these Forums are much appreciated.

    Thank you all for your input. I appreciate your thoughts, share your anxiety, and wish your candidates success in their quest to be commissioned through a SA.
     
  10. In-the-Know

    In-the-Know Member

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    So let me clarify--it is customary but not "law" that a "principal" nominee if "fully qualified" is offered an appointment. The principal nomination method is just that--a method to tell a service academy that this is the one that the MOC wants appointed from thier slate.

    USAFA encourages every candidate to apply for every nomination for which he or she is eligible. MOCs can and do make mistakes when nominating candidates.

    I completely understand your delemma, a potential state championship is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but so is an appointment to service academy. If you feel certain that your DS has a principal nomination, then you can rest easier, but until the appointment is in hand you can not be 100% certain.
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Just to clarify. Minimum qualification is all that's needed should an individual have a principle nomination. I bring this up, because the discretion being mentioned, such as captain of the football team or other leadership type attributes, are the things that separate the "BEST" vs the other qualified candidates. Of the 2500-5000 qualified candidates, of which 1200+/- will receive an appointment, an applicant can be the #5000 qualified individual; if you have a principle nomination, the academy must give you the appointment. They have absolutely "NO CHOICE" in the matter. If a principle nominee doesn't get the appointment, it's because they are NOT qualified. Either academically, medically, or physically. All the other attributes that make an individual "COMPETITIVE" against all other qualified candidates, don't come into play. Not for a "Principal" nominee. This is not to say that you don't have to have any leadership qualities; simply stating again, if you don't receive an appointment with a Principal, then you won't receive an appointment at all. Because the academy deems you disqualified.

    For those interested, out of the 1200 +/- appointees, approximately 500-550 are directly selected from the MOC's nomination slates. There are 435 representatives and 100 senators. MOST have on average 1 slate of 10 names each year. Sometimes a MOC as 2 available slates. Sometimes they have no available slates. "There's laws on how many appointees, based off of their slates, can be at the academy at one time". It's complicated and I won't get into it right now, but for the sake of argument, let's just say all 535 MOC have one slate of 10 names this year. BY LAW, the academy MUST, select and give one appointment from each of those 535 slates; assuming at least one person on each slate is qualified. Right there, is approximately 535 appointments. These are appointments that the academy has very little say so in appointing. I say little, because most MOC's simply provide the academy with a list of ten, and the academy gets to choose which one of the 10 to give an appointment to. Some, give a list listing a Principle nominee. In this case, assuming the individual is qualified, EVEN AT THE BARE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS; the academy MUST give that individual the appointment. This is federal law. Not the academy's rules or choice.

    Personally, I prefer the "Principle" (Ranked) method of MOC's providing their slate to the academy. It means the MOC is taking a more active roll in the process. The balance to this of course, is that after those 535 appointments, the academy still has close to 700 appointments left to give out, and they, (The academy), have complete control over who those 700 appointments go to. The majority will be those on the MOC's lists who didn't get one of the 535 mandatory appointments. Some will be from Presidential and other military related nomination slates.

    But to reiterate; a principle nominee, receiving an appointment from the academy (Assuming they are qualified); only need to meet the minimum qualifications. Things such as leadership points, captain of this, volunteer of that, etc. are used to make an applicant more competitive. Most people don't realize that the 3.86 gpa average; the 30 ACT score average; etc. of appointees, are WAY ABOVE the minimum standards. If the Principle nominee has a 25 ACT, they meet the minimum test score. As long as they are qualified academically, pass their medical exam, and pass their CFA; they will receive an appointment if given a Principle nomination. So; if an individual with a Principle nomination, DOESN'T RECEIVE and appointment, then it's because they are disqualified, and they aren't going to receive an appointment under any circumstance.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
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  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    P.S. In case anyone wants to look any of this stuff up, you can start with US Code Title 10. But if you want more direct info on nominations, you can look at the following link:
    https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33213.pdf
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    P.S.S. Please forgive my "Principal" vs "Principle" insertions. "AUTO-CORRECT SUCKS".
     
  14. 3rdGen

    3rdGen Member

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    I am hearing and understanding both sides here -
    My head says that the logical outcome has to be an appointment with a MOC Principal nomination -
    My heart says "geez ...you are over thinking and simplifying this...he needs to just get all the nominations he can - as so many of you have said.
    My heart also says his being further slated by the other two MOCs is denying opportunity to two other kids...
    Again, how do you improve on a Principal Nomination - confirmed today by AFA admissions ?
    At this point it really is in the AFA hands to find him qualified - even if minimally.

    In a sparsely populated rural state with only 3 MOCs, I'm pretty certain the first MOC review board must have interviewed the majority of our state's strong candidates.

    If you are curious: ACT 29, Math 30 and Science 30, 4.05GPA, # 6/250 senior class, STEM AP courses, Council Eagle Scout of the Year, , Captain - Football 1yr., Vice NHS, President Cycling club,
    Boy's State, Varsity Football x 3 yrs., Varsity Wrestler x5 Captain - 2 yrs. 4x State qualifier, 3x placer.
    National H.S All-American . USAFA Engineering Camp award.
    No medical issues. No legal issues and Max'd out most of the PT,
    Great letters x 6. Your basic well rounded over-achiever.
    Most importantly, he has all the right heart, desire and motivation to Serve like his
    Grandpa - USAF CMSgt (Ret) 29 yrs, and Dad - USAF Physician (Sep) x 7 years.


    My head says he is good to go - sit back and relax. My heart wants to panic at the thought of him not continuing to interview... because I recommended he probably doesn't need to?
     
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  15. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I come from a sparsely populated state. "Wyoming". Only 3 mocs. And for what it's worth, EVERYONE HERE who is qualified, WILL GET A Nomination.

    If your state is the same; or possibly even is wyoming, then your son applying for other nominations definitely IS NOT TAKING ANYTHING away from anyone else. Matter of fact; in Wyoming; the BEST applicants usually get ALL 3 NOMINATIONS. The average applicants usually get 2 nominations. The lower amount will get at least one nomination. In an average year, Wyoming has about 16-20 qualified applicants who will actually be considered for an appointment. With 30 nomination slots "10 for each of the 3 moc's", you can see how everyone is going to get a nomination. So don't worry about your son going for the other nominations. AND, if your moc's talk to each other; which many do, especially in small states; then everyone will get at least one nomination. Don't worry about it. Mike.
     
  16. 3rdGen

    3rdGen Member

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    Thank you for your reassurance. Will let you know how he does.
    How do I send you a side chat? up date.
     
  17. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I don't mean to be harsh here, but this is a competition. Don't worry about the other guy. It's his job to worry about himself. You can worry about him when it's time to pick him up off the ground after you've won... and you do that graciously. When you are team mates, then you can worry about how they're doing.
     
  18. 3rdGen

    3rdGen Member

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    The point is, the "competition" stopped for my D/S when he was awarded a Principal MOC Nom. The remaining candidates are all potential teammates.
     
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  19. brovol

    brovol Member

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    OK. That actually does make it easier to understand. Thank you.
     
  20. brovol

    brovol Member

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    That's my thought too. I would say get all nominations possible, until either appointed or you receive a principal nomination. At that point you are either in or you are in as soon as 3 qualified, and there in no point in securing another nomination. If qualified or not qualified the additional nomination is not going to help you.
     

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