ROTC Nomination - should I ask for revision

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by sean007, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. sean007

    sean007 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    11
    Just received a nomination, Form 5-497, to West Point from my ROTC commanding officer. On it he had made, what I feel, were several evaluation errors.

    1. He had me marked as an "Solid average student, possibly honors" - I am currently an electrical engineering student at a top 20 university, ACT composite was 34 (not superscored), national AP scholar with distinction, I have actually applied to the engineering honors program and will most likely be accepted.

    2. For athletics, I was marked as a "high school varsity participant, average ability" - I was the captain of my cross country team, 3 year letter winner, was a top 25 all-time runner for my high school, won the highest athletic/academic award my school offered, got a few letters from "small colleges" asking me to visit.

    3. For extracurricular activities, I was graded "good citizen, interested and active" - I was H.S. class officer, H.S. club officer, featured speaker at my H.S. graduation, volunteered at the local VA hospital where I won 2 leadership awards, worked in the re-election campaign for my local congressman.

    While my overall evaluation was "strong contender" - I really felt he just "phoned this one in." If anyone has any advice on how I should proceed, I would surely appreciate the input.
    Reply With Quote
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    I will leave responses for what now to others, but I have a curiosity question.

    Were you the only ROTC nom at your det?
     
  3. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    312
    More questions:

    I assume you are a freshman and that your first term final grades are not in yet. Is this accurate?

    How large is your battalion, particularly the MS1 class? Have you done anything in the few months to date to distinguish yourself among your fellow MS1s?

    What scores have you had on your APFTs?

    Have you had a counseling session yet with the MS1 supervisor?

    Assuming the recommendation from your PMS is based on his impression of you in college rather than merely parroting your high school achievements, which should speak for themselves, "strong contender" appears reasonable and not worth quibbling over.
     
  4. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,699
    Likes Received:
    451
    You are a freshman in an ROTC Battalion, and you had your PMS write you a recommendation to West Point? So, basically you told him I would really rather be at West Point than in your program, so could you help me out. And now you are wondering why he didn't write you a glowing review. Hmmm...Weird.
     
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    842
    I would agree with Mr. EDelahanty, you need to give a little more info.

    What were your Midterm Grades at college?

    What was your last APFT score, his statement is correct, you were a Varsity Participant, the ability may reflect your APFT Scores. My son's battalion had a First Team All State Center for Football, poor kid never passed his APFT.

    As far as EC's, did you participate in Ranger Challenge and Color Guard this semester, what other EC's have you done at college, It's more what you are doing now then what you have done in the past when it comes to this type of Nomination.

    Did you receive an AROTC Scholarship.
     
  6. dunninla

    dunninla Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    5
    that's my take also. The PMS didn't know you in HS, and finds you (or has received reports) that you are a strong cadet but you haven't done anything exceptional while in ROTC. The only factual error is the "average ability" while a HS athlete. It is factual that you are "possibly Honors" in college academics. It isn't his place to comment on HS academics. It is also factual that you are "a good citizen, interested and active" in ECs, but from what you wrote, haven't particularly distinguished yourself in ECs while in ROTC/college. For most of your accoplishments you listed, the operative word: "was".

    I don't feel this is a case of "damning with faint praise". It is simply that your PMS only has a few weeks of exposure to you with which to make evaluations. West Point Admissions will be quite aware of that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  7. sean007

    sean007 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    11
    Thank you for all your replies:

    PIMA: I am not the only ROTC nom at my battalion - to the best of my knowledge there is one maybe two others. Nether one are STEM majors.

    EDelahanty and Jcleppe: I am a freshman, my first semester grades are not in yet. My midterm grades, in total, are roughly 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. My battalion is one of the largest in the country - approx. 70 to 80 in my class. My APTF score was 285. I am a 4 year scholarship winner. Since starting school I have pledged and have completed the extra training to be accepted to Scabbard and Blade / I have also worked on the re-election campaign for my local congressman thru November of this year. Generally I have volunteered for everything my ROTC battalion has to offer - can't do Ranger Challenge as a freshman at our battalion.

    I should also note that I applied to WP during my senior year in HS. I actually received a congressional nomination for WP last year(2016 class). I fully expect to receive one for this year also (see re-election work noted above). Last year I was DQ due to a medical issue. I have since asked for and received a medical waiver.

    I would also like to note that thru this entire process, the battalion commander that signed my nomination, never sat down to interview me for this position. That is why my comment "phoned this one in" was made.
     
  8. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    842
    2. Athletics

    I wouldn't be to concerned about the remarks he gave you regarding Athletics. The USMA will be more concerned with the fact that you were a team captain. Remember, High School Athletics is very relative when it comes to ability. You could very well been one of the top runners at your school, but how did you compare with the other schools in the state. Did you go to the state meet, how did place at state. It's very possible to be a top runner at your school and still be average when compared to all runners in your state. My son was much like you, Team Captain in cross country, went to state twice, received some invites from a few small schools, overall he would have been considered average among all runners.

    In the end it did not matter where he placed, it mattered that he was Captain of the team, I'm sure it will be the same for you.
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    842
    I wouldn't worry much about the ROTC Nom, get the MOC Nom and you should be fine. Make sure you have listed everything you have done while in ROTC.

    The fact that you battalion is very large would be the biggest reason you did not have the personal attention you might have received from a smaller battalion. It's not uncommon for a MS1 to go unnoticed by the PMS, his main focus is going to be on those that are planning to stay with his program.

    I am curious about one thing, how did your battalion get away without having a MS1 on the Ranger Challenge Team since it is a requirement that the team have at least one member from each class.
     
  10. sean007

    sean007 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    11
    Jcleppe: I don't know if you are familiar with the ROTC nomination form, no offense intended. But looking at your son's case (roughly the same as mine) shouldn't the appropriate response be "Fine High School Athlete; Varsity Letter"
     
  11. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    312
    285 is a very good APFT score for an MS1, almost certainly above average, but with 70-80 in your class, I'd be surprised if there weren't half a dozen or more higher scores. As I recall, Jcleppe's son scored over 300 in his first APFT, which was outstanding, but along came a stud who beat him by 30 pts.

    Anyway, you asked for advice and provided information. Two things are evident: You have a lot on the ball and your goal of attending USMA was previously thwarted for a reason beyond your control.

    My advice, for what it's worth, is to let this go and take comfort in the overall categorization as a "strong contender". You can be a more effective advocate for yourself through your accomplishments and your record. If you want to pursue the matter with your PMS, who is probably focused on the MS3s and MS4s, there can be downside. You may or may not win the point, but you risk marking yourself as argumentative.

    Good luck in achieving your goal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  12. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    842
    Probably, but again, I wouldn't worry about it much, the USMA will be looking at everything, being Captain will far out weigh the remark the PMS checked.

    I would also echo EDelahanty's remarks. Don't burn any bridges with your PMS, should it turn out you do not get an appointment to WP, you will be dealing with this PMS for a while.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    sean,

    I don't know how large your battalion is, but if there are others with what they consider better stats, than that may be why you got the strong, and not my top.

    You also need to remember only 20 can be appointed via ROTC...I think that is the number, maybe it's 50, but no more than that. That is nationally, and I also think it is like Presidential where there is no per se cap for the slate like an MOC, just a cap for charging. In other words as long as they meet the nom requirements, they get the nom.

    If that is the case, and it is like Presidential, you have the nom, all you need is a nom to get appointed. 20 or 50 out of a national pool is highly competitive. If you are a 2nd timer, most MOCs and SAs love these applicants. I hope you applied for all nom sources and aren't just relying on the ROTC nom. If not, than you may just be thrown into the NWL pool, but at least you are in the pool!

    The appointment rate is typically higher for 2nd timers because it shows not only dedication to attending the SA, but also a higher academic level, making transition easier come next July, along with social transition compared to a hs applicant.

    I have to say I learn something everyday regarding each branch, and Clarkson's post shocked me, because for AFROTC, it is quite common for the CoC to place their full backing behind a ROTC cadet that wanted to attend their SA. At our DS's det., every yr there is at least 1 cadet that re-applies as a freshman to the AFA, and although I can't recall if one got a slot last yr, for DS's C100-300 yrs, every yr there was at least one that did as a C100.
     
  14. sean007

    sean007 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    11
    Pima - regarding Clarkson's post - I agree, an officer should always want his subordinates (or students) to excel. I didn't comment on his post - I just assumed it was snark.
     
  15. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,699
    Likes Received:
    451
    Clarkson has sent plenty of MS Is to WP. We sent an MS II last year. Some would consider that excelling. Others would consider that just another path to a commission. Without the snark...perhaps your PMS gave his honest assessment based on what he has observed to date. If you feel slighted go see him and tell him you think so.
     
  16. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,547
    Likes Received:
    1,009
    Sean007,
    I would let it go based on the assumption that the comments made were based solely on (limited) personal knowledge of you. The other items you mention in your application will speak for themselves. The PMS has done his part and gotten you a nom. Let it go and let the rest of your application do its magic. I'd also assume you'll get your MOC nomination again - so you'll have two chances to get an appointment from a slate of candidates. Job well done. Smile and walk away.
     
  17. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,547
    Likes Received:
    1,009
    Sean007,
    I would let it go based on the assumption that the comments made were based solely on (limited) personal knowledge of you. The other items you mention in your application will speak for themselves. The PMS has done his part and gotten you a nom. Let it go and let the rest of your application do its magic. I'd also assume you'll get your MOC nomination again - so you'll have two chances to get an appointment from a slate of candidates. Job well done. Smile, say thank you, and walk away.
     
  18. sean007

    sean007 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    11
    Pima, dunninia, EDelahanty, Jcleppe and kinnem – I would like to thank each one of you for your thoughtful and well-reasoned responses. All of you have helped me reach a decision on how I will proceed.

    I have already made an appointment to speak with the PMS concerning this matter … and I plan to keep that appointment. I will walk into his office, and instead of asking him to clarify, re-review and argue the positions he took concerning my evaluations. I will humbly thank him for taking the time to nominate me for a position at WP and ask him how I can best wring all the experience I can from my time at ROTC.
     

Share This Page