So.. how exactly are appointees selected? (the process)

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by howacupcake, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    My question is..how are they chosen? I know finished applications come before a board. Is there a room where retired Colonels, dept heads, etc sit around a table and look at a projector with the students info? Is there a file they pass around and decide upon? Approximately how long do they spend on each candidate? Do they look at a candidate and then put them into a pile , ex (going to be appointed, maybe, nope!) Any insight is greatly appreciated!:thumb: Also, I heard something about a WCS. Do they score you and the highest scores are chosen??
     
  2. eagleone

    eagleone Member

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    I heard they grab all the applicant files for a particular state and give them a fling! The ones that land short are out, the ones that fall in the middle are a maybe, and the ones that fly way out there are in (it is the air force afterall).

    Just kidding, I have no idea how they do it.
     
  3. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    Not sure if this has any bearing on the USAFA, but the director of constituent services for my congressman showed me a video of how USNA does it.

    There's a bunch of officers and other staff seated around a table. The officers seemed to be all senior officers, Commanders and Captains. Everyone had a little rectangular object with one end colored red and one end colored green.

    They spent some time discussing the candidate's file (everyone has a copy), debating points, reading the essay, etc. At the end, they took a vote by turning the little rectangular things on one end. If there was more green facing up than red, the candidate was board qualified.

    The video seemed to be a bit dated, so a grain of salt is necessary.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I'm not going to get into specific details, because it really doesn't matter, but I can tell you the basic procedure. But before explaining the process, let me tell you up front that there isn't just "1" process. You have to realize that appointments are based on "nominated applicants" and those nominated applicants fall into numerous categories with different rules.

    BASICS: Each Member of Congress can have UP TO 5 constituents at the academy at any one time, who received an appointment using THEIR nomination. However, there are 3 methods of providing a nomination to these individuals. 1) A ranked slate of 10 names where the #1 nominee is their principal nominee and 2-10 are ranked in priority. 2) Where the #1 nominee is selected as the MOC's Principal nominee, and ALL OTHERS 2-10 are given to the academy, and the academy judges them. 3) A list of 10 nominees is given by the MOC to the academy, and they are all treated equally, and the academy determines who receives the appointment.

    Now, if you are your MOC's Principal nominee, and you are 100% qualified to be at the academy and the air force, then it doesn't matter what the admissions board scores you at. You are GUARANTEED an appointment to the academy. This is by "LAW". The academy has no say so. Now, for what it's worth, not too many senators/representatives give a PRINCIPAL nomination. They usually give a list of 10 to the academy and let them decide.

    Now, assuming that all the MOC's have at their one from each list given an appointment, the rest of the nominees goes into the national pool. Now, whether you're in the national pool or still in the local state/district pool of 10 being considered for the MOC slot, your record has be "SCORED" by an assembled admissions board. If the MOC had a "Principal" nominee, the scores don't matter. If the MOC gave a slate of 10 to the academy, then the academy will take the nominee with the highest score of those 10, and give them the appointment. "Assuming they are 100% qualified". The remaining go into the national pool and after ALL the MOC and OTHER nomination categories have their mandatory number filled, the remaining to fill the class will come from the national pool. Those appointments don't count against the MOC's slots. And they generally simply put all those in ranked score order and start at the top and work down, and give appointments until the class is full. Normally, not all at once, because they don't know how many will turn down the appointment. YES, believe it or not, not EVERYONE has the academy as their #1 college choice.

    Now, this took care of the MOC nominees. There's also other categories of nominees such as presidential, ROTC, and other military related. They have a certain number of appointments that will come from there. The remainder will go into the national pool. These individuals too will have their score from the board, and their record will be placed in rank order based on their final score.

    So, basically, you are chosen from a MINIMUM of 2 categories. Either your NOMINATION category such as MOC, presidential, ROTC, etc... or if not selected from there, you are put into the national pool and possibly selected from there.

    2 more points: 1) Your SCORE in your file has many arbitrary and subjective values. In other words, an applicant from a small school with NO AP/IB/Honor classes available, COULD receive a higher academic score in their file than a person from a school with all those advanced classes, who didn't take them, but had a HIGHER GPA. In other words, an applicant will not be penalized for things they have NO CONTROL OVER such as certain classes not being available. Also, just like the AP/IB student will get MORE points than an applicant who didn't take those available classes, a captain on an athletic team, who made ALL-STATE, star athlete, etc... will receive more points than the person who was simply a member of the varsity team and wasn't a stand out. Also, in social areas of the application, an individual from a very "Bad" and depressed school with a high drop out rate, who gets a 3.9+gpa and does great on their SAT/ACT would probably get more points than the applicant with the same gpa/sat/act from an influential school that provided more opportunities to their students. The first student was able to OVERCOME adversity, and thus might gain more points. These are strictly examples of possibilities and only presents how the scoring has to be subjective.

    2nd: The air force is made up of a very diverse population. We have men/women from every walk of life. Color, race, gender, religion, economic status, 1st generation college bound, immigrant, etc... It is important that the officer corp somewhat represents those that they are going to lead. So, it's also possible for some individuals to receive some points because of their background and attributes. The academy would love to have their officer corp made up of the same percentage of women, black, men, hispanic, christian, jewish, rich, poor, etc... that the enlisted corp is. This isn't totally possible, but it would be ideal.

    Anyway; the appointment process is very intense and complicated. But in the large scope, it is fair. May not seem so to a particular individual, but in the make up of the air force as a whole, it is a great system. Hope this explains some of what you asked. mike...
     
  5. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    Wow Great information!! I'm satisfied ..Thank you Christcorp and everybody else!! :biggrin: :thumb:
     
  6. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    LOL that was funny:shake:
     
  7. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    Thanks. This gives me a good visual. Do you happen to have a link to the video?? :D
     
  8. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    "If the MOC gave a slate of 10 to the academy, then the academy will take the nominee with the highest score of those 10, and give them the appointment. "Assuming they are 100% qualified". The remaining go into the national pool and after ALL the MOC and OTHER nomination categories have their mandatory number filled, the remaining to fill the class will come from the national pool. Those appointments don't count against the MOC's slots. And they generally simply put all those in ranked score order and start at the top and work down, and give appointments until the class is full. Normally, not all at once, because they don't know how many will turn down the appointment. YES, believe it or not, not EVERYONE has the academy as their #1 college choice."

    ----So, when do they choose the best out of the 10 nominated? After January 31st?
     
  9. Dad

    Dad Member

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    "Admissions will identify the bulk of appointment recommendations during Regular Selections in March 2012 with few exceptions. Meaning, there will be few if any Letters of Assurance (LOA). As a result, respective candidate appointment information will not be provided until the later part of March and final notifications will not be completed until the first week of April."

    To read more check out this thread.

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=22897

    Good luck. :thumb:
     
  10. NathanIsaacs

    NathanIsaacs Member

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    I'm assuming your refering to a competitive nomination since the academy will be choosing who to appoint. In that case, appointment packets won't be sent out until late March or early April. The rest of the appointments can go out as late as May or June because many candidates will decline their appointment offers and the academy will fill the rest of the slots. Best of luck to you! :thumb:
     
  11. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    At the last meeting I had at USAFA/RR, the subject of LOA's came up.

    At that time (and I have had no communication to countermand it) the determination was that there would be NO LOA's for "normal" candidates; they would be used this cycle only for highly recruited athletes.

    Before you go nuts/flame/etc., I don't know why.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  12. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    Awesome! :biggrin:
     
  13. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    I suspect No LOA's would have gone out this year and only because many athletes have scholarship offers on the table from other schools do they get LOA's. Otherwise, the coaches would be at a big disadvantage against the other academies and schools.
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    That is quite true. As much as some would hope that athletics shouldn't play a part in the appointment process, the truth is that it does. Then again, one of the most important factors in any military is physical fitness, teamwork, following game plans, etc... Hence, one of the reasons more than 90% of all academy appointees have varsity sports experience.

    That aside, college sports have their signing day after the first of the year. Football happens to be the first week of February. If athletes are signing commitments to other schools the first few months of the year, and their thought of receiving an appointment was still up in the air for another 3-4 months, most (If not all) D1 level athletes would probably choose the guaranteed offer by another school than waiting until May; which means their offer by the other schools would have been rescinded and given to another athlete.

    Remember, not every academy applicant/appointee has the academy as their FIRST CHOICE for college. Many people, especially on a forum like this where an individual's interest in the military is much higher, tend to think that all 12,000+ applicants to the air force academy want this as their first college choice. The truth is; many simply have it as ONE of their MANY college choices/options. They are just as patriotic and feel it's an honor to serve their country; just that it's not their #1 choice. Many also forget that the academies rank up their as one of the top universities in the country. MOST individuals who can receive a military academy appointment, can and usually do receive numerous offers from many other universities. Many just as prestigious. Same with athletes. While most academy recruited athletes probably wouldn't be considered 5-Star athletes nationally, there is still an interest for them by many other schools.

    But fortunately for most, accepting a university based solely on academic acceptance can be pushed out as late as April-May for most schools. So waiting on possibly receiving an appointment isn't a big issue. But when signing day for athletes is much earlier, and less than 1% of high school athletes will have the opportunity or offer to play college sports at the D1 level; most will take the guaranteed offer to the UniversityOfWhereverTheHell than to wait 3-4 months to see if they received an appointment.

    The air force academy traditionally gave out the least LOA's of all the military academies to begin with. Lowering it to mainly athletes who have a much shorter time-line to work with is understandable.
     
  15. BobBigBoy

    BobBigBoy Member

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    This is exactly how is played out for my DD. Once the coaching staff realized she was being recruited by other schools and there was a chance they could lose her, they sent her an agreement letter that gave her assurance that, if she maintained her academic standing, she would be granted admission. This was last March. Up until that point, they were telling her she had to go through the process like anyone else. Once it was obvious to them she was seriously considering other D1 opportunities, they reacted. This is much different from other schools where the commitment is simply verbal and can be changed, and often does, at any time up to the signing day in February. What is somewhat surprising is the hands off attitude they have had in the application process...she has had to do everything on her own with little direction from the coaching staff. Unsure if this is because they want her to want it or if it is just their laissez faire style...oh well, she has her LOA and nomination and she is determined to go so it is all good!
     
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Actually, when it comes to athletes, it gets really tricky. Main thing with the academy's "Hand's Off" approach to the application process, actually has to do with NCAA rules. Coaches have certain time periods where they can recruit, contact, etc... recruits. They follow the same rules as normal colleges.

    Another thing people don't realize is; because the academy doesn't offer "Official Scholarships" for athletes, signing day is simply a "FEEL GOOD" ceremony for the student. Even if they sign to air force on signing day, they can still quit at any time and go play for another school. Unlike someone who signs and is contracted to another school and team. That's why the academy never lists their "Recruited Athletes" until they've graduated basic training.

    Athletes being recruited to the academies is a very complex procedure. They have to do all the same procedures as all other applicants, but even if they are a 5 star athlete that the academy wants, the NCAA only allows a certain amount of contact. "X" amount of visits. etc... It's complicated.
     

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