Unusual news & maybe NAPS.... trying to sort this out...!!?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by TexasSailMom, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. TexasSailMom

    TexasSailMom Member

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    STATUS: DS has his "Plan B" in place (hooray!) and he received a Nomination (from our district MOC) 2 weeks ago to USMMA (his 2nd choice), but no Nom to USNA. Both US Senators in Texas turned him down. DS was happy about USMMA, but very disappointed about USNA.
    BACKGROUND: Prior to interview, the MOC's chief of staff explained to us (parents) that a very rare situation had occurred in that there was no USNA nomination opening available for our district (for the 2016 cycle). She gave DS the option of not interviewing. We decided to tell him nothing until after his panel interview. Apparently, this happened because the departing congressperson submitted nominations (in 2014) for both the 2015 and 2016 cycles!?!! USNA Admissions advised the current MOC's office that this happens "very rarely, that it's not illegal, and that they had strongly advised against it." Of course the "new" Congressperson (started Jan 2015) held their SA interviews (at which DS did well, I believe) and selected candidates for Nominations (excepting USNA), even though they were "very displeased at what the departing MOC had done". Our MOC personally called our DS and told him about his USMMA Nomination (awesome!) and that he planned to also call USNA on DS's behalf and request that he be considered for NAPS (an excellent option). QUESTIONS: Does anyone have any experience with this "no nomination available" situation (it was a real gut punch for DS), and can a MOC have influence on if a candidate is considered for NAPS?? Note that our BGO was very clear last year that NAPS was great but "you CANNOT apply to NAPS; they pick who they want to secure for the next year". We are hanging in there, but this was a twist that we did not see coming!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  2. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    Since there has not been a response, I will try.
    The academy can always "find" a nomination if they really, really want to. They do it for recruited athletes. They also have a VP nom that they could assign. I don't believe NAPS requires a Nom. A call from an MOC who was in a pickle because of the previous MOCs poor management of their appointments could be a compelling enough reason. But, I wouldn't count on it. Plan B may become your son's plan A. If a USNA or NAPS appointment happens, it would be a pleasant surprise.
     
  3. TexasSailMom

    TexasSailMom Member

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    Dear 5Day- Thank you for replying and for the keen insights. VP Nom application was completed a while ago. DS is not a recruited athlete (so I doubt that they would find him a nomination). You are correct that NAPS does not require a Nom. Our MOC has brought up NAPS 3 times and also suggested starting at USMMA & then transferring to USNA (which seems very complicated). MOC also has a son who is a USNA grad & former SEAL - so I truly believe him when he says that he went the extra mile for DS. He personally believes in the USNA mission (and IMHO is frustrated for all the excellent applicants in his district who he could not nominate. ) thanks again- this has been really tough.
     
  4. TexasSailMom

    TexasSailMom Member

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    To clarify: I meant no disrespect- and apologize. I meant to imply that our MOC has personal experience as a former USNA parent. The MOC and staff have been wonderful, and we are very grateful for the sensitive way in which they have handled everything.
     
  5. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    Not going to say it's impossible, but there's really no such thing as a "transfer" among service academies (SAs) like there is transferring among civilian colleges and universities. DS would have to apply to USNA again, secure a nomination, and be found qualified academically, physically, and medically (although DoDMERB exams are good for 2 years), then be offered admission by an admissions board extraordinarily unlikely to want to appear like they're "poaching" another SA's student. It may have happened once or twice, but it's so rare that it's remarkable and memorable when it does happen.

    It's unclear what the influence of a MOC is on NAPS admission, but again the answer is "probably not a lot." As others have written on other threads, the purpose of NAPS is to give promising students a chance to develop in one or more ways - typically in academics, but also physically and/or in leadership - so that they can succeed at USNA after that year. Unless your son is deficient in academics, he probably won't be considered. What's "deficient" in academics? Well, you can see the averages on USNA's website, but the truth is, none of us know for sure how "deficient" is deficient.

    Obviously if USMMA's mission of producing merchant mariners is what he wants, he should take that appointment and never look back. If it's not, then one option your DS might consider - if he really, really wants to be an officer in the USN - is to enter a Plan C college or university, take a normal plebe course load, do really well, and apply to USNA next year, when your MOC will have a slot to submit to USNA.
     
  6. TexasSailMom

    TexasSailMom Member

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    Thank you, LongAgoPlebe. I agree with your comments. If our DS receives an USMMA appointment offer - we will advise him to go for it fully. He is a strong candidate (in many ways) but may have 1 minor "deficiency" - that being his highest SAT math score was 630 (with 740 CR score). He would welcome NAPS - and sees it as a fantastic opportunity. Whatever positive outcomes happen (fingers crossed) from this point forward will be double sweet (after all the disappointment)... thanks again​
     
  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Wow, the outgoing MOC really messed things up for the new MOC. Sucks your DS is stuck in this mix. Like you said, not illegal or against the rules, but just poor etiquette. The fact the MOC is pushing for NAPS might help. None of us know. If you DS is a strong 3Q candidate then NAPS might not be the right place. Foundation could also be an option if USNA thinks that is right fit. USMMA is a great school with a unique mission set. Just make sure he fully understands the mission, training, education, etc of USMMA. There are chances to go Active Duty, but anyone accepted to USMMA should be prepared to serve their commitment as a Merchant Mariner. Its the same caution I tell anyone who is 100% die hard SEAL and going to USNA... there are no guarantees. If SEAL is the first priority, enlist. As mentioned no transfers between SAs. He would have to apply all over again and compete for an appointment and be a 4/C again.
     
  8. TexasSailMom

    TexasSailMom Member

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    Dear NavyHoops- Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Your comments about USMMA, and SEALS are very interesting.
    Yes, the departing MOC's actions were extremely poor etiquette !!!! and created a lousy situation for the 2016 crop of kids.
    My DS wasn't the only one in the group (of 40+) interviewees wanting USNA as a first choice.
    In December, the MOC's staff reported that he was the most prepared, focused & passionate about all things Navy, and that the panel ranked him at the top.
    That was great news (it's a competitive district/many previous years had 70+ candidates) but ultimately he needs a Nomination
    (and our MOC was prevented from submitting anything official to USNA).
    DS really wants NAPS because he feels he would benefit from the early exposure to Navy training and getting to know candidates from the fleet.
    Plus as a NAPSter, (the possibility of) a Secretary of the Navy nomination during "round 2" is very appealing to him.
    My gut tells me that spending10 months in Newport, RI, would benefit him long term. Fingers crossed !
     
  9. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    NAPS is a great deal in my opinion. A spot could open from the MOC though if a Mid leaves USNA between now and next year. No guarantees there, but it does happen.
     
  10. TexasSailMom

    TexasSailMom Member

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    Wow! That could happen, too?! So many twists and turns on this journey... And lots of praying and staying (mostly) calm while we wait and wait.
    I feel like it's all going to work out.... my husband and DS, however, have a more negative outlook.
    Thanks again for the support, it is super helpful to us!
     
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    USMMA is an amazing institution, but take some time on that forum reading about things. Their majors are very few in nature and they have a unique training program. For anyone wanting to sail the seas, the best school for it! If you son's goal is a Navy commission there is a good chance to get it, but there are no guarantees. If you read some of the threads for USMMA they address these things. If he wants to go SWO, he will be far ahead of his peers in terms of sea time and skills. If he wants to fly, it might be more of a risk. A few reasons I say this:

    1. USMMA is a small institution with a very specific mission. I cannot speak for the current situation, but guessing maybe 1 or 2 Naval Aviators are there campus to help mentor a Mid. At USNA you are surrounding by Officers of all platforms on the USN and USMC side. They are there to teach, train and mentor all Mids, but they are there to help Mids learn about Navy Air. Can't speak for Nuke Power presence at USMMA, but if subs or SWO/Nuke is in his interest, same thing. USNA is full of it and will help prepare, lead and mentor a Mid for this career. The nuclear power interview is critical for a Mid and USNA helps prepare them for this. Not saying that USMMA doesn't have a pilot or Nuke around to help, but it won't be the dozen or dozens around that USNA has. USNA also has s Nuke Eng major if that is really in his wheel house.

    2. At USNA he will specifically be exposed to the warfare communities as a Mid. His access to officers, clubs, training can help expose him to this. NROTC will also have this exposure, but not to the amount of officers and clubs like USNA will have.

    3. If your DS really wants to fly USNA also has Powered Flight for summer training which is a great program and gets them prepared for flight school.

    4. USNA also gives the option of going USMC or USN. Yes, he technically can go either from USMMA, but would he have enough exposure to make that happen? I believe if he went USMC he would have to attend OCS if he went to USMMA.

    Overall there is something to be said about being surrounded by like-minded individuals. Not saying USMMA isn't a wonderful institution if he gets an appointment there. Its small, has a great training program and academics are tough.
     
  12. TexasSailMom

    TexasSailMom Member

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    Thank you so much- Several of your valuable points are things we haven't research enough- but now will.
    DS has worked so hard and long to get this far in the process, and I believe that he can't go wrong with any of these options.
    For fun, I'm handicapping his odds as:
    USMMA Appointment (50% chance); NAPS* Appointment (75% chance), and USNA Appointment to Class of 2020 (10% chance- given that
    he is still hunting for a Nom). I can't wait for DS to read your comments when he gets home! SAF is the best - the support is invaluable- Thank you !
    * I have a hunch that NAPS is in his future (....just one of those mom feelings....)
     
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  13. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    I would say take a really good Look at USMMA, because it is smaller and less know, people tend to think of it as 2nd string or JV. When we started studying up on it I saw an incredible curriculum which can be used in military or civilian world (Things like transportation logistics, and international business, etc.) The 10 years after graduation Pay averages (based on interviews of graduates) are tremendous. The options of what to do after graduation are extensive. I Just totally sold myself.

    My son who is a 2nd (Junior) at USNA, and relates a discussion he had with a USMMA Mid. (? is that what they are called over there?) He bumped into in an Airport. My son was in awe of the perks and opportunities at USMMA.

    So haven't been there, going on my research but WOW you could be looking down your nose at a fantastic opportunity. I am sure there are many USMMA grads, Mids and parents who could give you actual facts.
     
  14. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    LDH, agree whole-heartedly it is not a JV team in anyway. In fact if someone wants to work in the Merchant Marine community it is absolutely the school to apply to along with the other Maritime schools. It really depends on what the goal of the candidate is. That needs to be the first and foremost item to look at for a candidate. Needs of the service are critical to all this. A candidate who is 100% set on active duty... might not get there because the spots might not be there. None of us can project what each service will have for spots come 2020. If a Merchant Marine career sounds horrible... probably not the right place. If someone wants a unique and great experience and is open to a Merchant Marine career and willing to maybe/maybe not have the active duty option, USMMA is a great option. There are few great folks over on the USMMA thread who provide great input.
     
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  15. TexasSailMom

    TexasSailMom Member

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    LDH- Great information- thank you!
    I agree that USMMA is fantastic opportunity, and not turning down nose at all.
    I've noticed that friends either know A LOT about it or have never heard of the Merchant Marine.
    My silly handicapping of "the odds of getting any good SA news this spring" is just in fun, and an attempt
    to interject some levity into this tense and prolonged season of waiting.
    In addition to what we already know about USMMA (mission; general academics), we realize that we have much, much more to learn.
    We've also heard about the experience first hand from a local young man (friend of a friend's son) who graduated there in 2014, and entered MM industry.
    So far he has worked in Greece and is now headed toward Antarctica on a research vessel.
    He loves what he does (and his salary is super, too).
    We are former blue water sailors with ocean crossing experience, and I strongly relate to that lifestyle.
    DS is hoping to travel to Kings Point in early March (during spring break) and visit the USMMA campus.
    I find all these SA opportunities outstanding, and am always impressed with the young women and men who choose this rigorous path.
    Congrats on your USNA son !
     
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  16. Laurantwins

    Laurantwins Member

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    Fellow Texan here! Congratulations on the nom to USMMA and fingers crossed for good news about USNA/NAPS. Please keep us updated!

    My twin DS's are high school freshmen who aspire to become military officers - so the forums are definitely helping me to understand this incredibly complicated process.
     
  17. TexasSailMom

    TexasSailMom Member

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    Howdy Laurantwins,
    Thanks for the support .
    Yes, it's a complicated and long SA application process - but if you start early (kudos to you ), have a strategy, stay organized, avoid injuries, keep grades high, take advanced classes, stay positive (no matter what), and follow recommended processes - it is manageable. Make sure your DSs volunteer now & have some leadership roles. They must score very well on SAT / ACT; and play Varsity team sports. As you are probably already aware the SA's want Scholar-Athlete-Leader kids that are very well rounded. You might consider having them take summer classes now (if offered) that will get them ahead on HS graduation requirements. That will open up their schedules more during the the intense SA application season (spring of junior year until end of fall semester Senior year). Apply now to USNA Summer STEM & USNA Summer Seminar when the time comes. My best advice is to EXPECT highs & lows, stay focused, & to celebrate each minor milestone in the process. For example, my DS's DoDMERB status was "remedial" and when it updated to "Qualified" 3 weeks ago, he took a pause to celebrate yet another item getting checked off the list ....
    Good Luck to you and yours !
     
  18. Laurantwins

    Laurantwins Member

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    Thank you! I wouldn't have thought of summer school - I am totally going to check into that!
     
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  19. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    [QUOTE="TexasSailMom, post: 460848, ...They must score very well on SAT / ACT; and play Varsity team sports. As you are probably already aware the SA's want Scholar-Athlete-Leader kids that are very well rounded. [/QUOTE]

    I would soften the "must" on varsity sports and focus on well-rounded. It's not a cookbook with an absolute list of ingredients. There many home-schoolers at SAs who weren't HS varsity, and others who did athletic things but not a varsity sport - could have been elite figure skating, cross-country ski, martial arts black belt, marathoner. There has to be demonstrated athleticism to ensure success. Working as part of a team can be demonstrated in different ways. Leadership can be seen in a variety of settings, both usual and unusual, depending on opportunity.

    I don't want any future candidates reading here to think they don't have a chance because they don't have a HS letter sweater. Agreed that large numbers fit the model above, but there is room for the cello-playing, figure-skating, Math Club president who organized and led an athletic shoe donation drive in her town who also had excellent class rank, grades and test scores.

    It is a good thing to see successful appointees' "stats" and advice, but for future candidates, browse threads to see the variety and elasticity of successful profiles.
     
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  20. TexasSailMom

    TexasSailMom Member

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    Sir,
    I agree, and stand corrected. My advice was intended as a jumping off point.... as all SA candidates are different and present a unique (all their own) set of qualifications. Having varsity team sports doesn't hurt, but I agree there are many other ways to demonstrate teamwork , athlete ability & leadership.
    Plus none of can predict the precise mix of qualifications & demonstrated abilities that will get the thumbs up from a SA Admissions Review Board. Candidates should do their best with what they are interested in and have available to them.
     

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