WP LOE or USNA LOA?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by dlee96, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. dlee96

    dlee96 Member

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    I have had the fortune of receiving both a LOE from West Point and a LOA from USNA. However, this is where I am in a dilemma.

    I am a Michigan constituent and I have just recently learned that we Michiganders are only allowed to receive ONE NOMINATION.

    Thus, I must decide which SA I want to use my nomination for.

    I am leaning towards West Point (as it is my first choice) but am keeping USNA open.

    So here is my question, how much of an impact does West Point's LOE have on admissions? I know it is not a guarantee of admission (w/ 3Q+Nom), but do LOE recipients usually receive appointments (if so, what is the rate? 60%? 70%?)?

    I want to use my one nomination wisely but still want to attend my first choice.

    Also, if anyone any advice regarding my situation, I will be very grateful for your insight.

    Thank you!

    PS
    I am 3Q, medically cleared, physically cleared.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I can't answer about LOEs. However, I like to place my bets on sure things. Given you're 3Q, a nom for USNA is a sure thing. You know you'll be kicking yourself in the pants if you take your chances and do not get an appointment to USMA.

    You might perhaps look a little more deeply into WHY you prefer USMA. It might help you sort things out. Even if you were able to get two noms and two appointments, you would need to sort this out anyway. What would you want to do in the Army? What would you want to do in the Navy? The difference in the schools is awash, and service will be for 5 years, so decide based on the service not the school.
     
  3. lauraingalls

    lauraingalls New Member

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  4. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I completely agree with kinnem.

    I would take the sure thing with USNA but then I am not the one that has to live with this decision.
    What does WP and the Army offer you that USNA and the Navy does not?

    Congratulations! You have earned the opportunity to make a decision many would love to make.
     
  5. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Difficult decision

    It all depends upon how strong your desire is to attend Army. If it is equal or slightly more than Navy... then take the bird in hand. If you are Army all the way, take the Army nomination. You're probably on the VP list too, so if either one REALLY wants you, they have a way to make it happen.

    It seems very frustrating and puzzling that nominations would be structured like that in Michigan.

    A decision like this is difficult. Best of luck.
     
  6. trini1066

    trini1066 Member

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    Where in Michigan do they only give out one nomination? My son received BOTH USMA and USNA last year. I know there was a concern about having more then one nomination for the same Academy, but not for different academies .
     
  7. 845something

    845something Member

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    The one important decision is do you want to be an Army officer or a Navy officer -- that should help you determine where you want to put your effort. Realize that if you really want Army, you take a chance and perhaps have to take a second year to gain admission. If you are competitive for a Navy LOA, you should have a strong shot at WP as well. If you are solely basing your decision on what is the safe bet...well, I'd ask you to examine your motivation to be an officer. Go big, if you fall short, pick yourself up and try again.
     
  8. dlee96

    dlee96 Member

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    Thank you all for the replies!

    To all that commented regarding what Army offers vs. what Navy offers, it just comes down to a heritage-type situation.

    Also @trini1066, I was misinformed. I did not know that this rule only affected noms to the same academy. Hopefully I can get both nominations!

    Thank you all again!
     
  9. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    I would call my Regional West Point Officer and explain the situation. Tell them your story and preference for West Point. If they really want you they might be able to change your LOE to a West Point LOA.
    In addition - the vast majority of Congressmen will give nominations to the same person for different academies. Check with your congressman on this issue.
     
  10. dlee96

    dlee96 Member

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    @BigNick
    How should I explain it though? It almost sounds like "give me an LOA or I'm going to USNA" (not that you are trying to say that)
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    The way you worded it in your initial post on this thread would work, in my mind. Let them know how you're torn between the sure thing and your heart's desire. As you point out, of course you don't ask for an LOA. You let them draw their own conclusions or they could end up giving you more insight into how valuable the LOE is, etc. In any case it can't hurt and could help you sort things out. You are in a "tough" spot, relatively speaking.
     
  12. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

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    I agree with you and disagree that you should contact admissions. Asking, or implying, that you need an LOA is both presumptuous and could come off as a challenge to admissions. Despite what it may sometimes appear - Army isn't fighting with Navy over candidates, as both only want candidates that are sold out to serving in their branch and both have more than enough qualified applicants (w and w/o LOEs/LOAs).

    I do agree that you must ask yourself why Army or Navy or vice-versa and that should be your major deciding factor. You said you are leaning West Point - why? Are you sure you want to be deployed to Afghanistan and live in a glorified tent in some barren place with minimal creature comforts for a year or more? Are you sure you want to be deployed on a ship without seeing land for 90-180 days at a time? Do you want to fly helo's (more in Army or CG than Navy) or fighter jets (not many of those in the Army)? Do you want to lead others in combat or lead a department of subordinates performing critical tasks?

    Both branches have their downsides, both have their perks, and both have outstanding individuals serving. Both can lead to successful careers afterwards (and you should consider what you might want to do after the military as well). Both offer outstanding educations, and both have examples of great leaders who came from their school. I could go on and on ...

    An LOE is a very encouraging sign from USMA. Last year less than 300 were sent (rumor has just over 200) however as you realize it is not a guarantee. So what happens if you say USMA, get a nomination, and fail to get an appointment? The worse case is you join ROTC, go through the process again, and fail a second or third time. In the end - staying in ROTC will lead you to the same commission and 2nd Lt bars that a West Point grad walks out with. What you do with your career afterwards, not where you graduated, is ultimately all that counts in your military career.

    And as stated, don't count on the fact that you will only get a nomination to one academy. In many districts, an MOC will nominate to one academy and a Senator will nominate to another. Even when they say they 'coordinate' nominations with each other, that often means they are maximizing the number of individuals who get a nomination to a particular academy, not that they won't nominate someone who has already received a nomination to a different academy.

    As a former Michigander, I wish you the best as you pursue your dream of serving.
     
  13. dlee96

    dlee96 Member

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    @Kinnem, GoBlue1984

    I have spoken to my MOC's representative and I am allowed to receive more than one nomination. Thank you for clearing that up!
     
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Glad you got the info you needed to put your mind at ease. Good luck! Hope all your dreams come true. :thumb:
     
  15. sweetangel

    sweetangel Banned

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    Go with what your heart tells you to do. Remember this will affect your life forever!
     
  16. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. Member

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    The irony of it all

    I'm a relative newbie to the forum and having been reading this thread all week re: dlee96's conundrum. Then yesterday we learned that DS now finds himself in exactly the same situation that kinnem has called a "tough spot";
    WP LOE, USNA LOA.

    I've learned much from the counsel that's been provided thus far from all those who have weighed in and I'm hoping that you continue to provide insight and advice as our own process moves forward and DS has to dig deep to search his heart and soul when decision time comes.

    Thank you in advance to all.

    Best from Ohio.
     
  17. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Hang tough. Hopefully he'll get a nom to each and even an appointment to both. Not that it makes the decision easy, but at least it will be his decision. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, but he should be researching careers/jobs in each service. Navy does have those nice boats, or prison ships, depending on your point of view. Army has that boots on the ground thing, with sand in them.
     
  18. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    dlee96

    The purpose of talking to your Regional Admissions officer is not to make a threat but to let him/her know your great desire to go to West Point.
    The Admissions officer might be able to give you some assurances. For example - if you have a Principle Appointment and have passed the CFA and physical exam your chances of getting into WP would be 99% by law.
    Even LOAs are not 100%. They usually state that this is an offer pending something - like passing the physical, CFA etc.
     

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