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2011's Mom

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hmm - maybe he is doing the politics thing - ours is forever praising the six kids he sent to Navy last year. I have wondered how he got 6 kids there (none to WP or AFA last year though) and thought perhaps lots of LOA's were part of the mix but maybe only one or two are there useing "his" nom and others are there with other noms but were on his panel? Just a thought. I know our Congressman has mentioned the 6 kids he sent for 2010 at every single "town hall meeting". I know of another kid at Navy that from our congressional district that is a class of 2007 and one is a 2008. There could be more that I don't know about, but that puts at Navy at least 8 kids from our congressional district. Just some thoughts.
 

USNA69

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Candidate for 2011's mom said:
ours is forever praising the six kids he sent to Navy last year. I have wondered how he got 6 kids there (none to WP or AFA last year though) and thought perhaps lots of LOA's were part of the mix but maybe only one or two are there useing "his" nom and others are there with other noms but were on his panel? Just a thought. I know our Congressman has mentioned the 6 kids he sent for 2010 at every single "town hall meeting". I know of another kid at Navy that from our congressional district that is a class of 2007 and one is a 2008. There could be more that I don't know about, but that puts at Navy at least 8 kids from our congressional district. Just some thoughts.
Remember that for each opening, the MOC submits 10 candidates. From this slate, one will be selected as the primary candidate for that opening. The remainder, irregardless of LOAs, if qualified, go into the national pool, and some are selected. Are they his? Not technically. However, they are from his district. Did he help get them there? Definitely. It sounds as if he promotes the academies through town hall meetings and maybe also through congressional academy days and other venues. So he has increased awareness and, being a good politician, takes some, or maybe even incorrectly all, credit for these additional appointments.
 
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USNA69

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Stealth_81 said:
He explained to them that he already had an nomination, and an appointment, and he had already accepted it. The assistant congratulated him and said goodbye.

Well....today he got a letter from the Congressional Rep. congratulating him, and letting him know that he had received the Rep's nomination to the Academy. Isn't this a waste of a nomination? Will it just automatically go to the next candidate in line? Why would the Rep nominate someone who had already gotten a nom. plus and appointment, and had already accepted it?
Is there something that I am missing?
Call your MOC and thank him for looking out for your son. Somewhere into the process, someone probably decided incorrectly that your son was confused. From all the nomination, LOA, and appointment discussions on this thread, you can agree that it is a complex process. So they went ahead and gave your son another nomination.

Why? You stated previously that your Senator submits candidates on a competitive basis. This means the MOC leaves it to the Academy to pick the best of the 10 candidates. Application packages aren't even due to the Academy until the end of this month. For your son to be appointed in December, it means the other nine applicants had to have their packages complete to the extent that your son could definitely rise to the top. I would go out on a limb and say that very very few competitive nominations are awarded appointments in December. My guess is that your MOC truly wanted to ensure your son had a nomintation. Thank them.

Did this action hurt anyone else? Absolutely not. The odds of all the other nine being competitive is very slim. If there was a tenth who was competitive that fell by the wayside, remember, the CGO "finds" nominations. One of the ways they do this is to locate nominations that will not be filled and ask the MOC to change them. They simply call your MOC, tell him that one of his nominations received a Senatorial and is therefore unused, and ask him to substitute this tenth candidate in your son's slot. It is your MOCs choice whether to do this, but why would he not? Additionally, these are the types of things the CGO is doing at this time of the year when some people are complaining that it takes several days to get things posted, etc. Instead of complaining, we all should be thanking them.

The system is very complicated but consistent and fair. The Academy will do everythng they are able, within constraints of Federal law, to get the "best" mix for each class.

We must also all remember that applications aren't even due until the end of January. Any appointments to date are probably only Presidentals and Congressional/Senatorials who ranked their candidates. All others are extremely rare. There are highly qualified candidates each year who, without the advantage of this forum, do not understand the application process and only apply to their MOC. Only in December, after they have received a nomination, do they even commence their Academy applications. If the MOC submits competitively, the Academy must wait on this application before they can award the appointement.

Waiting patiently is a valuable attribute at this point in time.
 
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2011's Mom

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Yes, our MOC makes good use of town hall meetings to promote SA's. He's very supportive & it's a very competative district - I believe he knows the system very well. His rep has spoken to us many times & made clear that he plays the game so as to get as many kids appointed from our district in each year as possible. Recognizing that LOA's don't count against his quota - he can still have those kids in the photo op and he can have those that get a Senatorial nom in his photo op too if he also gave a nom. In the end, it only matters in that the kids in our area have to wait for his noms to go in after the Senators go in. His office made that clear, "you will not find out if you receive a nomination until after the Senators announce there nominees, possiblly as late as 2/1". Will be interesting to see how many go to each SA this year.

Both CA Senators have given their noms (D got a Senator nom yesterday - yeah for the AFA web access - that is how we found out - no call from Senator office - is one likely to come?) and then today she got a Congressional nom (again, the AFA web thing!). CA Senators both made it clear they won't nom someone already nom from their Congressman. Exactly as Congressman staff said would occur, right after she got the Senator nom she got the Congressman nom. I don't understand the in/outs & why's but that's how it worked. Don't know why Congressman's staff would be waiting for her to get a double nom (but that is what his staff told her "off the record" they were waiting for). Since she has an LOA, I don't see how it helps to have 2 noms - but she has 2 now.

USNA69 - D asked me if she should/could turn 1 nom down to open the door for another candidate. So thanks for the input on that - knowing her extra can be transferred to someone not initially nom is a good thing & will make her feel better about it. She knows 2 kids at school who didn't get a nom (maybe they have not looked at the web thing?!) so she'll feel better knowing that if AFA wants them, then AFA can ask MOC to give them one of hers.

Bottom line through all of this is that it is a complicated proceess and I doubt we'll ever know all of what is going on through it all from how the SA's select the kids to how the MOC's give noms & how LOA's are determined etc. It is complex & I'm not likely to understand anytime soon! But glad it worked out for my D - and all the others too!
 

USNA69

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Candidate for 2011's mom said:
Recognizing that LOA's don't count against his quota -
This seems to be a common misconception on this site. LOAs require a nomination just like everyone else and if they are primary nominees from a congressional/senatorial source, they will count against his quota. If the LOA recepient does not get a primary nomination, they go into the national pool just like all the other qualified alternates.
 

justawife

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Candidate for 2011's mom said:
Both CA Senators have given their noms (D got a Senator nom yesterday - yeah for the AFA web access - that is how we found out - no call from Senator office - is one likely to come?) and then today she got a Congressional nom (again, the AFA web thing!).
My son found out about his noms on the website too! The letters came from MOCs a week later. It was funny because we are Floridians and the Senators offices both stated that they might not be able give a nom if you have one from your Rep. But he received one from our Rep and a Senator, the letter from the other senator stated 380 people had applied to AFA and they were sorry he wasn't on their slate. I know that there were 42 people interviewed by our Rep. (We flew in for the weekend and interview). I am really surprised by the double nomination because Florida so competitive and we are in Virginia right now (spouse is on AD). So my son has 3 with the Presidential.

He also is doing the waiting game.
 

Whistle Pig

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69er ... do you have any idea or knowledge that would confirm or correct notion that LOAs, once in that national pool, get plucked out for appointments first or at least early on?

I would have to assume they would both on the merit of their receiving an LOA and on the commitment that the USNA essentially told them, "don't go elsewhere, we're gonna find a space for you IF you're healthy and nominated."
 

USNA69

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Whistle Pig said:
69er ... do you have any idea or knowledge that would confirm or correct notion that LOAs, once in that national pool, get plucked out for appointments first or at least early on? "
I honestly do not know. Five years and three to seven successful candidates per year and I have never seen an LOA. I have a 1540 SAT, #1 in class from a school that routinely sends one or two per year, and Captain of the football team this year who didn't even get one.

Federal law requires that ALL seats via primary nominations be filled first. Keeping in mind that all packages of all competitive nominations be completed to the extent that ranking can be determined, this can be a lengthy process. That LOAs are being handed out in January gives credence to this. Once all primary appointments are filled, remaining candidates are ranked solely on order of merit, irregardless of LOAs, and the remaining slots are filled. DodMERB comes into play as does the Jan SAT scores and several other factors. Hence, Feb and March are busy months sorting this out.

Could they make safe educated guesses on certain highly qualified candidates, especially those with LOAs, and alleviate the stress of waiting? Certainly. Do they? I have no idea. I personally feel that they have other priorities, that the LOA is their gesture of alleviating stress, and that the appointments will fall when the slate is such that they can comply with the law and do it correctly. Since the sole purpose of the LOA is to give candidates "warm fuzzies" while this complex federally mandated process is slowly grinding to it's conclusion, I think it bears me somewhat correct.

The LOA is simply a piece of paper generated by the Academy to attempt to capture highly qualified candidates and prevent them from "escaping" to other schools. They do not give the candidate any special priviledges whatsoever. My personal opinion is that I would rather see the candidate succeed with the 1200 SATs who has always wanted to go to the Academy than the 1450 SAT who is shopping scholarships. As we all know, the Academy appointment is not a mere scholarship. I have a 4th grader in my Sunday School class who has wanted to go to the Academy his "whole life". He says he wants to be a Marine Officer and the Naval Academy trains the best officers in the world. This is the kid I will do everything humanly possible within my powers to get there. Little does he know that, if I am still around, he has already aced his interview.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help but doesn't your son already have an appointement??
 
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Whistle Pig

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As always, extremely insightful to a complex, almost mysterious process.

ESPECIALLY your first paragraph. THAT would seem to put alot of folks @ ease, or at least a bit less stressed out. :eek:

But your observation about the LOA being "simply a piece of paper" (and earlier info) really baffles me now more than before. I find it difficult to swallow that the USNA would send a student to a letter that literally means nothing ... even IF they get a nomination (non principal) and are DoDMERBed, too. Assurance of what then?? I'm baffled now more than ever.

Let me repeat though the more important point you've really nailed in my view (and you've been preaching it all along, and now you've given real hard evidence):

LOAs are rare, even among stellar candidates, and seemingly literally don't mean a thing aside from "we like what we see, and hope you won't commit to another school before you hear from USNA, if you hear from USNA. Good luck. We hope you hear from us, maybe. That is, unless some better candidates show up 'tween now and then."

It just seems the apparent promise isn't a promise, even once the candidate clears all of his/her hurdles ... aside from appointment itself. And all of this seems in direct opposition to the notions of honor,truthfulness, etc. "Assurance" of what?

Baffling.

btw, yes, my son does have an appointment. I'm still curious.
 

USNA69

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Whistle Pig said:
But your observation about the LOA being "simply a piece of paper" (and earlier info) really baffles me now more than before. I find it difficult to swallow that the USNA would send a student to a letter that literally means nothing ... even IF they get a nomination (non principal) and are DoDMERBed, too. Assurance of what then?? I'm baffled now more than ever.

LOAs are rare, even among stellar candidates, and seemingly literally don't mean a thing aside from "we like what we see, and hope you won't commit to another school before you hear from USNA, if you hear from USNA. Good luck. We hope you hear from us, maybe. That is, unless some better candidates show up 'tween now and then."
Appointments are mandated by Federal law. No where in the law is there a mention of LOAs. Therefore, yes, they are simply a piece of paper generated by the Academy saying they are interested and should the candidate successfully complete the remainder of the application process, they will be offered an appointment. More so, it implys that the recepient is highly qualified. So long as the LOAs are judiciously meted out, which they are, your last suppostition does not hold water. Also, there are far fewer LOAs than MOC districts so the vast majority of LOAs will receive primary nomintations via primary nomination sources. It is almost assured that the remainder will enter via the competitive alternate route. Keep in mind that these competitive alternates do not have true nominations as stipulated in the LOA letter.

Bottom line, LOAs are good. The point I tried to make in the past was that a LOA candidate could not slack off and not attempt every nomination source possible. A LOA and a primary nomination ensures an earlier appointment. A LOA and a competitive alternate is a longer process with uncertainities, however remote. The whole person total points can change, both upward and downward, changing that candidate's position on the competitive alternate list. Bottom bottom line: Do everything humanly possible to get a primary nomination.
 
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