Deferred with a Principal Nom?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by 2017Crew, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. 1964BGO

    1964BGO 5-Year Member

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    To be candid, Admissions purportedly does not like the Principal + Alternate system, and the discussion here should make it intuitively obvious why - the MOC's and their interview ing panels, by and large, have little understanding of what the individual SA's are looking for in any given cycle. The competitive slate provides the SA's greater flexibility to ferret out the candidates who fit the current template as derived by the SA.
    Now to the next point: while the Principal + Alt, approach does favor the Principal nominee, it DOES NOT eliminate the other nominees. I was a 4th Alt the year I got my offer, for various reasons the four nominees above me dropped out or were disqualified. We also have the national pool. Do the math - while the MOC's have the largest share of slots, if you add all the nominations, they do not come up to the 1200 appointees taken in any of the recent years.
    The best course of action for any candidate, IMHO, is to make the personal commitment to work to become the absolute best candidate he/she can become! Plain and simple; in my aged and feeble mind, we all know when we have done our best and when we have slacked off someplace. If you know you have done your best and still have come up short it would seem you can rest easier than if you know you played the odds, cut some corners, or whatever that took you out of the running. Keep it simple, folks.
     
  2. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

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    Well said 1964! ... A great plan for life - inside or outside the academy! :thumb:
     
  3. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

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    Whistle Pig

    Thanks for the clarification.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  4. HeWantsTheBFE

    HeWantsTheBFE USAFA Class of 2017

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    Still sucks though.
     
  5. mdrob214

    mdrob214 5-Year Member

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    Most of the MOCs require ACT scores and even get a copy of the transcripts. The committees used by our MOCs were respected members of the community business, education, and local military base. The key difference they have is the face-to-face interview to say "that kid had it together" and make that selection.

    To the comment about getting the best class this way by another post? Just because they aren't the 4.0 student doesn't mean they can't be an outstanding leader.
     
  6. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Clearly anytime you have 535 different people/offices doing anything, there is going to be some variation.

    That being said, I can tell you that in my DS's case 2 of the 3 Congressional Offices he dealt with had some pretty serious folks on the nominating panel. These included...

    AFA grads x2 and x1
    USMA grads x1 and x3
    USNA grads x1 and x 1
    Some former ALOs/BGOs
    Various other former active duty officers
    Various business and community leaders

    They wanted full packages that included essays, grades, scores, community service, leadership, ECs, and more reccomendations than AFA asked for.

    And the questions were tough... designed to really test the applicant's understanding of the comittmenint involved/military mindset and their desire to serve.... not just be qualified to attend.

    In my DS's case, we all felt the nomination process was at least as rigorous than the Academy/ALO process... if not more so.

    You mileage may vary.
     
  7. aglages

    aglages 5-Year Member

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    My DS's experience was similar to yours. We thought the nomination process for all our nom sources (except VP) was at LEAST as rigorous as the SA process.
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    The deal with MOC noms is that there are indeed many approaches and also many different levels of competitiveness within the state/district.

    Some MOCs go off paper alone -- no interviews. Some give interviews to every single candidate. When I served on a nom committee years ago, that was our MOC's practice. Even if the person wasn't remotely competitive, he/she got an interview. Some MOCs narrow the pool based on paper and then interview a select number. It depends on the MOC, the number of applicants, and the resources the MOC wants to devote to the process.

    As has been discussed many times, in some districts and/or states, the MOC may struggle to find 10 applicants, let alone qualified applicants. Or maybe he/she will have a handful of great applicants and the rest . . . not so much. And, of course, there are areas where competition is incredible -- up to 1000 candidates vying for 10 slots.

    Although nom committees generally look for the same things as USNA, the process does differ. IMO, a "lesser" qualified candidate based on paper who has a terrific interview could sway the committee; that's less likely to happen with USNA b/c Admissions rarely, if ever, meets the candidates and has to rely on how well the teachers and BGO do the write-ups.

    Nom committees may also be more forgiving of poor board scores or some issues with grades. I'm not suggesting they let through unqualified candidates but, rather, they may be more likely to be influenced by strong activities, leadership, etc.

    The MOC process is what it is. In my years of doing this as a candidate, nom committee member, and BGO, I think the process is basically fair. Probably has a few flaws but there is a LOT of effort that goes into making it work.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  9. futuremarinemom

    futuremarinemom Member

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    Same here. DS had to write 5 essays just for one MOC! Plus, there were some tricky questions asked at the interviews.
     
  10. riveranduin

    riveranduin row well and live

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    I dealt with all three of these situations in my applications this fall. I honestly did find it more overwhelming than the process for applying for USNA myself, though I did find that many of the essays were similar enough to be slightly tweaked for multiple MOCs. Part of that though I think was that I already had an LOA come interview time, so I was rather concerned about a total screw-up in those.

    The variety of people on the boards that I spoke to in the interviews and their variety of styles was interesting. Everywhere from a retired Admiral who had actually done OCS as the academy was not an option for her at the time to a recent grad who was no longer in the service due to medical issues. I even managed to be interviewed by someone who plays the same sport, went to my rival high school, and had the same major I hope to. (Which is probably what saved me from my mention of Professor Fleming in that interview, seeing as that office gave me my nomination...)
     
  11. 1964BGO

    1964BGO 5-Year Member

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    I believe I mentioned this earlier this cycle, but just because, I'll repeat something that tripped my casual observation: For most candidates the MOC nomination interview/ selection process is the first significant cut in the system. The SA's go from viable candidates in the realm of 10K - 20K to about 6K who are eligible to continue! I am sure that many candidates discount the MOC nom process and importance because it is local, especially so far as the House member is concerned, and even moreso if the district is sparsely populated. Another factor is the fact that the interview process is foreign to many youngsters; it is not the same intensity as applying for a job and I suspect that lulls many prospects - until they are in the waiting room and they see some of their peers coming out with beads of perspiration running down their faces and an anxious look on their faces. For what it's worth... Best wishes to those still waiting.
     
  12. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    GREAT information and counsel! This is a major hurdle and merits one's very best efforts in preparing and performing. Thanks 1964!