Disaster Interview.


10-Year Member
Jun 27, 2006
My son completed his interview for a nomination to the USNA on Saturday. He said it was a disaster! One of the panelists challenged him on a response and got him flustered and things just went kind of downhill from there. My son said that once he got flustered he just kind of babbled after that. Yikes! He was so emabarrased he didn't even want to tell me what it was that got him so flustered.

My son is in a competitive district (more so for USAFA than USNA but competitive for USNA nonetheless). If they were to make a decision based solely upon the paperwork he should rate in the top 5 of the 10 chosen for a nomination (using past years as a guide). Now, my son thinks he is going to strike out.

Granted policies vary from congressman to congressman, but once you get an interview are all candidates equal at that point and nominations are made solely on the basis of your interview? Or put another way is the interview just part of your overall nomination score?

The funny thing is the Air Force interview which was 5 minutes after this one couldn't have gone better. The only hiccup came when he was asked the last question: Have you interviewed with either Senator and what was the result? When he told then that he already had a nomination to the USAFA from a Senator, they looked surprised and then they asked him "So what are you doing here?" Oh well, so much for getting that additional nomination in this district. (We live in a county that ranks #1, #2 or #3 in the nation for the most cadets sent to the Air Force Academy - so I'm certain they would rather spread these out.) In his paperwork for the congressman he listed USNA as his 1st choice.

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Well, only he knows for sure what happened, but I wouldn't necessarily panic. Sometimes incidents like this just prove you're human.
mdlrnc said:
FOF any update on your sons nom status?

My son's gut feel was right, he struck out and did not receive a nomination. His dream of attending the Naval Academy is over - at least for this year. Although he could shift blame about the process (i.e. the congressman had two panels for USNA, you either got one panel or the other but not both), he knows that he has nobody to blame but himself.

He may have gotten over confident because he did well at the Senatorial level. Our Senator received over 120 requests for a nomination to the USNA but only chose 30 for an interview and my son was one of the 30. Ultimately, my son was not one of the 10 chosen at the Senate level, but being chosen for a Senatorial interview was good sign that a congressional nomination was his to lose. An average interview would probably have been enough to get it done.

He feels bad for all those people who helped him by giving him advice, wrote letters etc. for a resume that the Naval Academy will not read. They deserved a better performance than he delivered.

Strange thing is, both of his interviews for an Air Force academy nomination were absolute love fests and could not have gone any better. He would have received a second nomination to the AFA if the congressman did not have a policy against it.

Since then, many people have told him that he will be happier serving in the Air Force than the Navy and we attended a grass roots AFA session put on by the ALO's in our area. It has kind of warmed him up to the Air Force Academy. It certainly offers a ton of opportunites to fly - if you are pilot qualified. Last year (or maybe it was this year) everyone who wanted a pilot slot got one - according to the Cadets, the AFA returned 38 pilot slots back to the Air Force unfilled. Meanwhile, he should hear from NROTC soon, he has applied to some very good schools and if he gets into one of these schools it should salve his wounds nicely. One school has a stereo typical reputuation as being a rich kids school where the ladies are all very attractive and shallow. When I told him this, he seemed to like the school even more!? :frown:

Thanks for asking.
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Thanks for sharing what has to be disappointing situation. He's young, resilient I'm sure. Here's to him and NROTC.

Has he explored USCGA? They have lots of flight opportunities and NO nomination requirements. A very good place, for sure.
I agree. Although USCGA is the hardest academy their is no requirment for a nomination. that part of the reason Iwhy I applyed to USCGA. They have many flight opp. Thye have helos such as the C-130 or the dolphine. Search and Rescue is great too. Good luck to you and your son. and remember the military offers many great jobs even as Enlisted.
As a BGO, here's my advice (worth what you pay for it, of course).

(1) Your son should only attend USAFA if he really wants to be there. If he has truly warmed up to it, that's great and he will likely be successful. However, if his heart isn't in it, he's better off doing what he really wants (NROTC, waiting a year for USNA, etc.).

(2) Stay in touch with USNA and your son's BGO, reaffirming his interest in USNA. You don't need to go into the details; merely explain that he has received a USAFA appointment but his first choice remains USNA. Appointments without MOC noms are very, VERY rare, but they do occur.

(3) If your son attends USAFA and, upon graduation, still wants to be in the USN or USMC, inter-service commissions are possible. Again, they are rare (maybe 6-10/year), but they do occur. One thing they look for is someone who applied to a SA and didn't get an appointment but still wants a career only that service provides (i.e., carrier aircraft).

(4) After reading point 3, reread point 1. Your son should not attend USAFA with the expectation that he will be able to be commissioned in the USN because it may not happen. Thus, if USNA is really his dream, he should attend civilian college and reapply next year.

Good luck!
In line with other recent ideas, has he checked the USMMA? They commission in USN as well. And are ALWAYS in need of good nominees. I've been told it's a really top-shelf place, altho I've never visited Kings Point.
Also Norwich University ( all ROTC)is a great military school and the Maritime Academies are great too! Good Luck Again!
120 for senator for usna? My congressman gets 1200 a year and mostly all go for USNA
Simple, if you do the math of the average demographics of the average congressional district, you just need to find the school where about one in every five members of the senior high school class has applied to the Naval Academy.
I VERY roughly divided the population by the number of congressmen and came up with 500,000. Then I kind of assumed from looking at a couple of local districts that approximately 1:35 of the population is in high school or 1:150 is seniors. 1:150 of 500,000 is 6600 which divided by 1200 leaves a few over one in five.

Since you challenged me, I became more specific and googled high school population. There are approximately 4,000,000 high school seniors and rounded 500 congressional districts or 8000 high school seniors per district. So maybe it is one in six or seven, but still an unbelievable number.
But I'm still wondering what the area is where the senators receive 1200 nomination requests annually, nearly all for the USNA?
He wasn't talking about a senator, he was talking about his congressman. The point I was making is that 1200 candidates for a congressman is statistically impossible. It would amount to 1 candidate for each 7 or so high school seniors in the entire district.
I stand edified. As always, thanks. And you're right. Impossible.

But I'm still wondering where it is he/she claims that's the case?
Father of Five.... I do not know if this is at all possible but I bet someone may have some guidance.

Can your son request an interview w/ one of the MOC's who won't fill all of their nom slots to USNA? I have no idea of that ever happens; it's just a shot.
I live in the same district 5th district of maryland (same district the USNA is in) and it was in the capital newspaper, but then again who knows if those guys get anything right
well i know for a fact that there were only 17 applications for nominations last year and roughly 20 to 25 this year for my congressman, and we are in a pretty populated district so i think its crazy that you guys say 1 in 6 or 7 high school seniors because its much much lower here