Do you need to know your congressman?

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by DeltaDogs, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. DeltaDogs

    DeltaDogs New Member

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    Hello all! I am applying for the USNA class of 2023, and I am working on my congressional nomination forms right now. My parents are adamant that I have to establish a personal connection with my congressmen and representative, and one of their friends who is an USAFA grad has agreed. However, I know that on the USNA website it says we do not need to know them beforehand. Should I try to establish a personal connection through an email or letter or something or should I just submit the application packet and wait for an interview or something?
    Thank you!
     
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    Knowing your MOC is not a requirement. In fact, most members of congress use a committee of veterans and SA alums to screen the applicants to eliminate even the appearance of nepotism. My DS did not know the MOC who nominated him. He only spoke to him when the congressman telephoned him to offer congratulations.

    On the other hand, sending an email to the congressional office staffer who is in charge of the nomination process to express your interest in a nomination is a good thing. If the staffer places you on a list of interested candidates, you will be notified of upcoming meetings and be kept in the loop on when your application is due.

    A simple email introducing yourself and confirming the fact that you have reviewed the MOC's website and intend to apply for a nom is perfectly fine.
     
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  3. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    +1 AROTC-Dad

    IMHO I think it can also depend on your Congressional District. For example if you are in Northern Virginia Congressional Districts 10 or 11, where 200-300 candidates apply each year with each MOC for one of the 10 nominations, and the MOCs have a good process to deal with the volume, such a letter may not really matter.

    However if you are in a Congressional District that isn’t as large or competitive, a respectful humble sincere email or letter may be a good thing to send. It is not necessary, but it can show initiative, gets a file started, and, as has already been mentioned, may get you put on a mailing list for SA events.

    When I applied to USAFA ~40 years ago, I actually sent my letter a year early, in my sophomore year. I got a nice letter back from my MOCs letting me know I had expressed interest a year early (I knew that) but it got my file started with each of them. I then sent them articles from the school newspaper and the local paper when I was mentioned in school clubs and school sports. I think this worked for me because I was applying from a “rural” state. I got all 3 nominations, but didn’t win any of the 3 slates, but did get named as a #2 on one of the slates. Did my letter do it? Don’t know ... but it didn’t hurt.
     
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  4. DeltaDogs

    DeltaDogs New Member

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    Thank you very much!
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Definitely not needed. Every MOC is different, but all have a staffer who handle the Nom packets you send in. They usually coordinate the panel interview. Some MOCs will sit in on these, but most do not. Some are very involved and other are not.
     
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  6. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Absolutely not (to question whether you have to know your Congressman), absolutely yes to reaching out to Congressman/Staff to introduce yourself. The Nomination is one of a couple funnels that you have to make it through in order to be considered for Appointment. Most Congressman nominate up to 10 candidates for each position they have open, i.e. competitive nomination, leaving it to each Service Academy to pick who is the most qualified. Reaching out to the MOC /staff is a good way to show initiative , stand out from the pack, and help you get into the top 10. (PS--if your MOC is one of the few that still does Principal noms, knowing the MOC can't hurt).
     
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  7. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    And keep in mind to be respectful to EVERYONE involved in the process. I believe in our case the staffer had a lot of input regarding DS’s nomination(s). A good lesson in life is that you never know who you are talking to, who has input into whatever issue you are dealing with !