Eschewing a Senator

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by mintyicedtea, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. mintyicedtea

    mintyicedtea Member

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    An applicant I know vehemently opposes the character and politics of one of our senators. The idea of applying for a nomination from that source is causing a visceral reaction. He can't imagine how he would feel if he did receive a nomination from someone he completely disrespects. Even though it would take out a potential nomination, is he justified in not applying to that source?

    He has no problem with the idea that in the military he would be under the authority of the President, the Commander in Chief, even if he disagreed with his or her politics.

    I hold the same opinion about the senator that he does, but somehow avoiding that nomination source doesn't seem like a good strategy. Seems like it could potentially keep out a fine young man who might make a difference by countering the beliefs and issues held by the senator.
     
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  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Perhaps the way to think about it is that is is the office, or the position, that is nominating him. No matter who holds the seat, you can take the position it’s the office that holds the power to appoint. The human being in the job exercises the power. Your DS can respect the office but not the incumbent.
     
  3. THParent

    THParent Member

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    My DS received two (2) nominations last year. One was from a MOC that he respected, and one was from a MOC that he wasn't - shall we say - thrilled with.
    A nomination however, is a nomination. You need at least one to get an offer of appointment.

    If it is any consolation, he will not meet with that MOC during his interview.
    Interviews are done by staffers on a panel, and none of the questions ever center around "do you like my boss?".
     
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  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I'll try to be more blunt than others - Yes, it's stupid not to pursue a nomination from that MOC. It's very stupid. It's extremely stupid. If you want to achieve a dream you explore every possible path. Ask your DS how he would feel if no one gave him a nomination and he never applied for this one. Yeah, that's right! It's stupid.
     
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  5. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    What @kinnem said x 10. Being a commissioned officer requires you to be politically agnostic in fulfilling your duties. The fact that your friend is already acting this way makes me question his ability to actually serve a Commander in Chief unconditionally. And that’s not good for our great republic.

    Another way to think about it: How would your friend feel if the senator declined to offer him a nomination because, despite his otherwise stellar qualifications, your friend holds opposing political viewpoints? Yeah, that would stink.

    If your friend wants to turn his back on a potential nomination source because of politics, that’s his problem. But anyone who feels that viscerally about a a representative of the people, duly elected, then I question his understanding of the role he wants to assume.
     
  6. jaglvr

    jaglvr Member

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    He may not agree with the politics but chances are MOC will never encounter his application unless he is the nominated one from the MOC’s Board. Also he may be asked in interview why he did not seek the nomination from said MOC. I can not think of one valid reason he could give... submitted too late? disagree with politics? didn’t think I should? None are ones I would want to hear evaluating him.
     
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  7. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    @mintyicedtea, this quote from your original post really bothers me. An officer’s role is not to “make a difference by countering the beliefs and issues held by the senator.” Although a senator is not in an officer’s chain of command like the Commander in Chief, our military is still under the purview of civilian leadership, and that includes Congress.

    Don’t know if you meant this quote literally or if your friend believes it literally. I hope it’s merely a misunderstanding on my part.
     
  8. mintyicedtea

    mintyicedtea Member

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    Thank you everyone for your responses! That it is the position, not the person, nominating him is exactly what he needs to focus on. Thank you @Capt MJ and others.

    @MidCakePa Sorry, that was just poor word choice on my part. It was a late night. :(Yes, I 100% agree that an officer's role is not to counter political opinions. I was thinking figuratively, that he can hold opposing views and still make a difference.
     
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  9. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    CaptMJ spoke as the senior officer and leader she is; Kinnem gave you the passion; and the other contributors gave good counsel.

    Me, the ALO, senior officer, teacher...what will I say? Not much. I'll ask a question instead. Is your friend willing to wrap himself in the flag, face the academy of his choice, salute proudly and say:

    "I want to serve the United States as a professional military officer but I will not stoop so low as to accept the possible opportunity to serve the people of the United States, as an officer and leader in the armed forces, because I don't "agree/like/approve" of the person whose office would afford me the opportunity to, not serve them per se, but the people of the United States. My principles require me to step aside from that august opportunity for my own pride."

    If his pride is so important that he would choose to forego the opportunity to serve, to learn the principles of both followership and leadership, to eschew personal bias, prejudice, and outward opinion, for the greater good of serving his country and her people, in time of war and peace, to lead by example, and to make both the service and our country better by his service, simply because of the persons holding office that would offer him the nomination is someone he disapproves of, viscerally or however...

    Then personally, this colonel doesn't want that person to serve. They aren't in it for the right reasons.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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  10. Nomak54

    Nomak54 Member

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    Yeah, no offense but it's rather immature of your friend. I mean, you're going to let someone get in the way of your dreams all because you don't like them?
     
  11. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    What @flieger83 said!

    @mintyicedtea, you’re a good person for asking on behalf of your friend. Take it a step further and rather than just passing on these opinions, have your friend read them directly. There’s no substitute for the passion and wisdom — and it’s visceral — coming from those who’ve been there, done that (myself excluded).
     
  12. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    "We salute the rank, not the man"
    - MAJ Richard Winters

     
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  13. CitadelN88

    CitadelN88 Member

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    Your competition will likely take the nomination if you won't
     
  14. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/if-i-disagree-with-the-president.62741/

    I seemed to have found a very similar post. I will not take credit for the responses but agree with it. Maybe your friend has the problem if he has an issue with everything this Senator does and believes. He needs to work on his critical thinking skills and develop independent thoughts without emotion. This is one of the most important skills a young officer needs to be successful.
     
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  15. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Every officer I know has met their own Capt. Sobel. ;)
     
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  16. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    VERY true!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  17. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    I just now read this.

    @kinnem , you never disappoint and you are spot on.

    All the military, or White House or any institution needs is someone more righteous than everyone else around them.
     
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  18. mintyicedtea

    mintyicedtea Member

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    Update: He is going to apply for a nomination from that senator, and he intended to all along. I knew he wasn't stupid, and I'm relieved. I must have misinterpreted his wondering out loud about a hypothetical situation for a real possibility that he might not apply.

    Thank you folks for the vigorous and thoughtful discussion!
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
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  19. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    @mintyicedtea, thank you for the update. Always nice to know how issues are resolved, especially one as charged as this.