From a staffer

Malex

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2024
Messages
10
I handled Congressional nominations for 23 years for two MOC. I was fortunate that both Members had great respect for the US Service Academies and took great pride in the young people seeking to achieve their goal of being a serving. We had great success in many time having multiple nominees receive offers of appointments. MOCs should pay serious attention to the youth in their district and put staffers in charge of their nomination program who are willing to learn the process, have good relationships with the Academies, attend and host Academy forums, and be committed to run a fair and competitive program. I was proud of the scores of students I watched over the years gain admission and still, after 30+ years have contact with some. I always believed that how an applicant looked on paper was important but we did interviews and those conversations showed commitment. Educational excellence is the brain; commitment is in the heart and gut.
 
I handled Congressional nominations for 23 years for two MOC. I was fortunate that both Members had great respect for the US Service Academies and took great pride in the young people seeking to achieve their goal of being a serving. We had great success in many time having multiple nominees receive offers of appointments. MOCs should pay serious attention to the youth in their district and put staffers in charge of their nomination program who are willing to learn the process, have good relationships with the Academies, attend and host Academy forums, and be committed to run a fair and competitive program. I was proud of the scores of students I watched over the years gain admission and still, after 30+ years have contact with some. I always believed that how an applicant looked on paper was important but we did interviews and those conversations showed commitment. Educational excellence is the brain; commitment is in the heart and gut.
Thank you for sharing this and for your commitment over the years to this process. I know you made a difference to many young people!!
 
@Malex, great to have you aboard. There's much discussion here about noms and MOCs and MOC noms, so having someone with firsthand experience is invaluable. Looking forward to your insights. While we say here, there are 535 MOCs and 535 processes, you can shed much light.
 
@Malex, great to have you aboard. There's much discussion here about noms and MOCs and MOC noms, so having someone with firsthand experience is invaluable. Looking forward to your insights. While we say here, there are 535 MOCs and 535 processes, you can shed much light.
Thanks. You’re right……535 processes. And each Member decides how to handle nominations. I’ve noticed recently that many Members are using an application that appears to be developed by a Congressional service. It is way too complex and asked questions that would be answered by documents submitted by applicant. For instance, why would you ask an applicant to self report test scores or GOA/class rank? These are to be officially reported. I’m not saying applicants would misrepresent scores or academic standing but it needs to come from its source. I tried to give my Board an applicant’s file that is official and precise.
 
Question to Malex, when one gets appointment does the academy notifies the MOC's office first then the candidate, or vice versa, or they don't have to notify the MOC's office. Does MOC reach out to candidate as well? Don't know the process, so asking. What is the general practise?
 
Question to Malex, when one gets appointment does the academy notifies the MOC's office first then the candidate, or vice versa, or they don't have to notify the MOC's office. Does MOC reach out to candidate as well? Don't know the process, so asking. What is the general practise?
I can answer that for the staffer. The Academy (USNA/USMA/USAFA) notifies the MOC where the candidate is a resident approx 5 days before they post the appointment on the portal or make any other notification. The MOC has the CHOICE whether or not to notify the candidate or not. As a BGO, I am able SOMETIMES to see that Admissions is notifying the MOC.
 
I can answer that for the staffer. The Academy (USNA/USMA/USAFA) notifies the MOC where the candidate is a resident approx 5 days before they post the appointment on the portal or make any other notification. The MOC has the CHOICE whether or not to notify the candidate or not. As a BGO, I am able SOMETIMES to see that Admissions is notifying the MOC.
Thank you.
 
I can answer that for the staffer. The Academy (USNA/USMA/USAFA) notifies the MOC where the candidate is a resident approx 5 days before they post the appointment on the portal or make any other notification. The MOC has the CHOICE whether or not to notify the candidate or not. As a BGO, I am able SOMETIMES to see that Admissions is notifying the MOC.
it is a courtesy from the Academy Admissions office to notify the staffer in charge of nominations that a offer of appointment is going out. Each MOC designates a staff member to the Academy as the contact person for their nominations. BGOs and Academy liaisons are asked, as a courtesy, not to contact the nominee if they see an offer on the BGO/liaison portal. I never had that courtesy broken. I worked with numerous BGOs/ liaisons and I have the highest regard and gratitude for them. I was fortunate to work for a Congressman who took pride and enjoyment in calling a nominee with good news. The schools were great to pull someone out of class for that phone call. We even tracked a nominee down on his spring break ski trip with good news. Unfortunately, some MOCs don’t call to give the good news. Those MOCs who recognize the value and importance of the Academies are sincerely dedicated to our military and the future of young people.
 
@Malex your insight into this process is great and thank you for your service to these young men and women. I just started working for a MOC in a district office and will be assisting with the nominations and process here. I also have the benefit of my youngest son this year applying to two academies and for ROTC scholarships, so I have the parental knowledge side of the process. My MOC is just finishing up his freshman term so we are approaching our second round of running this in our district and still developing our program. These young men and women are so impressive that are applying and I see how bright their futures will be!
 
In your experience, do applicants reapplying for a nomination have better success rates?
 
In your experience, do applicants reapplying for a nomination have better success rates?
I feel there’s no definite answer to your question. I have seen second time applicants get noms and some not. Depends on rest scores, what they did in that year, i.e. attend college, join military. I’ve seen a statistic of 25-30% appointees that don’t come directly from high school but that does not necessarily mean they applied before. If an applicant truly wants to become an officer, they should look at colleges that would offer them the possibility of officer training after their degree. My nephew came from a military family, got his degree from a university, was commissioned and recently retired as Lieutenant Colonel. The Academies offer a first class education and training, but other options are out there for someone truly dedicated and determined to serve.
 
@Malex your insight into this process is great and thank you for your service to these young men and women. I just started working for a MOC in a district office and will be assisting with the nominations and process here. I also have the benefit of my youngest son this year applying to two academies and for ROTC scholarships, so I have the parental knowledge side of the process. My MOC is just finishing up his freshman term so we are approaching our second round of running this in our district and still developing our program. These young men and women are so impressive that are applying and I see how bright their futures will be!
I wish you great success with your program. I had many responsibilities for the Members I served but nominations were my favorite. I know Congressional services offer applications for online but I created my own and streamlined it. I wanted my Board to have an efficient packet to review. There’s too much duplication in that standard form. Yes, the applicants are impressive! After many years,I still have contact with some.
 
@Malex your insight into this process is great and thank you for your service to these young men and women. I just started working for a MOC in a district office and will be assisting with the nominations and process here. I also have the benefit of my youngest son this year applying to two academies and for ROTC scholarships, so I have the parental knowledge side of the process. My MOC is just finishing up his freshman term so we are approaching our second round of running this in our district and still developing our program. These young men and women are so impressive that are applying and I see how bright their futures will be!
Hello- Welcome Momstaff12! I'm a long-time congressional staffer, and as a new MOC Academy Coordinator, make sure to check out the training available to new staff through the House CAO Coach program regarding the congressional nomination process. There are sample documents available, so you don't have to re-create the wheel! Also, I and some of my seasoned colleagues, provided "best practices" that are available to you on the USAFA congressional portal under the "training" tab. Feel free to DM me if you have any questions.
 
Hello- Welcome Momstaff12! I'm a long-time congressional staffer, and as a new MOC Academy Coordinator, make sure to check out the training available to new staff through the House CAO Coach program regarding the congressional nomination process. There are sample documents available, so you don't have to re-create the wheel! Also, I and some of my seasoned colleagues, provided "best practices" that are available to you on the USAFA congressional portal under the "training" tab. Feel free to DM me if you have any questions.
It is always good to see long-time “primary sources” pop up.
Any idea when we will see an updated version of the below guide, reflecting the shift from 10 to 15 nominations on a slate?


 
Hello Capt MJ- Good question! There is a slightly updated (2021) version of that document available here: https://crs.gov/Reports/RL33213?source=search. I've reached out to the author of the document to check and see when CRS may update the doc to reflect the new legislative changes to service academy nominations. I'll let you know if they provide a new version!
Thank you! I appreciate it.
 
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