GCarter

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Sep 19, 2018
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I am a sophomore in high-school so I still have about a year before things start moving. I feel as though I'm on the right track to attend an academy but I'm also staying motivated to keep improving. I believe that one my strengths is that all I've ever wanting to attend one of the academies(hopefully USMA or USNA) and serve in the military at a high level.

I'm hoping to get the best tips/information about...
- Who to contact for a foot up in getting a nomination
- How does an elite athlete market himself well
- What do MOC's look for in a candidate that you wouldn't expect
- How do I stand out to a MOC outside of my "stats"
- Anything that could give me a foot up about who to contact now and in the future

I'm not asking for help because I haven't done my research. I want all the information that I can't get anywhere else. If you want to know any of my information that you may typically find in a "chance me" post, let me know and I will provide it
 
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kinnem

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I'm hoping to get the best tips/information about...
- Who to contact for a foot up in getting a nomination
A couple answers. First,contact yourself.... get yourself prepared to be accepted to an academy. There is no one to contact to get a foot up. These selections aren't made because somebody knows you. There is no foot up.
- What do MOC's look for in a candidate that you wouldn't expect
Nothing. They are looking for scholars, leaders, and athletes, just like the academies. Read every word on the academy web sites. Become familiar with the class profiles. You'll have a very good idea of the (types) of things yo need to achieve to get accepted to an academy. A congressman is looking for the same.
- How do I stand out to a MOC outside of my "stats"
See above answer. Be at the high end of achievement against the class profile. Be well spoken. Be prepared to think on your feet during an interview. Be prepared for questions you didn't expect. Be mature and use good judgement in all your decisions. BTW, its not the MOC making these selections, per se. It's usually a committee of military folks and local luminaries who recommend a list of candidates for nomination to the MOC.
- Anything that could give me a foot up about who to contact now and in the future
Yes, again.... the web site of the academies you wish to apply to. Read and understand every word. You might contact an ALO, BGO, or FFR at some point next year. If you know any officers, or former officers, speak with them about your hopes and dreams. You might participate in JROTC, Sea Cadets, Civil Air Patrol, or other such organizations to get a feel for things. You'll probably also meet folks there who might be able to shed some light on military life. Try the American Legion too. I'm sure some grizzled vets will put you on the right path.

This isn't rocket science. There are no secret hidden magical approaches to use to attain an appointment. It's determination, hard work, and knowing your target that get you there.
 
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MidCakePa

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May 22, 2018
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+1 to @kinnem. On top of this, best way you can prepare for the application process and potential admission is to learn as much as you can about academy life and active-duty life. Talk to as many cadets, graduates and officers as you can, ask them smart questions and listen carefully to their perspective. You’ll be a much better person — and candidate and cadet — for doing so.
 

GCarter

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Sep 19, 2018
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There's usually someone from my high school each year who attends an academy. What questions do you think would be smart to ask him on these subjects?
 

MidCakePa

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@GCarter, it is up to you — you! — to come up with the appropriate questions to ask a cadet/midshipman. The encounter is for you, not for them. You are not there to impress them, but to inform yourself of whether SA and AD life is for you. Be a leader, show initiative. And please don’t ask questions that you could have easily answered by reading the SA website.
 

EngineerBoss

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Apr 4, 2017
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....and practice for the often overlooked interviews. I often interview highly qualified (on paper) STEM professionals that do very poorly on interviews. It is very clear when people have not prepared for interviews.
 

kinnem

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I'll give you a couple questions only because they are generic and the answers might open your eyes a bit.
1. What was the toughest thing to adjust to while at the academy?
2. What thing most surprised you when at the academy, something you weren't expecting.

I also want to give a strong +1 to MidCakePa. YOU need to ask the questions YOU want to know the answer to. That's where reading the websites becomes important. I'm sure there are things there that you won't understand or aren't clear. Things you might be concerned about. Look on YouTube for videos on academy life, but don't take them as gospel, instead look to them to trigger questions. The same for articles you might find about the academies.

Homework and research should be your bywords right now.
 

UFDMD

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Dec 6, 2018
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I would encourage you to be extremely organized once you begin the application and nomination process. This goes for all your backup plans such as ROTC and civilian college applications as well. Utilize a cloud service like Dropbox or OneDrive, that you can easily access from all your devices, to set up various folders for each Academy, nomination source, ROTC and college. Within each file you will create or download files/documents with dates for all ACT/SAT score reports sends, teacher recommendation/evaluations requests, applications, essays, DoDMERB, emails, official letters, etc.. EVERYTHING. Use a scanner app like TurboScan to create pdf files of all hard copy documents sent and received. The ability to quickly reference these items and dates will invaluable as you navigate through the process.
 

AROTC-dad

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OP, are you using a real name as your username? If so, it's a bad idea for many security related reasons.
 
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