MOC Interviews


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Feb 9, 2007
Is it appropriate to wear your NROTC uniform to a Congressional nomination interview?
You are asking us how unknown members of a future board will react to a candidate wearing a ROTC uniform. The reaction could be either positive or negative, and without knowing the members, it would be impossible to predict which. Therefore, my recommendation would be not to wear the uniform.
I specifically asked our Congressman's office this question. Our office has a person tasked to deal with the Academy Nomination process and she replied that it would be more appropriate to wear a nice civilian outfit..a suit for a young man and a nice skirt set or dress for a young lady. In their thoughts - you have time in your interview process to talk about your JROTC, etc. experiences, plus it is in your application. So our daughter did NOT wear her Air Force Blues Civil Air Patrol Officer uniform - which in my opinion looked really sharp on her.

However I know from other families all across the country that other offices have no opinion on this and many other interviewees DID wear their uniforms.

My kiddo also did NOT wear any uniform for her MCROTC scholarship interview, and when she asked what to wear they actually told her to wear PE gear, since she would be doing a rigorous PT test as part of the interview.

So the best thing to do is ASK the source.
Peskemom has a really good point. Our congressman has a nominations manager and she oversees the process for him, receives applications and organizes the interviewing day for the panel. She is available to answer questions and this person in your congressman's office could probably give you sound advice for what would be customary for your area.
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I really don't think that the nomination's manager's opinion is what matters. All it takes is one member of the board, which hasn't even formed yet, to see it as important, and thusly redirect the line of questioning or maybe even just reform his opinion. The question here is for NROTC not NJROTC or CAP. The situation is totally different.
Finally, my first post on this forum!

I agree with USNA69. I don't think anyone should wear any military uniforms to a MOC nomination interview. Why? I think it unintentionally says that..."I am better than the rest of the candidates." I am sure that you will have time during the interview to talk about your NROTC/NJROTC experiences. Also, I think they will note that you didn't show up in uniform because you wanted to "blend in." And if they ask "Why didn't you come in uniform?" Then you say because I didn't want to stand out as being better than anyone else. I am sure they would have more respect. It isn't that hard to put a uniform on and they know is a little harder to control one's own pride.

If only all interviews could be like an MCROTC one!
And if they ask "Why didn't you come in uniform?" Then you say because I didn't want to stand out as being better than anyone else. I am sure they would have more respect.

I'm not so sure. After all, you DO want to stand out as being better than anyone else so you GET THE NOMINATION.

I can certainly understand not showing up in a JROTC uniform because, having worn one myself for two years, it means zip. It's more of a costume than a uniform. (Yes, I know that sounds insensitive, but looking back to it across a REAL uniform, it's a friggin' costume, OK?)

As for a regular ROTC uniform, I don't think you'll earn anything on it in one or two years worth wearing to the interview, nor which will not be in your record anyway.

I'm thinking of a better response, and for right now the best I can think of is, "Well, my status and qualifications are well represented in my record, so I figured wearing my uniform would be a bit much. Besides, I wanted you to see ME, not my uniform."

Meh. Not bad for on-the-fly, I suppose...

I agree with your reasoning too! You want to show off in the interview because of your qualifications NOT because of your uniform! So then if you don't have qualifications and you do wear the uniform...what are you saying then? "I am better than you because I am in JROTC/ROTC!" There would be no other reason. I just think (and this is my opinion) that there is no need to wear the uniform. As I think someone only takes one person to have an influence! I look at being humble (humility) as important. By wearing a nice suit or shirt and tie, you stand in with everyone else, for sure...until you start moving your lips in the interview.
Question: Is there a protocol for ROTC candidates and when to wear/not wear the uniform beyond their class days?
So then if you don't have qualifications and you do wear the uniform...what are you saying then? "I am better than you because I am in JROTC/ROTC!"

Actually, the impression I would get is more along the lines of, "I have nothing else more impressive than this uniform to offer."

Admittedly, however, if the guy showing up was the Unit Commander (with the stereotypical third-world-dictator uniform on), I'd agree with you. :thumb:
Question: Is there a protocol for ROTC candidates and when to wear/not wear the uniform beyond their class days?

I can't speak for ROTC, but the Services allow you to where it anywhere so long as it is the correct uniform for the occaision, it is worn properly and with honor, and the event is not one that could put the military in an embarassing light or otherwise politicize it.
I pretty much agree with not wearing the uniform, I only brought up doing what would be customary because I was wondering what the "committee" would think if other ROTC candidates showed up in uniform and one did not. In other words, if it would be expected.
But let me ask this:

Do you guys think if one was a soldier or a reservist or in the guard should they wear their uniform?
Actually, yes.

It's a real uniform, of one who is actually serving in the military. Something tells me it would be expected, and even if it wasn't, I'd consider it proper.

Bit of a double-standard, I suppose, but there it is...
Hmmmmm ok well let me take this one step further.
If one ROTC cadet with a scholarship, they are under contract to Uncle Sam - then maybe they should wear their Class "A"s.

There is a difference between a ROTC student who is taking classes without a committment and one who has a contract with the Army/Navy/Air Force.
And this is where my admitted double-standard rears its ugly head.

I find it weird for a person who is applying to a SA to wear a similar uniform from ROTC to the interview.

I can't place my finger on why, but it just doesn't strike me as right. The problem is that I have an inherent bias since I went to a SA and not ROTC, so I wonder if I'm skewing the opinion without even realizing it.
Yeah, well I am just trying to make a logical connection.

I like jadler's comment about humility - I am pretty sure my kid would not want to wear it and won't be wearing her MMI uniform if she makes it back from Alabama, but then she prefers to blend in.

USNA69 suggested that a member of the committee may make a judgement negatively in that since the candidate is already in a commissioning program why should he be given a nomination to switch programs. I know some people think that if you are willing to go or have been offered a ROTC scholarship that will be held negatively agianst a candidate, but our experience has shown that to be the opposite. At least for USMA.

I am not sure there is a right or wrong here. Boiler83, I am not sure what your gut feeling is. Are you asking because you want to wear your uniform or it has been suggested to you that you wear it and you don't feel comfortable doing so?
If there is an appropriate military protocol, then I'd follow that.

If there is none, my inclination would be if ever there was an appropriate time to wear one's service uniform this would be it. While those serving have every right to be proud, I have never considered those wearing the uniform, at least BECAUSE they were in uniform to be braggadocio, less than humble, or lacking humility. If they exhibited those characteristics, it was not a function that they were wearing their service uniform. I simply do not envision those men and women marching in my Memorial Day or Independence Day parades as lacking in humility.

To the contrary, should one be interviewing to seek the nomination of an MOC, would it not be almost silly not to wear the appropriate uniform if one is in fact engaged in service? This strikes me as a classic case of allowing our anti-military culture to lead this kind of thinking that there is some type of posturing going on should one who is serving in fact wear his or her uniform.

Now, to the notion of trying to psych out or predict how an interviewer looking for the most committed, outstanding candidates to recommend for appointment to an SA and the possibility that showing up in uniform would create some type of potentially negative image ... well that's presumptious at least and if it were so then shame on the volunteer and more shame on the MOC that would have him/her on the review panel.

In the event that a staffer would recommend NOT wearing one's appropriate uniform of service, I would wait until the dust cleared and the process was completed and raise heck with that MOC AND every MOC possible. How ridiculous is that type of response! And you and I are paying that person's salary. Shame on them and us if we allow it to pass.

I long for the day when a wonderful person in uniform conjures nothing but gratitude, appreciation, and pride that there are men and women still willing to live and die for me and mine.

There ... I feel better. :eek:
If a member of the military wore their uniform, I would have nothing against it. If a member of the military did not wear their uniform...I might ask why. If the response was along the lines of trying to fit in...that would be major bonus points. Clearly they understand that it isn't about themselves...they have humility. And I would bet my money that they might make a good leader because they can put others first.

As you mention, it isn't the uniform that is significant to the is their actions, their history, and what they have to say...exactly why there is no point for a uniform. As Zaph says, it doesn't give them any information. I'm sure if there was a significant award that was given to the individual, that individual will contact the CO and ask him for a letter of recommendation. That letter will probably mean a lot!!!