It is time to eliminate principal nominations from Members of Congress. The subjective nature of them is grossly unfair to other applicants. It doesn’t eliminate the possibility of them gaining admission, but it surely restricts their path. If you search principal nomination (PNoms) on this sit you’ll find evidence of people not in the top 10% of their class, kids with mid-range SAT’s, and others who were granted PNoms. They may meet the academy minimums for admissions, but may not be the best the Congressional district or state had to offer. So why would the MOC give them the PNom? Perhaps the kid was a great interviewee. Maybe there was a family hardship. Possibly the MOC knew the family. Who knows? What I do know is that there are stellar kids passed over year after year in favor of special “picks” by the Congressman. A stellar kid behind a principal nominee may find another way get in, but not always. So why is a PNom even an option for the MOC? Does the MOC know what the academy is looking for better than the academy itself? Some principal nominations have left me scratching my head. There are some ultra-competitive districts out there where principal nominees have been named. That just doesn’t seem fair to the other kids that are from different schools, with different backgrounds, and different resume’s. In my opinion it is time to take that power away from our MOC’s. Let the academies sort out their appointees without the interference of Congress. And while I’m speechifying, why don’t all MOC’s publish their nominees? In my state, one senator and our Congressman used to publish. Now none do. Their picks can’t be scrutinized if not published. Nominating is their job. We pay them to do it. Therefore, I believe that we have the right to see who is nominated. I believe we also should have the right to know if a principal nominee has been selected. The politicians cite confidentiality concerns. Horse hooey. The kids they appoint will be attending on tax-payer dollars. We have a right to see and know whom the MOC’s deem worthy. If their choices are visible to all, there will be a much smaller chance of nepotism and political paybacks (although I don’t believe that happens often.) Do academies benefit from principal nominations? I don’t think so. All this is my opinion, but shouldn’t principal nominations be abolished? Heck, maybe the Coast Guard Academy is right. Perhaps we should take the members of congress out of the nomination process altogether.