Nomination puzzle

Seahunt

Member
I am trying to better understand how MOC nominations can be "used" if that is the correct word. For example, if a candidate from Georgia gets a nomination and Georgia only has a small number of open spots at the Academy, I have read something like the academy can "find a spot" if they really want the candidate. Where would these spots come from? Could some states have many spots and not have enough candidates to fill them, etc?
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
Some states and/or districts may not have a sufficient number of qualified candidates to nominate 10 (for one spot) or even nominate anyone. In the past, there were districts where no one even applied for a nom, though that is no longer the case.

First, if a district (or state) has ONE applicant for a nom, that applicant can get the nom. If that candidate is qualified for an appointment, he/she will be appointed. (BTW, don't assume that person isn't supremely qualified -- most often it's not a matter of qualification but the number of qualified applicants).

If there are no applicants/qualified applicants in a state/district, here's what is supposed to happen. No one from that district is nominated/appointed That means that slot goes unfilled and there is an "extra" slot available to candidates in the national pool. Someone appointed out fo the national pool would be charged to SecNav, not to the district/state with no qualified candidates.

It is illegal to charge a candidate from one district/state to another district/state since the law imposes a residency requirement. I won't say it doesn't happen, but it shouldn't based on the law.

The other option is a Superintendent's nomination. He has up to 50 per year. So, if USNA really, really wants a candidate who doesn't have a nom, this is one source. In recent years. fewer than 5 candidates per year have reportedly received Supe's noms. So, while it's available, it's not anything a candidate should count on.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
The important thing to remember for all Candidates ...the "gamesmanship" that USNA1985 describes is extremely rare, and is done behind the scenes by CGO's Noms and Appointments team. For the majority of candidates, the Nomination process is pretty straightforward , i.e. your MOC nominates a "slate" , and then USNA selects who among the slate is "most qualified" and who gets the appointment. It's really not worth losing a lot of sleep trying to figure out how this part of the game is played ...it is 100%, completely outside the Candidates control.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
Didn't mean to suggest there was "gamesmanship." Rather, was trying to explain what happens when there aren't applicants or qualified applicants in a district. About 10 years ago, there were 35 districts in the country where no one even applied to USNA. Obviously, those nom slots went unfilled. Since then, USNA had done a lot of outreach and, as of a couple of years ago, there was at least one applicant from every district.

As a general rule, if USNA "really wants" a candidate, that candidate is typically pretty special and is very likely to receive a nomination. However, if a candidate doesn't receive a nom, do not assume USNA will "find one." Without boring folks with a lot of details, there just aren't many extra noms to "find."

As for the OP's comment re Georgia having very few slots . . . every MOC has the same number of slots (5) at USNA, regardless of the size or competitiveness of the state or district. Thus, it's obviously "easier" to get a nom from a Senator in North Dakota than it is from a Senator in California, simply b/c there are a lot more people in CA and the Senators there have the same 5 slots as those in ND (that's 5 at one time at each SA, not 5 per year). That's the way it is and, as Old Navy BGO says, there's nothing you can do about it.

That said, I can promise you that Georgia is not one of the most competitive states. Not saying it isn't competitive, but you'd have to put quite a few ahead of GA in the line, such as CA, NY, FL, VA, MD, TX, NJ, PA . . .
 

Seahunt

Member
Thank you for taking the time to educate me - as this is all new and nice to understand the process where appropriate. Is there also an evaluation of the total number of spots by state? For example - Georgia has 13 congressional districts, so including senators, that is 15 sources times 5 midshipmen = 75 max attending at any given time (if I have interpreted what I have read / heard appropriately). Does the academy look at availability by state of open slots when evaluating all the applicants from a given state that do have nominations? For example - of the candidates that get a nomination from any MOC in a given state, does the academy choose from that overall state pool, or pull from each district or source equally? Hope that makes sense.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
There are plenty more than 75. Remember there is the National Pool, VP and Presidential Noms too. GA traditionally has a pretty strong showing at USNA. You have done what you can at this point. Good luck.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
Didn't mean to suggest there was "gamesmanship."
--

Sorry, didn't mean to imply that was your intent ...I put it in quotes because I don't know another way to describe it. My main point is simply that it is outside the normal process, and candidates shouldn't even consider it as likely. My view is it is simply a way for Noms and Appointments to find a spot for an otherwise outstanding candidate who doesn't have a nomination. (For example, the #2 person on a highly competitive MOC slate).

Does the academy look at availability by state of open slots when evaluating all the applicants from a given state that do have nominations?
,

First, Admissions Board simply determines whether a candidate is Qualified . I would expect that this is done without regard to where the Candidate is from (i.e. a candidate from Virginia is evaluated under the same criteria as North Dakota). Second, it really doesn't matter how many Congressional Districts there are in a State, as each candidate can have three MOC nominations (ie. 2 Senators and 1 Congressman). Each Candidate competes within his/her MOC slate (or other nomination sources), and Noms and Appointments picks the best or most qualified candidate for the particular spot. I would expect that Noms and Appointments sees the big picture for the state , ie. if there is a Congressional District that has more highly competitive candidates than another District, they would use one or both of the state-wide Senator nominations to see that the best candidates get in. That is why candidates are encouraged to apply for all nomination sources they are eligible for, as it increases the chance that Noms and Appointments to find a highly qualified candidate a spot.
 

time2

10-Year Member
it is 100%, completely outside the Candidates control.
I agree. And where a NOM is issued may not necessarily be where USNA charges it. At the point an applicant gets an appointment, they probably no longer care. USNA typically does not tell an applicant where their NOM was charged. The bottom line is to apply for all NOM's for which a candidate is eligible (as USNA recommends) and the rest of the details aren't really that important to focus on and doesn't have any bearing on anything an applicant does differently when applying.
 

Seahunt

Member
Thank you for the continued dialogue...... so is a "nom" a "nom" so to speak? If georgia has 100 kids with nominations that are qualified - will the academy choose from among this pool to fill available slots (excluding LOAs) without regard to their congressional district?
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
No...most MOC use a competitive nomination, where the MOC nominates up to 10 people for each open appointment. (A MOC can have up to 5 appointments at a time). Noms & Appointments picks who from among those 10 nominations to appoint. The nominations are not pooled within the state (except for Senators, which is a statewide position). If a candidate has nominations from each MOC, he has three possible slates to get in with. Note, there are comments on some of the prior threads about MOC , particularly Senators, coordinating their nominations so that the more candidates get nominated. While this may be good for publicity and goodwill purposes, it doesn't necessarily do anything for the good candidates.
 

Seahunt

Member
Understood. My DS will get a nom from state representative but was not selected to interview with either senator. I think our representative nominated 10 this year - so he is one of 10. So he will compete with those 10 or will he compete with candidates from other congressional districts?
 

jl123

Member
It is illegal to charge a candidate from one district/state to another district/state since the law imposes a residency requirement. I won't say it doesn't happen, but it shouldn't based on the law.
This is a common misconception and a more thorough discussion can be found in the thread "Hawaii versus California for Nominations".

Neither Title 10 USCC or any other law stipulates a residency requirement for a nominee - MOC's can nominate anyone they want.

Each MOC establishes the eligibility criteria for their district and most explicitly state that residency is a requirement. However, since they create the criteria, they also have the authority to grant exceptions, and it is not unusual for them to do so with good reason.
 

Seahunt

Member
So 10 candidates may be competing for 1 to 5 spots within their district? If that is accurate -it sounds like there may also be an opportunity for other "at-large"spots if not all states / districts around the country fill all their spots? Is that in the ballpark?
 
Our Congressman has 15 constituents at USAFA right now. He uses a competitive slate. So we never know how many may end up there every year. Since competition is so tough, his staff really tries to refer to other academies, but he always has 10 competitive nominations for Air Force, and half-a-dozen or less each for the others.
 

USMA 1994

Member
So 10 candidates may be competing for 1 to 5 spots within their district? If that is accurate -it sounds like there may also be an opportunity for other "at-large"spots if not all states / districts around the country fill all their spots? Is that in the ballpark?

They are not really at large spots. They are restricted by law into how the class is filled. Here is the typical breakdown.

Primary are the competitive slots.
* Each MOC has 5 charged at one time so in theory 20% of each year has two openings - Approximately 650
* Service Connected Appointments - 100
* Presidential Appointments - 100
* Superintendent Appointments - 50
* National Waiting List by the next order of merit - 150
* Additional Appointees of the NWL to complete class competition goals - Approximately 150

If you add those numbers up, you get 1200 which is around the number they want to enter. The only geographic impact is for the first 650 MOC appointments
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
Our Congressman has 15 constituents at USAFA right now./QUOTE]

While there may 15 constituents at USAFA now, I would expect that only 5 of them are charged to his nomination. (Disclaimer -I don't know anything about USAFA: I believe USAFA has a different authorization statute, but suspect the nomination rules are the same for all service academies). The remainder may be charged to the two Senators and/or the various alternative nomination sources USMA1994 identifies above. As noted above, most Appointees themselves don't necessarily know, or care, what nomination source they are charged t0.

So 10 candidates may be competing for 1 to 5 spots within their district? If that is accurate -it sounds like there may also be an opportunity for other "at-large"spots if not all states / districts around the country fill all their spots? Is that in the ballpark?
Keep in mind, thats 5 appointees in the academy at any given time, or 1.25 every year (or 1 most years, with 2 occasionally). It's probably pretty rare to have no qualified candidates from an Congressional District... It happens, but not enough for a candidate to even think about.
 

Seahunt

Member
So if a candidate does not get one of the spots his/her congressman has but did get a nomination, are they eligible for one of the spots in the last two categories listed above in the last reply?
 

jl123

Member
So if a candidate does not get one of the spots his/her congressman has but did get a nomination, are they eligible for one of the spots in the last two categories listed above in the last reply?
Yes, the process is complicated (Title 10 US Code 6954 for USNA), but essentially if you are a "normal" candidate and do not win a competitive slate, you compete for Qualified Alternate and Additional Appointee slots with other qualified candidates nationally. Those numbers can vary based on numerous factors.
 

Seahunt

Member
Very helpful - thank you all! Nice to try to understand all the moving pieces. Our DS is content that he has put his best foot forward and will see what fate has in store for him.
 
Top