"Primary" Nomination


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Nov 28, 2008
We were very excited to hear that our son received a nomination to the USNA from our congressman. Someone asked if it is a "primary nomination". How do I find that out? It isn't stated in the letter. All it says it that is now up to the Naval Academy. Is that good? Thanks,
Each member of Congress can have five constituents attending the Naval Academy at any time. When a constituents leaves the academy, a vacancy is created. Members may use any one of the following methods to nominate candidates to fill their vacancies:

* nominate 10 candidates for each vacancy, permitting the Naval Academy to evaluate and select them for admission on a competitive basis;

* designate one principal nominee and nine other candidates as alternates, ranked in order of preference; or

* nominate one principal nominee and nine other candidates as competitors, permitting the Naval Academy to select the alternate competitors for admission.

In each of these methods, one fully qualified nominee is offered an appointment to the Naval Academy to fill the vacancy. The remaining fully qualified nominees also are considered carefully, and many are selected for admissions to fill the entering class from a national competition of qualified alternates.
This is directly from the USNA website. I would say the best thing to do is either look on the MOCs website (often they state how they nominate). Or your son could call the MOCs office and ask! Sister, I hear you about the worrying. It has been a rollercoster. My daughter's application was complete at the end of Oct. only because it was missing the BGO interview. She started this process last Spring and it has been one hurdle or another. And now we wait...let us know what you find out.
If he says it's up the the academy then your congressman probably uses the "Competitive" method.

When a MOC submits the slate of 10 names to the academy to be considered for a nomination, there are three methods. Those are Primary with numbered alternates, Primary with competitive alternates and Competitive.

When a MOC submits a competitive slate then the Academy picks the nominee to receive the appointment by order of merit and ranks the slate of names. Whomever has the highest number of points wins. If that person isn't or can't get medically or physically qualified or declines the appointment then the #2 candidate is made an offer etc.....

With the Primary and numbered alternate method the MOC actually ranks the candidates for the academy. If the #1 ranked candidate is triple qualifed then the Academy is required by law to offer the appointment. If that person rejects the #2 is offered etc.

An MOC can also use the Primary with competitve alternates with the appointment going first to the Primary and then the academy ranks the alternates.

Remember - the other 9 candidates who don't receive an appointment then go into the "national pool" and are offered appointments based on merit until the class is filled - generally in March/April.
Thanks so much for all of the info. It is very helpful. Best wishes to you as well!
I believe the correct term for that type of nomination is "Principal" not "Primary."