Prove My Parents Wrong: Knowing A Senator = Better Chance At A Nomination


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Nov 19, 2007
My parents think that if I write to a senator to let him know about myself then I will have a better chance of recieving a nomination. I find it highly unlikely that knowning a senator helps your chances (am I correct in saying that they have other people look at applications??) because that would be extremely unfair. I'm really tired of arguing with them over this so maybe you could prove them (or me) wrong.
Might be viewed as bootlicking (an attempt to gain favor from influential people by flattery or other insincere means).
Irish Dancer: you are right in that someone else looks at the applications. Any attempt to schmooze may be seen as unfavorable. Here is an example: When my son was 11, he was part of a flag ceremony at a fundraiser for a hopeful senator. This event was attended by the president. We had pictures of my son w/ this senator (who was elected). We included this picture in the application packet with a note that said they had met before. Son did NOT get an interview with him. He received his nomination from the other senator in our state.
My opinion: your application packet is your letter to the senator. Anything else is extraneous.
Irish, we are from the same state, s never wrote to any of his nom sources. He has managed to get nom from 1 Sen (friday), interview with the 2nd is early Jan. Made the 2nd cut for congressional (results due in a few weeks). Your record is what they are reviewing, what the military calls rack and stack. I am sure if you were a personal friend of a sen. it MAY have a difference, but a letter is only going to the person in charge of their mail and IMO probably find its way into the circular filing cabinet. As an example our congressman's SA committee is in a different office than his contact office, only when you make it through the 1st cut do you have a personal contact. One of our Senators also operates in the same manner. If you sent a letter to introduce yourself in our state (NC) to one of the Sen. it would never make it to the SA committee b/c you don't even know the contact name to use as "attention to". If I am right you are a jr. relax, the MOCs in NC currently are 2 busy with the class of 2012, you 1st have to get past the pre-candidate, become and applicant, than a candidate, pass DODmerb and CFA, be assigned an ALO, than go for your noms.
Smart Senators and Congressmen use non-partisan committees of volunteers to conduct the applicant interviews and make the recommendations. That way they can avoid any conflicts of interest or political influence with their nominations. In effect, they avoid the potential for embarrassment while reaping the positive publicity when it comes time to make the announcements.

In my opinion based on my familiarity of how these things work, unless your parents are major fundraisers for your Senator (six figures), your Senator will never see your letter. Writing it will be a waste of time.
It can be hard to get a letter to make it to a Senator...many times it can be answered at the staffer level or is handed out to the appropriate person.
I agree with commish and LITS about the process.

Your membership says Raleigh NC. NC does use committees for Sen.

Dole did not interviewed it was how your profile was ranked against the others. We were told back in Oct. she had over 315 applicants for noms.
Dole did not give a principal, or list in rank order. Her list was submitted to the SA's in alphabetical

Burr is interviewing, but I believe it will be comparable to other states with a committee comprised of prominent people from within the state.

Our congressman also did not have interviews, although we do not expect to hear for a few weeks I would still believe it is in a rack and stack order.

The only person you may want to consider writing to is your congressman, however, as I stated b4 our congressmans office to contact is at a different location than the SA contact, thus it would be a waste of a stamp.

Bigger ? why are you fighting over this? Are your parents military or politically involved and feel they can assist you or are they just being supportive parents and trying to help the best they know how?

Positive note, you are plugged in and doing everything you can to get answers.

My personal advice is to talk to other kids who have ALO/MALO/BGO and find out their names, maybe also JROTC for advice to get ahead of the game.
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Here's how it went for me:

I've volunteered at my Senator's office since October of 2006 (several months before I wanted to attend the academy, so I wasn't trying to get an 'in').

However, after working there for a year, I had become quite friendly with my boss, who was in turn the person who headed the meeting after all of the nomination interviews were done.

She said she "made sure [the committee] nominated me." It was a joke, of course, and I'm sure if my application had been atrocious they wouldn't have nominated me. I don't think my monthly conversations with the Senator gave me that much of a boost either, aside from confidence.

(I was nominated by all 3, by the way)

So, in answer to your question Irish, it doesn't make a difference at all.

My suggestion would be
1) Wait a bit. The offices are very busy right now wrapping up the process for 2012 candidates.
2) Find out the name of the Service Academy Liaison at each of your MOC's offices. It's most likely posted on their websites. If not, you can call the local office and ask the name. THIS is the person you want to know and communicate with.
3) Call and ask about the procedures for obtaining a nomination application for 2013. Be prepared to answer questions about which academy and why you're interested - even in this preliminary phone call. It really can matter. (At the reception our Congressman held for appointees to all academies, the Liaison stopped the line of families to tell him that he won't forget his first phone call with our daughter when she requested her application. He said that he knew she would be going to West Point and that the committee would be proud to appoint her.) So, role play the phone call - just in case.
4) Get the paperwork done as early as possible. Your teachers will have more time in the summer to write your recommendation letters than they will have in the fall. Another advantage is that you'll have so much more paperwork and tough classes starting in the fall that it will be nice to have this time-consuming part of the process complete early.

I never posted that story about our Liaison before because I don't like to appear as if I'm just bragging. It's just that I want you to understand that preparation for each phone call is really important. If they never ask a question, there is no harm done. You can consider it early preparation for your interviews. Being able to clearly articulate your reasons for wanting to attend usxa is what they are looking for. (And the gpa, and the test scores, and the leadership...:thumb: )