SA preference

Overwhelmed

Member
DS needs to list his SA preferences. USMA has issued him a LoE but he still has a pending waiver request. USNA has issued him a waiver already but he does not have an LoE/LoA. Does a granted medical waiver trump a LoE?
 

FMHS-79

Parent
DS needs to list his SA preferences. USMA has issued him a LoE but he still has a pending waiver request. USNA has issued him a waiver already but he does not have an LoE/LoA. Does a granted medical waiver trump a LoE?
Remember - a Letter of Encouragement does not provide any type of commitment from the SA. Which service would your DS prefer to serve in? The Army and Navy have dramatically different missions and types of deployments, so I would have him rank his preferences according to which service aligns best with his hopes and dreams.
 

MidCakePa

Member
Agree with @FMHS-79 that DS’s focus should be on which branch fits him best. If he has clear priority, go with that. But refrain from trying to game the system or overthinking the SA’s actions. An LOE is pretty meaningless — it’s encouragement and nothing more.
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
Agree with all the above guidance. An LOE is a letter... nothing more than that. I get letters in my mailbox all the time which mean about as much as an LOE.
 

MidCakePa

Member
Right now, there’s a person or two out there thinking about starting a thread with the headline “LOE — Chances of Appointment.”
 

Overwhelmed

Member
Perhaps I didn't ask my question properly. Which of the two choices would give you the best opportunity to receive a nomination? DS still vassilates between all the SA'S because they're all great. He can only list one preference. Would a MoC be more inclined to issue a nomination to a candidate with a LoE who has a pending waiver or issue a nomination to a candidate who is medically qualified without an LoE?
 

jrwork

Member
Perhaps I didn't ask my question properly. Which of the two choices would give you the best opportunity to receive a nomination? DS still vassilates between all the SA'S because they're all great. He can only list one preference. Would a MoC be more inclined to issue a nomination to a candidate with a LoE who has a pending waiver or issue a nomination to a candidate who is medically qualified without an LoE?
My very uneducated guess is that it would be different for every MoC. Maybe one looks kindly on an LOE but another wants to make sure medically qualified. I think they all have their own processes and decision factors. Not sure anyone can answer this for you.
 

MidCakePa

Member
Would a MoC be more inclined to issue a nomination to a candidate with a LoE who has a pending waiver or issue a nomination to a candidate who is medically qualified without an LoE?
@Overwhelmed, if this sounds harsh, I’m sorry. But that LOE just doesn’t hold any water. It’s merely encouragement to finish the application so that Admissions can fully vet the candidate. No, not everyone gets one. And if it makes one feel warm and fuzzy for a few moments, then great. But to give it any weight would not be highly responsible.

Having been through the process for theee SAs, I get it! I get the desire — even the need — to latch onto any shred of positive feedback in what is a long, tedious, challenging and sometimes frustrating process. But an LOE, while momentarily uplifting, is worth about as much as the paper it’s written on. (What’s that, you say? The LOE came electronically? Point made.)
 

CrewDad

Member
Overwhelmed Dad. In the end there will be one Academy your DS would like better. And he will lean on one more than others. It may not be as clear now but it will become clear soon. I agree with FMHS-79. Pick the service first then pick the Academy! They are all different. However, Navy is the service that offers the most diverse community to pick your career: Aviation, Ship, Sub, Land/Aviation - Marine, Cyber/Intel (proportionately small number direct Commissioning). My kid was all Army and Air Force throughout his youth. Then he chose Annapolis. You just never know. So for now go with your son’s strongest first impression. Your DS should also apply to USMMA since he is fine with any service. At USMMA you can commission into any service. And you can receive Nom from any district MOC in your state so you can get 2 Noms. Good luck.
 
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