Service Selection

Just Dad

Member
Service Selection/Assignment.

I understand this happens in November. Is there an "event" around this, or does the mid just get a notice that they got their first-second-thrid choice?

Is there a specific date set for service selection/assignment? Anybody know what that date is for USNA CL2020? I've tried a couple of searches on this, but I can't anything regarding service selection day/date.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
I think I heard at BGO forum, maybe hear, that the Company Officer meets with First Class in the Company wardroom, and gives the assignments. However, I saw a livestream of Ship Assignments a couple years ago. I suspect that the Midshipman get their Community assignments, then each Community has an "event" where the Midshipman get specifics... ships, training dates, TAD assignments, and I am sure some "socializing" . I think I've also seen that the new appointees get some indicia of their future Community, ie. leather flight jackets for aviators, but may be wrong. I'd love to hear the details..paging current Upperclass ?

Back in the day, Service Selection (not "assignment") was done strictly by Order of Merit (OOM). First Class were called down to Smoke Hall, and we selected what community and details of post grad orders (schools, TAD assignments , etc). I don' think the was done until after First Semester grades were done..probably during the Dark Ages. We then had a party and liberty. I also recall that those selecting Marine Corps somehow received more, um, professional haircuts , sometime during the night. Those were good times.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Some years ago, the all-in-one method was broken apart. First semester, warfare community selection. Second semester, ship selection, school date selection. Gives mids a breather to research and plan, especially if they didn’t get their first choice.
 

Sydney C.

5-Year Member
Company Officer meets with First Class in the Company wardroom, and gives the assignments. However, I saw a livestream of Ship Assignments a couple years ago. I suspect that the Midshipman get their Community assignments, then each Community has an "event" where the Midshipman get specifics... ships, training dates, TAD assignments, and I am sure some "socializing" . I think I've also seen that the new appointees get some indicia of their future Community, ie. leather flight jackets for aviators, but may be wrong. I also recall that those selecting Marine Corps somehow received more, um, professional haircuts , sometime during the night. Those were good times.
Old Navy BGO nailed it!
With DS going thru this last year, we went followed it and it's exactly right. For many of the Companies, the service selection with their Company Officer was streamed live (join you Mid's company Facebook page and they'll let you know when and how). Then each Company did have an event with swag identifying their respective communities. And yes, the Marine Corps selects were provided with the traditional haircuts. Again, lots of photos per company will be posted.
Of all the service selections, SWO, which does its ship selection in January, is the biggest. Draws big crowds at Alumni Hall, all the top SWO brass is there and they film and stream the whole thing live. If you'd like to see what that's like just go to Youtube and type in Navy Ship Selection Night and you'll get a few different years of the event there for you viewing enjoyment. If your kiddo goes SWO, but sure to go to this if you can. It's a hoot and they allow them to let their hair down and it's quite a party.
 

Kierkegaard

Member
From what I understand, service assignment announcements will have a lot less panache behind them this year. They will be done in private with the CO/SEL and the firstie class, with no streaming allowed. CO/SEL aren’t being told with much advance notice beforehand either. The new Commandant has instituted a lot of changes this year, and this is one of them.
 

justdoit19

Member
From what I understand, service assignment announcements will have a lot less panache behind them this year. They will be done in private with the CO/SEL and the firstie class, with no streaming allowed. CO/SEL aren’t being told with much advance notice beforehand either. The new Commandant has instituted a lot of changes this year, and this is one of them.
Anyone thoughts as to why this change? It’s a ‘bummer’ one for me. I really enjoyed watching last year and seeing company mates receive their assignments.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
My suspicion (and it's only that), is that the reason is due to the fact that some 1/C don't get their first choice -- and a very small number may not get their second choice either. Maybe they want this discussion to occur with the CO/SEL in private rather than having it live streamed -- or have the firsties face disappointment in the midst of a "media event."

While I enjoy ship selection a much as anyone, service assignment is serious business and it doesn't work out for everyone the way they'd hoped. While it may be hard for today's generation to contemplate, not everything in life must -- or even should -- be streamed.
 
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OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
5-Year Member
While I enjoy ship selection a much as anyone, service assignment is serious business and it doesn't work out for everyone the way they'd hoped. While it may be hard for today's generation to contemplate, not everything in life must -- or even should -- be streamed.
Yes, the old Service Selection Night was certainly a much smaller event than the showcase that we've seen in recent years. During my service selection night, we had officers representing each branch from within the Naval Academy community including, of course the senior member of each sling with a couple of senior officers from DC in attendance. No representatives from fleet units, no press and no parents. Nowadays, I wonder how we managed to do all that stuff without our parents pushing/pulling/advising us.

That said, if we didn't like what we "got" on Service Selection Night, we had only ourselves to blame as the choices that night were determined by class rank.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
Anyone thoughts as to why this change? It’s a ‘bummer’ one for me. I really enjoyed watching last year and seeing company mates receive their assignments.
> I suspect that USNA1985 comment is only part of the answer. I recall seeing a video of Ship Selection within the last few years that I felt was a bit overboard, unprofessional and even embarrassing to USNA; more of a game show atmosphere than an important event in their career. I for one am glad to see it toned down.

Yes, the old Service Selection Night was certainly a much smaller event than the showcase that we've seen in recent years. During my service selection night, we had officers representing each branch from within the Naval Academy community including, of course the senior member of each sling with a couple of senior officers from DC in attendance. No representatives from fleet units, no press and no parents. Nowadays, I wonder how we managed to do all that stuff without our parents pushing/pulling/advising us.

That said, if we didn't like what we "got" on Service Selection Night, we had only ourselves to blame as the choices that night were determined by class rank.
I agree, I don't recall even discussing Service Selection with my parents...and never even dreamed of "live stream." Of course, among Classmates it was a big deal, and I'm sure we had a beer or two to celebrate or drown sorrows.

While my first impression of instituting the "Service Assignment" process was the typical old graduate complaint that the kids are messing up the system , I do think that Service Assignment is better for the Navy and Marine Corps than Selection based purely on OOM. I've told the story about my WPOS plebe year squad leader going USMC just so he could go Air ( A follow up to the story ...I checked with a couple companymates, and no one can remember the guys name, and he doesn't appear in Lucky Bag). The truth is, I am sure Class Rank /USNA performanc still plays an important role in Assignment, but it is not the automatic pass to the community you want.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
I agree that the current process (assignment vs. selection) makes more sense and probably is better for both sides (mids and services) in the long run. It will be interesting to see in the long run whether the "new" process leads to better retention post 5.

It's also important to remember that, in the "old days" (selection), the fact of choosing didn't mean you got your first choice, unless you stood very high in your class. For most, especially in the bottom half of the class, you got your first choice of whatever was left. Prior to PRK/Lasik, NFO billets went super-fast. Some chose USMC because the USN pilot/NFO billets were gone and USMC promised you could fly if qualified. People selected SEALs without any of the screening that goes on now (and most went SEAL after their first tour in another service). It wasn't necessarily a better system, just a different one.

I told my parents what I intended to select and called them after to tell them what happened. I then went into town with my roommate for a dinner to celebrate. Low key but memorable.

I do like the fact that the communities (and ships) seem much more involved/welcoming today. Not a fan of heavy parental involvement but suppose it's a sign of the times.:rolleyes:
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
I like the fact they receive their assignment in November and then ship, school, etc dates are selected in January. This gives some time for those who do not get what they want to process the whole thing and regroup. I received my first pick but my best friend did not. He was a spec war alternate. He was crushed. The day had highs and lows and then 24 hours later we were picking dates and ships. If I did not get my #1 pick, Marine Ground, I was going SWO. I had done zero research for ship selection. I would of gone in blind, but that was my issue for lack of preparing. I actually like they are not streaming assignments. This is one of those events that it’s truly about you and your classmates. Outside of what we wanted to select and the date, our parents knew zero. It was a time to celebrate together. I know parental involvement is much much higher than when I was there. Ship selection has grown into a big event. I don’t mind the fanfare around it. There were pieces I thought that were overboard but overall I like the event.
 
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justdoit19

Member
My suspicion (and it's only that), is that the reason is due to the fact that some 1/C don't get their first choice -- and a very small number may not get their second choice either. Maybe they want this discussion to occur with the CO/SEL in private rather than having it live streamed -- or have the firsties face disappointment in the midst of a "media event."

While I enjoy ship selection a much as anyone, service assignment is serious business and it doesn't work out for everyone the way they'd hoped. While it may be hard for today's generation to contemplate, not everything in life must -- or even should -- be streamed.
This all makes a lot of sense. TY!
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
Hoops makes a good point on having time to process and make decisions. In our day, I don't think mids had much idea what ships or (for pilots/NFOs/USMC) class dates were even available for their selection until they showed up in Smoke Hall. Maybe there was some sort of notification but, without computers, it's hard to believe it was anything close to real-time. If I recall, it was largely word of mouth from folks who'd selected and I THINK they also announced over the 1-MC when certain communities had closed (i.e., no more USN NFO billets).

There were people who didn't think through their second and third choices and you didn't have much time b/c the person behind you was waiting to select. Thus, you might have a minute or less to make a decision on warfare community AND ship/class date. I don't think mids had much info on the ships beyond the type and homeport. It was a somewhat crazy system, especially as the night wore on (and choices became more limited).
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
5-Year Member
Hoops makes a good point on having time to process and make decisions. In our day, I don't think mids had much idea what ships or (for pilots/NFOs/USMC) class dates were even available for their selection until they showed up in Smoke Hall. Maybe there was some sort of notification but, without computers, it's hard to believe it was anything close to real-time. If I recall, it was largely word of mouth from folks who'd selected and I THINK they also announced over the 1-MC when certain communities had closed (i.e., no more USN NFO billets).

There were people who didn't think through their second and third choices and you didn't have much time b/c the person behind you was waiting to select. Thus, you might have a minute or less to make a decision on warfare community AND ship/class date. I don't think mids had much info on the ships beyond the type and homeport. It was a somewhat crazy system, especially as the night wore on (and choices became more limited).
I think that when my class's Anchor Man entered the room, his choices were down to a couple of very old Reserve Destroyers or Navy Pilot (with class date far in the future) or USMC (TBS far in the future).
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
In our day, I don't think mids had much idea what ships or (for pilots/NFOs/USMC) class dates were even available for their selection until they showed up in Smoke Hall.
It was a somewhat crazy system, especially as the night wore on (and choices became more limited).
I agree... I was fortunate to be high enough in the Class that I was (fairly) comfortable that an NFO slot would be open, and had a general game plan to get down to Pensacola right after our 30 day basket leave. I think the only choice (after NFO selection) was AI class date, so I left a couple weeks between the 30 day leave and start date to get settled. I don't recall any discussion or evening knowing about the varioius stash TAD jobs before Service selection, but in retrospect it sounds like a lot of the class had a good time hanging around Annapolis the summer after graduation.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
Interesting that there were only 8 med school slots this year. In recent years, there have generally been 12.
 
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