5-Year Member
Dec 14, 2016
Last week I went to my congressman's office and brought doughnuts with a Box o' Joe as a token of appreciation for the nomination I received--in March 2017. It is not the congressman, but 1 staff member that determines who receives a nomination in my district. While speaking to this staff member I was informed that they will tell the parents they gave a candidate a nomination yet tell the academy that the parents want it more than the student and they are probably not a good fit. I was shocked. That is giving someone false hope. When I asked why it took 3 months for my nomination to show up in my portal, they said it was a mix up.....and off to NAPS I go!
False hope to whom? To the parents of the candidate who didn't really want to go there in the first place? The candidate is probably relieved. I think the service that the nomination committee (or person in your case) provides is valuable because they get to the meet the candidates in person. I think this exact situation arises more often than people think and you see parents on this site every year wonder why DD/DS didn't get in but had a ton of extracurriculars and a 35 ACT. In my view, the nomination person in your district did a favor to USNA and also to the candidate. That still leaves to question why they would nominate that candidate at all.
That still leaves to question why they would nominate that candidate at all.
Yes, exactly what I was thinking...Why nominate the candidate in the first place?
The entire process is intense and this is just added stress. I have to ask this congressman (staffer) for another nomination for NAPS, just wondering if they will make me wait for 3 months again before telling the academy I received it.:confused2:
. First, the staffer does not make the Nomination. The MOC may delegate much of the proces to staff, and even accept a staff recommendation without question, but at the end of the day, the Nomination is made by the MOC. Second, you didn't describe what kind of Nomination you received...was it a principal nomination or competitive nomination. Many (most ?) MOC use the competitive nomination , nominating up to 10 candidates and letting USNA pick whom is best qualified. That gives the MOC the most "bang for the buck" politically --they post a list of nominees , and then Admissions has to make the hard choices. I would certainly expect that a MOC and their staff would include their personnel observations , including the comment that the parents are pushing the candidate.

I don't follow the comment that "off to NAPS you go." and have to ask for a nomination to NAPS. There is no nomination for NAPS. You apply for a nomination to USNA.

Finally, I would be careful about bringing doughnuts and coffee to the congressional staff. While its a nice gesture, I suspect that runs afoul of Congressional ethics rules (and in today's age, security considerations).
Opps, that was a typo, it should read "from NAPS". My congressman's window for applying begins in August, so I will have to apply on site, from NAPS. Oh, I have no idea what type of nomination I received because my congressman does not give out letters stating 'you were nominated'(much to the disbelief of my Blue and Gold Officer). I did receive a nice 2 page denial letter from a senator. Even though there are close to a million people in my county, my district is not very competitive since West Point(Go Army!) is an hour north and Kings Point is less than 1 hour south. No one in my county or the adjoining county were a direct entry to the USNA, but one student was wait-listed according to my Blue and Gold officer.
To the OP:

MOCs have until Jan. 31 to submit their slates to USNA. They may wait until the last minute to notify USNA -- even having notified the candidates much earlier -- for a host of reasons. The timing of their notification had no affect on whether USNA offered you a direct appointment or NAPS. You didn't even need the nom for NAPS and, if for some weird reason you were offered NAPS b/c USNA didn't think you had a nom (which I doubt), once they learned of the nom, USNA could easily have converted you to a direct appoint.

Second, with all due respect to the MOC staffer you talked to, I rather doubt that the MOC's office is providing a "dossier" on its nominees to USNA. Moreover, in most MOC offices, the decision on nominations is made by a committee of volunteer citizens (and then ultimately approved by the MOC). The staffer is typically an admin person who oversees the process, but is generally not a decision maker. Also, I would be VERY hesitant to conclude the parents want it more than the kid -- how do they really know this unless the kid was stupid enough to say so point blank during an interview -- and most kids aren't that stupid. If if the MOC team suspected this, I again doubt they would convey this to USNA.

All NAPSters must apply for nominations while at NAPS. However, as I'm sure you were told, if you don't get a nom and successfully complete NAPS, you will receive a nom from SecNav. So, it's not a huge deal. Also, decisions on appointments for NAPSters and Foundation folks aren't made until the very last minute (usually around April 10-14), so it won't matter if a nom is submitted even months after the deadline.

Finally . . . and this is just my opinion, you may want to scale back a bit of the "attitude." You're a few weeks away from joining the military (and the US government). Not everything happens in an instant ("hurry up and wait" is a common refrain), not everything is "fair," and you won't always understand the rationale for everything you are asked or told to do. Stress will become a way of life -- how you deal with it will mean the difference between success and failure over the next 5 years and beyond. Take a deep breath, vow to do your best, and go with the flow (providing, of course, the "flow" is going in a legal direction). :)
As usual 1985 is spot to everything I would say. Get used to hurry up and wait. It can take months for a promotion list to be released, and even longer until your number comes up, waiting on orders forever... the military is a series of hurry up and wait. As mentioned you won't get your appt until very late next year. If you have borderline grades or haven't passed the PRT... it will take even longer.

Some MOCs never inform candidates, it just shows on the portal. They don't owe you anything other than a submission of the list USNA by 1/31. Legally they don't have to submit a list. Don't take some rumor or gossip as truth. The military is full of them and if you jump at everything someone who is uninformed says, you will lose your mind.
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I don't recall saying anything about being "fair" or unfair, but since you brought it up....I do not think it was fair for the staffer to tell me the information they did, definitely TMI. My original post is about how a staffer felt it was okay to tell me part of their nomination process, which seems shady.

Captain MJ, I am using my energy to find a way to convince my parents I changed my mind.
A couple of my students have completed Congressional internships and volunteer gigs. Some Congressional staffers are low-paid or unpaid interns, working in their Senator's or Representative's office for the experience. Even the low-level staffers who are paid are often untrained and inexperienced at, let's say, diplomatic communication. This is not to excuse what sounded like TMI - just to offer an explanation for what sounds like a goof on the part of the staffer.