Unexpected LOA...

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by Kgrant19, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Kgrant19

    Kgrant19 Member

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    Hello! I am a rising senior and I am applying to USNA and USMA, as well as NROTC. Just last week, I received a VERY unexpected LOA from USMA and now I am confused as to what to do with my nominations. I had originally marked on all of my nominations that USNA was my first choice, but now with an LOA in my hands, I am wondering if I should convert one of my 3 nominations packets to having USMA as my #1 so I don't risk losing my LOA. Thanks! Also, I live in Ohio so senators are pretty competitive, so if I do put USMA as one of my #1's should I put it on my senator or rep? Thanks!
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    If you do it, it doesn't matter whether you use Senator or Rep. You should investigate how your MOCs award nominations. Some coordinate so that an applicant can only get one nomination from one of the three MOCs. You might end up putting yourself in a position where you only get a nomination to USMA. Nothing wrong with that, but I see kids get nominations to the "wrong" academy each year because they gamed the system like this. Just go into whatever approach you take with your eyes open and armed with as much info as possible.

    It's likely that if you're good enough to get an LOA from USMA that you're good enough to get an appointment to USNA... but there are never guarantees in this process.

    Keep working your backup plans in case your injured, not medically qualified, or fail to get a nomination for some reason. Again, I've seen all of them happen. You still have a long way to go before reporting to one of the academies.

    Congratulations on your LOA.
     
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  3. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    You should ask yourself a few questions:
    1. Do I have a strong preference on becoming an officer in the Navy/Marine Corps or Army?
    2. How would I feel if I put USMA as #2 and ended up with a nomination but no appointment to USNA and no nomination to USMA?
    3. How would I feel if I put USMA #1, got the USMA nomination, and then got an LOA or appointment to USNA, but no USNA nomination?
    4. How competitive am I? How do my stats compare to the class profiles?
    After thinking about those questions, you want to consider:
    1. Holding off on submitting the nomination paperwork for a little while, if possible. Don't delay too long. Get it in well before the deadline, but if you can gain a little extra time to sort things out, it might be worthwhile.
    2. Talk to your USNA admissions rep and explain the situation. Ask about your chances for a USNA LOA.
    3. Talk to your Congressional MOC's office. Tell them you have a strong interest in both SA's and ask if it is likely you would be able to get nominations to both USNA and USMA.
     
  4. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    @Kgrant19, really good advice above. Most important thing is to not try to game — or “out-think” — the system. Be very honest with yourself about your preferences and what’s driving them. If you’d be equally happy at USMA as at USNA, then might make sense to list it #1. If it’s USNA all the way (and the USMA application was just for kicks), then might make sense to keep it #1.

    The one thing not to do is say one thing to one MOC and another thing to another MOC. It’s dishonest, for starters. You could very well interview with a panelist who’s doing double-duty for two MOCS (it happens), who’ll certainly catch the discrepancy. And your state’s MOCs might coordinate their slates, in which case they’d see the discrepancy. Maybe it hurts you, maybe it doesn’t, but why take the risk?

    Again, be truthful with yourself, play out each scenario, and communicate clearly with MOC staff and panels about your LOA. Best wishes to you.
     
  5. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    Congrats kgrant19. You should be very proud. You got the LOA because you deserve it!

    Hmmm although I respect others advise on this, I have a bit of a different opinion on this matter. If you clearly state that USNA is your only and number one choice to all your MOCs there’s a good chance you will only get Nom for USNA and you can kiss good bye to USMA.

    Obviously you have interest in the Army and found WP a very desirable school to attend. Otherwise why did you express interest. LOAs are not given to anyone and to those who did not express strong interest!

    IMHO, I would ask strongly to one, ideally to 2 of your MOCs to give you the Nom to USMA as your number one choice. Because you have an LOA it is highly likely they will give you the Nom. And that will lead to a guarantee Appointment if you qualify DODMERB and pass the CFA.

    Ask the other MOC Nom to USNA. And if you have Presidential and JROTC ask for Noms to USNA. Forget the VP, you’re not going to get it because it normally goes to one very qualified American living overseas. Only one or max two VP Noms are given to each Academies. Then this is NEARLY a done deal you will get Noms to both schools, if you are qualified by the USNA in other areas. With a Nom and DODMERB, USMA is a guaranteed Appointment, so far USNA is not. Given that you have an LOA from USMA, you have the desirable qualities for other SAs, although each SAs have their own criteria that make up their best candidates. So you are likely to be at least in every SAs top 50% standing in qualities. What you don’t know is who can replace you who has similar but slightly better qualities than you in your district competing for the Appointment to Annapolis.

    If becoming an Officer in the Military is what you want it’s a fair game to all Academies and Colleges using all strategies offered to you that you can control and that is fair and square. You don’t know if USNA wants you as much as you do. But what is clear USMA does. I would not waste that LOA! IMHO, this is not gaming the Appointment but being practical and playing smart.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  6. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    Kgrant19. Your district rep Congressman is the easiest Nom source so request Nom to USMA as your first choice. Not the Senators! Again work with the best possible outcome in your hand. And that’s USMA! Senator Noms first choice for USNA. Good luck!
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    This happens all the time and is not an easy situation. I've had more than one candidate split their nom choices and end up only with nom(s) to USMA. So their choice was USNA or nothing. They were unhappy. They should never have listed USMA as their first choice for any MOC.

    The only question you need to answer is whether, if you only get a nom to USMA and not to USNA, you'll be disappointed. If so, give 100% to USNA. If you'd be happy at USMA, then you can "split" your nom choices. Only you know the answer.
     
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  8. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    I agree 200% with USNA1985 suggestion. I suggested a split because you appear to be happy either way even though USNA is your number one choice. Given what’s in your hand, USMA is a guaranteed if all else are met. My DS was in a similar spot but the other way around. He consulted many West Point grads even the West Point Admissions and it came down to are you willing to forego the LOA. Answer was NO. And even his local West Point coordinator said if it was him he would not waste the LOA from USNA. DS is super happy at USNA today. And his West Point mentors and coaches throughout his youth are still his mentors and supporters today.

    Your situation is uniquely yours and for you to decide. If your district and senators in Ohio coordinate and practice offering one Nom to those who already have a Nom then you have to think hard if you would truly be happy at either Academies if given an Appointment. Then the answer is simple. If not then you may take the risk if you decide to put all eggs in one basket. However, from our experience those who did not get a Nom with LOA are either denied Appointment or offered AOG Scholarship to spend a year at a participating private military school and reapply. Not sure this is what you have in mind. USNA has something similar called the foundations scholarship and school and it is through invitation only offered to those who qualify but did not get a Nom or got bumped by a stronger candidate. If you come through a foundation school it is theoretically a guaranteed Appointment in the following year if you do all you’re supposed to do. Other option is the NROTC path or reapply from NROTC Program if you don’t make it first time. So there are options if things don’t work out first time and if your ultimate goal is USNA.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  9. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    Have you contacted your BGO and told them that you got an LOA to USMA. I am not saying they can do anything, but there were a couple of posters and friends that I know received an LOA to an SA that was not their top choice, they told their liaison officer and a few days/weeks later they had an LOA to their top choice.

    Just saying it might be worth a quick phone call to see if they can talk to admissions and see if USNA may want to offer you an LOA, thus ending your issue if USNA is truly your desire.
     
  10. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    BGOs have zero influence on LOAs. I can't speak to the anecdotes above and I won't say it has never happened, but in nearly 20 years, I've yet to see BGOs have any impact on USNA LOAs. [And just imagine if every one of the 3,000 BGOs started calling Admissions when one of their candidates received an LOA to another SA . . . .]

    Second, USNA and USMA have historically taken different approaches to LOAs. USMA tends to be more "aggressive" with LOAs, meaning they offer more and offer them earlier. Unless you are a blue chip athlete for whom USNA is competing (with USMA) or are otherwise an incredibly desireable candidate, I've yet to see any evidence that an LOA from USMA has any impact on getting one from USNA.

    The above said, I don't want to discourage anyone from trying. Just want to manage your expecations.
     
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  11. TrueBlue88

    TrueBlue88 Member

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    My DS was in a similiar situation late last summer with an LOA in hand to the USMA. USNA was his clear first choice at that time but he would have been happy attending either. The USMA field officer and regional Admissions rep were Very hands-on and made it abundantly clear they wanted him to come. His FO(?) got him through his CFA by October (pull ups were a big issue since he could do exactly O at the beginning of June when he decided to apply). All the while, USNA was very hands off. His BGO was great but was less involved with the process. He went ahead and kept USNA #1 choice on nomination apps. Thankfully, he received noms to both academies (we are in SC so competition was not as fierce). He actually received an appointment from the USNA 3 weeks earlier than USMA when his congressman called during halftime of the Naval Academy bowl gameand is now a Plebe. So you never know how the process will work for you.
     
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