It’s that time of the year again. The MOC nomination process is picking up. Every year we will have a person come on the forum and state that since they have received word that they just received a Senatorial nomination that they have contacted their Representative and offered up their nomination slot to another. Aren’t they being magnanimous? Don’t be that person. Continue through to the conclusion every nomination for which you are eligible. Remember, assuming 3Qed, only one individual is guaranteed an appointment from the Senator’s list. The others are only eligible for the national pool. And I would never predict success in the national pool. Upper 1/3 of class profile on SATS/ACT, stellar academics, impeccable ECs? Maybe but not quaranteed. So unless you are absolutely positive that the Senator is one of the few who picks via the Principal method and that you are indeed his principal choice, you are not guaranteed of an appointment and should continue pursuing all nominations available. More may receive appointments from his list by being eligible for the national pool. However, even though the Senatorial list is probably that particular state’s cream of the crop, don’t count on it. The following is USNA specific. The number of those selected from the national pool is getting smaller each year. First, there is an increasing emphasis on retention. Since there is a congressionally mandated end strength of 4400 midshipmen, the size of each entering class must reflect the number already there. For each one percent increase in retention, there is probably a 15-20 appointee decrease in the size of the national pool. Secondly, the increased recruiting in before underrepresented districts. For every single appointment that comes from one of these districts, there is a decrease in the size of the national pool. Last year, don’t quote me, it was around 50. Thirdly, the quality of candidates has increased dramatically. If they let a highly qualified candidate fall through the cracks, there are several more of almost equal qualifications, ready to fill his slot. In the past, to obtain the absolute best class possible, Admissions would work with candidates, finding them appointments. Don’t count on it anymore. Half the class is filled by nominations from one’s local representative. It is one’s right to be considered for that nomination. Don’t give it up.