Active Duty to West Point

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by craftsman2016, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. craftsman2016

    craftsman2016 New Member

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    I am a high school senior interested in either enlisting into active duty or joining the reserves. I have the goal to eventually become an officer and possibly attend USMA. I would like to know more information regarding the appointment of reserve and active duty personnel to West Point. I got a 29 on my ACT, would it be likely that I would attend the prep school? Is this a competitive process? I know West Point doesn't have a minimum amount of service required to be appointed by this route but how possible would it be to receive appointment during one's first year of service? Second year? I have heard that USNA doesn't typically fill all of the active duty slots available, though I don't have conformation on this information. Would West Point have this problem? I am extremely interested in this path to commission and would like to know more about it. Thank you
     
  2. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    This is a very common question that comes up regularly. The short answer is that it is not a good way for a civilian to apply for an appointment. Here is a recent thread on the subject and note the response from Pima: http://www.serviceacademyforums.com...istment-process-or-wait-for-usna.45218/page-3

    Your question also indicates that you need to research the whole process as enlisted-to-academy is only one method. You need to read the complete admissions website of West Point and get the book "The West Point Candidate Book" by Sue Ross on Amazon for $20. It is an excellent book and the only one worth the money. I hate to say it but you have already missed the deadlines for nominations for this year and need to plan on attending a university next fall and applying then as well as taking the courses West Point recommends for college applicants. There is a lot you need to educate yourself on at this point.
     
  3. pgraci

    pgraci New Member

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    Craftsman2016,

    I'm an enlisted soldier. If your ultimate goal is to become an officer in the US Army, don't take the enlisted path if you don't have to. I have been enlisted for over three years and although I have no regrets whatsoever about my decision to enlist, doing so has not significantly improved my chances for admission.

    I applied last year with an ACT Composite of 29, an above average CFA, a college GPA of 3.6, athletic participation, stellar SOE's and LOR's and 2 Nominations. My major downfall, I did not apply myself in High School (Graduated with a 2.0) and even though I am an excellent soldier, I wasn't able to overcome my High School Class Rank. This year I am applying with a 32 Composite, more college under my belt (including an Associates), more extracurricular activites, a better CFA, 9 SOE's from both professors and my Chain of Command as well as my Captain and Lieutenant-Colonel's Nominations/Endorsement. It is still a long shot for me to even get into prep-school.

    I'm not saying this to discourage you by any means, but rather to advise you that if you have the opportunity to go to West Point without enlisting, do not hesitate to take it. The enlisted experience can give you an edge as a tactician and as a soldier but it is nothing that cannot be learned, and certainly nothing they won't instill in you if you are accepted to the academy.

    Apply yourself now; It counts.
    Pgraci
     
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  4. craftsman2016

    craftsman2016 New Member

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    Thank you very much Spud for the link to the other thread and the reference to the book. I'm sorry to not include that I have applied and I have my nomination interviews this Saturday. I have always wanted to serve and have planned on enlisting since I was little. It was only within the last few years when I made set the goal of commissioning, specifically through West Point. That thread had quite a bit of useful information that was much appreciated. I guess I'm worried about receiving an appointment this year and to me this route seemed like an appealing one. Even now I'm debating enlistment and ROTC. It was great to get more information on the subject.

    Pgraci, thank you for commenting. It was extremely nice to have heard a personal account. I never realized that getting into West Point from enlisting was such a difficult process. Do you know if certain MOS's will have a tougher time getting slots? Thank you for your service and I wish the best of luck to you this year!
     
  5. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Craftsman, you say your goal is to become an army officer. Accordingly, have you looked into Army ROTC and/or the various Senior Military Colleges? There are many paths to becoming an officer that don't necessarily go through a service academy. It is also important to have a Plan B (and C, and D).
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    If you are going to enlist anyway, applying to West Point works. If you are enlisting to get into West Point, you could have problems. West Point appointment, to include the Prep School, trumps all military obligation. But if you solely enlist to get into West Point and don't get in, now you are stuck with the remainder of your enlistment.

    The minimum requirement for time in service is yourcompleting your basic training. To be considered as an enlisted applicant, you really need your commander's endorsement (i.e Soldier nomination). This could be your first obstacle as to if your commander thinks you are not ready and don't give you an endorsement, you are out of luck. By law West Point can appoint up to 85 active duty soldiers and 85 reserve or national guard soldiers each year. The key word is "up to" not must. West Point have been appointing about 40+/- active duty and 40+/- reserve/national guard. The numbers could include Prep School students, so the direct appointment number could be a lot less.

    I can't guess what the future numbers will be. Based on the class composition goal and class size (it used to be 1400 and now 1200), some of "up to" appointments could get smaller.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  7. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Wander in over to USNA Forum and read "Start enlistment process or wait for USNA." Oops - saw that link included above.
     

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