Advice Please

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by prairieghost, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. prairieghost

    prairieghost New Member

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    Yes, I am new here, but didn't know where else to turn for help. I am currently in a situation that has me quite torn. Three weeks ago, I received an appointment to USMMA. I was THRILLED! Especially considering that West Point and USAFA had already turned me down. But here is where my problem starts. I also received a 4-year AFROTC scholarship. This may seem like a no-brainer decision to many of you but here is my reasoning: 1) I come from an Air Force family (no they are not influencing my decision). I have grown up in it and have gotten the opportunity to see it from the inside out. I love the air force. It is what I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. However, I have never really had the opportunity to be around alot of the maritime stuff and I dont know if I even would like it or not! But I do know that Kings Point is an excellent school and the opportunities there would still allow me to go into the AF. 2) I want to become a civil engineer. Kings Point= no civil engineering program. The closest things would be to become a marine systems engineer and I have heard of graduates switching into civil. But in order to get the most of my education to help me in a career in CE, is it worth it to go to KP, or should I got to a school where I can major in the career field that I actually want to go into. 3) SEA YEAR.... amazing opportunity that is very hard in my mind to turn down. 4) I live in Colorado. Kings Point is in New York. Pretty far away. 5) Kings Point is a SERVICE ACADEMY! my class mates would become an extended family and the education received there would be nearly second to none. It would prepare me to become a military officer as well as a leader.

    So I guess my final question would be: is kings point the right path for a kid who has never been around the maritime industry ( and really doesn't know if he has interest in it) and wants to go into the air force, or should i stick to a program that is more centered around what i want to do, even if it means turning down an academy?
     
  2. NYBEAR

    NYBEAR Member

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    If I were you I would head to King's Point as fast as I could travel....... USMMA, with all options upon graduation , or AFROTC ?....

    Not even sure what you are thinking about or debating at this point?
     
  3. nucwarrant

    nucwarrant Member

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    You've seen the Air Force inside and out. Well now is your opportunity to grow beyond what you already know. It's like going to the same restaurant and only ordering a steak time after time. Maybe it's time to try the scampi. Any good engineering school can give you the knowlege that you can relate to various fields IF YOU BUST YOUR BUTT AND TRULY STUDY/LEARN. Tons of naval architecture fundamentals are directly applicable to CE. Also, like you said you'll be going somewhere that will become part of your life for years to come. Regarding the distance between Colorado and NYC, great opportunity to leave the nest and start your adult life. Here's a strange piece of advice. Go talk to a priest about it. It doesn't matter if you're Catholic or not. They're trained to hear people struggling with big, life changing decisions AND THEY'RE FREE. No need to spend $400/hr. They won't tell you what the answer is but they'll help bring out things you have going on inside you to make your decision easier for you.
     
  4. noworries

    noworries Banned

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    praireghost,
    You sound very mature for a being in high school. As you have probably heard, both are great steps toward a rewarding future. What you should ask yourself is how far from your comfort zone are you willing to go to get things you haven't imagined. How much discomfort are you willing to endure? How determined are you to meet the requirements? How willing are you to recover from failures? Every day is a test. Dig in and do well.
     
  5. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    I am going to take a slightly different approach than the other posters. Are you certain that you would still want to go Active Duty Air Force even if you attend Kings Point? If so, the AFROTC scholarship may be the right way to go. Does the idea of the maritime industry interest you at all? Would you be remotely curious about it if KP were not a Service Academy? Or is this a case of well, here's an opportunity to go to a service academy, maybe the maritime stuff will be interesting enough that I can deal with it for 4 years to get my AF commission in the end?

    Systems engineering may have some parallels with civil engineering. But there is no guarantee you will be able to get into that program. There is a GPA cut off. If your GPA at the end of plebe year is too low, you will not be permitted into the Systems program. Plenty of very smart mids find themselves in that position for various reasons. Then what? Marine Engineering is very definitely mechanical engineering.

    Don't sell ROTC short. The scholarship is a great opportunity. People are suggesting you stretch yourself by going to KP to be away from home. But we don't know how far away from home the universities you are considering for your scholarship are. You can make a lot of that opportunity if you put forth the effort. Please don't choose KP because you wanted to go to a Service Academy and KP is the only Service Academy that accepted you. Go because you believe that KP is going to be a good fit for you.
     
  6. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    PM

    I sent you a private message. find the private msg page on the tabs above to read
     
  7. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Prarriehost, I too am going to lean the other way. As a KP parent and huge fan of KP and all it has to offer, in your post I may see reasons you may be miserable at KP. DS is class of 2015 and went to KP with eyes wide open that there was no place else on the planet he would rather go. After careful consideration during KP100 ( that is the class that is designed to introduce the plebes in depth to what major, deck or engine, they choose to go) DS chose deck. I have always thought engine was right up his alley due to his personality and natural abilities but what do I know? Anyway my point is he knew exactly what he was getting In to and wanted it. Turns out he has had the "this isn't what brochures promised" kind of frustrations. KP has gone through many changes and conflicts this year and things seem to be boiling over right now. I am sure my DS has wondered what the heck was he thinking. This is also the time where so many just hit the wall I guess. SPLAT. Hopefully their class will be recognized soon and things will lighten up along with the moods and morale of the M/N. This also may be just as it is supposed to be.....hard. I think if everything maritime is not what you are interested in than getting through this period will be very tough. Knowing you had or have other options may make it unbearable. I would also ask what extra curricular activities offered at KP you think or already know you love. For some their sports and fellow team members pull them through. For some it is the waterfront. But there has to be some passion somewhere. Even if a M/N has a passion for the coursework ( or thinks they do) outside interests seem to be needed in the worst way to endure this time of year known as the dark ages. And this spring has been warmer and brighter than most but the dark ages are still having an effect on the mood of the campus. It may be cold in Colorado but with the low humidity and abundant sunshine it is not like a gloomy cold winter on the Long Island Sound. I lived up in Eagle County Colorado for a few years so I know how beautiful the climate is. Anyway, I am no expert and former KPers on this site may have better thoughts to share. Good luck and congratulations on your accomplishments. You have a very nice set of problems. Your parents must be so proud. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2012
  8. arrq

    arrq Member

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    I'm currently in a similar situation, except that I'm in my first year of college. But, I grew up outside WPAFB and my mom worked on base (civilian). Many of my close friends were brats and I got to know them and their families very well and how the lifestyle works. Now, I'm in AFROTC at my university with an appointment to KP. And after having made friends for a lifetime here it's going to quite possibly be the hardest decision I'll ever make.

    Personally, I can see myself going into the maritime industry afterwards, so I'm about decided that I'll be leaving. But, like others have mentioned, what do you see yourself doing with your life in four years?
     
  9. JMS

    JMS Member

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    It is not clear to me from the posts if your AF plans would include flying. From what I understand, flying is not a realistic option at KP. You may wish to consider attending your university for a year and reapply AFA.
    It seems to me that graduating with the education making you eligible to sit for a Prof. Engineering (PE) license would be pretty important if that is your intended field, military or civilian. It is not clear to me from the KP literature if any of their majors lead to a PE license. It may be worth a call to the admission folks to pin that down.
     
  10. beyond

    beyond KπΣ15'

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    Nope, very realistic option, we're going to commission just as many surface warfare officers as aviators in the spring.
     
  11. Navy Seal Mom

    Navy Seal Mom Member

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    If you were my son I would encourage you to take the AFROTC scholarship
     
  12. kpskilegac

    kpskilegac Member

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    Agree with Navy Seal Mom. The KP mission is to graduate mariners. While cross commissioning is an option that several choose, flight is not a given. The curriculum is very narrow in scope and focused on maritime studies so if you are not sure about the maritime industry but are sure about CE, the AFROTC scholarship is probably your best path. Good luck with your decision.
     
  13. RckyMtnKP

    RckyMtnKP Member

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    same situation last year

    Sent you a PM
     
  14. kpdad2015

    kpdad2015 Member

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    Just a thought about ROTC, I had a dear nephew (DN) that was trying to decide between the AFA and AFROTC. He was at a presentation where 2 current AFA cadets where offering their thoughts on the AFA. The one cadet said he regretted his AFA decision, he thought he would have preferred a traditional college experience than being in the middle of nowhere in Colorado. My DN took his comments to heart and passed on the AFA and went to a major division I university. He got distracted the spring of his freshman year and had the fun of a traditional college student and skipped a bunch of classes. He lost his scholarship. He went to work, saved up the money, retook the semester at his cost, and had his scholarship reinstated. He said he learned his lesson. Things went well for the next 2 years. Then for some reason known only to him he got distracted again. So he had one semester to go and away went the scholarship, forever, and now he gets a bill to reimburse the government. My DN is a wonderfully smart man but I really wish he hadn't listened to that AFA cadet, I think he would have done better in the regiment at Colorado Springs..

    Good luck with your decision!!
     
  15. Navy1981

    Navy1981 Member

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    KPDad2015 offers some great insight. I have two children who were both offered NROTC scholarships. The older one never applied to an academy; he "knew" he didn't want the academy experience and wanted to go to a traditional college. His ROTC unit had mandatory study sessions for freshman to prevent the possibility of distraction. As time went on, based on grades and military performance, the amount of mandatory study time decreased and went completely away by sophomore year.

    The other child "knew" she wanted the academy experience. She wanted the regimen that told her when to wake up, when to go to class, when to eat, when to study, and so on. She had the full ride NROTC scholarship and other academy offers. She chose Kings Point because she thought the sea year offered something that no other academy had; she liked the idea that she would spend set amount of time in classes, followed by a sea term that helped reinforce what was taught in the classroom.

    My point is that you have to decide what is right for you. There is no way that any advice I would have given my kids would have been right for them; it would have only been what I "thought was right" for them.

    You're going to need to decide what each option offers and what you like or dislike about it. That should help steer your decision.
     
  16. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    My advice is if you can afford it and make it happen you go to USMMA and go on an overnight visit if you haven't already done so, that way you'll get your own information first hand to factor into your decision. If this repeats what others already said then sorry.

    Clearly they are two different paths and both are promising, likely good ones.

    As far as the choice from your first post it sounds like you are considering all the relevant points and factors. It's your choice, and as i posted to a similar candidate, an enviable conundrum. Good luck and congratulations.
     
  17. bubbie

    bubbie New Member

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    you really have to follow your heart, and no one can decide for you--but the Kings Point experience is a special one, and the year at sea is something you will never forget--you'll go places your friends will never see, and do things that will amaze even you--and don't forget the sponsor program-that will help you find a home away from home
     
  18. KPaviator

    KPaviator Member

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    The mission (at least when I went), as per the USMMA website is: "Educate and graduate merchant marine officers and leaders of honor and integrity who serve the maritime industry and armed forces and contribute to the economic, defense, and homeland security interests of the United States."

    If you want to go active duty out of KP, then go for it. There's nothing to stop you commissioning into any branch of the military. If you want my take, feel free to shoot me a pm.
     
  19. kp13

    kp13 Member

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    Just know that an Air Force slot is by no means a given from KP. A few mids from 2013 recieved CSO slots, no flight slots were given out and we are still waiting on the results from the non-rated billets but it's not looking good at all. If your set on AF, go AFROTC, if you arn't sure and want to see all the options you could have, as well as go to more places around the world during sea year then most people will go in their lifetime, KP is the place to go.
     
  20. TwinsDad

    TwinsDad Member

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    Try and simplify your choice!

    1) In your question, you state that you have grown up in an Air Force family and love the Air Force. You further state that you want to become a civil engineer. And finally you want to get a fantastic Academy education which is available only at the USMMA. There is a significant conflict between your three preferences. Many students when choosing a college, choose it based on what their parents did, a good friend did was somebody they respect did. This is your life that you are planning and you should choose what is best for you. Many students fail in college and dropped out because they are studying for a field that somebody else likes such as their parents or friends. It will be much easier viewing college to work hard and get good grades if you are studying something which you are really interested in. You have to ask yourself some important questions. Remember that you will spend four years in college and the rest of your life working so that you should concentrate more on the rest of your life and then plan your college to achieve your goal. First you must decide whether you want to go into the military as an officer or work as a civilian. That is a very important decision and there is no right or wrong answer but more like what is your best preference.
    2) The USMMA is a fantastic school to study to become a ships officer as a civilian and also be a part of the United States Navy reserves. Your studies will be heavily concentrated on both leadership and ships in preparation to graduate and received the United States Coast Guard officers license either in the deck or engine division. You stand a slight chance of commissioning in the USAF but that is not guaranteed and will be solely controlled by your performance at the Academy and the availability of openings in the Air Force when you graduate.
    3) You state that you have a USAF ROTC scholarship which is an excellent opportunity for a career in the Air Force and would like to study civil engineering. This would get you commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force upon graduation but in no way would guarantee you an assignment in civil engineering in the Air Force. While in the Air Force you would receive assignments based on the air forces needs and while you may be assigned for some of your tours with civil engineering involvement, there is no guarantee of that. When you state that you are interested in civil engineering you must ask yourself what civil engineers do that makes you want to become a civil engineer and are those jobs actually available in the Air Force.
    4) If you want to become a civil engineer such as a structural engineer, drainage engineer, soils engineer perhaps you should actually go to a civilian college and study that branch of engineering and eventually upon graduation obtained a license as a professional engineer.
    5) You obviously are very bright to have obtained these two fantastic opportunities but are they what you want for the rest of your life. You will do well no matter which direction you go as long as you apply yourself. Most high school graduates haven't got much of an idea of what they want to do for the rest of their life and will head out in one direction and develop and strengthen their interests as they go through college. Others will change course midstream in college because they realize they are going the wrong direction. The choice is yours. The choices you have are fantastic but you must ask yourself which is the best fit for you. In all likelihood you will be doing something for different when you graduate then that has even entered your mind as a high school senior. My one son wanted to become a civil engineer like myself but at the last minute decided to go to SUNY maritime college and then decided to become a US Coast Guard licensed third assistant engineer on a ship after graduation. Prior to graduation he was offered such a job but was also offered a job where he would be paid to go to nuclear school for additional training and then work as a teacher(civilian shore job) teaching Navy officers how to operate nuclear power plants on submarines. He loves the job. His twin brother loves aviation and ships and will be graduating the USCGA with his first assignment being flight school at Pensacola Florida.
    6) There are no wrong choices in your options and I'm sure you will do well no matter what direction you choose. It's more like what is most important to you for your future. The future success will be more a product of how hard you worked during college then which college you went to.

    Congratulations on your achievements and good luck with your choice.
     

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