AFROTC vs. USAFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by NDIUSuperfan, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. NDIUSuperfan

    NDIUSuperfan Member

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    Hello everyone-
    I've been doing some research. I have wanted to go to the AFA for quite some time now, due to the fact that I've wanted to fly my entire life. I only have one issue- the degrees offered at USAFA do not match up with what I wish to be after my service obligation is up. I want to be a pilot straight out of the Academy, but after my time has been served I want to work in athletic training/sports medicine. Would this mean AFROTC is the better option for me? Can I even get an athletic training/sports medicine degree through AFROTC? Any feedback is much appreciated.
    ~NDIUSuperfan~
     
  2. Dad

    Dad Member

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    ROTC and USAFA have the same end goal to provide ADAF with officers of character. Both do an excellent job of meeting those goals.

    That being said, I'm a little (only a little) concerned about your choice of degree. I don't see how a 'athletic training/sports medicine degree' will meet the needs of the Air Force. It may, but I don't see it.

    Also, you need to be aware that not everyone that wants to be a pilot gets to be one. You may have a 5 year committment in the USAF doing a job unrelated to your major due to the needs of the Air Force.

    I am not saying that it won't work, but you must consider whether or not to join based upon what could happen. Best wishes. :thumb:
     
  3. NDIUSuperfan

    NDIUSuperfan Member

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    I just went back and reread the information. I thought that I could pursue a degree of my choice, but it appears that it is not so. If I want to do the athletic training/sports medicine I would have to go back to school. Well this is a sticky situation. Thank you for clarifying "Dad" :)
     
  4. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Another thing to think about is that if you follow the road to becoming a fighter pilot your undergrad degree will be very outdated by the time you are done with your service obligation. The earliest that you would probably be able to separate from the AF as a pilot would be about 12 years after graduating from your undergrad source. In the mean time you probably would have gotten a masters degree in something useful to the Air Force.

    So even if you would get a sports medicine degree as an undergrad, 12 years after graduating you would be coming out of the AF with no work experience in the field and a masters degree in management or something similar. In that situation you would probably be a good candidate for a management job with a sports medicine company, but not as an actual practitioner of sports medicine unless you did some more current schooling/clinicals/internships.


    Stealth_81
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Just some personal observations:

    1. You've always wanted to fly? Military aircraft to Serve your country, or planes in general.
    2. You want a sports medicine degree. That's cool. Is that the career you want? The air force will be a 10 year career minimum if you want to fly for them. Is your intention to get out as soon as you can?

    Point is; the military isn't for everyone. There's nothing wrong with want you want. Doesn't mean the air force is the only place you can do this. Why not simply go to college and get your degree in sports medicine, and get a private pilot's license on your own.

    Another option; check with your local guard unit. Maybe there's a way to become a military pilot; work your way to the guard to serve and fly; get some sort of tuition assistance to get you your sports medicine degree so you can do that full time while flying for the guard . (Guard stuff I am not very familiar with. Simply brainstorming possible options).

    Anyway; just saying that the air force isn't for everyone.
     
  6. NDIUSuperfan

    NDIUSuperfan Member

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    I have always wanted to fly in general, but fighter jets have always been my first choice. I would most likely serve and get out, so Ill think on this carefully. My dream is to be an athletic trainer for the Indiana men's basketball team, after playing women's ball there myself. I do have a National Guard base right in my home town though. I can see the fighter jets go on test runs. That's where the desire to fly came from.
    All in all, I will think about this. I love my country, and I'm willing to serve. I just don't know if I could give up my basketball dreams for that though. Thank you for that Mike.
     
  7. afa

    afa Member

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    it kind of sounds like you kind of have your mind made up already then.

    that is just what i think and of course neither i nor anyone else can say what your motives for joining the military are b/c we aren't you...

    one of the hardest things for me to do sometimes is to try and articulate exactly why i want to join the military but we all have our reasons.
     
  8. soccerchic

    soccerchic Member

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    Know exactly what you mean! Everyone has different reasons but a common goal, to serve.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree with the others that realistically I can't see juggling both dreams.

    I would also say that our DS is just finishing IFS right now. This is the pre-cursor to UPT if you don't have a ppl. Out of 26 guys/gals in his class. 4 are now fighting for their lives...3 are doing an 88 ride, 1 is doing an 89. Basically, an 88 is you busted 2 flights in a row, pass that and you are back on track, bust it and you go to an 89. Bust the 89 and you are out. No UPT.

    UPT does not have 100% graduation rate, I believe it is @75%. So add these two together, 75% of IFS, than 75% of UPT, and the odds are much lower...hovering @55% from start to finish. From there maybe 25% will get fighters.

    Here is Columbus's latest drop
    CBM 13-06 Drop

    F-16 x 2 (1 ANG)
    A-10
    B-52
    T-6 FAIP
    F-15S (Saudi Int'l)


    T-1 FAIP
    C-17 x 3 (one reserve)
    C-145a x 2 (one reserve)
    MC-12
    U-28
    CV-22
    C-130J
    JSTARs
    KC-135 x 2 (one guard (MAINEiac))
    AC-130
    MC-130 (guard)

    I say this so you place a realistic look into your future plan, especially when it comes to flying fighters.

    I would look into the Guard option, but also keep in mind, that if you go ADAF with the hopes of going Guard, you might have to serve full time, nit a weekend warrior.

    As far as AFA vs AFROTC you need to decide, but I will say this as an AFROTC grad parent (12) and AFROTC spouse (87) if you want to fly go AFA route. You cannot predict the UPT pipeline 4 yrs from now. When it comes down to it, if you want to fly, you are in essence 100% guaranteed that option if you graduate from the AFA. Plus, even AFROTC scholarship you will pay out of pocket, unless you have college merit too. It only covers tuition. Most AFROTC scholarship recipients get merit, so it can = 0.

    AFROTC has two huge road bumps.

    1. It is called Summer Field Training (SFT). If not selected in this current AFROTC you will be dis-enrolled, the scholarship will be yanked. You will be only a sophomore.

    Assuming you get SFT, and graduate.

    2. You will apply for a rated board...see above regarding 100% guarantee. If the AF has enough through the AFA, there will be less offered to AFROTC.


    The system is national just like the scholarship, and just like the scholarship a chunk of it will be your cgpa. Non-tech you will need a 3.3-3.4+. You will also have test scores added into the equation. SFT will be your SAT/ACT. Rated it will be the AF tests...AFOQT and TBAS.

    Which also brings us back to if you have a PPL (private pilot license). You get points for the amount of flight hours you have on record. This will be part of the score...highest scores get rated.

    Now for the big OMG chance, I don't know about AFA, but AFROTC for rated boards you must put down pilot, CSO, RPA and ABM. There is no pilot only option. You could go AFROTC for 3 yrs., and get RPA. There is no re-board me again. You get what you get, salute sharply and take it.

    I also say this to you so you get a realistic look at the pitfalls of AFROTC compared to AFA. Our DS opted AFROTC because of his major and the program that the school offered, but it was a constant weight on his shoulders knowing it was a higher risk regarding his AF career. He was willing to take the risk because he always had plan B in place if he didn't get rated, let alone UPT.

    You need to decide on a plan B for everything. Go AFA, have a higher chance of getting UPT, but not necessarily fighters and in a degree you want. Go AFROTC and your desired major, but not necessarily UPT, and fighters too. So what is plan B for your Air Force career because either way it will be 5 yrs of your life.

    Caveat: AFROTC is 4 yrs. owed, but most, even non-rated wait 5+ months before they go ADAF, and the clock doesn't start until you report, so basically it is 5 yrs to, and if the school requires time, the clock doesn't start until you graduate from that training. OBTW while you wait to go, you are not paid, unlike the AFA grads. So, any spending money you need, or bills that need to be paid will have to be funded out of your own resources, most grads have to get jobs at home for that time period.

    Just food for thought.
     
  10. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    Pima,
    If I understand your drop numbers correctly, there are only 9 slots. Assuming there is the 55 percent attrition rate of the 26 that started IFS, that's maybe 13 graduates. 9 get a plane, what happens to the other 4?
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    OT:

    Pima. You mention Columbus. Is that where your son is doing UPT? Would have been cool if you/bullet and me/MamaCC could have gotten together for a Columbus Road Trip. That's where my son was scheduled to be. Timing is what it is. I'm heading back to Jersey this summer for niece's graduation. I'll see if i can spin a couple days to get across the river.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    No you read it wrong.

    75% of the 26 will make it through IFS. That brings the number to around 21. 75% of them will make it through UPT, which brings it to @14. Out of the 14, 25% will get fighters, and the remainder will get heavies. The 14 will wing.

    Now, when you extrapolate the original number it comes out to be @10-15% overall will get fighters. It is 25% of 75% of 75%.

    Add in the next factor almost 100% of cadets, be it AFA or AFROTC scholarship enter thinking they will commission in 4 yrs. Very rarely do they do it as a let's try for a yr. and see. However, you never have 100% commissioning from the I day number, much lower for AFROTC than AFA.

    Let's use Stealth's DS class AFA2011 as an example. ROUGH NUMBER GUESSTIMATES. Too lazy to look up actual.

    Entered with 1300 cadets
    900 and change commission.
    600 ask and get rated
    500 graduate IFA (higher % because of flying opportunities at AFA)
    375 wing
    90 get fighters.

    Basically the odds vary from less than 10% to 15%....1300 start class I Day or the 600 rated slots.

    It is a long hard road, and you have to want it badly.

    Anyone associated with the flying world, esp. UPT will tell you it is a pressure cooker. Nobody coasts through the program. You study Sunday through Friday, including hours at night. Sat. is your day of rest. This is not for a yr. it is for 2 yrs.

    IFS is 6 weeks, UPT is 49 weeks, airframe training can be be 6-9 months, than you have to become MQ at your OP squadron, which can be another 2 months. Add it up and it is 2 more yrs after you commission of constant studying.

    You have to want it. It can;t be just I want to fly fighters. It has to be I WILL fly fighters. Two different things.

    That is where the OP needs to address his life. I feel he has in their mind he WILL be an athletic training and WANTS to fly fighters. He needs to swap it for I WILL fly fighters and WANT to become a trainer.

    It is 6 yrs of fighting for the WILL. AFA/AFROTC and UPT with absolutely no guarantee that he will get his dream of fighters.
     
  13. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Pima makes some good points but I'll take the route of don't worry about it now. If you want to fly in general and that is the dream, then AFA is the better shot.

    Why am I saying not to worry about fighters? Well, of my main friend group at USAFA, 6 of us wanted fighters. By the time the other 5 finished UPT, they did not put the T-38 as their top choice (only 1 did) and all of them went heavies (C-130, 2x KC-135, MC-12, and MC-12 to C-17 [the one that wanted 38s]). Those were all in their top two choices when they got them. After interacting with fighter types and their instructors, they wanted nothing more to do with the fighters. They also found that they preferred the community in heavies to fighters. Right now, I want to track T-38s (I get to UPT in Oct, get to skip IFS fortunately), but I acknowledge that that might also find myself in the same position. I have some other reasons that fighters are on my radar (joint assignments), but even then I'd rather be happy in my choice of community rather than just a joint assignment.

    So when we talk about fighters and UPT and commissioning source - I wouldn't focus on fighters for several years until you get a better sense of what you want once you have been around for awhile. Who knows, you might even want one of those screwy egg-beater things that raimius and scout fly.
     
  14. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Pima's DS is at Laughlin. No Columbus trips for her!
     
  15. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Clarification for the class of 2011:

    When they entered 29 June 2007:
    1,287 were processed into the Academy

    As they graduated 25 May 2011:
    1,021 commissioned
     
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Bummer. Guess I'll have to try and see her when i head back east to see family this summer. By the way; you're still heading to IFS/UPT this summer; correct? Which base are you going to.
     
  17. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I don't have to go to IFS so I'll be at Laughlin by October. :)
     
  18. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Cool. How did you get out of IFS? Not to change the thread too much.
     
  19. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Flying backwards and sideways is pretty fun.

    Last I saw, I don't think UPT had a 25% attrition rate. That said, there are washouts. A few people just don't want it enough, but most don't get over their airsickness quick enough or just don't have the hands/SA (in my experience). Most of my T-6 flight went to an 88 or an 89 (a few multiple 89 ride survivors).

    For the OP, I usually recommend people go for their goals while (to the max extent reasonable) keeping their options open. If your goals include flying fighters and being an athletic trainer, just about any option you have is going to decrease the odds of at least one of those. If you put more emphasis on flying fighters, I'd recommend going USAFA (slightly better chances for a pilot slot and ENJJPT). After winging, I'd say try to get your masters in an appropriate field for athletic trainers. The downside is you'll have less of a relationship with the athletic dept. in your state. If you go AFROTC, you might be able to get your undergrad in a better (for you) subject, but the chances for getting UPT are a little lower (still definitely do-able). You might be able to make some useful connections for later, if it is the same school you want to work at in the future.
    Either way, the 12-ish+ year commitment for being an active duty pilot will likely decrease your desirability as a professional athletic trainer to a NCAA team.

    You might want to look into flying for the Air National Guard. They might be a slightly better option, considering your goals. (Getting an ANG fighter slot isn't easy though.)
     
  20. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    New policy for FY13. If you have your PPL or greater, they are waiving the IFS requirement. I hope they continue that in FY14!
     

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