Air Force or Navy

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by kirbinator, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. kirbinator

    kirbinator Member

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    I know this is an Air Force Academy thread, but I have the blessing of being able to choose between the USNA and the USAFA :biggrin:. I would love to attend either institutions, but I was thinking long term-- what are some big differences between a career in the Navy and one in the Air Force? My passion is to lead people (it might sound broad and corny, I know), and I am not extremely picky about a career (but if I am in the Air Force, I will do anything to escape pressing "print"). Any suggestions?
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    You have to decide what you want. It's not a matter of the pros and cons. What could be a con for some people, others think is a pro. Both offer a great education. Both are honorable careers. What matters is what type of job you want to do with your life, and then to determine which branch of the military will help you use your talents to the best of your ability. I chose joining the air force over the navy because besides being into electronics, which both services offer a lot of, I wanted to travel. And the air force, in my opinion, has better travel opportunities. I didn't want to just travel to a country on a ship and get off the boat for a couple days. I wanted to live in the countries. I've lived/worked in 14 countries. Places like Holland, Spain, Germany, England, Ecuador, and many others. To each their own. So don't ask what others want, figure out what you want to do. Then ask others if the navy or air force is better at fulfilling those ambitions. best of luck. mike.....
     
  3. eagle36

    eagle36 USAFA Alumnus

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    have you attended overnight stays at both? i only applied to USAFA (as far as service academies go), but as a zoomie who did exchange to Annapolis, there is no way i would have wanted to do 4 years at the school. just the feel of the place and the service was not what i was looking for at college or a career. seeing it first hand is the best way to decide
     
  4. eagle36

    eagle36 USAFA Alumnus

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    and not to sound biased, i also know of some other exchangers who preferred their own academy over ours. hence why i think experiencing it is best.
     
  5. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    Interesting eagle - my son was just at Navy for the CVW a couple weeks ago and spoke with an AF exchange cadet who was there. Of course the cadet told him that he should definitely choose AF (incidentally, he sent in his acceptance to AF the week he got back!), however, said that there were far more similarities between the two academies and services than he had found differences.

    I did an exchange to Navy as well from West Point many years back, but I found the opposite - far more differences than similarities in my opinion (particularly in terms of long term service objectives).
     
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Imagine yourself as a 40 year old... (I know, almost impossible at your age, but trust me, it's there before you know it). What uniform are you wearing, or maybe none at all?

    What is your passion? Nuclear engineering or oceanography? Why consider AFA? Fencing??? :cool: No reason to look at Navy (though they do have a club, of sorts).

    Are you from the east coast and want to see more of your friends and family? Navy. Same locale but want to see less of those pesky relatives? Colorado is your place to be.
     
  7. sprog

    sprog Member

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    No one can answer this for you. It's about where you'd rather be, in the Navy or Air Force. I will say one thing, and take it for what it's worth. I was an officer in the USAF, and I live in Annapolis, so I've seen both sides (sort of). There are cultural differences in how a new junior officer is assigned in those two branches. USAF people who are operators (pilots, navigators, air battle managers, missileers) generally are responsible to learn their weapon system as a priority, and don't get additional leadership or supervisory positions until later on. This is not true for USAF 2LTs in the support roles (security forces, maintenance, communications), who start off supervising up to 30 or so airmen. Pilots/other operators in the USAF will not supervise people initially, as they learn how to do their job; however, as they get more senior, the operators will be the ones who get more senior level leadership. Pilots run the USAF at the highest levels.

    In the Navy, a SWO or Submarine officer (and even aviators to some extent) will be in charge of learning their weapon system from the start; but, unlike the USAF, USN officers will also have leadership and administrative responsibilities at a very junior grade. The Navy isn't controlled by pilots at the highest levels necessarily (those ranks are filled with unrestricted operators from SWO, Submarine, and aviation), so that is something to consider. I'll let someone who has been on active duty in the Navy chime in with better information; however, I think the Navy spreads the wealth a little bit better than the USAF does once you are further down the road in your career.

    Really, though, it is up to how you want to spend your career. If you like the water and ships...you have your answer, if you prefer to be ground-based and work with air assets, you also have an answer. One of the posters said (or implied) that the USAF has better bases. The USAF is famous for having the best facilities for its people, but this is subjective as anything else is. In the Navy, you'll probably live by the water. In the USAF, you might get lucky and get t live in Germany or Florida, but you might end up like I did in Minot, North Dakota. Each service has its pros and cons, and as others have said, it's up to you to decide whatever your goals and interests are. On a personal note, there isn't a town prettier than Annapolis, MD in the United States....that's just the townie in me:biggrin:
     
  8. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I realize this is written a little poorly. What I meant is that aviators in the USN will focus solely on learning to fly initially, before other responsibilities are added, while SWO/Submarine guys have admin. responsibilities added at an earlier stage in addition to the responsibility of learning their operational duties. Even so, the USN aviator will have more admin stuff to deal with than a USAF pilot, and that was my point. hope it makes sense.
     
  9. sprog

    sprog Member

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    No one can answer this for you. It's about where you'd rather be, in the Navy or Air Force. I will say one thing, and take it for what it's worth. I was an officer in the USAF, and I live in Annapolis, so I've seen both sides (sort of). There are cultural differences in how a new junior officer is assigned in those two branches. USAF people who are operators (pilots, navigators, air battle managers, missileers) generally are responsible to learn their weapon system as a priority, and don't get additional leadership or supervisory positions until later on. This is not true for USAF 2LTs in the support roles (security forces, maintenance, communications), who start off supervising up to 30 or so airmen. Pilots/other operators in the USAF will not supervise people initially, as they learn how to do their job; however, as they get more senior, the operators will be the ones who get more senior level leadership. Pilots run the USAF at the highest levels.

    In the Navy, a SWO or Submarine officer (and even aviators to some extent) will be in charge of learning their weapon system from the start; but, unlike the USAF, USN officers will also have leadership and administrative responsibilities at a very junior grade. The Navy isn't controlled by pilots at the highest levels necessarily (those ranks are filled with unrestricted operators from SWO, Submarine, and aviation), so that is something to consider. I'll let someone who has been on active duty in the Navy chime in with better information; however, I think the Navy spreads the wealth a little bit better than the USAF does once you are further down the road in your career.

    Really, though, it is up to how you want to spend your career. If you like the water and ships...you have your answer, if you prefer to be ground-based and work with air assets, you also have an answer. One of the posters said (or implied) that the USAF has better bases. The USAF is famous for having the best facilities for its people, but this is subjective as anything else is. In the Navy, you'll probably live by the water. In the USAF, you might get lucky and get t live in Germany or Florida, but you might end up like I did in Minot, North Dakota. Each service has its pros and cons, and as others have said, it's up to you to decide whatever your goals and interests are. On a personal note, there isn't a town prettier than Annapolis, MD in the United States....that's just the townie in me:biggrin:
     
  10. sprog

    sprog Member

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    sorry for the duplicate post.
     
  11. jjdad

    jjdad New Member

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    My son had the same choice to make two years ago. His offer from USNA came much earlier than the offer from USAFA, and he was all set to head to Annapolis.
    When the offer came from USAFA, he was almost upset, as now he would have to choose. As parents, we discussed the differences, pros-cons, being on a ship for months at a time...etc..etc. but ultimately he would have to choose and either one was a great choice.
    Even as he headed off to Colorado Springs for an orientation visit he was pretty sure that he would end up going Navy.
    I was quite surprised when he called me from USAFA and said "This is it dad....this is where I want to be".
    On parents weekend that first year, we met our son's roommate and his family, his father just happened to be a Captain in the Navy. I asked his father how he felt about his son choosing a career in the Air Force. He went on to say that he had 3 sons that attended USAFA. He said he told all of his sons..."If you want a career in the military, Navy is a great choice...If you want a career and a family....Air Force is the way to go."
    This of course is just one man's opinion, but I felt it offered a unique insight that most non-military families (like our family) don't have.
    My son has no regrets about his choice and is doing well at USAFA.
    I am happy to say, that his little brother will be joining him on the hill in June as a member of the class of 2014.
    Should be an interesting summer watching Webguy having one Doolie and one Cadre in the family.
     
  12. eagle36

    eagle36 USAFA Alumnus

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    a small point of clarifciation on my first post:

    when you come to visit, try to interact with the permanent party and get a feel of how they view their services. obvisouly you'll spend 4 years at either, but things are always changing. Navy used to be the "desired vacation exchange", but after their old Dant that changed. now it's considered USAFA.

    As I went on exchange, a new Dant came in, and he was looking to make many changes. From what I've heard from my squid friends, he's done a great job. I was talking earlier today to a Zoomie who's there and he says he's loving it, which is way sooner than my classmates and I did, as we spent the first several months deaming the exchange "Air Force Appreciation Semester".


    The other advice is pretty dead on. Look to the future and get a feel of how the services work.

    Or try them all. One of my really close friends started off at the Air Force Academy before leaving and joining Army ROTC, and he's now just going to graduate college and enter the Navy through OCS. He's tried it all!
     

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