Am I competetive enough?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by av8tor781, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. av8tor781

    av8tor781 New Member

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    I am a junior in high school and I plan to apply to both the Airforce. Heres what I have on my plate-
    - 4.0 weighted gpa/ 3.7 unweighted
    -A petty officer 3rd class in Naval sea Cadets
    -varsity track
    -Getting private pilots liscense in January (I have already soloed on my 16th birthday)
    Letters from:
    - Naval Sea Cadet Commanding officer
    -My Grandpa who served In Us Army for 30 years and became A Command sgt. major in the special forces
    -Uncle who was an Army Captain
    - A sgt in the LAPD
    - A Navy seal who graduated from Naval Academy
    -Retired US Army colonel
    -Several police officers

    -I am ranked 66 of 618 juniors
    -I volunteer at local community centers. 40 hours
    -My mom has a friend that knows senators who will give me a nomination
    - I am in Cross Country as well, and run a 4:57 mile
    -I am taking Ap US History, Honors physics, and Ap English
    -National society of High school scholars
    -I took my SAT but waiting on scores
     
  2. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    av8tor781,

    I admire your intentions in serving our Nation by joining the Air Force. As a retired Army Officer, I really appreciate people in your generation who are willing to step up and put their life in harm's way to protect our Freedom.

    Let me just say that I have DS who is a junior too. I believe that this forum is very helpful and useful, but you have to be careful on how you use it.

    You are going to attract a lot of not-so nice comments based upon your statement: "My mom has a friend that knows senators who will give me a nomination." Please read about the nomination process on this forum. You need to do your research before you make a statement like that.

    This is a learning process that we help you down the road as you take this journey of service.

    Best wishes.

    Padre
     
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  3. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I can't believe you said that. "My mom has a friend that knows senators...."

    You plan to apply to both - what?

    You can keep Grandpa's letter, and your uncle's too; while I am sure they glow about you, well, they aren't really useful in these circumstances.

    How do the Navy seal who graduated from USNA, a retired US Army colonel, and several police officers know you?
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Yea, unfortunately, some of the things you mentioned really won't have any impact. It is nice to have letters of recommendation, but they will only pull so much weight. Probably not as much as you would hope.

    The whole friend of you mom who knows senators, will do absolutely nothing for you. Your senators are PROFESSIONALS. They know the rules. They know what they are nominating for. Each senator can only give out 10 nominations. Whether or not you get one of those 10 nominations, will depend 100% on your application, AND the other applying for a nomination that you are competing against. You don't say WHERE you live, but some states and congressional districts could literally have hundreds of applicants. So, when you apply for a nomination from your US Representative for your district, and your 2 US Senators, remember, they each can only give 10 nominations. Unless you're in the Top-10 of all the applicants for each of those nomination slates, it might be difficult getting that nomination.

    This is not meant to discourage you. On the contrary. It's designed to give you facts to work with, so you can do your best and hopefully receive one of those nominations. And remember too, there are 435 representatives and 100 senators. So at most, there will be 5350 nominations. Of those, probably around 4,000-4500 individual nominees. (Many will receive more than one nomination). And of those, approximately 1,000 will receive an appointment. There will be approximately 150 other appointments using presidential and other military related nominations. So even getting a nomination doesn't guarantee an appointment. EVERY appointee MUST have a NOMINATION..... But NOT every NOMINEE will receive an APPOINTMENT.

    The key is, you need to be in the top. You need to work harder academically. You need to work hard in all of your extra curricular activities. You need to work harder in everything you do. Again, don't walk away from this or any other post feeling discouraged or defeated. It's intended to motivate you to do better. If you click on the link in my signature block, you can look at the air force academy brochure; if you haven't already seen it. You will see that the AVERAGE incoming appointee, has a 3.86 GPA. They are taking the most difficult classes. They are scoring an average of 30 on the ACT. They are in JrROTC, Cap, Scouts, 86% are varsity athletes with letters. The point is to learn from all of this. To learn from this forum. Most people who apply that are active on this forum, have a much better chance. Why, because they gain knowledge. Most of the applicants won't get this knowledge. In the beginning, there will be about 12,000 applying. That will drop down to about 6,000 - 7,000 who are qualified. About 4,500 will have nominations. While most of the 4,500 will be "Qualified", only about 2,500 will be truly "Competitive". And of those 2,500 who are competitive, about 1,200 will receive an appointment.

    For what it's worth, I have had a long standing FIGHT with my aunt over this topic. A few years ago, my cousin (Active duty army) died while on active duty. (Drowned in a boating accident while on vacation). Anyway, she is convinced, based on something someone told her, that her grandchild, my cousin's child, will automatically be allowed to go to West Point because their father died while on active duty. Tried to explain to her that the most that the child can be offered, is a "Nomination". Just like military kids who's parents retired from active duty can receive a presidential nomination. Of course she says I'm wrong. Hey, what do I know. But there's 10 more years before the child graduates high school anyway. Point is, I didn't bring this up for any type of sympathy. I bring it up because she doesn't know the rules or how things work. That's where you, as a reader and member of this forum, will have the advantage. You can learn in the next year everything you need to about being the kind of applicant the academies are looking for. You can learn about nominations. You can learn about what senator, representative, and ALO interviews are like.

    Take these posts constructively. Do get discouraged or frustrated. If you truly do want to go to the academy, definitely pursue your ambitions. Learn what you need to improve your chances. Whatever you do academically, DO MORE. Whatever you do in sports, DO MORE. Same with leadership, volunteering, clubs, work, etc. DO MORE!!! Best of luck to you.
     
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  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    That is all fine and dandy, but it still will not mean as much as you hope it will.

    No senator or representative, "Worth a Crap", would compromise their integrity by openly displaying favoritism. Now; if you told me the Senator was YOUR RELATIVE, then I could see where some inside trading might be done and assuming you were academy qualified, that they'd get you a nomination. But a "Friend of a Friend" isn't going to do it.

    And the letters of recommendation, mean even less. There are no points added to letters of recommendations. They are mainly there to validate or verify an applicant's resume. That's why it's mandatory to get 3 specific teacher's recommendations. They know you better than most anyone else other than your parents. They see you almost every day.
     
  6. 6KDogwhistle

    6KDogwhistle Member

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    I read your post and thought, "man, these guys are going to have a field day with this kid!". I'll be gentle here. We all know the saying, "it's who you know and not what you know". It's a valid statement, when you have credibility. Unfortunately, admissions into the SAs really have nothing to do with who you know and where you come from. Even more so, getting through a military training program has zilch, nada, nothing, a big fat zero, factor in who you know or how bright you can make your nose shine brown. Most of it is very objective; it is the military after all-the military loves numbers and achievements. I'll have to say though, once you are commissioned and are one of the lucky few to earn those shiny silver wings on your chest, those attributes may help you climb the ladder ahead of your peers but be prepared to lose many of your friends and more importantly, self respect & integrity if you choose to get ahead using those means. You are still young, so you can recover if you choose to. Live and learn!
    In regards to your question, you really don't know until you apply and go through the process. From what I've seen, this seems to be one of the most asked questions on this forum and understandably so. Unfortunately, you won't find the answer that you want to hear or are looking for. From the limited information that you've provided, I'd say that you can possibly be labeled as a "candidate", assuming your SAT/ACT scores are competitive. Your GPA is about average for the academy. Your 1 mile time is excellent so you're in good shape but how is your upper body strength? Check out the PFA profile and see where you stand. Just a few things to think about.
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Actually, I thought I was being kind. :p
     
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  8. 6KDogwhistle

    6KDogwhistle Member

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    You were, indeed!:angel:
     
  9. Letsdothis

    Letsdothis Member

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    You were VERY kind!
     
  10. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I thought we were all kind. :)

    Kinder than those meanies over on the USNA thread where our OP posted the same thing.
     
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  11. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. Member

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