Being the best in UPT?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by SP4C3M4N, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. SP4C3M4N

    SP4C3M4N Member

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    The title pretty much explains my question. After reading a bunch of threads on how to become a fighter pilot and what not, people are saying that you need to be the best and graduate at the top of your class at UPT. How and what would make you graduate at the top of your class? How do they grade you?
     
  2. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    No secret formula. Study hard, work with classmates, chair fly, and work your butt off. There's nothing else that you can do. There is not secret sauce.

    Those that try to work the system so they can come out on top tend to find themselves woefully disappointed. Today I found out about a guy who recently tracked. He had the grades and flying scores to get T-38s. But he decided to quibble on every flight and argue with his IPs on every grade instead of learning and trying to improve. They made sure he didn't get a T-38.

    You are graded 10% on academics and the rest is roughly equal between daily rides, check rides, and flight commander rating.

    There's really nothing you can do to prepare ahead of time or to get ahead. Get to training and work your butt off. That's it. Seriously.
     
  3. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Study hard, fly well, and be a team player.

    Knowing systems, procedures, and maneuver parameters COLD will give you more "brain bytes" to fly well. Being a team player will help everyone in the flight learn needed lessons the first time (including you). If someone makes a dumb mistake, everyone can learn from it. If someone learns a good technique from an IP, EVERYONE should know about it.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Excellent words of advice from 2 of the best. Listen to them. They know what they speak of.

    The academy doesn't emphasize teamwork and integrity because of an ego trip. This is what the military is all about. We want the best air force; not the individual. If you don't learn that and how to be a team player during your time at the academy, then you're not going to be the type of officer that makes the best air force possible. Remember; the air force isn't an entity in and of itself. It's made up of individuals. Individuals working together as a team. Not just during BCT at the academy, but also during 4 years of academics, military training, leadership training, your career training after graduation, and your entire time in the air force.

    If you study hard; train hard; help your fellow classmates and officers; and believe in the military concept of teamwork and working together towards a common goal; then you'll do well and you'll be able to sleep at night with whatever airframe or job you wind up with in your career. Best of luck.
     
  5. Cannonball

    Cannonball Member

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    How much does the commanders evaluation affect the top scorer? I mean if a guy is 100% on academics and flying can the commander drop him lower if the student is a jerk? How much can his ranking be changed? How close are the top people in the class? Does the students attitude effect his scores on flights even if he does everything perfectly? I don't plan on being a jerk, I will be a good teammate. I just want to know if a jerk could beat me out if he is really good at flying.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I say this with the utmost kindness in my heart.

    Stop looking at step 169 when you are only at steps 6-9. If I am correct you are only at the AFA application point. Keep your focus on and only on plan A (AFA) and B {AFROTC) right now.

    In 5 years from now while you are on casual status awaiting UPT those questions will become pertinent, but for now in your stage of life the goal should be commissioning into the AF, not the impact of an IP at UPT.
    ~~~ Remember @16% that open a PCQ will be appointed to the AFA. The odds are not a shoe in for AFA. @80% showing up on I day will commission. Only @18% get an AFROTC scholarship and the selection rate for SFT this year was 65%.

    Dreams are great motivators, but this is not a sprint, it is a marathon, and you need to be open to everything because you will change a lot from the age of 17 to 23 when you enter UPT.
     
  7. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    First, see if you can even finish getting through college, whether it is a Service Academy or civilian college.

    Then, IF you get picked up for IFS, and *IF* you can get through IFS, we'll talk about the full year of 15 hour days at UPT.

    My son was picked up to be a C5 "driver" and he missed only 3 of 845 questions during UPT. The C5 was his first choice, not the fighters or bombers, and there are more factors that weigh into your decision than "I want to be that guy." I have even heard cadets say things like: "If I don't get a fighter I don't want to be in the Air Force." OK, then... well, I will say that THAT kid didn't make it through USAFA.

    PIMA is right. You are on step 6. While it is good to have goals and especially good to work toward them, don't worry about step 1000 until you get to about 300.
     
  8. SP4C3M4N

    SP4C3M4N Member

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    You guys sound exactly like my parents, hahaha. They always say i'm ignoring the canyon in front of me and looking towards the mountains. I got to focus on the problems that can be solved quickly, not the ones in the next 7 years. My excuse is that I just want to be prepared. Good advice though.
     
  9. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Your parents sound like wise folks.

    Are your grades top notch? How about sports/job/community service? Staying away from the hazards of youth?

    Do you have a Plan B which will lead you to the same goal as your Plan A? (see the history of PIMA's son & my sons - different paths, same destination (literally)).

    Develop these areas in your life to the fullest and forget Tom Cruise for a while.
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Something else. I've been involved with individuals applying to the academy in one way or another for the last 15 years. While not able to give national stats, I would say between 80-90% of those I've worked with wanted to fly after graduation. That was before getting to the academy. After 3-4 years at the academy, that number seems to drop considerably. Sometimes as low as 40-50%. And most times its not because they aren't qualified. Many times they simply develop new military interests. Some realize the military isn't quite what they thought it would be and they have no problem serving, but they no longer want to have a 10 year comittment. Some get burned out after 16 years of school and simply don't want another 1-2 years of more intense training. Bottom line is: going into BCT, a much larger number of people want to fly than 2-3 years later.

    Point is; like others have said, don't get so wrapped up about flying when you haven't even gotten to the academy. There's a good chance you will change your mind about flying. We've seen many who say they've wanted to go to the academy their whole lives, and yet they quit the academy who quit during BCT or in the first 2 years. Best of luck.
     
  11. SP4C3M4N

    SP4C3M4N Member

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    Had straight a's freshman year. I am going to start cross country and possibly the swim team this summer. I don't plan on getting a job anytime soon. I have my eagle award and am in Civil air Patrol almost with my Billy Mitchell award. Gonna do NHS. And yes, I hang out with the right people. I don't go to parties unless it is with the right people.
     
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    You are a rising soph and have not yet participated in organized sports? Not through your high school or through private clubs?

    Why no job?

    The Billy Mitchell is indeed a great award but don't let that stop you in CAP.

    Also, what does "gonna do NHS" mean?
     
  13. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I'll actually entertain the question. You can be number one by flying/academics and lose T-38s if your flight commander(s) really really don't want you to get it. Your attitude is exactly the type of behavior that I have seen flight CC's tank a person down far enough to prevent them from touching a T-38.

    Alternatively, their rating can take a middle of the pack person up to T-38 material if they are a stellar officer and do everything they can to help out and be a team player. Your attitude right now does not, in any shape, resemble this type of person.

    Get your head down, do what you need to do at this moment and learn to be a team player as well as a little less concerned on how you can get ahead of everyone. Because at this moment, your attitude would not earn you a T-38 and very well would halt your course well before putting on a flight suit.
     
  14. SP4C3M4N

    SP4C3M4N Member

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    Woops forgot to mention that. I did football in freshman year but honestly it was hell for me. I'm turning 16 soon and I will be very hesitant about getting a job in fear that it is painful to do. I have done the math and calculated that I should be able to get Cadet Colonel by the end of my junior year and plan on goin for it. NHS is the National Honors Society.
     
  15. Marine75-78

    Marine75-78 Member

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    " I'm turning 16 soon and I will be very hesitant about getting a job in fear that it is painful to do."

    I am pretty sure USAFA will cause much pain and discomfort, both physically & mentally.

    But I may be mistaken, since it has been a couple of years since S graduated. '11:rolleyes:
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    1. You do know that the AF and AFROTC both look for well rounded cadets, many of your peers selected will not only have a sport for years, but a job, volunteer hours, JROTC/CAP, NHS, class president, etc.

    By not working through the pain now you can pretty much guarantee you will not make it to be the best at UPT.
    ~ Yep you still have to pass the PFT at UPT, and you have to go in live in the woods for SERE and you have to pass water survival in an ocean.

    That of course assumuning you don't DOR during BCT at AFA, or at SFT for ROTC.

    2. Although I have never been in the centrifuge, I have seen my DH go through it and pulling 9 GS is not for the weak. It takes strength and stamina.

    Hard to be that 35 pilot when you can't pull more than 5 GS because you live in fear.
     
  17. CessnaMan

    CessnaMan Member

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    As a civilian flight instructor, I will also add that some people have a natural ability to fly and some don't. It is more than studying. Kind of hard to quantify this... other instructors will know what I mean.

    Howard
     
  18. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    You are afraid that your part time after school job will be "painful?" What the heck kind of job do you think you will be getting? Last time I checked, unless you put your arm down on the grill, flippin' burgers isn't exactly dangerous.

    I always thought of NHS as more of an honor than something one "does."

    I think, dear OP, that you should strongly consider your sports, job, and volunteer priorities, especially since you are almost 16 now.
     
  19. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    In part that's true but some like my DS' NHS sponsored events, did community service and fund raisers.
     
  20. SP4C3M4N

    SP4C3M4N Member

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    Let me rephrase the sentence about work. Right now, I don't want to work. YES, I WILL GET A JOB!!! But I have so many choices right now and I don't want to be stuck with something dumb, while I still have the choice to do what I want. I understand why you are all freaking out, but I want to enjoy my freedom for another year before I start making decisions that will affect the rest of my future. Fencersmom, NHS is a club that you join and have to maintain a certain GPA and Volunteer hours to be in. What is there to consider about my extracurriculars, sports and jobs? Everything is fine except for my sports and job situation which is fine where it is. I'm not in a rush to work. I'd do it, I just wouldn't enjoy it unless I am confident it is something I want to do. I am waiting for that one job I will be happy spending my teen years doing, while I still have the choice. I am well aware that the military life is not easy, and even sometimes painful. My Dad has been an officer for over twenty year.
     

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