Could I be USNA Material?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by jadeyvn, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. jadeyvn

    jadeyvn Member

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    Okay so I'm in my junior year of high school and I attend the Marine Math and Science Military Academy in Chicago. It's a public academy but selective enrollment by interview and because it is a military academy, MCJROTC is a required 4 year course for graduation. I'll be in the first graduating class (2011), and we don't have much to offer because of Chicago Public Schools budgeting. To me, this seems like a huge problem because from what I hear/read, other candidates are given way more opportunities to show off than I am.

    In my freshman year I was on the Fidelis staff (school journal.. which I named :)), drill team, and color guard. As a top cadet in my class, I was picked by my Commandant (Lieutenant Colonel Michael Stewart, USMC ret.) to attend two JROTC trips that year; The Army/Navy Game (Go Navy, Beat Army! We kicked their *** by the way!) and the Washington DC Trip (with about 50 other cadets from Chicago's JROTC programs). I was a squad leader and, if I remember correctly, I ended the year as a cadet Corporal.

    Sometime at the beginning of the my sophomore year, I was promoted to a 2nd Lieutenant. At the beginning of the second semester, I actually transferred out of the school because I thought I didn't want to attend a military academy. I ended up transferring back after only one quarter because I missed JROTC so much and everything else I would complain about. Instead of drill and color guard, I joined cheerleading instead. If I could, I'd have chosen to do all three but the practices were at the same time and I love cheerleading a whole lot more than drilling. I ended the year as a platoon commander and a cadet 1st Lieutenant.

    Between the summer of my sophomore and junior year, I was promoted to cadet Captain and Cadet S4 Logistics Officer. I spent a week in June and graduated from the Navy JROTC Leadership Academy at the Great Lakes Naval Base (best week of my life so far) and the Army JROTC Command and Staff Leadership Academy in September (boring and definitely not challenging; they don't know what real physical training is).

    This year, I'm still a cheerleader and plan on joining track this spring. I also plan on writing for the school newspaper in my second semester and I've been invited to join the math team (USNA is a math and science academy so that'll look good on my application, right?). So far, I've gotten straight A's on every report card for every class with a GPA of 4.6 (because of honors courses and next semester, hopefully my school will offer AP classes).

    Outside of school, I do community service for the Salvation Army, American Lung Cancer Association and other various non profit organizations whenever the chance pops up. I plan on signing up for Tae Kwon Do again, gymnastics (USNA cheerleader standards are way past my current abilities) and hopefully a local swim team. To improve myself academically, I plan on finding night and Saturday classes for Pre-Calc and Calc because I'm pretty positive that my school won't offer those before I graduate.

    I know I want to choose Marine Corps option if I attend the Naval Academy and I want to either write or photograph (two of my passions in life) for Stars and Stripes. If that doesn't happen, I'd probably want to train to be an aviation pilot (if that is even offered to females? I'm not sure what is and what isn't). However, I'd much rather work in communications to let other people know, especially civilians, the truth about what is going on with our military. I'm sick of bias civilian reporters constantly putting down our troops because that's what the public wants to hear.

    Right now, I've been instructed by my Gunny to write a letter to my congressman (Danny K. Davis) and introduce myself, letting him know I'm interested in the Naval Academy and would like his recommendation. However, I don't have any idea what I should introduce myself with. Any tips?

    Besides that, I admit I haven't been loyal to my work out schedule since school has started and I was wondering about any work out routines that would be worth a try. I know about all of the PFT standards and I should probably get myself back in shape.

    And finally, probably the most common question of all, what else should I do to get myself into the Academy?

    Thanks for spending the time to read that long *** message haha. Any comments or tips are appreciated.

    -Jade

    P.S.: Just got back from the Navy/Notre Dame game. We kicked their Irish asses! Haha :)
     
  2. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Looks to me like you have plenty of activities. The only "hole" I see is sports. Definitely pursue track this spring.
    "

    I would write the letter to Congressman and Senators: "Dear Sir: My name is XXX and my goal is to attend USXA. I want to pursue a military career in communications.

    I attend XXXX school and am active in XXXX. "


    Keep in mind that the MOC cannot tell you they will give you a nom or anything like that. You must pursue that through conventional avenues like everyone else. THe intro letter is just a courtesy call kind of thing. Won't help or hurt your chances at their nomination. Just a nicety.

    Sounds to me like you are on right track. Work to get best SAT/ACT scores you can and do some kind of sport. Track is ok, a team sport is even better.

    Good luck!
     
  3. jadeyvn

    jadeyvn Member

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    Thank you, jennyp.

    I take my ACT in 34 days and I'm hoping for at least a 29 (made a bet with my father). Would that be good enough for the academy? What is the lowest score anybody has heard of getting into the academy?
     
  4. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    jadevyn: If you research old posts, you will see this topic repeatedly.
    The only answer is "it depends." I have heard of scores of 25-26 getting in. And I have heard of scores of 32 NOT getting in. Not just heresay, real people.

    However, it depends......upon how competitve this year's applicants are. On how competitive the others are in your home area with whom you will compete for a nomination.

    Aside from the scores.....you are assessed on many things. Leadership, athletics, extra curriculars, GPA, course load, etc.........A stellar SAT score may allow USNA to consider a candidate with less leadership. While awesome leadership and extra curriculars may allow consideration of a candidate with not quite so much SAT/ACT score.

    Add to all of that the needs of the Navy and USNA which is huge in them determining who "fits" as they build the class of 2014.

    In short, put together your very best application package. Get all the points you can on CFA, standardized tests, etc. When a candidate posts "Is my score of XX enough? I really don't want to take ACT/SAT/CFA again." THe answer is ALWAYS "Well, how bad do you want to get in?"

    What passes muster in one area may not get a second look in another.
     
  5. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

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    How do you go to these...are you invited, recommended or can you apply to them and if so how?
     
  6. jadeyvn

    jadeyvn Member

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    Camps like those are sent to the commandant and the commandant chooses who he wants to go. So I guess you're invited to go.

    The Navy Leadership Academy was sent out to JROTC programs all over the country. We had cadets from California, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Idaho, Chicago city, Chicago suburbs, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc., etc.. I don't know how the schools were picked though.

    The Army Command and Staff Leadership Academy was only available to Chicago JROTC units and Chicago military academies to train their Cadet Staff.

    I have friends that are in the Young Marines program which is available in other states and cities than just Chicago, Illinois. I recently went on a camping trip with the Young Marines but I haven't actually signed up myself. It's a very interesting program though. The bootcamp is not an easy trip, I've heard. You should look to see if there is a unit near you if you are interested.
     
  7. Hopeful MDN

    Hopeful MDN Member

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    I truly believe that anyone is USNA material - anyone who has good grades and has a strong balance of ECAs, SATs, and grades. A 4.0 student with 800 SATs and no ECAs would obviously not get an appointment.

    I was not the strongest applicant; ACT 28, pretty good grades, Team Captain of Soccer Team, 2 Varsity Letters, Program Leader of Community Service Project, Private Pilot, and Peer Leadership Club Representative at my high school.

    However, I applied in early August, received a letter in early October from the Academy saying I was scholastically qualified, and now I am just waiting on my nomination and I am confident I will have an appointment.

    I was a "respectful nesuance." I called my admissions officer once a month, went to Academy forum days, visited my Congressman's office 7 times. If you show them that you want it bad enough, then they will see you have the infinite drive and determination that is required to make an exceptional Naval/Marine Corps officer.:cool:
     
  8. pknguyen44

    pknguyen44 USNA '13, NAPS '09

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    the competition now is very stiff so do your best in everything so your package looks strong..i got a 20 on the ACT's and a 970 on SAT's, and now with the class of '13 holding a 3.56 gpa..good luck!
     
  9. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    pkn: did you go directly to USNA or attend NAPS/Foundation school first? Just curious. You are right. Competition is stiff. I know of someone with a 32 ACT and lots of sports who did not get in last year!
     
  10. pknguyen44

    pknguyen44 USNA '13, NAPS '09

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    i went to a year of college then a year of naps..
     
  11. OnceAMarine

    OnceAMarine New Member

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    I've been monitoring this forum for quite some time and I have found it to be full of great advice, but I've always felt that there has been something missing in most of the discussions concerning the topic "Am I A Good Candidate?" and other threads along those lines. Reading the first sentence of Hopeful MDN's post above has finally spurred me to chip in my proverbial two cents. To the young man/woman who posted that opinion let me say that although I wish you success in attaining an appointment, your belief that "anyone is USNA material" etc., etc. is naive and I reject it out of hand. There are far to many at Annapolis right now who are there for the wrong reasons and should probably be attending another institution of higher learning.

    jadeyvn (and many others) has asked if she is a good candidate.... Before you ask that question, here are some questions for you that are extremely important - questions you need to spend a lot of time in honest contemplation and reflection to answer. These are the questions I asked my own sons to answer before accepting their appointments and it helped them to realize that not only were they presented a huge opportunity, but also an enormous and life-altering responsibility.

    *Do you believe that defending the Constitution of the United States of America is a sacred duty?
    *Do you believe that duty is the most sublime word in the English language?
    *Are you willing to lay down your life, "to give the last full measure of devotion" in defense of this Nation?
    *Can you bear the full weight of responsibility placed upon you when you have the lives of others in your hands?
    *Can you comprehend the magnitude of the privilege and honor it is to lead the finest war fighters in the world?
    *Are you strong enough to issue a necessary command that may result in the death of one or more of your troops?
    *Are you strong enough to present a folded flag, the gift of a grateful Nation, to a grieving mother or widow?
    *Do you understand that although war is a terrible thing, that it is not the worst thing - that it is far worse to believe nothing is worth fighting for?
    *Have you ever visited Arlington, or any other National Cemetery? If so, were you humbled beyond all measure by the granite slabs that bear witness to acts of bravery and sacrifice that no words can do justice? Did you feel the presence of those true heroes, and did you promise them that you would pick up their burden and carry on....


    No, not everyone is a candidate for the USNA, or any of the Service Academies for that matter. It takes a special commitment from a special type of person to dedicate themselves to a life which is predicated on discipline, self-sacrifice, courage, and honor. These concepts have seemingly gone out of style in much of today's society but they still live in the hearts of Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Guardsmen - they are out there right now, around the globe, standing their post and carrying out their duty.

    I spent a day this past weekend with about a dozen current Mids who all happen to be on the same varsity team. It was gratifying to find that they were all truly dedicated to mastering the profession of arms (a lot of future special operators in that bunch). When I asked them what they liked best about the Academy they responded with variations on a very similar theme: "being dedicated to a true purpose - something bigger and better than myself ". When I asked them what they liked least, to a man the answer was "too much boy scout, not enough bada$$, a lot of folks who shouldn’t be here.”

    Yes; gpa, activities, sports, etc are all important factors in getting an appointment, but you must ask yourself whyyou want that appointment. What are your core beliefs? If they aren't compatible with the mission you should apply elsewhere.
     
  12. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Once: Good Post. Hard to think about sometimes, but spot on. My mid would agree!
     
  13. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    Great Post Once! ITA! All questions I've asked my son over and over during his application process...he's ready and will make a great addition to the class of 2014!
     
  14. marvin7794

    marvin7794 Member

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    The Specops/Specwar kids always get worked up about things not being hardcore enough. Some of them need to mellow out.
     

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