Currently enlisted, do I have a shot?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by bulbasaurous, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. bulbasaurous

    bulbasaurous New Member

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    Like the title says I'm currently working as an aircraft maintainer and finished tech school in early September.

    My high school gpa was a 3.45 unweighted and a 4.12 weighted. I did play basketball and run track in hs and got accepted into University of Maryland. I ****ed up in college dropped out and enlisted.

    I talked to the education office about my chances of getting in and she said I had a shot, BUT I never divulged the little tit-bit about my college short comings.

    I've already been through BMT and know good amount about military life on the enlisted side.

    So I'm curious if I have a legitimate chance of getting accepted?
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Have you applied yet? As an enlisted, you'll need your commander's endorsement I believe. And actually, if you have your commander's backing, you have a pretty good chance. There are a set number of enlisted slots available for the academy, and they never fill them. But remember; you can't be over 23 years old when you get to the academy, because you can't be over 27 when you graduate. Definitely apply if you haven't. Talk to your commander. Chances are, if you do get accepted, you will have to do a year at the Prep-school. That's usually where prior enlisted go to get them back in the swing of going to school. Especially if they've been out for a year or so. Start with your commander and education office. One thing I can GUARANTEE..... If you DON'T APPLY, I guarantee you 100% that you WILL NOT receive an appointment.
     
  3. bulbasaurous

    bulbasaurous New Member

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    I'm still eligible as far as I know (I'm 20, single, no dependents, physically fit.) However,I'm still very new to the base and haven't told my commander about my intents just yet.

    I'm honestly still a little on the fence about this whole thing.
    I can handle being yelled at by MTI's, they've already been in the air force for multiple terms with deployments under their belts, but getting chewed out by some cadet who has merely been going to school a few years ahead of me doesn't sit too well with me.

    I still have an open mind though and hope my college miscues don't screw me over if I do decide to apply
     
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Bulbuasaurous,

    Glad you have thought about that. I am obviously not an USAF graduate, but I think this applies to all Service Academies for prior enlisted. If you can't work out the yelling part in your head, then it will be a miserable time. Most prior enlisted guys handle that part with ease, but the expectations for prior enlisted Cadets/Mids is much higher. Your upperclass would not expect the yelling part to phase you, they will want to see your leadership ability by helping out your classmates. The point of Plebe Summer or any other Service Academy indoc is to break you down and build you back up to survive Plebe/Knob Year. As always the end goal of your's has to be your want to be a commissioned officer... that is the ultimate prize and working towards that goal through the Academy will have folks your age yelling at you. But also remember, the yelling part is only 1 year. Trust me, when I ran detail I was 22 years old and the first Plebe I came up to was the owner of a SEAL Trident... Yeah yelling him was not going to work. The upperclass know that, but if you show it bothers you, guess what, they will keep doing it. Heck you never know, that upperclassman yelling at you may have been in your shoes 3 years prior... he may be 26 years old, prior enlisted and been on 3 deployments. You never know who will walk in front of you!

    Academically you sound like a good candidate, be honest about your prior college stint and why this will be different. Be open with your command about your goals and most will support you. Good luck!
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Concur with the above. I was "yelled" at by a prior enlisted and I've "yelled" at prior enlisted. Being enlisted will give you a small taste of that first summer but doesn't prepare you for the academics of the school year, while tossing in military and sports requirements. What you don't want to do if go into it with the idea that you've "one upped" the cadets who are there who didn't enlist. I had prior enlisted classmates who didn't make it to our junior year. Prior enlisted can really help out classmates during that first summer.

    I was stationed on a ship located at the Coast Guard's boot camp. While there is some similarity between boot camp and the first summer of a cadet career, the two are not exactly the same (and that doesn't mean one is harder than the other).

    How long have you been in the Air Force?

    We had a kid on my boat who was fresh out of boot camp. He wanted to go an A-School which has a fairly long wait list. He got into the Coast Guard Academy prep program, and he's now a 3/c cadet. So, it's done. You classmates may call you grandpa.
     
  6. bulbasaurous

    bulbasaurous New Member

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    This is a very fair point, considering the gap in time since I've attended school.

    Again a very good point. Personally I don't have a very large ego and have only been enlisted for a little less than a year so I can't really say I'm above cadets who are more familiar with the challenges with life at a service academy.

    I just wish that I wouldn't have to go through basic cadet training since I've already been through one basic, but it's a necessary evil that goes along with joining the academy
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    It's going to feel different. But you will be in a good position to help classmates who haven't been through a basic. You'll have a number of classmates who have been through this.
     
  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Remember basic training and cadet indoc type training have two different purposes. Basic training is to create a basically trained Airman. Cadet summer training is to make a 4/C Cadet prepared to enter the Brigade/Corps/etc. and function. It is a stepping stone to learning time management, study skills, prioritization, etc. Its meant to push you and some aspects will. Others you will smile in your head and just roll with it. When I ran detail I had about 10 prior enlisted Sailors and Marines. Most of the Sailors were from Nuke School and had no fleet experience, they were more prepared academically to handle the Academy for the most part and had no issues handling Plebe Summer. I even had 1 SEAL and 1 Force Recon Marine in my company. They flew through Plebe Summer, but learned quickly that all the help they gave to some of the direct entry high school kids was quickly repaid with help in the classroom. It evens out quickly, very quickly once the academic year starts. I had one prior enlisted Marine who did not do well Plebe Summer and eventually left. Just wasn't for him. Being prior enlisted will get you respect, but being a team player and working with your fellow 4/C is key to making it the first year. A good attitude and sense humor are key to any of the Service Academies.
     
  9. nlcatter

    nlcatter New Member

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    23 years old when you get to the academy, because you can't be over 27 when you graduate - ANCIENT RULES when people died at 45 - this is 2011!
     
  10. nlcatter

    nlcatter New Member

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    navy hoops - one of the best posts I read. Good info, in my group we had a marine who was in remedial PT. he left.
     
  11. nlcatter

    nlcatter New Member

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    bulbous - how about preppies who have gone through 2 basics prior to entering!
     
  12. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    I don't envy those who go through basic 3 times. (I do know one guy who wound up going through 4 basics! :eek: )
    It is one of those things that you put up with if you want to graduate.
     
  13. mustang10

    mustang10 Member

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    I hope this helps

    Basic really isn't the hardest part about being a prior at USAFA. Yeah it sucks to do a similar program over again, but there's nine months of four degree year to follow with academics along side. Also, USAFAs core curriculum consists of Astro, Electrical, Mechanical, and Aeronautical Engineering Classes. Those four about failed me out. There are great reasons to be prior and from the Academy, but while your on "the hill" some days you'll wish you were enlisted.

    The prep school is good for priors, but when I went from the operational air force to USAFA they didn't send me to the "P". They run out of room and it saves money to send some priors straight in.

    Normally the priors who were at USAFA stood out somehow while they were enlisted. Your commander might give you the nomination right away, but you'll be more competitive with a few solid years of proving that you're a **** hot airman. Senior airman below the zone is a good goal to shoot for if your first attempt at the application process falls through.

    I knew a prior who applied three times and got accepted the third time in her last year of eligibility, so like the academy persistence pays off.

    I don't know if the academy should be your only focus. The air force has excellent opportunities for ROTC scholarships for enlisted members. I met a ROTC prior one summer who applied to the University of Hawaii Mauna Loa and was doing college out there on the Air Force's nickel.

    After all that if you want to fly or have a job in the ops side of the Air Force there is no better place than the Air Force Academy. Better than 40% of my graduating class got pilot training slots, and I graduated bottom third and got a slot to CSO (nav) school. The top ROTC programs do get their share of flying slots, but the percentage isn't close.
     

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