Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by polevault7, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. polevault7

    polevault7 Member

    Mar 8, 2011
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    I applied for USAFA last year, received a nomination but not an appointment. I chose to attend a state university and am currently an active member in AFROTC. I began the reapplication process during the summer and filled out all the MOC forms and sent them in. I am currently halfway through the USAFA application process. I really enjoy life at my school and I have a good balance between military and civilian life. But on the other hand attending USAFA is still very appealing (provided that I receive an appointment and nomination, knock on wood lol). I am currently right in the middle. I know no once can make the decision for me but I am open for advice. Both situations have their pros and cons. :shake:
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Jun 9, 2006
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    Why is it that USAFA still attracts you?

    USAFA has the advantage in "Air Force-iness" (yeah, not a word, but whatever). It has a lot more military related opportunities. That, however is also its disadvantage vs. ROTC. The "normal" college life is definitely not something USAFA cadets get to see very much.

    I won't say one is better than the other, but they are different.
    USAFA grads will end up saying "We never did that/never could have gotten away with that" about some things that seem normal at a civilian school. ROTC grads will say, "That wasn't even an option for us" about programs at USAFA.
  3. dparrish209

    dparrish209 Member

    Sep 6, 2011
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    Wow, I'm in the identical situation haha. I applied last year and made it up all the way to my QNV letter. Currently in AFROTC. Ive almost finished my app. What I've been doing is talking to the Cadre at my ROTC detachment. They are your best resources because they know the ins and outs of ROTC, and more likely than not have either gone to the academy or at least dealt with it. But all comes down to whether you want to experience "college life," or if you want to live and breath the Air Force 24-7
  4. USAFA_Falcon_15

    USAFA_Falcon_15 USAFA '15 Appointee

    Dec 4, 2010
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    This is tough, the grass is always greener on the other side. USAFA has challenged me more mentally than anything. I have days I hate it here, and wonder if throwing in the towel would be worth it, then I have weeks like this one where it's all worth it. Every cadet has thoughts of leaving, my roommates and I are constantly reminding each other why we stay, and we all rotate perspectives.
    I'm from Colorado, and when I go to visit my friends at CU Boulder, and CSU Ft. Collins, it's hard to go back on Sunday night. While they're recovering from the weekend, I prepare for my K-test and the week ahead. This year military stuff is said to be significantly easier, where as they balanced that out with making academics harder. Unfortunently, I was never a book worm. A 3.9 looked really good in high school, but here I find myself on ac-pro. That brings up a critical point in the greatness of USAFA. Here all of my teachers and squad-mates have been willing to sacrifice what ever I need to get myself out of this hole, I'm not so sure you'd find that at a civilian university. Though, my ac-pro is greatly do to the time constraint I found myself in being an IC, I've already improved strides, and my squad is great, I'm still allowed to leave on weekends after some study hours.
    I'm not sure why the other side of the fence seems so much brighter yet. Maybe it's the partying, or the freedom to miss class, or nap, or do whatever I deem necessary. In ten years though is that party I missed 13 Oct 2011 really going to matter? Doubt it. Do I remember waking up early and hating my life 4 months ago during basic? No. I know everything I have done up to this point has sucked, but then who am I now. I see myself as improving in greater strides than my peers. Not to say there aren't individuals out there progressing at a faster pace. I'm proud of what I've done, I'm proud of who I am, and I'm proud knowing I'm working towards a greater purpose everyday, and there are 1,000+ doing it with me.
    There's light at the end of the tunnel here, I see smiling faces on the T-zo, as I lug my back pack, I know this will all pay off in the end, I just forget it sometimes. But, back to my main point, sometimes I reconsider my choice. I was accepted here very early, and signed as soon as I got it. But, would ROTC have been better for me? No, I'm not the type of kid to be able to handle that freedom. USAFA requires me to do many of the things I do. I can't speak for ROTC, but from what I've seen in Boulder it's a completely different world, one where I'd find myself irresponsible.
    Some of you reading that may look down on me and say I'm not the kind of kid that deserves an appointment here, that's ok. I can admit my flaws and realize USAFA is the best place for me to become the best officer I can be, others can handle the freedom of ROTC.
    It's all on you in the end, and regardless of your choice, I'll be proud to serve with you in 4-5 years.

    Best of luck,

  5. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

    Apr 20, 2011
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    ^^^Well said! Very well thought out too. Even those cadets not on ac-pro think of leaving sometimes. It certainly is not an easy life, but hopefully you will find it rewarding!
  6. Romad

    Romad Member

    Dec 21, 2010
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    "Some of you reading that may look down on me and say I'm not the kind of kid that deserves an appointment here, that's ok. I can admit my flaws and realize USAFA is the best place for me to become the best officer I can be, others can handle the freedom of ROTC.
    It's all on you in the end, and regardless of your choice, I'll be proud to serve with you in 4-5 years."

    And that's what it's all about :thumb:... Hope my son gets the opportunity to serve along side you next year!

    Best Regards

  7. Dad

    Dad Member

    Apr 25, 2010
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    If you are seriously considering reapplying, get your app complete and your nomination material in order. By the time appointments start rolling out, you should be in your 2nd semester and have a better idea of what ROTC is all about. You can then make your decision with an appointment in hand. You sound like a mature young person who will make a sound decision either way. Best of luck in your quest to serve our great country. :thumb:
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Nov 28, 2007
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    That is the real question.

    Last spring shortly after the TWE went out a thread started regarding candidates who got the TWE and were determined to re-apply. I admired their commitment, but I also chuckled inside because I knew many would be like you come next fall.

    They would get into a great AFROTC program, at a college that they enjoyed, if not loved, and found out that their fear of not getting their dream AFSC unless they attended the AFA was actually a fallacy. They actually could get it, would be harder to obtain, but not unrealistic.

    All of the sudden they were faced with a new decision. Do I stay and still not have 100% guarantee, do I leave and start a new next yr, but basically have that 100% shot?

    That is why if anything raimius's question should be the question you ask 1st.

    Why the AFA?

    IMPO, if you can say, I love the school, the love the program, love the academics, but it is still not enough for me, I need more than what they can give, you have your answer.

    If you say it is for a career field and to have that ring knocker, than you have your answer too. I am sure you have already seen kids at your college or in AFROTC pack it up already because the fit wasn't good, and you will see more come the end of this semester. They went for the wrong reasons.

    The answer is in your heart, and you probably already know it. Your true issue is accepting that decision.
  9. Eberlz

    Eberlz Member

    Jan 16, 2011
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    Like many of you, I got a QNV letter last year. I was really disappointed, but I knew I was going to reapply for the next class. After talking to a lot of people, I came to the conclusion that I would reapply, since the AFA is where I want to go. For me, it is the overall mentality of the Academy lifestyle vs. ROTC/normal college life. Sure, there are parties every weekend, and the freedom to do whatever you please, but I am really doing that? No. I am working hard to get good grades, to qualify for an EA if I do stay in ROTC. What is the point of having those opportunities, which really, are the best times to get into trouble? I am going through the candidate phase of Arnold Air Society, and the POC can actually yell at you. Just going through the ROTC program, no such thing will occur your freshman year, but at the Academy, it would be a normal occurrence. There are plenty of tradeoffs.

    As others have already stated, in the end, it will be up to you to. Think about it, but defiantly finish your application - you don't finish, and you have a 0% chance of getting in this year.

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