Decisions

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by gdesena, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. gdesena

    gdesena USNA Midshipman

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am torn. I have appointments to both USNA and USAFA and I can't decide where I want to go. I know I have until 1 May, but I'm getting really antsy. So, I have begun to create lists for and against each SA. Because of the abundance of knowledge here, I come to you verify each of my reasons. I know these are opinionated, but they are based on factual things, so if there is one that I am under a false impression, please do tell.

    If anyone has anything they would like to add, all input will be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Geoff

    Reasons For USAFA

    1. Almost guaranteed flight (granted I don't hurt myself)
    2. In CO (I've lived in Ft. Collins all my life and I love CO)
    3. High altitude training (When I go down to sea level, I will be invincible)
    4. Efficiency-based campus (all classes in one building - I love efficiency)
    5. BCT - Jack's Canyon (super extreme hardcore camping - awesome)
    6. Soaring (Sooner I'm in the air, the better...)
    7. Jump training (...even if I'm leaving a perfectly good aircraft in midair)
    8. ACQ (I'm going for academics, and I'm going to study)
    9. Top notch facilities (They put a lot of money into this place)
    10. Multiple parades each week (What can I say? I like to show off)
    11. Carpeted rooms (very comfortable dorms in general)

    Reasons against USAFA

    1. Unnecessary hazing (a lot of things I've seen there seem more ridiculous than USNA)
    2. 1950's pseudofuturustic feel (architecture especially, and I'm not a huge fan)
    3. Depressing mood (when I was there, that's what I got)
    4. Isolation (way up in the mountains)
    5. Community showers (USNA has individual showers)
    6. No classroom windows (no sunlight=bad, or does it help keep cadets focused? I haven't spent a whole day in them)
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    First of all; look at the positive. There are applicants getting ulcers begging to get a slot. You actually get to choose. Congrats.

    Now; can I make a really simple suggestion. I don't mean this in ANY NEGATIVE MANNER whatsoever. Remember; I sometimes get long winded trying to make sure I am understood properly. Well, I made a new years resolution to try and shorten my posts. (Like smoking, it will probably only last a week). Anyway; here's the suggestion. (And I mean this in all HONESTY)

    THROW AWAY THE LIST YOU MADE!!!! Most of what you wrote these is a perception; and that perception will change numerous times in 4 years there.

    NEXT: Answer yourself a very SIMPLE question. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO TO SERVE YOUR COUNTRY AND FOR YOUR FUTURE????

    It's really that simple. You can't just say "FLY". They have pilots in all branches of the military. However; if you REALLY DON'T LIKE THE OCEAN; then maybe the Naval Academy isn't for you. I think; but I could be wrong; that they go in the water. But if you DO like the idea of being on a ship, the Air Force doesn't really have that many of those. Anyway; figure out what you would like to do AFTER GRADUATING THE ACADEMY. That will tell you which academy to go to. best of luck.... mike....
     
  3. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    1. Almost guaranteed flight (granted I don't hurt myself)
    unless you washout. good opportunities at USNA as well
    2. In CO (I've lived in Ft. Collins all my life and I love CO)
    Go elsewhere - see another part of the country. you will go home to CO on leave.
    3. High altitude training (When I go down to sea level, I will be invincible)
    hmmmm. then why does Navy continually beat AF in Annapolis?
    4. Efficiency-based campus (all classes in one building - I love efficiency)
    oh my - this is a reason?
    5. BCT - Jack's Canyon (super extreme hardcore camping - awesome)
    not as intense as WP but this I will grant you - no running on the beach.
    I know several kids who went to USNA who were dissappointed in plebe summer - just a lot of running and little military training
    Soaring (Sooner I'm in the air, the better...)
    okay - does everyone do this? good point, maybe
    7. Jump training (...even if I'm leaving a perfectly good aircraft in midair)
    if you want airborne go to USMA
    8. ACQ (I'm going for academics, and I'm going to study)
    academies are good at Navy too. this may depend on specific programs/major you are particularly interested in.
    9. Top notch facilities (They put a lot of money into this place)
    they put a lot of money in to USNA as well -
    10. Multiple parades each week (What can I say? I like to show off)
    This won't last long. they do parades at USNA as well though.
    11. Carpeted rooms (very comfortable dorms in general)
    Now you are on to something! I think you will get to bring your own sheets too! And they issue PJ's!
    Don't forget the passes. 4 deg at AFA get a pass every weekend! (unlike other academies)

    Regardless, most of your reasons are not really "good" ones IMO. Do you have a list for USNA? Did you visit USNA? Any aspriations for being in the Navy?

    Only you can decide. Go with you gut and don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    CC is correct...if the idea of landing a plane on the size of a postage stamp on a football field appeals to you than GO NAVY (to some that is a thrill that motivates them)...if you like the fact that your runway is where you left it when you took off than GO AIR FORCE, plus if you're an avid golfer AF has the best courses :shake: (afterall, the AF builds the runway first, O'Club second and golf course third...nobody yell at me it is an old AF joke)

    The reality is if you do get your wings you will 8 yrs, your SA education lasts only 4. It is hard to keep smiling and saying I love my job when you regret the branch you are in.

    Good Luck on your decision.
     
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,580
    Likes Received:
    800
    Pima, I think the joke has changed a little bit. My boys say the AF builds the golf course first, then petitions for more money since they ran out! Truly though, they do love that golf at AFA. My boys are in golfing heaven there.

    1. Almost guaranteed flight (granted I don't hurt myself)
    well, there is some competition for that no matter where you go
    2. In CO (I've lived in Ft. Collins all my life and I love CO)
    Well, lucky for you, but maybe you want to see the world? WP,MMA, CGA are polar opposites of Ft. Collins
    3. High altitude training (When I go down to sea level, I will be invincible)
    granted
    4. Efficiency-based campus (all classes in one building - I love efficiency)
    Still a very long walk between buildings. 18,000 acre campus
    5. BCT - Jack's Canyon (super extreme hardcore camping - awesome)
    2nd BCT is the favorite of a lot of the cadets
    6. Soaring (Sooner I'm in the air, the better...)
    granted
    7. Jump training (...even if I'm leaving a perfectly good aircraft in midair)
    granted, for more info, ask gasdoc
    8. ACQ (I'm going for academics, and I'm going to study)
    no matter where you go, you will study! Question: WHAT do you want to study? That might be the best indicator.
    9. Top notch facilities (They put a lot of money into this place)
    All SA's top notch.
    10. Multiple parades each week (What can I say? I like to show off)
    This will certainly vary.
    11. Carpeted rooms (very comfortable dorms in general)
    Yeah, that's very nice. Great dorms at AFA

    Reasons against USAFA

    1. Unnecessary hazing (a lot of things I've seen there seem more ridiculous than USNA)
    Please. This doesn't seem worth the ink here.
    2. 1950's pseudofuturustic feel (architecture especially, and I'm not a huge fan)
    Designed by SOM from the 20th century's best architects, it is an architect's dream.
    3. Depressing mood (when I was there, that's what I got)
    Been to West Point in January?
    4. Isolation (way up in the mountains)
    That is the point.
    5. Community showers (USNA has individual showers)
    Boo hoo. Don't be a baby. If this REALLY bothers you, perhaps you are not well suited to this pursuit.
    6. No classroom windows (no sunlight=bad, or does it help keep cadets focused? I haven't spent a whole day in them)
    Welcome to the real world. Many offices have no windows. Many planes have no windows. Again, if this bothers, maybe you should reconsider.



    I don't want to seem harsh, but you have given us a list of perceptions. What were your perceptions of USNA? Did you visit?

    More important: what do you want to study? Where do you see yourself in ten years? Are you sure you want a service academy or are you just looking ahead to a pilot slot?
     
  6. J Collins

    J Collins Founding Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    2
    This is soooooo true..... that and extra beauty bark at the main entrance to base... LOL

    and Pima, that is not always true... as the USMC golf course at Awase on Okinawa was a much nicer course then that of Kadena AFB

    (my hubby is retired USAF, but many years ago I was married to a US Marine, and I am an Army Brat)

    I live next to McChord AFB.. and they do have an awesome course.

    Decisions.... Congrats on the ability to decide!

    "US Naval Aviator" just sounds cool (visions of Tom Cruise). Landing on the deck of a carrier has to be such a rush.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  7. HNeedle

    HNeedle Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    1
    this one could get ugly, but let's not let it.

    there is no hazing at USAFA, or any of the service academies for that matter. there are things that we do as 4 digs that seem unneccesary, stupid, waste of time, etc etc etc. but if you REALLY think about it and put aside your bias, it all helps you in the long run. now dont get me wrong, sometimes we'll get trained over somethin dumb, but it's not hazing. in some ways, it'll prepare you for the service when you have to deal with a crap-ton of BS. running the strips, calling minutes, carrying your bag in your left hand, greeting, details, etc are just part of the experience. dont get cynical before you even get here.

    CC is right. throw away the list. decide where to go based on what you want to do afterwards. each SA has it's pros and cons, goods and bads, opportunities, etc. decide what YOU want to do. air force and navy are two COMPLETELY different branches.. for me, it wasnt hard to decide. there's really no comparison between the two, besides they're both the military (obviously, branches are similar in more ways, but their missions are distinctly different).. although looking at each academy and determing what's good/bad is a rational decision, you've gotta look beyond the 4 years. you're giving up AT LEAST 5 yrs of your life on active duty in whatever branch you go in. if you fly, it's 10 from when you get your wings... so keep all that in mind.
     
  8. gdesena

    gdesena USNA Midshipman

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks all! A lot of good input, and some varying opinions.

    CC,
    I highly respect your advice, and the question you posed may be my problem. I'm not exactly sure what I want. I would love to fly carrier based aircraft (on my Navy list for whoever asked about that), but I also like the idea of the undergraduate flight opportunities at USAFA. Does anyone know what kind of opportunities USNA offers for undergraduate or the opportunities for flight school after the Academy? I can assume it will be more competitive at USNA, but I don't mind the extra challenge. The challenge is half the reason I'll pick either of them.

    I know my reasons against were petty complaints, but there's not much I don't like about either of them. and I will be visiting Annapolis again next month (I was there a couple years ago), so I'll get a better picture of what USNA is like after that.

    Fencer's Mother,
    I'm going to major in Aerospace engineering (not sure about minor yet). the pilot thing is just something I recently got interested in, and wanted to work toward. Honestly, I will be happy doing almost any job in the military.

    Thank you for all your input!
    Geoff
     
  9. gdesena

    gdesena USNA Midshipman

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    0
    HNeedle,
    Thanks for the clarification. Maybe the cadet I shadowed at USAFA a few months back was just as cynical as me. I know that's a very small sample size so I won't go solely on that. I know I'll be putting up with a lot of crap wherever I am in the military. I just like to know that what I'm doing is making stronger/smarter/better for my job.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    As stupid and petty as you might think, it is a great training method. This also made me laugh b/c everytime Bullet and I went out and he was in uniform he would always walk around me so I was on his left-side. He also would position my hand on his arm in a certain manner. 25+ yrs and he still does it now as a beltway bandit.

    Now back to the subject.

    Both educations are phenomenal. I truly believe the officer in you already exists, it is something that you have in your core and personal values. To be an officer is your FIRST JOB, the field you serve in is secondary. You are young and you might change your majors or career field. (AS I keep saying don't go to an SA to become a pilot, the oad will twist and turn and you just don't know where you will end up at) Go to the SA that you want to serve as an officer in.

    BTW I am not a fan of the AFA buildings either (not a modernist), but I will tel you the AF monument in DC is gorgeous. here is a link...it does not do it justice, sseing it at night as you drve by on 395 is a highlight
    http://www.thedctraveler.com/monument-monday-the-air-force-memorial/

    If you ever get the chance to check it out, also make sure to visit the Pentagon 9/11 memorial...the significance of the design is interesting. if the bench is facing toward the pentagon they were on the plane, away they were in the building and then they have it by age chronologically. When I pick up Bullet from the Pentagon there are always people there no matter what time.

    BACK ON TOPIC
    GO AIR FORCE...AIM HIGH ...ABOVE ALL

    Don't get too attached to those phrases, I think in the 20 yrs Bullet was in they had 3 different ones :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  11. flymom

    flymom Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    The buildings on the grounds of USAFA are beautiful in their own unique way. The Chapel is just exquisite and has become an icon for the entire Academy. A bird's eye view of the entire grounds is just breath-taking. The best view is from the top of Eagle's Peak. You really can't compare it to USNA because it's a totally different era and architectural style. I'm sure I'm biased but there's a great feeling knowing my daughter is surrounded by steel and mountains. :smile:
     
  12. salj

    salj Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    BTW I am not a fan of the AFA buildings either (not a modernist), but I will tel you the AF monument in DC is gorgeous.

    And that isn't modernistic??:confused:

    Although most of the buildings at USAFA are not my style either, being there in person and taking the entire view in.... Simply breathtaking!

    But... as others have stated, the real decision will be in career opportunities available to you after graduation.

    Most pro's and con's such as "Chopping" at Navy or "running the strips" at AF won't really matter... but I think you already know that!!
     
  13. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,580
    Likes Received:
    800
    We saw the AFA monument last summer, on a beautiful day, just as dusk was setting in. GORGEOUS!!! We were there the weekend before the boys left for I-Day and I could only just keep the tears from flowing. Really, a moving monument to a tremendous service, and the men and women who sacrificed all.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    The AF monument is modernistic in its approach, but it's simplistic design truly makes you think of the AF. For me it reminds me of a missing man formation, and I see the monument as a memory to those Bullet and others lost during their career, than what the spires are truly representing...which is bombs bursting. The glass missing man to me ties it all in
     
  15. salj

    salj Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I hear you, Pima. The same can be said for the AFA. It's design, to the eye, is very simple and behind many of the statues/monuments, is also much meaning. The bridge the basics cross that first day... Very symbolic. Very touching.
    I still don't think the modern architecture, buildings or monuments, are very appealing at first glance. Then again, others love that look--with or without the meanings behind them.
    Opinions usually change when you see things in person and learn the meanings behind them. At least that is what happened in my case.
     
  16. Antoinette

    Antoinette Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    0
    Other candidates have faced the same decision...this older thread might be worth reading:

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=2001&highlight=usafa+usna
     
  17. gdesena

    gdesena USNA Midshipman

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Antionette!

    That's a great thread that overlaps very well with this discussion which has quickly become a discussion about the AF monument in DC. but I got the responses I wanted. :thumb:
     
  18. Antoinette

    Antoinette Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are welcome, gdesena!

    You have a "good" problem to solve. My son had a similar one. He finally decided the academy experience would be similar at each - it was the career options in the two services that he focused on to make his decision.

    Best of luck as you decide! :cool:
     
  19. unitedstatesAFA2013

    unitedstatesAFA2013 Candidate Appointee

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with the first post. Some of us are done biting our nails and are digging into the finger bones waiting for any response from either academy. Personally, I think you should take USNA. One less person accepting their appointment to the academy can only be good news to us hungry kids. That aside, none of us can tell you which to choose, and I'm sure you already have one held up above the other. You can't possibly be 50% for one and 50% for the other! That's insane! I guess it's just my opinion, but to me, both are like apples to oranges. Especially since I'm one of those people who is deathly afraid of the ocean and boats/submarines.

    good luck in choosing...


    ...f#%#$%# lucky lol :thumb:
     
  20. SemperExcelsius

    SemperExcelsius USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    Reminds me of the Robert Frost poem...

    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    Perhaps one is better than the other for you... Maybe not, but I'm certain that with the right attitude you will be able to be happy wherever. Read the poem again :smile: Its one of my favorite about decision making. Congrats though!!! Whatever path you choose will make "all the difference." :thumb:
     

Share This Page