Distinguishing aspects of the AFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Cap. J, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Cap. J

    Cap. J New Member

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    Hey everyone, I have been wondering about the differences between the AFA and the USNA. I was appointed to both and am well aware of most of their generic aspects. I want to study aeronautical/astronautical engineering, and both schools have basically the same program as far as I can tell. I know that both have very good chances to getting accepted to flight school as well (which is the path I hope to take). I would really appreciate some hands-on unique characteristics of the AFA from some people who have been there. Thanks!
     
  2. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    My DD had the same choice. Her (grad) dad boiled down to: what mission do you want to accomplish?

    Regarding flying:
    Air Force's primary focus is flying
    Navy's is a support mission - protect the fleet

    That's a simplistic explanation to be sure. Both institutions are excellent and whatever choice you make will be a good one.
     
  3. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

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  4. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    I've spent 4.5 semesters at USAFA and 1 at USNA-I have a pretty unique take on the two academies and their differences. Feel free to PM me and I can answer any questions you have.
     
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  5. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Focus more on the service than the academy. Especially looking at pilot opportunities, you would be spending far more time in the service than the academy.
     
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  6. CivilAirPatrolCadet

    CivilAirPatrolCadet AFROTC Non-Tech Scholarship Recipient

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    As many people have said before, what would you do if you can't be a pilot? Eyesight can get worse, and there are all sorts of other medical issues that can come up over the course of four years so you can't fly.
     
  7. breethumps

    breethumps Member

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    Just a thought, I'm not sure if you went to SS for either, but you could see if they do appointee visits. It is about the mission and the service in general, but it's also about a college choice too. If you don't feel like you could see yourself there, it will only get worse when you get there. Take that advice with a grain of salt, as many do not feel an academy lifestyle is for them, and they go on to love it. I'm a firm believer of gut feelings too. good luck, and to be honest that's not a bad decision to have to make.
     
  8. Kiowa19

    Kiowa19 Member

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    Think about what you want to do if you cant't be a pilot...but, historically, you are more likely to get a pilot slot at USAFA than at USNA
     
  9. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    I love every chance I get to post this as there is so much more truth than poetry in it:


    Young Man,

    Congratulations on your selection to both the Naval and Air Force Academies. Your goal of becoming a fighter pilot is impressive and a fine way to serve your country. As you requested, I'd be happy to share some insight into which service would be the best choice. Each service has a distinctly different culture. You need to ask yourself "Which one am I more likely to thrive in?"

    USAF Snapshot: The USAF is exceptionally well organized and well run. Their training programs are terrific. All pilots are groomed to meet high standards for knowledge and professionalism. Their aircraft are top-notch and extremely well maintained. Their facilities are excellent. Their enlisted personnel are the brightest and the best trained. The USAF is homogeneous and macro. No matter where you go, you'll know what to expect, what is expected of you, and you'll be given the training & tools you need to meet those expectations. You will never be put in a situation over your head. Over a 20-year career, you will be home for most important family events. Your Mom would want you to be an Air Force pilot...so would your wife. Your Dad would want your sister to marry one.

    Navy Snapshot: Aviators are part of the Navy, but so are Black Shoes (surface warfare) and Bubble Heads (submariners). Furthermore, the Navy is split into two distinctly different Fleets (West and East Coast). The Navy is heterogeneous and micro. Your squadron is your home; it may be great, average, or awful. A squadron can go from one extreme to the other before you know it. You will spend months preparing for cruise and months on cruise. The quality of the aircraft varies directly with the availability of parts. Senior Navy enlisted are salt of the earth; you'll be proud if you earn their respect. Junior enlisted vary from terrific to the troubled kid the judge made join the service. You will be given the opportunity to lead these people during your career; you will be humbled and get your hands dirty. The quality of your training will vary and sometimes you will be over your head. You will miss many important family events. There will be long stretches of tedious duty aboard ship. You will fly in very bad weather and/or at night and you will be scared many times. You will fly with legends in the Navy and they will kick your *** until you become a lethal force. And some days - when the scheduling Gods have smiled upon you - your jet will catapult into a glorious morning over a far-away sea and you will be drop-jawed that someone would pay you to do it. The hottest girl in the bar wants to meet the Naval Aviator. That bar is in Singapore. Bottom line, son, if you gotta ask...pack warm & good luck in Colorado.

    Banzai

    P.S.: Air Force pilots wear scarves and iron their flight suits.
    P.S.S. And oh yes, the Army pilot program, don't even think about it unless you got a pair bigger than basketballs. Those guys are completely crazy.
     
  10. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    Does USNA offer Astro major? Last I checked, only USAFA had that -- all academies have Aero though. If flying is definitely how you see yourself serving, then USAFA is hard to beat. You will get basic soaring, powered flight and (optional) jump as part of your normal curriculum your first two years. If you prefer boats, then you get a lot of time at USNA, USCGA and Maritime Academy.
     

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