Diversity at USAFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by CadetHopeful, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. CadetHopeful

    CadetHopeful Member

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    Hello,

    I am a recent applicant to the United States Air Force Academy. Like many others, its a dream to become an officer and serve the country. However, I am in a strange position. For one thing I am from an Egyptian background (Coptic Orthodox Christian) and was neutralized in 2007. I came to the United States in 2001 (I was 11 years old). I am fluent in Arabic (I can read, write and speak it).

    Since there is a growing conflict between some middle eastern countries and and the U.S., can my background prevent me from entering the Academy? I feel like I can be of good use being part of the Armed Forces and I would enjoy what I do but I also fear that my background may work against me.
     
  2. Rage_14

    Rage_14 Member

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    If you have US citizenship and can clear the security clearances then there shouldn't be a problem. There is a sophomore here from Pakistan now, so I dont think there should be an issue.
     
  3. CadetHopeful

    CadetHopeful Member

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    Thanks Rage
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I have to ask due to my ignorance, what is neutralized?

    The problem I see is age. You were 11 when you arrived in 2001, question is your birth yr...1989 or 1990? For example you arrived Jan 2001 as an 11 yr old, however you turned 12 in Mar., your yr would be 1989. You are not going for 16, but 17, that means you are too old.

    It also can be an issue regarding Falcon.

    I could not see your ethnic background as an issue, I see age as more of the problem.
     
  5. CadetHopeful

    CadetHopeful Member

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    I apologize for being unclear. I came to the United States in September of 2001. By neutralized I meant became an American citizen. I am currently 21 years old.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Naturalized is the term you were looking for I think.
     
  7. CadetHopeful

    CadetHopeful Member

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    Ah that's correct. Apologies once again.
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As Pima said, if you haven't already applied to the academy, then it sounds like you will only have 1 chance at applying. You can't be 23 years old when you walk in the door. You're going to be 22 this year. So, it depends when you're birthday is and if you've applied yet.

    But no, if you are a citizen, and you pass the background check, then being born outside of the united states won't have any affect on your application.

    On a side note: Have you been attending college for the last 3 years since graduating high school? If so, then you'll have your college degree finished before even starting the academy. You'd be better off finishing your degree and trying to join the military through OCS/OTS. If you haven't been going to college for the last 3 years, then that definitely can hurt your application. You'd be too old to attend the prep-school, and the academy might think that you've been out of school for too long, and you'd have too difficult of a time trying to pass your classes. When people have been out of high school for a little while, like current enlisted personnel who are applying to the academy; they send them to a prep-school first. But there's no way you can get to the prep-school, then the academy, before you are 23 years old.

    But again; are you already a candidate for this upcoming class? Doesn't sound like it from your questions. So, while it's not impossible for you to apply next year; assuming you won't be 23 years on in June of 2013, it could be difficult if you've been out of high school for 3 years. And again; in my opinion; if you've already finished 3 years of college, you'd be better off finishing college and applying for a commission through OTS/OCS. This way you don't have to start college all over again.
     
  9. CadetHopeful

    CadetHopeful Member

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    Surprisingly Christcorp, I am currently a candidate despite my questions. I don't know why my age is a big deal here since my ALO and others at the Academy say its fine at the moment. I am hoping to get into the Academy prep school to live up to academy standards.
     
  10. Rage_14

    Rage_14 Member

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    What Christcorp is trying to say is that it might be better to consider a different route towards becoming an officer. Especially if you are so close to earning a degree from another school then it might be easier to do OCS/OTS.
     
  11. CadetHopeful

    CadetHopeful Member

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    Understood. I appreciate the input.
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    There is absolutely Nothing Surprising here. You simply didn't provide any real information. You only said you were 21 years old. Didn't say if you were currently an applicant. If you weren't, and you turn 22 next month, then next year, you COULDN'T APPLY. If you turn 22 in July, then you'll have next year to apply. (Obviously this year too being you've said you are currently an applicant). We are not mind readers. We can only comment based on the information you provide. Or, LACK of information you provide.

    So; now that you have clarified that you are an applicant, I go back to my original post. "No, being a naturalized citizen will NOT hurt you from receiving an appointment". BUT, you did not say WHEN your birthday is. IF, your birthday, when you turn 22, is BEFORE June, then no, you won't get to go to the prep-school, because you'll be too old next year for the academy. Again; based on the information, and lack of information you are providing. Also, like I said before, if you are already in your 3rd year of college, you might think about the other options for becoming commissioned. Assuming you receive an appointment this year, you would have to do 4 more years of college at the academy. Assuming again, that you have 3 years of college. For all I know, you don't have any college behind you.

    Many posters know what they want to say, and what they mean, but they sometimes fail to realize that the other forum members don't know everything that's in your mind. Believe it or not, that's why many of my posts are long-winded. I try to ensure that those who read my posts, understand exactly what I'm trying to say. And there's less guess work. So, based on some "Assumptions" about you that we still don't know; e.g. when do you turn 22? Have you been in college the last 3 years? etc... my response still stands. Best of luck. Mike.....
     
  13. CadetHopeful

    CadetHopeful Member

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    You make a valid point Christcorp. Since I wasn't planning on talking about age and college, I didn't want to mention it. I was born on July 31st and I did go to college for 2 years. My respect and love for the Air Force Academy is leading me to pursue admission. I don't mind having the extra years of college. As you said, I can always do OTS after I graduate from college.

    Thanks Mike
     
  14. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    I think that cadethopeful's original question was whether his background would make him a strong candidate for the Air Force Academy and the thread sort of tangented into his age. So getting back to his original query, I would think that the Air Force would be very interested in someone with Arabic language skill and understanding of cultures and such. I'm no expert, though, and would also be interested to hear whether those kinds of skills are given weight in the process.
     
  15. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Actually; the original "Query" was:
    And that was answered a couple times. No, being middle eastern background will not prevent someone from entering the academy. Nothing was asked about being a strong candidate. At least that's not the question I read.
     
  16. CadetHopeful

    CadetHopeful Member

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    The reason I was asking a question like that in the first place is because I was seeking some opinions on how the Academy would look upon me as a candidate. My background proved to be an obstacle for me in the past. With all the rising conflicts in the middle east, some people in the U.S. distrust individuals like myself. I have had that happen to me personally on many occasions and I fear that the same thing would happen with the Academy or the armed forces in general.
     
  17. shoots1994

    shoots1994 Member

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    I'm going to jump in right here and say that I seriously doubt your background will prevent you from receiving an appointment, nor will it affect your success in the Air Force. I know quite a few people enlisted in the Army and Navy, and officers in the Air Force and Army, that have backgrounds much more "controversial" than yours--meaning, they are Pakistani, Arab, Egyptian, and Indian, and all are Muslims or Hindus. I'm not saying you won't encounter prejudice or negativity because of your country of origin, because you will see some of that during your time in the military. I asked my own ALO about this, and she said, like Christcorp and other have stated, as long as you pass security checks and all that, you should be fine, and your background will probably be viewed as an asset, not a hindrance.
     
  18. CadetHopeful

    CadetHopeful Member

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    Thanks shoots1994, I am hoping for the best
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    CadetHopeful,

    You speak of the AFA experience, just out of curiosity why do you place more weight on that than finishing your degree (assuming you are a jr in college now since you have 2 yrs down already) and going OCS next yr?

    What is the appeal of repeating this academic process?

    Not trying to be antagonistic, trying to understand the thought process. Most kids turning 22 in college can't wait to enter the "real" world and start their life. For you by doing so you will delay AD until you are 26.

    Not saying there is anything wrong with that, and for some that works, but with our kids (22 and 20) they can't wait to get out of college, and from under our roof. Maybe it means we are mean parents. :shake: :eek: :rolleyes: Our DS (ROTC) will commission this May and go to Laughlin for UPT the same week. I don't think if you went to him last yr he would say, yeah I want to do 4 more yrs of college academics. Our DD is the same, not ROTC, but for her even as a soph. if she is going to stay in college 1 day longer it is to get her Masters.

    Like I stated, I am just curious why that AFA experience is such a motivating factor to delay life if you could go AD from OCS.
     
  20. CadetHopeful

    CadetHopeful Member

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    Ah yes I have been asked this question many times before. Coming out of high school, I wanted to join the military (Air Force) but I didn't receive the support I needed from my family to go ahead with the process so I ended up going to college instead. There it became clear to me that I am not doing what I always wanted to do and I was having a miserable time. I was able to finally convince my family that the military is what I was made for. I applied to the Air Force Academy knowing that my age can be an issue but if I end up going, it would be very rewarding.

    But of course if that rejection letter comes in I can still go on with college and go to OTS. Also, the Academy has one of the best education in the country, I definitely would not mind repeating a few years just to receive such a prestigious education which would definitely make me a better officer in the future. Maybe this is a strange thought process but if you really want something, you just have to do your best to get it despite any obstacles in your way.
     

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