Enlisting and the Academy

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by navyboundjones, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. navyboundjones

    navyboundjones New Member

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    I am already a candidate applying to the USNA class of 2016. I have been to NASS this summer as well, which strengthens my desire to attend the Academy. But I am having problems planning a plan b. I know for sure I want to attend the Academy, and I will continue to reapply until I am too old, but meanwhile, I don't know what I should do. Also, I am in the NROTC app process as well. If I don't get an appointment this year, here are my proposed plans:

    NROTC (while reapplying to the Academy)
    Enlisting (under Delayed Entry Program (DEP), in case I don't get into the Academy or ROTC scholarship)
    Community college (for financial reasons; then reapply to the Academy)

    I do not mind enlisting. But how hard is it to come out of enlistment to attend USNA or NAPS? How would I apply to the Academy if I enlist? Does everyone get the chance to apply?

    For college, would it be best to get some college education before reapply? Or will the experience in the Navy (enlisted) be better?

    My parents think it would be better for me to enlist.
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    First, don't assume you won't be accepted! Stay positive. But you're right to be considering Plan B.

    There are lots of questions imbedded in your post. IF your desire is to be a Navy OFFICER and have the academic ability to earn a college degree, the best way to accomplish your goal is to attend a 4-yr college.

    There are 3 approaches to this:

    (1) USNA -- you probably know the benefits of this. It's extremely competitive but you won't know how you stand if you don't apply

    (2) ROTC -- Great porgram that is more civilian and less military than USNA. However, you still graduate with a commission.

    (3) OCS -- Officer Candidate School. You graduate from college and then apply to the USN to become an officer. Less guarantee than USNA or USN but, if you do well in college and otherwise are qualified, there's a reasonable opportunity to be accepted.

    If you cannot afford a 4-yr college, starting at community college and then transferring after 2 yrs is another option. I wouldn't do CC unless it is your only financial option (which is legit) or the CC in your area is stronger academically than any 4-yr program to which you were admitted.

    Enlisting is something completely different. You are still serving your country and can acquire some great job skills and earn money that will allow you to attend college (as well as military benefits that will help with this). However, the work you do, your lifestyle, your pay, etc. will be entirely different.

    There ARE ways you can go from enlisted to officer but they are rare and not guaranteed. It is VERY difficult to go from enlisted to USNA -- the best shot for that is probably to be an enlisted submariner. Not saying that it doesn't happen but it is not a common path. Thus, if you enlist, you should be prepared to spend 4+ years as an enlisted. It is not the best -- or even a good -- route to becoming an officer.

    Bottom line: If you don't get into USNA this year, attend a 4-yr college and reapply. Your odds of getting in next year are MUCH better with that plan than with enlisting.

    Finally, this issue has been discussed at length in the past and there are some very good (and diverse) views on the subject. I would suggest searching under "enlisted" in this forum for those threads and messages.
     
  3. navyboundjones

    navyboundjones New Member

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    Great! Thanks, your answer is much appreciated. And yes, CC is only because of financial reasons, but I will continue to seek admission to USNA, which is my ultimate goal! And I'll definitely read other posts. Thanks again.
     
  4. USNA'02

    USNA'02 Member

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    yes, you can apply as an enlisted person. every year a message goes out to the Fleet explaining the process. there really isn't any major difference then you are doing now. Only big difference is that you will require a letter of recommendation from your Commanding Officer.

    Here's this years msg that just came out last wk:
    RMKS/1. THE U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY (USNA) IS WITHIN THE ADMISSIONS
    CYCLE FOR THE CLASS OF 2016, ENTERING 28 JUNE 2012. THE USNA
    PROVIDES APPROXIMATELY 1,000 OFFICERS TO THE NAVY AND MARINE
    CORPS EVERY YEAR WITH MANY FROM EVERY CLASS ENTERING AS PRIOR
    ENLISTED MEN AND WOMEN FROM THE REGULAR AND RESERVE COMPONENTS
    OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS. ALL COMMANDING OFFICERS ARE ENCOURAGED
    TO PROVIDE EDUCATION AND GUIDANCE TO ALL ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES ON THIS
    OPPORTUNITY.

    2. THE USNA CONTINUES TO SEEK TOP QUALITY SAILORS AND MARINES WHO
    FIT THE FOLLOWING PROFILE:
    A. ACADEMICS:
    (1) POSSESSES A STRONG HIGH SCHOOL GRADE POINT AVERAGE
    INDICATING THE POTENTIAL TO SUCCEED AT THE USNA. FLEET APPLICANTS
    RANKED IN THE TOP 40 PERCENT OF THEIR HIGH SCHOOL CLASS ARE
    TYPICALLY CONSIDERED COMPETITIVE.
    (2) POSSESSES SCHOLASTIC APTITUDE TEST (SAT) REASONING TEST SCORES
    TAKEN WITHIN THE LAST TWO YEARS. THERE IS NO MINIMUM SCORE,
    THOUGH APPLICANTS SHOULD AIM TO SCORE ABOVE 500 CRITICAL READING
    AND 550 MATH WITH A COMBINED SCORE OF AT LEAST 1050 OR AMERICAN
    COLLEGE TESTING (ACT) SCORES OF 22 ENGLISH AND 24 MATH. THE SAT
    WRITING SCORE IS NOT USED FOR ADMISSION PURPOSES. POTENTIAL
    CANDIDATES WITH SAT OR ACT SCORES THAT ARE OLDER THAN TWO YEARS
    OR BELOW THE MINIMUM STANDARDS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO RETAKE
    THE TEST DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS. STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES
    WILL BE ACCEPTED UNTIL 1 MARCH 2012 FOR APPLICANTS WHO HAVE ALREADY
    MET THE MINIMUM STANDARDS AND WANT TO IMPROVE THEIR SCORES.
    (3) COMPLETED FOUR YEARS OF MATHEMATICS INCLUDING A
    STRONG FOUNDATION IN GEOMETRY, ALGEBRA, AND TRIGONOMETRY, FOUR
    YEARS OF ENGLISH, AND ONE YEAR OF CHEMISTRY. ADDITIONALLY, PHYSICS,
    CALCULUS, HISTORY, AND TWO YEARS OF A FOREIGN LANGUAGE ARE STRONGLY
    RECOMMENDED. CONTINUED EDUCATION SINCE HIGH SCHOOL IS VITAL AND
    CANDIDATES ARE ENCOURAGED TO STRENGTHEN THEIR PACKAGES WITH COLLEGE
    COURSES IN HIGHER MATH AND SCIENCES.
    B. MILITARY TOP PERFORMERS WHO POSSESS STRONG LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL,
    PAST AND PRESENT COMMAND JUNIOR SAILORS/BLUEJACKETS OF THE
    QUARTER/YEAR, AND TOP 20 PERCENT PERFORMERS IN "A" AND "C" SCHOOLS
    ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR A COMMISSION THROUGH THE USNA
    C. GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AND UNQUESTIONABLE LOYALTY TO THE
    UNITED STATES, AS DETERMINED BY COMMAND INTERVIEW AND MILITARY
    RECOMMENDATIONS.
    D. NO RECORD OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION UNDER UNIFORM CODE OF MILITARY
    JUSTICE (UCMJ), ARTICLE 15, OR CONVICTION BY CIVIL COURT FOR
    MISDEMEANORS (EXCEPT MINOR TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS) DURING THE THREE YEARS
    PRECEDING APPLICATION FOR THE PROGRAM.
    E. OUTSTANDING PHYSICAL FITNESS, AS DETERMINED BY THE CANDIDATE
    FITNESS ASSESSMENT AND RECENT PHYSICAL FITNESS ASSESSMENT
    PERFORMANCES.
    F. MUST NOT HAVE PASSED 23RD BIRTHDAY ON 1 JULY OF THE YEAR OF
    ADMISSION TO THE ACADEMY.
    G. MUST NOT BE MARRIED, PREGNANT, OR HAVE INCURRED OBLIGATIONS
    OF PARENTHOOD.

    3. CANDIDATES WITH STRONG ACADEMIC AND MILITARY BACKGROUNDS MAY
    RECEIVE DIRECT APPOINTMENTS TO THE USNA. TOP MILITARY PERFORMERS WHO
    NEED TO STRENGTHEN THEIR ACADEMIC BACKGROUND MAY BE SELECTED TO
    ATTEND THE NAVAL ACADEMY PREPARATORY SCHOOL (NAPS) IN NEWPORT,
    RHODE ISLAND FOR ONE YEAR AND APPOINTMENT TO USNA THE FOLLOWING
    YEAR.

    4. PERSONNEL SELECTED TO ATTEND THE NAVAL ACADEMY OR NAPS MUST BE
    MEDICALLY QUALIFIED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MEDICAL EXAMINATION
    REVIEW BOARD (DODMERB) IN ORDER TO BE COMMISSIONED AS AN OFFICER
    IN THE NAVY OR MARINE CORPS. ONCE YOU HAVE RECEIVED YOUR
    CANDIDATE NUMBER, CONTACT DODMERB IMMEDIATELY AT 1-800-841-2706 TO
    SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT. REF A PROVIDES MEDICAL STANDARDS.

    5. SECRETARY OF THE NAVY MAY APPOINT UP TO 170 REGULAR AND
    RESERVE ENLISTED PERSONNEL EACH YEAR TO THE USNA. DEADLINE TO APPLY
    FOR THE CLASS OF 2016 IS 31 JANUARY 2012. DEADLINE FOR ALL
    COMPLETED APPLICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS IS 1 MARCH 2012. PACKAGES
    COMPLETED BEFORE 1 MARCH 2012 WILL BE REVIEWED BY THE ADMISSIONS
    BOARD AS SOON AS RECEIVED. PACKAGES WILL NOT BE REVIEWED WITHOUT
    COMMANDING OFFICER RECOMMENDATION. REF B PROVIDES GUIDANCE.

    6. THE FIRST STEP IS FOR APPLICANTS TO SUBMIT A PRELIMINARY
    APPLICATION ON-LINE AT WWW.USNA.EDU/ADMISSIONS (ALL LOWERCASE) TO
    BECOME AN OFFICIAL CANDIDATE. AFTER SELECTION AS A CANDIDATE, A
    CANDIDATE NUMBER, USERNAME, AND PASSWORD WILL BE ASSIGNED AND THE
    CANDIDATE WILL BE DIRECTED TO COMPLETE THE ON-LINE APPLICATION AT
    WWW.USNA.EDU/CANDIDATEINFORMATION. THE USNA OPERATES ON A ROLLING
    ADMISSIONS PROCESS AND IT IS ENCOURAGED THAT ALL FLEET APPLICANTS
    AIM FOR EARLY SUBMISSION IN ORDER TO IMPROVE COMPETITIVENESS.
    ALL COMMANDS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO INCREASE AWARENESS OF THIS
    OPPORTUNITY WITH ALL ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES.

    7. FOR APPLICATION QUESTIONS, WRITE TO: U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY,
    CANDIDATE GUIDANCE OFFICE, 117 DECATUR ROAD, ANNAPOLIS, MD
    21402-5018, ATTN: FLEET LIAISON; OR CALL THE FLEET LIAISON AT
    (410) 293-1839/1836/DSN 281; OR E-MAIL ETCS MAXWELL AT
    EMAXWELL(AT)USNA.EDU.

    8. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE USNA MAY BE OBTAINED
    THROUGH THE NAVAL ACADEMY WEBSITE AT WWW.USNA.EDU. ADDITIONAL
    INFORMATION FOR ENLISTED APPLICANTS MAY BE OBTAINED AT
    WWW.USNA.EDU/ADMISSIONS/STEPS.HTM (ACTIVE DUTY SERVICE APPLICANTS).

    9. RELEASED BY RAY MABUS, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.//
     
  5. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

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    The question has already been answered about what you should consider if you want to reapply. Now if there are financial issues, start looking into every possible scholarship now. A really great website for scholarships in fastweb.com. Sure it'll take more of your time and you'll probably have to write a few more essays, but a way to think about it is like this. Say you are applying for a $100 scholarship and the application and essay takes you 2 hours. You are getting paid $50 a hour if you get the scholarship. And even the small scholarships start to add up.
     
  6. KyColonelTim

    KyColonelTim New Member

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    @NavyBoundJones:

    Glad to see you desire to attend the most prestigious academy in the land. I had similar circumstances when I was your age; I couldn't afford college, I loved the Navy (had been in NJROTC for 4 years) and knew I wanted to serve.

    I stayed optimistic and received the appointment to the class of 86. After some soul searching I realized I wasn't prepared for the Academy due to some personality traits that would've been contrary to the environment so I enlisted; like you planning to reapply after boot camp and A school. I did reapply but as @USNA02 kind of points out, that's a similar but different path. Long story but I did receive my nomination and recommendation but didn't get the Appointment to the class of 88; at that time I didn't understand but now do that the enlisted path to the Academy only has a certain number of slots allocated to it; or at least in the early 80's that was the case.

    I loved being enlisted; best job I have ever had. I am not trying to sway you to that thinking but pointing out that if you have the scores to get into the USNA, you could choose any enlisted field you want; I went Nuke ET. The schools are the best in the world and set you up for extremely rewarding careers following your enlistment. And then if you do get the appointment, so much the better but either way at least you will be serving in the best Navy in the world.

    Your best option is to stay focused, positive, and dedicated. And remember:
    Go Navy - Beat Army
     
  7. Apex

    Apex New Member

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    Here is my two cents from a current enlisted member applying for C/O 2017.

    Enlisting is a different animal compared to the life in the Service Academies. If you are competitively applying to any of the service academies, then you will have your pick from a variety of rates (jobs) within the Navy. Nuke, CT community, Special OPS, and IT are just a few of the challenging rates requiring higher ASVAB scores.

    I performed horribly in high school but scored high on my ASVAB and enlisted in the CT community doing Electronic Warfare. I have loved every second of it and would not have wanted my path leading up to the USNA to go any other way. I utilized intense tech schools to prove I can excel academically and have had real fleet experience in the process. The past two years matured me, and gave me a different mindset going into the application process.

    Now for the drawbacks. First, you will be in DEP for at least 7 months waiting to go to boot camp after you enlist. The Navy does not really need anyone outside of certain Special Operations fields currently and you can NOT apply to the USNA as a “enlisted” member while in DEP. You are considered inactive reserve status while in DEP.

    Second, you are gambling 4/6 years of your life on the confidence in yourself that you will be better than the rest of your peers. To receive a nomination from your Commanding Officer you have to be hot **** from day one at your command. You have to prove to the wardroom that you are officer material. As soon as you market yourself as a “officer candidate”, everyone will look at your differently and hold you to a much higher standard than the rest of your E4 and below peers. You can not just be “average” starting from boot camp and leading up to your appointment. The reason why there are so few prior enlisted officers is because the process for admission to the various programs is very selective.

    It will harden you and teach you to not take anything personal. You will get dirty and work exhausting hours. Enlisting is the "hard knock" way of earning a commission. However, from my personal observation and view, it provides the most diverse officers in the military.

    I hope this provides some insight for you, if you have any further questions just ask!
     

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