Explaining the uniqueness of an SA

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by Capt MJ, May 19, 2009.

  1. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    1,820
    Here's a little sea story that will help parents and appointees illustrate the cool factor at an SA and the doors that open, when trying to explain a SA to all those amongst the Vastly But Innocently Clueless.

    One of our sponsor daughters was at the house last night. I asked her if she had heard from her ex-Duke boyfriend who tried to convince her that a SA wasn't worthwhile in terms of a "real education and a real job," and to apply to a school near him in case she couldn't get into Duke. (!!!! by me) She ditched him 2 years ago when he wouldn't respect the path she was taking, perhaps also being somewhat jealous of the internship she was headed to in Japan's space program. He just graduated, and despite his business major and fancy NYC internships, has not been offered a job anywhere, and is working at the university, glossing over the situation by saying he could still be close to his beloved Duke basketball. That reminded her to tell me that as part of a special Glee Club event, she sang for former President H.W. Bush, his family and Coach K from Duke. She got autographs from many famous people on her program and some invitations that many people would fight for. She commented that she now had the perspective to appreciate and value the opportunities she is being given and the unique experiences she has enjoyed during her time at an SA. :thumb:
     
  2. popeyesmom

    popeyesmom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for sharing this.
     
  3. flyersboy114

    flyersboy114 USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well her ex boyfriend must have been jealous her performing for Coach K :thumb:
     
  4. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,019
    Likes Received:
    2
    Haha that's awesome! Goes to show why sticking to your dreams pays off.
     
  5. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    In my experience, if you have to EXPLAIN the uniqueness of a Service Academy to a person, then that person is most likely not worth speaking to anyway.
     
  6. GizmoQ

    GizmoQ New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    My mom told me an interesting story once when I was a cadet. She was talking to the Junior High school counselor and the subject of my college came up. My mom proudly announced I would soon be an 1981 grad of the Air Force Academy. The counselor gave her a puzzled look so my mom tried to educate her a little about the service academies. "It's the Air Force equivalent to West Point and Annapolis," she said. The counselor eyes widened and said "why didn't you just say he was at West Point so people know what you're talking about." With that she just walked away thinking this is an educated person who wants me to treat everyone else as if they were as ignorant as this counselor is. God forbid, mom tell that to someone more knowledgeable and make herself look stupid. Sure they're "equivalent", but no where near the same.

    The fact that my mom, who was initially against my going, knew enough to be appreciate the situation made me proud.
     
  7. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Many people don't know that they are competitive schools and either see it as just a normal military college or some less knowledgeable people may even see it as the equivalent to enlisting. I don't view people negatively for these misunderstandings because it's not their fault and they can't be knowledgeable in everything pertaining to the military.
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    343
    Oh come now...

    "Butter Bars" are VERY useful!

    Think about it...if you didn't have any...

    The TO&E wouldn't be correct, there'd be a TON of paperwork you'd be responsible for, the higher ups would be all over you about it...life would be miserable.

    And they're also very good at going to supply to gather critical combat gear like 6'3" of flightline, 2-1qt can's of MILSPEC prop wash, and other items vital to combat efficiency! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  9. 100sof?s

    100sof?s Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not quite sure what do you mean by this? Don't you think the family and friends of 2nd Lt Graves might disagree with you?

    http://www.forcerecon.com/gravestc.htm
     
  10. 100sof?s

    100sof?s Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I went to a college football game yesterday which conducted a very nice military appreciation day. As a part of the tribute, at the end of the game, they honored all military personnel from that state who had been killed in military action by running the list on the large screen video. There were literally hundreds of ensigns and second lieutenants. TPG, do you think all these deaths were useless since none of them knew what they were doing?
     
  11. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,886
    Likes Received:
    232
    Am thinking your original posts flew right over the head of 100sof and he did not remotely understand the humor in them. Also am pretty sure if this candidate is awarded an appointment someone will teach him a lesson in respect pdq. Thank you for both your service and your sacrifice, TPG.
     
  12. gunner1zeus

    gunner1zeus Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    0
    tpg;
    looks like someone got a burr under your saddle:yllol::yllol:
    I personally would love to be on the bridge (when and if) that young ensign is dressed down by the old man for the first time and left wondering if he should seek guidance on how to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    The education of young officers STARTS when they arrive at the fleet.
     
  13. pedro4

    pedro4 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    I got it TPG

    Every organization has newbies, plebes, FNG's, etc... and they are there to be denigrated, hazed, and abused...all in good fun and with love! These other posters are humorless and obviously do not understand military humor.
     
  14. 100sof?s

    100sof?s Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    For a unit to be effective, both the junior officer and the senior enlisted must do their part. The senior enlisted must be concerned with the effective every day working performance of the unit and the officer must be concerned with the interaction of his unit in the overall grand scheme of things.

    There are two types of ineffective junior officers, the one who is told that he is useless and becomes timid, afraid to do his job, and allows the senior enlisted to walk all over him. The other is overbearing and takes charge, making decisions well beyond his experience level. The proper JO is a blend of the two, somewhere in the middle. It is the responsibility of the more senior officers to ensure that this happens.

    Why should this forum, a forum dedicated to the development of young officers, contribute to the ineffective leadership described above by contributing to timid leadership? This type of “humor” is perhaps more appropriate at an NCO club on Friday night after a couple too many beers.

    Not that I feel a necessity to display my shadow box but I have the same medals with the ‘V’s that you show. Yes, I also have a CAR. I have also seen way too many close friends doing their job and doing it well that weren’t around to pin on their silver bars. I don’t think we have had 90 day wonders since WWII. We are sending young JOs out to do a critical job and to do it in harm’s way. We should respect their efforts.

    tpg, the easy part is doing it yourself. It's a no brainer. Wait till your kids are out there. Your tone might change a bit.
     
  15. 100sof?s

    100sof?s Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    In this case, it is totally out of line. When this and things such as searching for relative bearing grease happens in front of the junior enlisted troops, they probably don't understand all the nuances of the hazing, and thusly lose all respect for the junior officer.
     
  16. Maximus

    Maximus Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,484
    Likes Received:
    0
    Since this is the INTERNET and inflection gets lost quick, I'd say you might want to have a little tone rehab ?'s yourself. TPG's record here is one of seriousness, light humor (tasteful) and honesty, I have personally corresponded with him and he is of the highest integrity. Your disparaging remarks were un called for and everyone knew where he was going with this humor. You've taken it personal and I'm positive that wasn't his intention. Again, check the attitude and lighten up with the NCO club remarks, totally uncalled for and malicious, something TPG never displays here. :thumbdown:
     
  17. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    343
    Just an FYI...

    "... I don’t think we have had 90 day wonders since WWII. "

    We do still. My wife is/was one. OCS for the AF is 90 days; I would "assume" the other services have something similar.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  18. gunner1zeus

    gunner1zeus Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    0
    100 sofs:
    As I once was a Senior NCO I take exception to your portrayal of NCOs as being a bunch of beer swilling dolts who spend all their time in the NCO club. It's that type of thinking that condones alcohol abuse in the military.

    The officer who blames pranks and practical jokes for the loss of respect they receive, never had that respect. I have always ensured that my men showed the proper respect for the uniform and position held by officers. I can not insist they respect the person in the uniform that respect must be earned.

    The position you take that the NCOs are only there to help you rise to the next pay grade is dangerous advice to give to cadets. As junior officers the Senior NCOs can make or break you. When you are assigned your first division and introduce yourself to them, that NCO behind you has seen it before quite possibly many times before, he knows your job probably better than you do. so listen to them.

    Many young ensigns require ego adjustments upon arrival at their first command due to the fact that they know all the answers to all the questions, how to do everything better than it's now being done. This is not the time to p___ off the NCOs they not only have there jobs to do but also need to conduct damage control on all the things the new division has screwed up. Parts of the required ego adjustment may include harmless pranks (mail buoy watch) these pranks are as old as the navy itself.
    Everyone from the CO down to the new deck seaman at some time or another has fallen victim to one or more of these pranks. Most can look back with a chuckle. except for you 100sof? I guess you never did find that can of relative bearing grease:shake: should have looked in repair locker #5 it's stored next to the sound powered phone batteries.
    lighten up:yllol::shake::biggrin:
     
  19. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sigh, I remember my husband joking about "butter bars" when he was the one wearing them. It's a time-honored tradition. Seriously, he understood that the senior NCO's were where he would really learn what he needed to know. He still jokes about the NCO who used to tell him "Sir, there's a fine line between hard core and stupid." Whenever he said that, my husband knew that he was either about to or had crossed that line. He NEVER ignored that warning. We always knew who really kept everything running, . . . .:thumb:
     
  20. 100sof?s

    100sof?s Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not sure what I stated that would give you the impression that this is my position. As a matter of fact, I began my post with an acknowledgement to the value of the senior NCO/JO relationship. However, I would argue that in some instances where this relationship breaks down, it is as much, or even more so the fault of the senior NCO than that of the JO. Here I am simply taking issue with tpg’s attitude that new JOs are useless and, secondary, to your statement that “the education of young officers STARTS when they arrive in the fleet”. If this were true, the SAs would be useless. And since this is a SA forum, I felt that it should be addressed. Why do you think that with each increase in rank in all services that the percentage of SA graduates in relation to the entire population increases? Since this is kind of a USMC discussion, only around 10% of 2LTs are USNA grads while normally around a third of generals are. In other words, an Academy grad has a 300% better chance of making General than does the non-Academy grad. It, to one degree or another, is true for all the services. Obviously, to me, this means that SA grads bring a little extra to the table when they first arrive in the fleet. If it weren’t true, there would be no need for the SAs. JMHO.

    And gunner, it was your job to not allow their egos to get out of hand once they reach the fleet after realizing that the reason they sacrificed four years of college for a SA was so they could be just a bit better when they reached the fleet.

    The advice I alwaqys give is to quit talking when they have said about half of what they really think is important, and conversly, to continue listening about twice as long as they feel necessary.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009

Share This Page