Flight program

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by njbaseball, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. njbaseball

    njbaseball Member

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    Anyone have any knowledge as to what majors will lead you to have an advantage if any for the flight program? I know that The better your grades you do have first pick as to what you would like to do, But did not know if you followed a specific major.


    Also, candidates with 20/20 vision corrected with contacts, I know if you are a candidate that the Navy has to correct them with PRK. Are the candidates that want to be fighter pilots able to that have this done and become FP?

    HOpefully not too confusing. Thank you!
     
  2. FutureNavyPilot

    FutureNavyPilot Fearless

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    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but what I learned from the Summer Seminar is, is that your major doesn't really play a huge role in what you do after the Academy. But if you're interested in flight, then maybe Aerospace Engineering might appeal to you as a major? I want to be a fighter jet pilot too, but I want to major in Arabic. I don't think it matters. I rather do something that interests me.

    And I believe you get the PRK your junior year at the Academy. And if you want to be a pilot, I think you can get a waiver, but it probably makes you less competitive. I wear contacts as well, so I'm kind of worried about getting a waiver for it later on. But I'm sure someone else will have more information about this. I'm interested to hear myself!
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Your major is irrelevant to service selection. What is relevant are your grades so you can select pilot.

    My understanding is that ~300 mids per year can have PRK surgery as 2/C. Obviously, at the time, they don't know if they will be able to select pilot. I don't know how the selection is made if there are more than 300 who want/need it done. My guess is that, because PRK is somewhat painful compared to Lasik, people who don't want to be pilots opt not to have it done and go with Lasik instead

    The Navy isn't required to do corrective surgery. They offer it. The fact you've had PRK doesn't make it more likely you'll be selected as a pilot vs. someone with naturally 20/20 vision. IOW, just b/c you get the surgery in no way guarantees you a pilot slot.

    The above is my understanding -- a current mid or pilot may have more accurate info.
     
  4. USNA'02

    USNA'02 Member

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    Hoping a current mid or recent grad can correct me if I'm wrong.

    When our class had the PRK option, they didn't ask for all wannabe pilots to come sign up, they asked that anyone in the class who wants the surgery to go through the pre-test application. Not all folks will meet the eligibility requirements required for the surgery. It's based on measuring the eye, the amount of correction needed, how bad of a stigmatism you have (if you have one), etc...etc...usually this weeds it down to about 300.

    It is well worth it if you can get it done. I'm about 10yrs from the time I had it done and I still have 20/20 :) (oh and I didn't service select Pilot)
     
  5. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Just to add some more confusion :)

    The Navy now allows LASIK for pilots and NFO's. For aviation applicants (ie Naval Academy mids) it doesn't matter which military hospital you have the surgery. [as an aside, those who are already pilots must currently have LASIK done at either San Diego or Portsmouth, or can have PRK at any military hospital]

    So...what does this mean for you? Well it means you will now have the option based on your eyes and indications as to which surgery you will get. Neither one makes you more/less likely to get a waiver or a pilot slot.

    Anyway, a fairly recent change that hasn't really made it to print much.
     
  6. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

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    Don't worry about your major - unless you'r actually interested in Aerospace Engineering, it can only hurt you. If you're not interested in your major and your grades suffer it will hurt you and you don't have an engineering level understanding of things for flight school.
     
  7. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    True. I would never recommend that one major in something in which they are not interested. However, all things being close to equal, an engineering degree can prove invaluable for any career selection. Eventually, for all officers, a subspecialty will come into play. For some, later on, it will become their primary career. NAVAIR, NAVSEA, and NAVSUB, involved in engineering and procurement, fit this bill nicely. An engineering degree is almost mandatory for these jobs. There is a reason that USNA demands a high percentage of engineering degrees. Don't burn bridges that you don't even know exist.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  8. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

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    Fair enough, Mongo - I would just point out that you shouldn't do engineering to get a future career position if you don't even like doing engineering. The flip of what I said is true as well - don't be a Poli Sci major because you think it'll be easier, you'll get better grades, and have a better chance of your selection. If you don't like Group III work, and are miserable there, it'll show.
     
  9. USNA'02

    USNA'02 Member

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    Somewhat agree...big thing is pick something you're interested in and you want to learn. I don't know anyone, other than the medical corps folks, who is still in the Navy that actually uses their college degree. If you plan on staying in you'll at some point will require a masters degree to advance AND chances are it will also be is something that you probably wont use in civilian life unless you stay in the military/Navy world. If you end up staying a lifer you'll see which direction your life is going and you'll be able to determine then which field of study you should be focusing on and it help determine what you get your masters in, and if the Navy is helping you earn that masters they'll "assist" you in picking your masters. A lot of my friends are getting their MBA, it's the easiest thing to get and it fills the wicket of earning a masters to help on promotion boards.

    My point is...pick something you want to major in, coming from the academy you'll have enough engineering/math classes to prepare you if you do say choose to get a masters in engineering, there will be a little extra work for you but it is all possible. I've seen many USNA polysci majors go on and earn a masters in engineering.
     
  10. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    While OOM is much more important than type of major in initial service selection, there is also a board, and the board is much more objective than class standing. All things being equal, if I were competing for the last aviation billet, I would rather go before the board as an Aero major than a Bull major. However, basically the original statement is correct. Type of major has little to do with aviation service selection. Nevertheless, I will never pass up an opportunity to point out why USNA (and also ROTC, for that matter) requires a high percentage of technical degrees and the value which they provide further on down the line.

    So, in rebuttal to your post. Officers get MBAs because they are convenient and also tailored to persons who have a full-time job. Not nearly so much so for engineering graduate degrees. I would guess that very few Naval officers obtain part time engineering degrees. The majority of those are systems engineers degrees which, while extremely valuable in the SYSCOM community, do no substitute for basic engineering knowledge. Secondly, full time graduate school opportunities fall far below the requirements to fill all the SYSCOM billets sufficiently. Thirdly, in the SYSCOMS, engineering knowledge in itself is a mandatory, not just as a ticket to promotion. Officers will be liaisoning with engineers, contractors, and users in the design, acquisition, repair, and modification of systems. The more actual technical knowledge that they possess, the better they will be able to perform.

    My entire post was to prevent someone from burning a bridge that they did not know even existed.
     
  11. osdad

    osdad Member

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    Don't forget that most NA graduates do not put in the full 20 years. So getting a technical degree plus your Navy experience = open doors. BS degree (the bovine kind) plus flight experience = fewer doors. Not that much call for fighter pilots in industry. OTOH: fighter pilot + Aero Engr = Lockheed & Boeing knocking down that door.
     
  12. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    A lot will depend on whether airlines or other entities that want commercial pilots (e.g., large corporations) are hiring when you decide to leave the military. If they are, your degree is largely irrelevant, as they are looking for people to fly aircraft. The fact you flew fighters and they're asking you to fly a B-777 isn't an issue.

    However, if -- as now -- they aren't hiring, the poster above is absolutely correct. Having a technical degree will make it easier to fly a non-flying job. It's impossible to predict where things will be in the roughly 15 yrs between now and when you could reasonably look to leave the service (USNA + flight school + payback years).
     
  13. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Different airlines look at this differently (or at least they used to when I was looking into the airlines). Some insist of ratings, some don't care. There are single engine and multi-engine ratings. With multi-engine, there is either centerline or asymetrical thrust. Some airlines only insisted on multiengine time while some wanted multiengine asymetyrical thrust. Once upon a time, the F-14 was the only tactical jet with engines far enough apart to qualify. Maybe someone with knowledge more recent than the Wright Brothers can clarify.

    This was a backhanded plug for the P-3 community.
     
  14. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

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    Let's not forget the all-powerful rotorcraft-helicopter rating.
     
  15. MakeItHappen

    MakeItHappen Member

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    Mongo,

    What is considered basic eng. knowledge? I was under the impression that systems engs. would have it.

    I couldn't access the USNA website to compare eng. disciplines. Thanks.
     
  16. marvin7794

    marvin7794 Member

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    Is there a selection board for aviation at USNA? I thought it was purely OOM and "need of the Navy" based, with ASTB scores breaking ties for the bottom feeders.
     
  17. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Ha ha. Back in the day, Delta, I think, preferred multi-engine Navy helicopter pilots. Their instrument scan was impeccible. Night ASW hovers.
     
  18. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    I am probably going to get beaten around smartly for this, but I have always looked at a graduate degree in systems engineering as an MBA for engineers. Systems engineering is about the bringing all the componenet of a complex engineering system together, from design to repair and the spare parts inventory. Not to be confused with the USNA undergraduate degree which includes the basic Academy engineering syllabus.
     
  19. Profmom2

    Profmom2 Member

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    Mongo you are right on the beaten around smartly for your statement. As an Industrial and Systems Engineer with a BS and MS we have all suffered the common belief that we are just Imaginary Engineers - The ME's were the worst for this assumption and generally acted as if they were far superior. Civil Engineers not far behind but that is only because I married one! I received my degrees from highly ranked programs within the profession at a time when many of the programs were just created out of ME departments and most thought the degree was nothing more than time study specialists.

    There are plenty of functions within Systems engineering that require traditional engineering skills. Take the manufacturing - space planning specialist with in ISYE - you have to have a firm understanding of mechanical, electrical and civil engineering practices. We may not be able to actually design the "product" but best assured we understand much better than the product designer how to manufacture it and do so cost effectively.

    What USNA brings into the niche is the weapons systems element. Can't find a better program in the nation.

    My son did not graduate out of Division I, he came out of Division II. USMC Aviation.

    For those that are interested http://www.usna.edu/AcDean/talks/talks.html
    Look at the pdf for the Academic Brief: 09 July 2010. Academic Program Brief for Class of 2014

    Majors on page 25: Of those USNA graduates commissioned into the US Navy, 65% shall be majors in Science, Technology, Engineering or
    Mathematics.

    Consideration of a midshipman’s major will play a role at the time of service
    assignment.
     
  20. marvin7794

    marvin7794 Member

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    What consideration is given to a mids major at the time of service selection, unless you're trying to go SWO Oceanography option? I know economics majors who were drafted into the submarine community.
     

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