For those not hearing back regarding appointments

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by BanachSpaces, May 13, 2016.

  1. BanachSpaces

    BanachSpaces New Member

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    As it's that time of the year, I wanted to give some insight as a former cadet. Some background about myself: I was a cadet for 2 years, 2x NCAA All-American, and was 5th in my class at the time before I left. I love the Academy, but want to give some perspective on the whole Academy ideal.

    A little while ago, I was in your position and thought that I needed USAFA to become the best 'X'. I want to tell you that's not true, it's you're own drive that determines how successful you are in your endeavors. If you were going to succeed while at the Academy, I promise you'll succeed anywhere else as long as you hold yourself accountable for your actions and never take the easy option. Don't think that by getting into USAFA that it validates you as a person, as I saw a lot of cadets who just wanted to 'survive' the 4 years to get a commission.
     
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  2. glithfire

    glithfire New Member

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    if you do not mind me asking, what made you leave?
     
  3. BanachSpaces

    BanachSpaces New Member

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    I left because I felt that I wouldn't be intellectually stimulated during AD and I'd be able to contribute more to society through other means. Yes, you can argue that the AF has research positions, but they tend to only focus on very specific areas. In addition, there was no reason for me to take AF resources to complete research that can be done independently in the civilian sector.

    I've subsequently finished my degree with honors at a civilian school, have worked on DARPA grants, at Google DeepMind, and will be finishing my PhD in CS at a top 5 CS school shortly. This route cost me about $10k (really only undergrad tuition) rather than hundreds of thousands of dollars for the AF to pay and support me during this time.
     
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  4. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    BanachSpaces brings up good points : There's no shame in realizing that military life isn't for you or that being an officer isn't really your ultimate goal. That's why you get 2 years before commitment.

    On the other hand, if you decide it's still your goal after 2 years, then don't lose sight of the prize. It's great seeing all the parents' posting their cadets jumping in the fountains right now. And hearing the firsties say that, contrary to all the complaints over the last 4 years, they will actually miss it.

    I would say the same to those who didn't get an appointment -- don't lose sight of your goals. The goal isn't really to go to USAFA, its to become an officer, right? There's more than 1 way to get commissioned!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
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