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.