Going to West Point through the National Guard?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by 160thWannabe, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. 160thWannabe

    160thWannabe Member

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    I'm a rising high school junior this year planning on going to West Point after I graduate high school. I'm a straight-A student, run varsity cross country and track, and have almost earned my Eagle Scout rank. I've been preparing myself for applying for the Class of 2018, but I've recently heard that it's possible to enlist in the National Guard during the summer between Junior/Senior year and get a slot to West Point from there. (Information on that here.) I've "heard" that, normally, some of the slots that the National Guard holds for West Point go unfilled, but then this webpage says that it's very competitive to get a slot. All-in-all, this route to West Point sounds somewhat risky, and I was wondering what you guys at the forum think about it and whether you think it's a feasible method.

    Thanks.
     
  2. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    from what you are telling, if you join the National Guard or the Reserves, your chance of getting accepted to West Point will be pretty high

    There are 85 appointments reserved for the National Guard and Army Reserves.

    The basic service requirement is completing the Army Basic training and getting your commander's endorsement.

    There are a couple hundreds of soldiers that get the nomination, but most of them won't fails to become fully qualified - mostly for academic reasons. So if you are a solid student, you should be okay.

    This year in my state, one NG soldier got a direct appointment to West Point and another on got accepted into the Prep School.

    CAUTION for you is to understand the consequence of you joining the National Guard and having a plan B if you don't get into West Point and you are still a member of the National Guard. Can't say I want to quit National Gaurd since I didn't get into West Point.
     
  3. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I've had several candidates do this and it's definitely a good way to get into WP assuming as MemberLG mentioned, that you're aware of the consequences if that doesn't happen. We've been told several times that those 85 slots never are all filled - of course this could change. You need to be competitive on all fronts as well - academically qualified, leadership, sports, medical, CFA, etc. It's possible you could pass the METS physical (enlisted) and not pass the Dodmerb one for WP. It's also possible you could fail the CFA or get a 22 on one section of the ACT, etc. In any of those cases, you'd still be committed to the NG but would lose the shot at WP.

    One more caveat is that you need to be 17 to enlist in the NG and they can't request your basic training date before then. If you don't get the basic training in over the summer between junior & senior year, even if you've already signed everything with the NG, you are not considered a "soldier" candidate in WP's eyes and would end up obligated to the guard if you didn't get in on your own. Depending on when your birthday is, this can be harder to juggle (obviously a May birthday is harder than a January one). Or the slot for basic training could just fall through or the unit might not be able to get you one - finding the right 10 week block that works with your schedule and the Army's during that short summer is definitely not a guarantee.

    Overall though, if you are a competitive candidate, pass everything necessary, and complete that Basic Training, then yes, you pretty much are guaranteed a slot for WP. It's getting to that point that's the hard part and realizing how it'll affect your Plan B if it doesn't work out. I do know a lot of AROTC units though have a lot of cadets who are NG as well (Purdue is mostly that way) so college is still a possibility (as is becoming an officer) but just make sure you understand what you're committing to before you sign anything! :thumb:
     
  4. 160thWannabe

    160thWannabe Member

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    So I emailed my Regional Commander, Major Dermanoski, on this subject. He replied saying,

    "I do not recommend enlisting just to increase your chances of admission. While historically it was easier to get in as a Soldier, that is changing. 1st, the Guard has sent down an officer to increase their admission from true Guard Soldiers with more than just basic training. He has already had quite a bit of success. 2nd as the wars draw down, we have lots of Combat Soldiers coming back looking for more. Many put off college to enlist. On Monday, we brought in 35 combat vets and around 100 other Soldiers. Finally, there is no guarantee that if you enlist you will qualify to apply as a Soldier. You have to complete basic training AND get your commander's endorsement. They are not required to give it to you. If you enlist, you must be prepared to serve your commitment."

    So it sounds like that option is out of the picture. The idea has its pros, but overall it's sounding like a worse and worse idea as time goes on.
     
  5. CadetMoore

    CadetMoore Member

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    I am enlisted in the National Guard and am reapplying to WP for CO2017, but I dont get out of basic and AIT until January 25th, is this going to be a problem when it comes time to ask my commander for the nomination? I am aware that most of the slots go unfilled, but I was 3q'd last year and I recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout so I feel like I will stand out among other soldiers. Input anyone?
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    It becomes "a worse idea as time goe on" only if you are going to join the guard for west point.

    MAJ Dermanoski's reply is pretty much what I and marciemi posted

    35 combat vets and 100 other soldiers include some coming from the Prep school. West Point cannot use the NG/Reserve slots for Prep School kids until there is no more qualified NG/Reserve soldiers.

    An often told story is that a Ranger Company commander refused to endorse one of his soldiers for West Point because he was not Ranger qualified. Otherwise, I don't see why a company commander won't endorse a soldier, IF that soldier is a good soldier.
     
  7. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    You should be okay as long as your complete your application.

    You will be initially tracked as reapplicant, but once your start basic you should be treated as NG soldier. POC at West Point is MAJ Wire. The admissions website has the NG liasion officer.

    You can get your Basic or AIT commander to nominate you, it doesn't have to be your NG commander at your home station. My recommendation is to talk to your chain of command at your AIT after you are about half way through your AIT. If you are a good soldier, more than likely your AIT commander will endorse you. The reason to ask your AIT commander is the timing as your first drill after AIT will be February and the application deadline is the end of February and getting a late nomination can complicate your application process.

    Don't forget to apply to your congressoinal nomination.
     
  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    according an unofficial source, the numbers include some prep kids (didn't get a breakdown on that)

    For class of 2016, 116 soldiers, 63 Active/13 Reservists/36 National Guard

    For calss of 2015, 79 soldiers,48 Active/15 Reservists/16 National Guard
     
  9. CadetMoore

    CadetMoore Member

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    That sounds like my best option right now because the place I am drilling right now is not the same place I will be drilling in Feb. so the swap will further complicate things. Is it common that a Basic commander would make the nomination? I can wait until AIT, but the sooner the better. Thanks!
     
  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    No clue.

    What you have to overcome is a possible misperception and limited interaction. There are some active duty folks with misperception or no understanding about West Point. When you approach your drill sergeant to get your company commander's time to get his endorsement, not sure how that will work. My guess is from okay to no (you don't have enough time in the Army or whatever). Also the basic training is like a factory, so you might be hard pressed to impress your drill sergeants and the company commander to prove to them you are worthy. It doesn't hurt to try as if the commander saids no, you can try again during AIT.
     
  11. Art.Perea

    Art.Perea Member

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    I was also debating doing this but then my father (an ex-reservist) brought up a very good point. If your National Guard unit suddenly gets deployed, you have to go. Once you sign that contract, you belong to the US National Guard and you will do what they tell you to do. What I am going to do is us the Guard as a back up. If I do not get in this time around, I will enlist and try to get in through the guard.
     
  12. Art.Perea

    Art.Perea Member

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    Another point I forget to mention. For me, I want to be a soldier more than anything. I am not just doing this to get into West Point. So for me, being a private will actually make me happy because I would be in the Army. You need to decide on your own if you are okay with being a regular soldier before you sign that contract. If you are and you did not make it into West Point this time around, then I say go for it :)
     
  13. CadetMoore

    CadetMoore Member

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    Sounds pretty risky to ask during Basic, I might get smoked and earn myself a nice nickname. I will probably wait until AIT unless I really have the chance to impress anyone in the short time I have at ft. Benning
     
  14. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Your Dad is partially correct. If you are not MOSQ (i.e. completed AIT), you are not going anywhere as you have to be MOSQ to deploy. Unless something like 911 happens again there will be no suddent deploymements for NG. Even if you deploy, you can still apply. Unless you deploy to some place where there is nothing, most military bases are robust enough to provide internet connect and even big and safe enough to administer CFA (could be challenging, but not impossible).

    Once you sign the contract, you do belong to the NG, but there are limitations.
     

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