How important is the choice of which academy you go to?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by John41057, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. John41057

    John41057 Member

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    Hi
    I have noticed that it appears that most applicants apply to several service academies. My DS only wanted to go to the USAFA and did not apply to any other. My question is, how important was the choice of academy to you or your DS or DD? Was my DS different in that he was only willing to enter one academy? As a parent we are very pro-military and I served in the Navy so would have been OK either service (GO Navy).
    Regards
    John
     
  2. pos2013falcon

    pos2013falcon Member

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    Our DS only applied for USAFA as well. He is currently a c2 so it has worked out for him. I think it all depends on your DS/DD and their goals.
     
  3. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    As for number of applications, it may also depend on the congressmen for your state/district. Some want candidates to apply to more than one academy to demonstrate that the student is committed to serving in the armed forces. Flkexibility in which academy a student is willing to attend also may give the nominating source more flexibility in nominations. This is something you have to determine based on your state/congressmen -- it is not the same in every state/district. When my daughter applied 4 years ago in Colorado, applications were expected to apply to more than one academy and to ROTC and to seek all possible nominations. With the reduction in number of cadets/midshipmen accepted at each academy in the last couple of years, flexibility may be important to getting a nomination/appointment or it may not matter in your district/state.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Exactly. My son wanted air force and nothing else. His priority was air force academy, then air force Rotc, then get college on his own and go air force ots. Obviously, its a matter of what you want as far as military service goes and what your options are. My son's first thing was to serve in the air force. Next was for the academy education. Like many others who attend the academy, he had numerous other educational options. Even the expense of college wasn't a concern because of scholarship opportunities. So he applied to the academy he wanted.

    Some however simply want to serve and because of the options available to them, they are just as happy going to any of the acafemies and serving in any branch. But that has to be their choice. I definitely recommend against applying to academies if you really prefer to not serve in that branch. The academy is much more than a pseudo free college education. I know the cost of college is a major factor for some, but there's a lot more to the 9 years minimum you will spend in that branch of the military. and theres many educational options if that's the most important factor in applying.
     
  5. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    dohdean makes a good point as far as congressional nominations go. Both of my cadets(C/O 2014 and 2016) however only applied to USAFA. They both had only a Presidential nomination. We didn't know any better with DD in 2010 and DS had his appointment before congressional interviews last year.
     
  6. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Our son only applied to USAFA. He didn't have any desire to do anything else. AFROTC and USNA actually contacted him about applying after he got his LOA from USAFA but he was not interested.

    Stealth_81
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Our DS only applied to the AFA, he like your child was raised in a military family. If he couldn't serve in the AF, he had plan B to still serve the country in the CIA, or go to Law school and work for the govt.

    He didn't want to be on a boat or in a tank.

    He is a 2nd Lt. stationed at Laughlin AFB with a UPT slot, leaving for IFS next month.

    Fate is funny, it gets in the way no matter what you do!
     
  8. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    I'm only applying to USAFA- I have not interest in the Army, Coast Guard, Navy, or Marines. I think it just depends on what you are looking for in a particular branch; in my case, I have always had passions for air and space so the air force was the logical choice.
     
  9. John41057

    John41057 Member

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    Choice of Academies

    Hi
    I feel a lot better knowing that others feel the same way my DS does. We live in San Diego District 50 so unsure how many apply for air force. Perhaps we are more of a Navy town. My DS (very conservative) only applied to one MOC and lucky for him with the LOA for athletics he received his nomination. But I am happy to know it is not unusual to desire one academy over another, not that they are not all great. Just a personal preference.
    Regards
    John
     
  10. bandad

    bandad Member

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    DS (Class of 2017) applied for USAFA and USNA. We know folks that knew what they wanted and applied to one academy, and others that wanted to serve and applied to multiple academies. It can obviously work either way, but if DS/DD wants to serve in one particular branch, and they can articulate that well, I think that can be powerful message. My DS said he would be honored to go to either academy, and he was open to both. During his nomination interview, he was asked about his ranking the academies, and that can be important question in more competitive districts where multiple nominations are not given out.

    bandad
     
  11. Knittle

    Knittle Member

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    I only applied to USAFA. I considered applying to USNA, but realised I should not commit myself to something I have half my heart in. I figured it was best to leave those slots for people who really want those acadmies.
     
  12. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    DS applied only to USAFA. MOCs made him choose only one. He would have had to apply to rep for 1 academy and senate for another, very risky! He put all eggs in USAFA basket and got the golden one.
     
  13. OBXmom

    OBXmom Member

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    A slightly different version

    My son wanted to go to USNA since 2nd grade. His uncle is a 1985 grad. He visited the Academy a few times on his own growing up, and once officially. Loved it. When it came time to apply, he applied to both USNA and USAFA. He knew he loved USNA, but he felt he could be happy serving in the Air Force as well. He received nominations to both. He was on the official wait list at USNA, but did not receive an appointment. He received an appointment to USAFA. He is now a C2C (a junior), doing very well, and is very glad he is Air Force.
    I don't know many people who knew at the age of 17, exactly what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives. Its a daunting decision to have to make at that age. Thankfully, my son adapted, and is better for having done so. I think his ability to adapt may have been ingrained in him growing up. Coming from a lower income household, he was maybe more accustomed to not always getting his ideal choices, yet making the best with what he had.
    As a parent, I am very glad he applied to both.
     
  14. Flyboy522

    Flyboy522 USAFA 1986

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    Back in the 80's I only applied to USAFA -- I wanted to fly, didn't really know much about any of the academies, but researched and applied to USAFA due to my only real interest being in aviation. Glad I made the choice I did -- any other route to 2nd Lt would not have allowed me to get into pilot training -- with my astigmatism I needed a waiver to enter pilot training that was only available (at least back then) to USAFA grads. The needs of the AF always determine what kind of waivers the AF allows I'd imagine. At the time my impression was that if I'd gone to USAFA even one year later I might not have been allowed into UPT due to the waiver that I received not being available to the next class. If your interested in eye sight waivers it is best to contact a nearby flight surgeons office at a base in your area -- they are a moving target and you'll need current info to ensure correct information.

    My oldest is now 17 and originally applied to USMA, USNA and USAFA -- the last was a wink towards Dad though his heart wasn't in it. He's looking more towards infantry and special ops and not really sure about aviation -- therefore, he finally dropped his application to USAFA. He recently received an appointment to USNA and has received positive email affirmation that he'll be accepted to USMA and will have a big decision to make after February.

    In the end, the big issue is what your DS/DD is interested in doing in the military after graduation (if they have an idea other than serving their country). All of the academies have great reputations and your DS/DD will be well served attending any of them!
     
  15. burnerafter16

    burnerafter16 Member

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    Other than the obvious differences of each branch of service, It is ultimately up to the prospective cadet to decide in what specific branch to spend the time and effort to earn a degree, commission and serve.
    I have met cadets who have applied and have received appointments to more than one SA. Sources of nomination instruct applicants to only name their first preference. If you are able to secure nominations for more than one SA, then you have more options to choose from before I-day.
     
  16. John41057

    John41057 Member

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    Academy choice

    Hi
    Yes, I can see the benefit of multiple applications to increase the likely hood of getting an appointment. My DS comes from a family where both parents are pilots and he seems to be enjoying getting his license now. Once he saw the USAFA he was sold on it. Maybe it is a good thing I never took him to Annapolis. As for me I thank Navy uniforms look better than Air Force (just me...no haters). I thank he has an excellent opportunity for a great life and education in the Air Force.
    Regards
    John
     
  17. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    One twin applied to USAFA and USNA, the other only to USAFA. However, I think he might have been just as happy at USMA. Don't know why but at the time of college application, he had full ROTC rides to several colleges but didn't apply to USMA.
     

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