I need some advice

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Quertillia, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Quertillia

    Quertillia Member

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    Hi everyone. I joined and posted awhile ago, but I haven't been very active. My name is Haley and I'm 14 and interested in eventually attending the Air Force Academy.

    The only problem is that I'm terrified to tell my parents. No one in my family has ever been in the military, (except my grandfather was in coastguard for a few years), and neither of my parents are very happy with the government right now. My mother noticed my interest in fighter planes and a long time ago she asked if I wanted to be a fighter pilot. Then she said I'd have to do that after college.

    But the thing is, about six months ago I was obsessed with majoring in music. I've had all kinds of music lessons, and I've been very active in my high school chorus. She keeps telling me that I better still be majoring in music or I'll have to quit everything. Of course she doesn't know that I can't quit because I need chorus to be accepted at the academy. I asked her awhile ago if I could join my high school's afjrotc and she freaked out and said, "A daughter of mine will never do military." And when talking about being a fighter pilot she brought up boot camp and how horrible it will be. So obviously she doesn't think girls should be in the military.

    I have no idea how my father would feel about all this.

    Anyway, thanks for reading all of that. Is there anyone here who had a sort of similar situation? How did you tell your parents?

    Edit: I forgot to mention that I live in Florida and my older sister is going to a school fifty minutes away from us. One of the schools she was looking at was in Missouri, and my dad completely freaked out at that. So my parents are set on having me in Florida.
     
  2. J.NordicSkier7

    J.NordicSkier7 Candidate

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    well, the first step is to actually talk to your parents about it. Even though I'm a girl and my parents were hesitant at first about the idea of an academy, they were probably easier than yours will be, but they may surprise you. One thing you don't want is a rift between you and your parents because they resent that you didn't feel like you could talk to them. In the end, whether or not you attend the academy, given you've an appointment, is completely your decision. At 14, they probably feel like you're too young to decide, but how will they justify this when you're 18? You know your parents better than anyone else. Present your argument and see how it goes. What's the worst that can happen? good luck:thumb:
     
  3. Benson

    Benson Member

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    Just a mom here . . .

    Why are you interested in a career in the Air Force? Why do you want to attend the Academy? You will need to be very sure about your answers to these questions when you speak to your parents.

    My son is candidate for class of 2013 and has known he wanted a military career practically since birth. I also have a daughter your age--she has not settled on a career path yet. My advice to her (well, to all of my children) is to shoot for the stars--literally. Whatever preparation (tough classes, good grades, community service, etc.) you do, will just make you more competitive no matter where you decide to attend college.

    We parents often react strongly when your plans differ with our plans for your future. If your parents truly don't want you to attend a service academy, they will use all of their influence to try to deter you. If this is really what you want, they won't be able to.

    But, you still have a few years before you will be applying, so I would recommend reading all you can, speaking to people in the military--really researching that this is the correct choice for you. The more confident and educated you are when you present this to your parents, the more they will see that this is truly a mature, well-thought out decision on your part instead of just a whim.

    Good luck to you--you are certainly on the right path of beginning early.
     
  4. Quertillia

    Quertillia Member

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    thanks

    Thanks so much you guys! I hadn't thought about how they'll feel when they discover I haven't spoken with them about this for months and months and months. And I have been reading about the Air Force everyday. I don't think there's much information on google that I've missed.

    But I really do want to be an officer. The weird thing is, I had never even considered or thought about the military until I took an interest in the Vietnam War. That's the problem. I'm afraid my parents wont take me seriously, because one day I was reading about the different branches of the military, and I clicked the little Air Force link cause it sounded the coolest. That's how I discovered it, and since then I've been obsessed.

    I promise you guys that I'll tell them, and I'll post here to say their reactions. This way I'll have to tell them or I'll look like a wimp on here.

    Thanks. : )
     
  5. xTxMANx

    xTxMANx Member

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    My mom was never really big into me going into the military (and still isn't). Once she learned how passionate I am about being in the AF, and how much it means to em to serve, she eased up a little

    Also, the AFA isnt just the military, and you should let them know that. Have them look at the academyadmissions page and show them that it also involves heavy academics.

    and lastly, JROTC is definitely not just the military. Half of the cadets in my battalion are not going into anything even remotely involved with the military. It is actually a very good leadership class that will help you in any future


    good luck
     
  6. HNeedle

    HNeedle Member

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    that's definitely a tough situation... a few of my friends there now were in the same situation. bottom line is that you've gotta tell em, and hopefully they'll come to terms with it.. JROTC is definitely not military. it's just a very nice way to help discipline yourself and learn a little bit about the armed forces... i learned alot about leadership in JROTC in high school. xTxMANx is definitely right- have them look at the academyadmissions website... sure we had to go through basic, and our lives arent the best as freshmen, and it technically IS the military,and the end goal is to be an officer in the air force. but at the academy, you're not going to war, you're not actually doing much for the "real air force."

    and then of course, Benson is completely right. it's gotta be your choice. there are a few different options of being an officer too, not just the Academy, so you may like to research some of those too... good luck and keep workin hard!
     
  7. flyersboy114

    flyersboy114 USAFA Cadet

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    And you can't tell them that out of all the branches of the military the AF is the safest, in this current war and by the looks of things, wars to come
     
  8. packermatt7

    packermatt7 USAFA Cadet

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    It's your choice, your life.

    That being said, stay calm with your parents, and don't get mad when they disagree with them. The Service Academies are compared with Ivy League schools in terms of academics. Show them the positives, because in the end, they heavily outweigh the negatives.
    Make sure you know why you want to do it, and that it is your decision for the RIGHT reasons.
     
  9. Harrison Morgan

    Harrison Morgan Candidate

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    one thing that i think you should take into consideration is what is more important to you, your music, or your potential service to country

    also, why air force?, what about that branch calls out to you and your reason to serve in the military?
    also, why the academy? as in, if you didn't receive an appointment to USAFA, would you pursue military service through ROTC or enlistment?
    if the answer to that is no, i would reevaluate the reasons for wanting to attend a service academy. pursuing an academy can't be because one thinks its 'the most prestigious.' when your leading your fellow men and women in combat, they couldn't care less about one's 'prestigious' academy education.

    Also, being an officer (at least in my opinion), is NOT in any way more special then being an enlisted member. The enlisted ranks are the backbone of the military, as an officer, you serve them


    I'm sure you'll figure out what's best for you as discover more about the service, academy, etc

    Best of Luck!!
     
  10. Quertillia

    Quertillia Member

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    I have been reading about ROTC, and I know it's what I would do if I can never get into the academy. And I'm going to talk a lot about how my parents wont have to pay much, cause I think that will eventually get my dad to support me. Plus, I found out that my grandfather was a Merchant Marine during World 2, not Coastguard. My dad was very enthusiastically explaining what it was like for my grandfather, so this might turn out to help me. My dad also just /adores/ fighter planes.

    So my plan is to go with my mom to this All-state choir thing that I'm doing, (we'll be staying in a hotel) and when we start talking about possible music colleges I'm just gonna tell her straight out. Do you guys think I should act unsure about it or really sure about it? I don't want her to think I'm not serious... Would it be more convincing to be bold, or hesitant and over the next few months pretend to become more sure? I think either way there will be lots of yelling. 0_o Anyway, she'll probably call my dad after that so I most likely wont have to talk to him until we get home.

    And to answer a few questions, right now I really feel like my country and joining the Air Force is more important to me then music. I just can't imagine myself forgetting about the Air Force and going to some music school and eventually being a music teacher. It just doesn't excite me anymore. Also, I feel like the Air Force is the best choice because when I was first reading about the military it was the branch that stuck out to me. I just thought wow, that's really cool. And I want to do something useful with my life. I want to be involved with what's going on in the world and help bring air support to troops. Plus I like planes. My grandfather and my uncle both have their pilots license so I've been around planes. I was supposed to get a ride in my Grandfather's but he drove his into a truck...

    But anyway, sometimes I do feel sort of unsure. Six months ago I had never even dreamed of joining any part of the military. I'm sort of worried my personality will take another random turn after I've already told my parents. Is this normal?

    Thanks so much you guys! I feel a lot better now that I've posted here. You guys are the only people that know about this. I've been keeping this a secret from everyone.
     
  11. falcongirl

    falcongirl USAFA grad

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    If you are passionate about attending the AFA and serving as an officer, I would tell them you are certain about it. As you said, you will probably have to weather the storm either way. You might also want to tell them that you have been thinking about and researching an Air Force career for months, but did not know how they would take it. If you sound hesitant, it might seem to your parents that this isn't of great importance to you.

    Reading this thread has made me really thankful that both my parents were career air force and are supportive of my academy aspirations.:biggrin: I wish you the best of luck!
     
  12. MChansard

    MChansard Member

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    i sent you a private message.
     
  13. MChansard

    MChansard Member

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    oh and, contact your ALO. while he/she cannot persuade or convince or fight a battle with your parents, he/she can give them insight to the lives of women in the military as well as the academy and rotc routes.

    and don't worry, there are plenty of music options at the academies!
     
  14. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I would concur; contact your ALO.

    We (ALO's) have quite often been part of a situation like this. I know I have. And sometimes the parents will want to speak with us. Sometimes to yell at us for trying to "recruit" their "baby" into the military. That's when we explain we do NOT recruit; rather, we answer calls TO US.

    MOST parents, after the initial shock, are very open and want to know truly why, what, how, etc...etc...and then are very supportive IF you are sure this is what you want to do.

    If you don't know your ALO or are unable to learn who it is, PM me at: flieger83@cox.net and give me:

    a. Your HS name, city, state...

    With that, I can find out the ALO assigned to that HS.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    AFA '83
     
  15. ds52262

    ds52262 Member

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    I had a friend at work approach me the other day becuase he knows I'm retired and my daughter is a cadet. He was in a panic becuase his son was approached by an Army recruiter. This gentleman is an Indian immigrant and the military has a whole different understanding. The public today had no realistic concept of the military today, and is so detached from reality because of the volunteer force.

    By all means when your parents have questions about who contacts who, and what the motivation is have them speak with the ALO!
     
  16. Quertillia

    Quertillia Member

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    blep

    I am really envious of you Falcongirl! XD Thank you guys so much for your help. And I will definitely mail you my high school name and my city, flieger, because I've been trying to locate my ALO for awhile.
     
  17. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    IMHO, I think it is even more important to get in touch with your ALO so he / she can answer YOUR questions. Convincing your parents is one part ofthe puzzle, and actually the smaller piece. Actually knowing if the military is right for YOU is the big question.

    You said it yourself: you're 14, you're not sure if this is some teen-age phase (although probably you are "convinced" that this is the path for you). Well, you will probably find quite a few on this forum who already "know" that the military is the path for them at your age (I was one of them). But this is the EXCEPTION, most of your fellow teen-agers just aren't that sure of those life-altering decisions yet. You're not alone if you need guidance.

    Get with your ALO. Ask him / her about the life and how it would affect YOU. What can YOU do in the military, and is it the right fit for YOU. Get your parents involved, let them be brutally honest in their opinions and concerns. NO ONE has your interests at heart as much as them. They WILL listen, and they may argue, but in the end, they will give you the best advice. It's your job to get them the best INFORMATION to help them give you that advice, and your ALO can help you get that information to them.

    So, don't worry, you have several years to get yourself informed. Take that time to do what is best for you.

    Good luck, and keep asking those questions. There are some great people on these forums always willing to help get you those answers.:smile:

    Bullet
     
  18. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Because you are 14 years old, finding out who your ALO "Would" be if you were eligible, is a little more difficult. 3 simple ways to get the ball rolling. 1) EASIEST: Do you live close to an Air Force recruiter's office. I.e. Maybe in the mall or downtonw? If so, just drop in and ask them who do you need to talk to about going to the air force academy. They'll either know or know how to find out. 2) Go online to your congressional rep's home page. MOST/Many of them will post a list of the cadets at the academy who they nominated. Once you have a name of someone in your LOCAL AREA; you can easily call admissions at the academy and ask who that person's ALO is. 3) Pretty simple: Call the academy admissions and ask who the State/District person is who oversees the ALO's for your state/district. Then call that person. That person can get you the exact name and number of who the ALO is.

    With all that said; you have a very powerful weapon working for you here. TIME!!! You are 14 years old. Which means that you probably have at least 2 full years left before you can even start an application to the academy. BUT, as you are doing now, you can ask a lot of questions. The biggest question always asked is; "How do I get into the academy". The next biggest question is; "What are my chances of getting an appointment to the academy". I'm not going to tell you those answers here. Takes too much time. BUT; the answer to the first question is pretty much what is required to get into almost ANY PRESTIGIOUS school. As such, whether you change you mind on the academy or not; if you care about your future and attending a GREAT COLLEGE; you'll still want to take all the classes that would get you into the academy. Educationally; there's very little difference in getting into the academy and yale, harvard, princeton, stanford, cornell, etc...

    Once you're on track educationally, physically, socially, volunteering, extra curricular, sports, etc.... you'll be able to work on your parents. I guess my point is: WHY WORRY ABOUT YOUR PARENTS IF YOU HAVEN'T/CAN'T/DON/T/WON'T/ETC.... get accepted?????? Why even start a possible conflict???????? You're 14; it is possible that what you want today could change next year. IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO HAPPEN. Why make it hard on yourself when you don't need to. Remember SERENITY!!!!! To accept the things you can not change, courage to change the things you can, and wisdom always to tell the difference. In other words, don't worry about that stuff yet. Find out what it takes to get ACCEPTED INTO THE ACADEMY. Work on that. It isn't a waste, because it's the same as any Ivy League type college; so it will be of use no matter WHAT COLLEGE you end up attending.

    Then; within the next 24 months; work on your parents. (That will also give you the stamina to see if you really want the academy). Keep screen savers/wallpaper of the academy on your computer. (Recommend a picture of the chapel and NOT Airplanes). IF, a television program is on about the academies; watch them so your parents notice. Plus you LEARN!!! Have books about the academy to read. YOU'LL LEARN!!!! They'll notice. ALSO have books, articles, etc... on OTHER HIGH LEVEL COLLEGES. Even if your parents were 100% on board; only 19% of applicants are offered an APPOINTMENT. Only 14-15% actually walk in the door in June!!! So; have OTHER colleges in your background and ready to go

    I know there is a lot of great opinions and knowledge here on these forums. And I know that I am definitely debated for some of the things I suggest and say. This is probably going to be one of those times. I would NOT TRY TALKING TO YOUR PARENTS about this yet!!!! You are 14. You already know their position. You have PLENTY OF TIME!!!! Get into every AP CLASS or the IB PROGRAM!!!! Kick Butt on your GPA!!! Be the TOP 1% of the class if you can!!! Get into SPORTS, EC, Volunteering, clubs, leadership positions, etc.... HAVE A GREAT LIFE!!! Let your ACTIONS SPEAK FOR YOU!!!! Whether you go to an academy or not, you will be academically, physically, and socially prepared for any Ivy League or traditional college in the country. Having choices!!!!! WHAT A CONCEPT!!!!! Work on your parent a little at a time. Piece by piece. It will strengthen your commitment if you really want this. Over time, they will see you are still dedicated. When they see your innuendos and ask if you are still serious about the academy; DON'T emphatically say YES!!!! That will start an argument. Say that you are interested in ALL OF YOUR OPTIONS!!!! That you definitely like the academy as one of your options. For many reasons. Academics being one of the main reasons. If they TRY and argue; DON'T!!!!! Just respond that it's just one option; that you have plenty of time; etc.... If they pull the "I'm Your Parent and I refuse to LET You........ " speech; JUST RELAX!!!! If you FIGHT BACK with the typical; "I'll be 18 and you can't tell me....." crap; then you will reinforce IN THEIR MINDS your immaturity. They will not respect your position. If you are cool about it, they will have to address it in their own minds. Work on your parents a little at a time over the next 2 years. What happens if you alienate them and you DON'T GET IN THE ACADEMY??? They probably won't be there for you in regular college either.

    So, sorry if I disagree; but I would NOT HAVE AN ALO or anyone else talk to your parents any time soon. You're 14. Too many ideas, desires, attitudes (Both you and parents) change, etc.... Now; when you're a Junior; getting ready to apply; Have been kicking butt academically; socially; physically; and all the other areas needed to get into the academy, then think about it. If the last 2 years of gradual discussions of an academy education has produced NOTHING; and you still want it; then maybe having an ALO help out would be good. NOT NOW!!! Parents will see it as ganging up. They consider you 14, their little baby, and incapable of knowing what your really want when you graduate. (Believe it or not, they are partially correct). Having anyone talk to them now is not a good idea. If you were 16, my advice would be different. You're 14, you have time on your side. So: Goal #1 become academy eligible and probable. Goal #2: gradually get your parents on board with your maturity and determination. Goal #3: Have your parents accept the concept. Then go through all the other hell that every candidate goes through HOPING THEY GET IN. Best of luck to you. mike.....
     
  19. unitedstatesAFA2013

    unitedstatesAFA2013 Candidate Appointee

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    I agree with what Christcorp has said. In my case, I was determined to be a doctor since the age of 5 or 6 (with both of my parents being doctors and all). June 2008, I was talking to a friend of mine from West Point who was talking about the previous football game versus Air Force, and I got interested. Over the next few weeks I had fallen in love with the idea of being an Air Force officer, and then with attending this beautiful academy in Colorado. That being said, it felt strange for me to give up my life's dream (and it shattered my mom's heart) and pursue a completely different goal (hopefully aviation if I qualify). My whole family kept giving me the same "talk" about how it's so dangerous, and how I would be selling out my freedom.

    No one in my family has served, so they're opinions are probably like your parents'. But I was 17 (now 18) and they really couldn't tell me what my future should look like. They couldn't argue with the fact that, in it's own way, it is, if the duty is performed like it should, just as honorable a career as a doctor's. My mom's senses came back when I said that if I ever changed my thoughts about flying I could become a flight surgeon or something along those lines.

    Lucky for me my whole high school career was spent well. Pursuing medical school is very close to pursuing a service academy. My grades are now up to (hopefully) the academy's par, I participated in several varsity sports, became president of several clubs and societies, and kept myself out of trouble. Unfortunately, there are some things I wish I had gotten involved in more, and other things I hadn't chosen to quit, but it's too late for me now. Now, like Christcorp said, I'm one of those "hell" times where I'm inches from putting a chair out next to the mail box.

    So if I could give you advice, coming from similar parents- just excel in school. Decide on something you really want to do (whether it's being a doctor, lawyer, engineer, pilot, etc), something that requires you to stay on your feet and think with more of your brain than most kids in high school are used to. Stay away from drugs, bad influence, trouble. Join CAP (something I wish I had done), Girl Scouts, or something similar that shows people you have character, and make a leader out of yourself. When you become a senior, even if you know what you want to do, you will never be 100% sure, but your parents will have very little control. You don't have to tell them today. Gradually show your interest in the military and let them get used to the idea. Good luck with that.
     
  20. Quertillia

    Quertillia Member

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    I think you guys seriously do have a point. And I've already been showing a great deal of interest in the military, so it probably wouldn't seem out of the blue for me to wait and talk to them when I'm actually old enough, or almost old enough, to apply. I think I'm probably going to email my ALO a few questions, and then my main goal will be convincing my mom to let me get involved in sports next year. Cause you see, another problem I have is that I'm home schooled. My mom drives me to and from the high school for activities, so anything I do there affects her schedule a lot. That was the main reason why I wanted to bring the academy up this early. I hadn't thought that maybe she'd like the idea of me doing a sport or two at the high school simply so I can get more fit. (She's always saying I don't exercise enough.) But I think if I try I can convince my parents to let me join the swim team or something without mentioning the academy. So I definitely see what you guys are saying, and I think you both for your excellent advice.
     

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