-Important Varsity Letter-

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Se41196, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Se41196

    Se41196 Member

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    I know how important earning a varsity letter is to the Academy, and I also know how important playing sports is. I have always been very athletic and involved in sports. I played basketball my freshmen year and made the JV team my sophomore year as well. I also played tennis this past year but was on JV. My school is very competitive (5A) about sports and in order to letter you must be entirely dedicated to the sport. I would be, except for one problem, band. I have been involved with band all throughout high school and was just recently awarded with the Head Drum Major position. This is a very high leadership role that takes dedication as well. In order to be fully committed to my job I had to drop basketball and tennis, thus resulting in me "not lettering" in any sports. I promise that I very physically fit and I know my CFA will show this. I am just worried because 88% of USAFA candidates have a varsity letter. It is frustrating. Any advice?
     
  2. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    I don't believe it is so much the Varsity letter but the sign of commitment to a sport. It sounds like your drum major position is a very high level position with leadership akin to a team captain. An explanation of the time commitment to this position in addition to clear physical fitness as evidenced by the CFA should help. Remember, they are looking for the entire package. This may make a good topic for an essay.
    Lastly, you should do what you enjoy and excel at it which appears to be what you have done. I would not sweat the lack of a varsity letter.
     
  3. Se41196

    Se41196 Member

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    Thank you so much. I really appreciate the response and I look forward to completing my application in regards to your advice.
     
  4. Wing77

    Wing77 Member

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    You could also try a more individual type sport like track - there are a lot of events and you can probably find at least one you are competitive in AND actually enjoy (after all you should enjoy whatever it is).

    I know that BOTH of this year's drum majors at my kids' school received appointments (1 to USAFA and 1 to USMMA). Their band is one of the top in our state. I think the track team allowed a bit more individualized and flexible training schedule for them.
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Everyone has to make up their on mind and their own decisions. The OP rightfully recognized that about 88% of all cadets/applicants have varsity letters. It's not so important that you have a letter, but what is important is that things like a letter is one of the few ways the academy can judge how involved you were with athletics. And athletics is important to the academies not just because they have D1 sports. (A very small number of cadets are actually Inter-Collegiate athletes. There are a lot of people however who think that is why varsity letters and such are so important to the academy. The truth is: varsity lettering usually shows numerous years of commitment. It also usually shows great physical fitness. It also show extensive team involvement and usually leadership. (Not everyone can be the team captain, but the varsity letter athletes are usually informal leaders on the team).

    I know many will say that band, ROTC, CAP, and other things also takes a lot of physical conditioning, teamwork, leadership, etc... No argument there. It's just that generally speaking, we are talking about the "MILITARY". And the military is #1 about physical activities. #2 is about being a team and working together towards a goal. These are 2 of the main attributes also of athletics.

    Here is a list that was provided by one of our posters (Mongo). It is a list developed by the NCAA on why they consider athletics so important. Especially in the stereotype that many have for athletes. (Dumb Jocks). Some think that their 4.0gpa with no sports outweighs a 3.8gpa with sports. It doesn't. Especially in the military. And this list of attributes that the NCAA came up with is EXACTLY why. So definitely make your own choices, but realize WHY athletics and varsity letters are so important to the academy.

    Not trying to say other activities can't possess some of these traits. Simply pointing out WHY athletics is so important to the academies. And that it isn't just about IC Jocks and making money. All of these traits are important in producing a military officer. When individuals become cadets and they already possess most of these traits because of many years of participation; along with the physical fitness; it makes for the perfect cadet that can be trained to be the officer the military needs and wants. Of course, this can't be their only attribute. They also need academics, compassion, volunteering, empathy, sympathy, etc...
     
  6. Se41196

    Se41196 Member

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    Thank you so much. I greatly appreciate the response.
     
  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Mike said it beautifully!!! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     

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