Is it worth it

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by jordo8706, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. jordo8706

    jordo8706 New Member

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    I am currently a Junior in college and have finally received my appointment to AFA (after 3 previous attempts with medical DQ's and qualified no vacancy letters). I plan on accepting the appointment, but is it going to be worth it? Will I as someone a good 3 (almost 4) years older than my classmates be able to compete? Am I going to catch alot of flak for being only 20 or so semester hours away from a college degree and deciding to start all over? I would appreciate any answers you have.
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You won't catch any flack. The true cadets are there for the AF and for their future careers so don't even worry about it!
     
  3. flashback12

    flashback12 Member

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    You'll probably get more respect for it in my opinion, due to the fact that you still decided to come here despite being so close to graduating anyways.
     
  4. USAF Amn

    USAF Amn New Member

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    Ive heard of Prior-enlisted turning 26 before they graduated. The age thing shouldnt matter.
     
  5. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    You will catch some good-natured jokes about being old, but that goes with the territory.

    Why do you want to come to USAFA? What benefits do you see versus going ROTC or OCS? What are your goals?
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    One thing I want to just bring up to you. (Before I say it; let me 1st say that it is DEFINITELY worth it if it's what you want to do). Anyway, I had an enlisted person working for me (a long time ago) that came into the military at 22-23 years old. She seemed to be "stand out" with her peers. Here's the problem.

    The average cadet walking in the door (Or enlisted walking into basic training) is a 17-18 year old "Kid". I say KID with all do respect. These people were at home with mom and dad taking care of them. Now, whether you go to a standard college, academy, enlisted basic training, or a typical job at Wal-Mart; there is a certain amount of maturing and growing up that an 18-20 year old goes through. In the military, it's even more dramatic because you're pretty much forced away from your friends and family. Also, in the military, there's a certain amount of Moaning, groaning, whining, *****ing, complaining, pissing, etc.... For a young cadet/enlisted, THIS IS NORMAL!!!!! Don't try and change that. It's nature. it's the way things are suppose to be.

    I bring this up for 2 points. 1) The girl who worked for me had already gone through HER MATURING and growing up period prior to coming into the military. As such, she didn't hang out with many of the same rank. She "Tried" to hang out with those her age and that didn't go over well either. Plus, when the time came for her to supervise, she didn't understand the "Attitude Problems" that these E-1 through E-3 were having. That's because she never went through the NORMAL PROCESS that these airmen were going through. The airmen weren't the ones with the problem. She was the one with the problem. She wanted them to "Grow Up". She didn't understand they were NORMAL.

    2) At 20-21 years old, you're going to be told WHAT TO DO by many people younger than you. Many may appear to not be as "Mature" as you. They are normal. They are acting normal. You've got 3 years of independence, maturity, getting into trouble, doing what you want, BASICALLY GROWING UP; over many of the cadets at the academy. Keep this in your mind and in perspective. And don't think that because you are the same age as a C1C (Senior) that you will automatically attract to them. You won't and shouldn't. You need to be a team with YOUR CLASS. That means the other 18 year old cadets. Use you maturity to help your classmates put things into a different perspective at times. DON'T use your age/maturity as a gauge that the other classmates are suppose to mature to. They will, in their OWN time. That is natural.

    I bring this up because from the age of 5-10 kids think pretty much the same. From 11-15, they tend to think and act the same. From 16-20, each person becomes very independent. The mature much more rapidly, yet differently from each other. It's a very difficult time. The military is a great environment because it keeps everyone focused on their tasks at hand; plus they given COMMONALITY to all the cadets. Each cadet has a lot of things in common. But these cadets are SUPPOSE to go back to their room at the end of the day and say how much the place sucks. They're suppose to talk about their superiors. They're suppose to say how "If they were in charge........". At 20-21, you may have gone through a lot of this. LET THEM GO THROUGH IT. Don't try to mature them, change them, etc... Prior enlisted going to the academy has the advantage of having been there at 18, so it's different. 20-21 year old from College can sometimes have problems with it. Fortunately, by the time you graduate, you're pretty much all on the same maturity level. I.e. a 24 year old and 30 year old aren't that much different.

    Anyway; it's definitely worth it. If you want it, do it. It's hard to redo 3 years of college, but that's your decision. No one here can tell you what to do in that. But as for the academy being worth it; it's worth the same today as it was when you first applied. best of luck.... mike.....
     
  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I have a simple comment...

    I worked with a young man throughout his HS career...appointed to USAFA. Arrived...had some medical issues in BCT and was sent home.

    Went to college...

    Reapplied...reappointed...arrived at USAFA to be asked about a shoulder problem he had in BCT the previous year. He didn't know about it. The AF folks said: "We can't admit you with an uncorrected problem like this..." so he was sent home.

    Went back to college.

    Had shoulder surgery...worked hard physically.

    Was reappointed to USAFA...went up...

    He's now in UPT, a graduate of the class of 2009. He had LOTS of "frustrating moments" with the "younger kids" giving him a hard time but as he said once:"Who cares about their trivial things...I'm here to be an officer, a grad, and a pilot."

    Again: he's now in UPT.

    I think he'd say it was well worth it!!!
    (and I did send him this thread to get his comment)

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  8. Bombtrack

    Bombtrack Member

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    I would have immense respect for you. You would probably have a leg up in the academics. This could mean that you'll have a better chance of getting UPT your senior year...definitely worth it if it's what you truly want.
     
  9. RaptorDad2013

    RaptorDad2013 Member

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    I'll only add the perspective from a good friend who is a retired Captain (O-6) and Naval Aviator. He came up through the Navy aviation cadet ranks and was already a pilot, an Ensign and had just been put on the Lt. JG (O-2) promotion list when he was offered an appointment to the Naval Academy. All his contemporaries (we call them "buddies") asked why he would give up a commission to go back to school to end up with what he had just been promoted from - an Ensign. So he declined. But, he found that when he was up for O-5 and O-6 he was competing with people who were from the class he might have been in. Since he had always intended to make the Navy a career, he believes that while he was ahead of the game at first, those who went to the "trade school" (USNA) actually caught up and, some, he says, went ahead at the end.

    It is a personal decision, but all I'm saying is consider your long-term goals as well as the short-term concerns you've already expressed. Good luck and good for you for even considering this after all you've been through! :thumb:
     
  10. DMAC09

    DMAC09 Member

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    I love reading your posts, Mike, because even if they don't apply to me I learn a lot. Thanks!
     
  11. ToTheMoon

    ToTheMoon Member

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    Christcorp's Advice

    I second that!
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Well thank you for the compliment. For what it's worth, I learn a lot from each and every post on this forum from all of you. As well as from everyone in life I meet. I have a lot of "Theories" in life; but one of my most important is:

    Except for God and Family, Knowledge is the most important thing in life. With knowledge comes wealth, peace, confidence, and power. And thus Happiness.

    Anyway, thanks for the compliments; and thank you for allowing me to also learn and to contribute my experiences. Later... mike....
     
  13. Bombtrack

    Bombtrack Member

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    Mike, I also enjoy reading your posts.

    Knowledge is definitely on top the list.
    Although it's funny how you say it brings happiness. My friend and I were discussing the "blissfulness in ignorance" and the "bitterness in knowledge" haha. Conflicting theories there :thumb:.

    A poster my teacher has in the back of the class, about 1' by 4' and huge lettering to match the size reads: "WANT TO KNOW."
    It gets you thinking.
     
  14. eagle36

    eagle36 USAFA Alumnus

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    i would echo two things:

    1) make sure it is the academy you want and not simply to be an officer. if thats the case, its far worth it

    2) understand you'll have 18-19 year olds yelling at you and telling you what to do. they've been through 4 dig year, and have earned that "right". if that isn't going to bother you, you'll be fine.
     

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