Marine Corps USMMA vs USNA

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by Unknown1990, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Unknown1990

    Unknown1990 New Member

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    I pretty much have my heart set on going Marine Corps Aviation upon graduation from either Academy. I've heard the Marine Aviation slots coming out of USNA are extremely competitive and that my chances of getting a Marine Aviation slot are better from USMMA.

    Also heard that USMMA graduates are more sought after than USNA graduates in the aviation field because of the difference in navigational skills.

    Would really appreciate any information/answers anyone can provide!
     
  2. time2

    time2 Member

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    Be sure that who you 'heard' these things from are reliable individuals who have current/accurate knowledge about such things. One thing you will find when talking about any of the SA's is there are no lack of friends/relatives/neighbors or even the postman who will fling out all sorts of dubious information when they probably have no idea what they are talking about.

    Service selection at USNA is based on 1) the needs of the Navy/Marines and the number of slots can change from year to year, 2) you class standing. I wouldn't try gaming the system by choosing to attend one SA over the other just because you think it would improve your service selection chances.

    I truly doubt that one SA does a better job of training then another when it comes to such things as navigational skills. Does that even sound resonable???
     
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  3. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    The short answer is no. The long answer is also no.

    More to follow later when I'm not on my phone.
     
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  4. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Marine Aviation spots coming out of USNA vary for competitiveness by year. My year, they were basically giving them away (caveat: to people who had already selected Marine Corps) because the Marine Corps had a need for aviators. Other years, it's competitive. The big thing is being chosen for Marine Corps first (having a strong PFT score, doing not-bad at Leatherneck, etc.) which is, usually, sort of self-selecting. There are people who realize the Marine Corps is not for them and people who the Marine Corps does not want, but if you're not a dirtbag and hit the required wickets you should be okay.
    The need/no need for aviators spills over into the other commissioning sources as well: my peer group has a lot of aviators and a lot of people who may not have normally gotten air contracts. In the Navy, USNA normally gets first dibs on spots and then NROTC and OCS gets what's left over. This is less true in the Marine Corps, but they are traditionally very generous with allotted air contracts to USNA.
    So, it follows that in a year that USNA gets more spots=USMMA and other sources get more spots. That number of spots is a moving target that, as with anything, depends on the needs of the Marine Corps.

    The "reputation" of one SA versus another is pretty much a non-issue. I don't know where you heard the boat nav thing from but that's a new one (though obviously USMMA grads would/should be significantly better at that than USNA grads, there's functionally no carry over to flying). I can only name a couple USMMA grads I've met in aviation total off of the top of my head, whereas probably 10-15 out of the ~60-70 pilots in my squadron are USNA grads (3 of us are from the same company).
    I'd say to most people in the Marine Corps USMMA is just another random school, where USNA can have a reputation (not always a good one).
    Some people give USNA grads guff for stupid reasons (not going to OCS, perceived "good-ole-boys" club, "ringknockers,"etc. etc.) but mostly it's not serious. All commissioning sources produce both great people and not-so-great people, and the Academy just tends to be an easier target than, say, Rando State U.

    If your goal is being a Marine Aviator, my vote would always go to USNA out of the SAs. The literal sole purpose of USNA is training and commissioning Navy and Marine Corps officers.
    USMMA isn't really there to build officers for the active military (as I've heard so many people on here talking about), it's there to build maritime professionals. Your academics will focus on that. If you want that as a second career, I'd imagine your skills at boat-stuff would be pretty atrophied after ~11 years in the Marine Corps, and if you're not interested in the maritime industry I can't imagine you'd be very happy. Don't just look at USMMA as a backdoor way into the military.
     
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  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I agree 100% with Hurricane. USMC Aviation was not hard to get in my class. As Hurricane mentioned, USMC varies by years in its competitiveness. My class we had around 30 or so folks who put it as #1 and did not get it. I believe for USNA 2016 it was pretty much anyone who wanted and was not a dirt bag, did ok at Leatherneck and can run a First Class PFT got it. Even in competitive years for the USMC, including aviation, if you did everything you should, such as not suck, pass your classes, run a First Class PFT, do not suck at Leatherneck you would get USMC. A few reasons I would say go USNA over USMMA if Marine Aviation is your goal:

    1. As Hurricane stated, USMMA's mission, academics and training is geared towards the Maritime industry. USNA's is to produce Navy and Marine Corps officers. You will be surrounded by Marine Corps and Navy Officers and Senior Enlisted daily. Great school, great training, but different focus. Sure, it produces officers of all branches, but its not the primary focus of the school and its student body. It always helps to be surrounded by those with the same goals. I think its one of the reasons USNA does so well at BUDS. You have so many like minded focuses guys pushing each other, competing. I think that makes training easier and really pushes each other.
    2. USNA will always have USMC aviation slots. USMMA there are no guarantees and the needs of the services really come into play. No one can predict if there will be slots when you become a 1/C. USNA might have fewer or more, but there will be slots.
    3. Powered flight - At USNA you have the chance to have Powered Flight as your summer training block. This preps you for flight school, you get training the USN way, and time in an airplane. Hurricane did you do Powered Flight? Thoughts? Advantage in flight school? This was not offered when I was there, but I have heard it is great training and will help in flight school, especially early on. I know you can do some summer training at USMMA, but once again its at the needs of the service. At USNA you can do Powered Flight, an aviation cruise, etc. All these things are geared to get you exposure in the aviation community.
    4. As Hurricane mentioned, once you get to the fleet no one cares where you went to school. You could go to Princeton or some unknown State U Satellite Campus for all anyone cares as long you take care of your people and can fly. Those two things will matter more than your school choice.
     
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