Mission Accomplished! Graduation Is In the Rearview Mirror. :)

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by MN-Dad-2016, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    It's time to say goodbye to the forum as our son graduated from USAFA last Thursday. What an event! The graduation will be logged as the #1 celebration that I've experienced. Ever. What a rush!

    A few highlights/comments. General Walsh's parade speech was spot-on. I hope the Academy recorded it as General Walsh tapped into the emotion of the day. Well done Sir! We have met General Johnson a dozen times now. What a class act! And finally, our son was Commissioned in Polaris Hall. What a beautiful building.

    For over 4 years ago, I lurked and occasionally posted to figure things out. We are not a military family so it's been a learning experience. Thanks to everyone that has shared their knowledge.

    Largely in part to his World Class undergraduate education, our son is off to Harvard Medical School. We couldn't be prouder of his alma mater!

    With Warmest Regards,
    MN-Dad
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Yay! Please ask Dr-to-be to come back and post as other SA grad mil docs have. Real-time insight is invaluable.
     
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  3. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    You don't have to say goodbye. You can help others out with what you now know.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    For sure, there's no reason to sign off of the forum. There's a lot of applicants and interested posters who can learn a lot from yours and your son's experiences to and through the academy. And even now with all those interested in Medical school and such, your insight is very valuable. Don't be a stranger. Best of luck to your son. Mike.
     
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  5. Capri120

    Capri120 Member

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    First of all, congratulations to your son for graduation and acceptance to medical school.

    Please do not sign off, as others have said, your insight can be very helpful to others.
    For example, my DD is a 2020 appointee. She, too, plans to pursue medical school after the Academy, and anything you or your son can offer as advise would be greatly appreciated. She plans to pursue a bachelor's in Biochemistry at USAFA since she already has her AS in Chemistry.

    Once again, congrats, and best of luck to your son.
     
    MN-Dad-2016 likes this.
  6. EngineerFQ

    EngineerFQ Member

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    Wow congratulations to your son! I am amazed more and more by what I hear cadets are doing after graduation, from being rhode scholars to olympians and now students at Harvard Medical School.

    -If you don't mind me asking, what did your DS major in?
    -And what kind of undergrad research was he able to do at the academy if any? I hear that research is an important EC to have for aspiring grad school students (especially med school) and was wondering if cadets are able to actually do research on top of their other responsibilities.
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    There are many different grad programs available. While only about 10% of academy grads get to go directly to grad school, they are in almost every major available. As for research, that also depends on the department. (Major). Each has their own levels of research and EC. My son started out not knowing if he wanted to go to medical school or pilot. So he started with classes that could be used in either direction. Organic Chemistry, etc. He chose instead of Medical School (Psychiatry), that he would major in Behavioral Science and take a Pilot Slot. He got accepted to RAND and finished his PhD last July. He was involved in numerous research projects at the academy. Not sure how much impact that had on his being accepted/selected to grad school. After finishing his Master's, and in the 2nd year of his PhD program, he decided he really wanted to trade in his pilot slot for a STO slot. (Special Tactics Officer). Which he was accepted into, and is currently training in now.

    So, depending on their desire at the academy, they definitely can fit in all their classes, research, and all other responsibilities. My son was no different than any other cadet. He was able to fit in all the requirements and activities. Matter of fact, his first year he even played football for the falcons. While he didn't stay with that for all 4 years, I know quite a few football players, and other sport IC's, who have gone on to grad school. Some had some very in-depth research projects they worked on; some not much at all. The best thing for any cadet who wants to try and apply for grad school immediately after the academy, is to contact your department head for your major at the academy. They can advise you on the options and requirements. Remember again; only about 10% of the graduating cadet wing will get accepted for immediate grad school slots. So the first thing to concentrate on is being in the top 10%. If you are in that percentage, then you'll have a chance at getting selected. A lot of cadets do their classes, responsibilities, research, study/travel abroad, volunteer during their summer breaks, etc. and are able to fit it all in. Best of luck.
     
  8. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    He majored in Biology and Chinese. He traveled abroad several times (Hong Kong, China, Chile, etc). He was also a Rhodes finalist (different than a Rhodes winner which went to a deserving young lady from the Naval Academy). The Biology department found research opportunities. One of them at a local medical device company (students have to apply and get accepted for these opportunities and their effort counts for graduation credit). Over 1/2 of the 50 USAFA Scholars Program graduates are off to Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Rice, RAND, etc. I was blown away by the brain power in the Scholar's award ceremony last week which included nearly all of the top department graduates as well as the #1 grad (my son). I firmly believe USAFA can extract 100% of a student's potential if they give it their all. Additionally, there are many accomplished professors at USAFA. Our son had a few Rhodes Scholar instructors and mentors, published authors, etc. IMHO, there is no better UG institution in the world if you apply yourself. Unbelievable opportunities are given to Cadets that will stretch them beyond anything they could have imagined. A big +1 to USAFA as a whole and staff. As parents, we could not be any happier with the quality of his UG education. It is why so many graduates do amazing things during and after their military career. I'm so proud of this institution of higher learning. I cannot say enough good things about it... Well I could. But it would take an hour! lol

    Congratulations to to the class of 2016!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  9. 2018DAD

    2018DAD Member

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    Klepto!
     
  10. Buckeye

    Buckeye Member

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    As another 2016 Parent I would like to echo MN-Dad's thanks to the SAF members. My DS and I found the site when we were going through the application process and it was a tremendous help! Graduation Week was a very special event. We were fortunate to attend Acceptance Day in 2012 and watching the Class march out last Wednesday you could see the same big smiles (for a different reason lol) as the day they received their shoulder boards. Our highlight was watching my dad (retired Army O-6) don his Dress Blues one last time to administer to oath of office to his grandson.

    I will continue to (mostly) lurk but chime in periodically. A special thanks to some of the veteran posters, ChristCorp, Pima, Bullet, Fencer's Mother, Flieger, Dad and LITS who have shared their time and advice! Search for almost any topic and you will find sage advice. For the new Appointees and their families, Congratulations and I hope you have the same positive experience at USAFA that we did. My one regret is that I never made it to ThudGate!

    Thanks again to all who make this site a great place to seek and share information.
     
  11. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    David L. "Klepto" Brodeur's family reached out to say hi to our son (MA natives). They introduced themselves to us at Graduation week. I felt their heavy pain. David (class exemplar) is a true hero who sadly paid the ultimate sacrifice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  12. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    Congratulations to your son MNDad. I can feel your pride in your post, as it should be. It sounds like great things are in store for your son. I hope you linger a bit, as my DD is also a 2020 cadet that will pursue a medical school spot. She would like to major in Physics and take Japanese. She is just starting on her journey, and I can't wait to see what her future holds.

    Good luck to you, your son and the rest of your family.
     

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