Question about failing the CFA and earning a appointment?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by tim30006, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. tim30006

    tim30006 New Member

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    I was told through email, by the Far West Admissions Diversity Officer, that I was denied an appointment because I failed the basketball throw event of the CFA. I was told that I can not retake the CFA because the Far West Admissions Director does not believe that I was serious enough during my second application. In my defense, my first application did not pass the candidacy phase and I also did not receive the opportunity to take the CFA until the beginning of my freshmen semester at Virginia Tech. I took the CFA twice and on the second CFA I maxed on pull ups and scored above average on all other events except the basketball throw. I asked my MS-1 NCO Army ROTC Instructor, who recorded my CFA, if I should retake it a third time, however he told me that he believes that my CFA scores are fine and that I should worry about the rest of my application. I was wrong and I should have tried to retake the CFA. I have been working very hard during my freshmen year in the Virginia Tech Corp of Cadets to earn a appointment. I have a 3.59 College GPA as a Economics major, a 306 score on the APFT for Army ROTC, and I am ranked in the highest third on my Army ROTC order of merit list. I have been participating in activities and sports in the Corp of Cadets and Virginia Tech. I am also leading a community service group for a upcoming Virginia Tech community service event. I am willing to give up my 3.5 year Army ROTC scholarship and my finalist position on the list of Army ROTC cadets waiting for Airborne and Air Assault school this summer to earn a appointment to USMA. I am willing to retake the CFA as many times as possible to improve my CFA score.
     
  2. Milbrat

    Milbrat New Member

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    As most know the CFA is simply a pass or fail, plus the fact we are past the deadline of Feb. 28. You have something good with your scholarship and other accomplishments, so dont fret in 3 years you will still be an Army Officer and if you truly wish to go to West Point then you know that you will still have the same outcome, commissioning as a leader in the Army.
     
  3. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I think you are out of luck. Your RC has significant influence over if you get an appointment or not. Appears that you didn't make the cut. Not sure how much interaction you had with your RC, but you could have created a bad impression with you RC. Your RC could have requested a CFA waiver for you and I guess he didn't.

    You have a choice, either give up or try again.
     
  4. Iowa 73

    Iowa 73 Miner

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    What was a failing BB throw score?
    Seems odd that they would fail you for that if you can max out on pull-ups.
     
  5. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    While I suspect it is moot at this point, what have you done to improve that BB throw score?

    I know of cadets who have received appointments with lower than average BB throws, but they maxed nearly everything else but running. And for running was at least half way between avg & max.

    But based on deadlines, you'd probably be looking at a 3rd attempt. I know a cadet that got in on the 3rd try. But are you really willing to give up 2 years of civvy school and start fresh?

    If you decide to give it a go: Take practice CFA's. Train until BB throw get's at least close to average. And max as many as you can. Then schedule your CFA with one of the authorized examiners. This is what our local FFR advocate, and it's consistent across the branches.

    Taking the CFA is not the challenge... it's training to be ready to take it that you have to work on. If you were at the point where you could rock the CFA confidently, you could have that discussion with the admissions team. Don't know if they'd let you submit it. But it's always easier with results in hand, then to ask and then train.

    As an aside, our understanding is that the CFA is a scored event, but with failing minimums. It's like the SAT in that regard. People keep saying it's pass/fail, which is misleading.
     
  6. tim30006

    tim30006 New Member

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    I am working with one of my SNCO's who was a former TAC at USMA to pull connections. I am also trying to contact the Director of Admissions through a General Officer that I know. I actually met the Director last year and lost the personal email address that she gave me.
     
  7. 845something

    845something Member

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    Tim, let me recap this to you so you can think about how it sounds:

    Last year, admissions didn't open up your application (usually that is because of poor test performance).

    Assume you improved your test scores enough to open your file this year; however, you twice failed the CFA and now that the deadline has passed you want to try to pull strings to get them to let you take it again.

    Meanwhile, there are several hundred fully qualified candidates waiting for a spot to open up.

    You said you were denied an appointment, but did you consider even passing the CFA, your file would have been on the low end of the qualified WCS and not offered. Nowhere did you mention the types of nominations you received. I assume at least ROTC: you have to be up there in WCS and there be spots left after the civil prep candidates get their offers. It's a tough one to get in on and they aren't going to continue to let you retest if that is your only nom. If it was a MOC nom, you probably weren't in the running with a lower WCS or with the competition in your district, and your RC assessed that retaking the CFA wouldn't change your fate. At best you would be QNS (and adding paperwork for everyone).

    Are you that special that West Point would go against its own rules (and possibly against the stated desires of a sitting Member of Congress in how to fill their vacancy), suspend any semblance of a meritocracy, and spend more taxpayer dollars to bring you into West Point knowing that you already have a route to becoming an officer?

    As for Iowa up there, it's not odd - six events on the CFA, you have to pass them all. Would it change your opinion if they maxed everything but failed the run? No event on the CFA is superior to any other.
     
  8. tim30006

    tim30006 New Member

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    I earned a ROTC and Senator nomination. You are right 845 something. I have realized that my application is over for this year.
     
  9. tim30006

    tim30006 New Member

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    To anyone reading my posts on this thread, please excuse the immaturity of my posts. I was in a state of disappointment from being denied. However, I will work harder during my sophomore year of college to earn a appointment to USMA.
     
  10. majmattmason

    majmattmason Member

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    While failing the basketball throw in the CFA may seem insignificant, it does have real-world applications, but you already knew that.

    Unlike little league, there are no trophies for good effort when throwing a grenade. It's a simple pass/fail test.
     
  11. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Tim, to encourage you, the bball throw is difficult for some body types. It requires a lot of practice. My son came to my school several days a week, stretched out a tape measure, and got on his knees to throw basketballs. My job was to retrieve said balls and let him know if he ever got close to his goal. It was weeks before he did. This same son maxed out pullups and pushups...it's a different kind of strength necessary. Keep practicing...you can do it, but it will be a process. BTW...he started by reading the sticky "Oh no, the basketball throw."
     
  12. G.I.Jane

    G.I.Jane Member

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    I am a female in the ARNG and go to radford university so I'm not far from you. I submitted my application and failed my CFA the first time (could only do an arm hang for 1 second). I was thankfully allowed a retake and took it a month later getting 17 seconds on my arm hang and maxing my most of my other events.


    You need to show improvement, that way they know your trying. If they see no effort then your done. Consider enlisting in the reserves or national guard. They set aside 85 spots a year for enlisted soldiers and barley ever get them filled so you might have a better chance that way.

    Good Luck!
     

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