Quick Question.

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by cthornman, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. cthornman

    cthornman Member

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    I know this may seem like a generic question, but it is one I have had the most trouble getting a direct answer. And it is this, if I wanted to have the best chance at getting a pilot slot, is there an overall better chance at the Academy or in NROTC? I was recently in San Diego, checking out UCSD and what a regular college life would look like. I made sure to look at the NROTC program down there (one of the top in the nation), and I actually met with the C.O. of the unit, but when I popped this question, he grinned and after about 5 seconds went off topic, not answering my question. I had the same trouble with some Marine PLC recruiters down there as well. :mad: I'm not exactly positive on how true this is, but one of the briefers at the Academy told me that 98% of graduates from the Academy get their first or second choices regarding career choice. Now if this is true, this means I have either a 98% (or relatively close) chance at flying for the Navy or Marine Corps, which is my ultimate goal. Looking further down the road, I want to try and ensure I have the best chance at receiving a pilot slot, either through the Academy, NROTC, or maybe even PLC. It sounds like the Academy is the place to go, but from naval aviators I've talked to along the way (both NROTC and Academy grads), they generally say that chances are about even. I hope I don't annoy those reading this too much, but I'm just looking for the most info before I make the right decision.
     
  2. NorthernCalMother

    NorthernCalMother Member

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    This isn't the answer you want, but here's my anecdotal experience: It depends. Decades ago, toward the end of the Vietnam war, my husband flew USMC jets out of PLC, but a couple others in his class at flight school didn't even get pilot slots -- including one from USNA! The Navy found it didn't need as many pilots as expected when the group began flight school.

    Now our son is @ USNA, hoping to fly helicopters, but he's exposed to amazing experiences and briefings that make him question his nearly-life-long desire to fly. That's one of the great advantages to USNA: Information about military options.

    You're smart to visit colleges (funny, son's #2 choice was UCSD). Four years is a long time, especially at your age. If you know you want a future as a military officer, you should prepare for that choice at the place that feels right. Good luck.
     
  3. NavySupporter

    NavySupporter Member

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    Hello NorCalMom - do you mind telling us the nature of the amazing experiences and briefings that would make him change his mind? Thanks! Just curious, my son is hoping to attend USNA and fly.
     
  4. cfam386

    cfam386 Member

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    I can't speak for NorCalMom's son, but I came into the Academy wanting to fly. I did end up selecting Naval Flight Officer, but it was a much tougher decision for me than I originally thought it would be. The Academy does a very good job of exposing you to the different career fields, through such programs as PROTRAMID, where you spend a week with the Marines, a week with the submarine force, and a week doing aviation related things. Additionally, the time you spend on your mandatory surface ship cruise after plebe year, and your time on yard patrol craft during your navigation classes and during the summer give you a in depth look at what it takes to be a surface officer. My decision went down to the wire, literally. I submitted my preferences ten minutes before they were due. That being said, I'm confident I made the right decision. I do think that USNA does a better job of exposing you to the different options, as I have plenty of friends in ROTC who really only get to experience the Navy during their summers. Bottom line, you'll have an equal chance wherever you go. Pick your school based on what fits you best, not where you think is best to get pilot. You'll enjoy your four years much more, and you'll perform better as a result, which will make it easier for you to get pilot in the end.
     
  5. peskemom

    peskemom Member

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    There are no 'guarantee's in anything. I don't mean to sound dismissive - but if you want a goal in life you prepare and work towards it - but you can never have a perfect guarantee - and that includes a pilot shot...

    However, at the risk of getting all our USNA family mad at me - common knowledge is that at the Air Force Academy 60% of their grads get pilot slots. That's not what USNA can offer. Makes sense since they aren't primarally a flight school.

    UCSD is part of a San Diego NRTOC group of schools that work together, along with USD and Pt.Loma and SD State. Yep, yep they are a great group of students. One of my other kiddos is a UCSD grad with friends in NROTC there. One of my current mid's friends who didn't get into USNA is part of this group.

    Hope you can focus your hopes and desires and get your questions asked!
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    The only "guaranteed aviation" program I know of is Marine PLC - aviation option.
    This may not be what you want educationally as it is neither USNA nor ROTC - you can get some money for college though.

    http://www.chicagomarineofficer.com/plc.htm
     
  7. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

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    USNA is the premier acquisition source for new officers. Eye surgery has all but eliminated the largest unknown. I cannot imagine that the present world situation will allow the demand for new pilots to decrease in the foreseeable future. Detailers will not allow another source to allow new officers to have more of a selection opportunity than USNA. Basically, all who want aviation, unless they are at the very bottom of their class, obtain it. And those probably don’t deserve it. Don’t let the naysayers get you down. Your future is in your hands.

    And furthermore, I feel that USNA prepares one better to be a flight student than do the other acquisition sources.

    Good luck. Go for it. Naval Aviation is where it’s at.
     
  8. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

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    that is not true. there are at least two other guaranteed programs.

    first, the marines nrotc will also guarantee SNA slots for sophomore year. i was just told directly by an NROTC commander at VMI just a month ago.

    also, the coast guard also will guarantee flight slots with their blue flight 21 program (http://www.gocoastguard.com/find-your-fit/officer-opportunities/programs/blue-21-flight-initiative ).
     
  9. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Coast guard - you have to be a college grad already - i.e. no money for college and have graduated with a college of 25% minority population -
    If you are a college grad you can also sign on with the Army and go to flight school as a warrant officer and get guaranteed aviation as well.

    He very well could be speaking of PLC. This starts after freshman year.

    Clearly - the demand for pilots in the Armed Forces is high - esp the Army and Marines and perhaps the Navy - not so much for the Air Force from what I hear.
    For those of you who want Aviation - whichever program you choose - if you do well then you have a good shot.

    USNA69 is right - going to the academy and doing well will provide you with probably as good a shot as signing up for a "guaranteed" aviation spot. If you have an appointment then I can't see turning down the academy for a guaranteed spot in PLC.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2008
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    "To be eligible for BLUE 21, applicants must have graduated from a college or university with a minimum 25% minority population of U.S. citizens in addition to the academic and physical requirements listed below. "


    25% minority population of US citizens....is that saying that it must be a college with atleast 25% US citizens, or is it saying it must be a college with at least 25% minority popular?


    I can't figure out if minority is an adjective here or a noun.
     
  11. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    haha.

    yep - very poorly worded. I think it is an adjective. The great majority of colleges/universities do not have a student body population that is 25% minority.
     
  12. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

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    i can't believe it is the majority. consider that asians are included among identified minorities. Once you include asians, you'll see that many many colleges and universities have more than 25% minority. for example, the University of Maryland at College Park is 35% minority students, Harvard University is 41% minority students, Princeton 44%. (even the USNA itself is almost there- 22.6% of MIDN are minorities)
     
  13. NorthernCalMother

    NorthernCalMother Member

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    NavySupporter, a few entries back you asked about my comment on son's briefings and experiences re: military careers. Cfam386 did a better job than I can describing info provided to mids @ USNA (plus I am terrible @ military acronyms and too old to be scolded by strangers for fouling them up).

    I do want to add that while @ NAPS, my son had a briefing that made him very interested in military intelligence. He also participated in optional USMC orientation/training that culminated in a training exercise weekend @ Camp Edwards -- he found that was both sobering and motivating. He hopes to pursue more USMC-related programs @ the academy. Recently @ USNA, he had a briefing on amphibious aviation vehicles that got him thinking helicopters might not be the coolest equipment ever, after all. In all these cases, he not only got a presentation but had an opportunity to converse w/ officers who perform these functions.

    The options that interested him most are those that stick w/ me. As a plebe, I'm pretty sure his mind isn't made up, but I love that it's open, and USNA is offering lots of ideas about the future.
     
  14. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

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    is your son now considering SWO too? or did you mean he is on the USMC track?
     
  15. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Let's see - I did a search on collegeboard.com - I selected 4-year colleges and they only allow you to select 20% minority or 30% minority. Out of 2177 4 year colleges: 621 colleges are 20% minority and 398 are 30% minority. Safe to say that 25% falls somewhere in between.

    Yes - very selective colleges tend to be higher minority as are inner city colleges. The vast majority of colleges/universities are quite low in minority representation.
    Surprising isn't it?
     
  16. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

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    i forgot the the CEEB site could do that! cool. i just tried an interesting search. the percentage improves a lot for schools with a lot of students. out of 183 colleges with more than 15000 students, 94, more than half, have more than 20% minorities, and 63 have more than 30% minorities. so its the smaller colleges that have fewer minorities. that's interesting
     
  17. cfam386

    cfam386 Member

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    We don't actually have tracks for each separate warfare specialty (ie, SWO, USMC, etc) here like in ROTC. Each specialty is open to everyone, and we get fairly equal exposure to everything.
     

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