Second thoughts

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by RedNose, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. RedNose

    RedNose Member

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    I'm in a less-than-perfect but workable position. I applied to USNA and USAFA; did not receive a nomination to the former and am awaiting response from the latter.

    To be honest, I've always been a little more interested in Navy and Marine aviation, but I decided to apply to USAFA because it seemed to make sense given my interest in military aviation in general.

    I kind of see-saw between desperately hoping I get into USAFA and almost hoping I don't get in so I can pursue a commission in another branch. If I were accepted, I honestly don't know what I would end up doing.

    Here are the "pros" for me of USAFA:
    -I would absolutely love to be a pilot, and that end result is statistically most likely at USAFA. I actually would love to fly anything USAF has to offer (exception below), helo, tanker, fighter, bomber, cargo plane, I don't mind. I also appreciate that USAF has a much wider variety of airframes.
    -Lots of opportunities for aviation experience
    -I really value an academy experience

    And "cons":
    -Besides being a pilot, there's not much about USAF careers that appeals to me. Of the non-rated USAF officer careers, the only one that really appeals to me is intelligence; none of the others do (except potentially CRO which is extremely competitive).
    -I really don't want to end up flying drones. Not really a moral concern, but from what research I've done, I'd much rather be doing something else.

    The reason I was initially drawn to USNA was because I love the sea and could see myself doing essentially any of the USNA service selections (Navy air, Navy NFO, Marine air, Marine ground, SWO, subs, SEAL/EOD, etc); with the USAF's service selections I could see myself doing 3 of the rated jobs and maybe 1-3 of the non-rated jobs.

    Obviously this is a decision I have to make for myself at some point, but I'd really appreciate some input, especially from current Airmen.

    I hope I didn't offend anyone here, and thank you!
     
  2. Zoomie18

    Zoomie18 Member

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    If your heart is with the Navy, I would go to another college and enter into Navy ROTC. You have to realize that if you take an appointment from USAFA and you end up regretting it, you're depriving someone else who has dreamed of going for years. BUT, I would suggest looking more in to it. If you get appointed, go on a Appointee tour. You don't have to accept/ decline the offer until May 1st.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I would also suggest following your heart and going Navy ROTC. Maybe apply to USNA again as well. But there are no guarantees with this path. If you get an appointment to USNA the odds of commissioning may be more in your favor. Of course with determination, hard work, and perhaps a little luck, anything is possible.

    I certainly don't recommend pursuing a path where you would be unhappy. Continue to research USAF. Perhaps your opinion will change. I wouldn't base my decision on what I thought of USAFA. It's just a school and just 4 years. It's what comes after that should draw you.
     
  4. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    If in 10 or 20 years you look back on your life, are you more likely to say "Well, it didn't work out like I thought it would, but it was a blast!" OR are you more likely to say "Well, it didn't work out like I thought it would...I really wish I would have done _____."?

    For me, it was a choice between USAFA and ROTC. I realized that I'd forever be asking myself "What if I had gone to USAFA?" I wasn't positive I could make it at a service academy, and I certainly had some struggles, but I knew I wouldn't have that nagging "What if" feeling of never having tried.

    So, my recommendation to you is to try for your dreams. If it doesn't work out quite right, you'll know you tried. If it does...well, then you get to live your dream.


    (p.s. being a pilot for either service is pretty sweet)
     
  5. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    You must go into either service knowing you may not be able to fly. You never know what may come up and you will not be PQ'd. One of our friends is at USMA, wanted to do helos but developed seizures. All flying is out, forever, but he found other things he'd like to do. You must be prepared for this circumstance. I agree, research USAF more and if you really don't see anything you would like, you need to go navy.
     
  6. R3dhotchilipepp3r95

    R3dhotchilipepp3r95 Member

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    Hey, I'm in the same situation. Got a nom to both USNA and USAFA. Appointed to NAPS, but my heart is with USAFA (still waiting to hear from them).
    The only thing you can do is seek guidance, do your research, and do some serious soul searching. Talk to people who have been there, including your ALO and BGO. If your heart is with Navy, I would say go Navy, but it is very important to discern emotional appeal from what you need career wise.

    Later in the month, my grandfather's friend who attended USNA and taught at the Prep School is going to come and talk to me about my decision. Hopefully this will clear up some of my doubts about USNA and answer some questions.

    Either way, flying in both services is awesome, but isn't guaranteed.
    Good luck to you :)
     
  7. RedNose

    RedNose Member

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    Thanks everyone. :) Could someone shed light on:

    1. The career of a USAF intel officer? The official site descriptions are a tad nondescript. How competitive is intel?
    2. How competitive is ALO?
    3. Is UAV a separate path entirely, or is it an airframe that can be assigned in UPT? Essentially, if I do get a pilot slot is it likely I will fly manned aircraft?

    Very much appreciated. :)
     

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