Selecting an academy

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Kirov099, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Kirov099

    Kirov099 New Member

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    Good evening everyone,

    So I have received an appointment to USAFA, USNA, and USCGA, and I'm having trouble on making a decision. I came here in hope of some insight from those with more information than me.

    My ultimate goal is to become a helicopter pilot in one of the branches, and I feel I might have the best chance at Coast Guard (I'm currently 63 in. tall and the requirement in AF is 64). While this factor is very important to me, I'm also considering what I might do if I'm not a pilot, and the intelligence field has caught my interest. I really don't know too much about it, but I'd either like to work in the field (AF would have the best chance of that) or work for ONI.

    As an AFROTC cadet, I'm more familiar with the AF, and I would definitely like being in Colorado more than the East coast. But I'm mostly concerned with becoming a pilot, and from the information I have, both Navy and Coast Guard seem like the better option for that. I meet the height requirement, I have a better chance of getting a slot at CG, and at Navy, I'd possibly have the opportunity to fly the Cobra.

    So I'm looking for advice on which academy I should choose based on these factors, or maybe even information on different career fields if you think it's applicable. Thank you for your time.
     
  2. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    What mission do you want if you can't be a pilot?
    CG, Navy, AF?
    That's a good place to start for your decision.
    You say intel also interests you -- not sure CG has that many intel slots.

    As for getting a pilot slot, it's hardest to get an aviation billet at CG. At USAFA there are normally 500 or so pilot slots and the past few years anyone who wanted one and was physically qualified received one. Navy has a lot of slots too - but don't know stats as DS is AFA.

    While AF height restriction says it's 6'4" -- it's really sitting height that is the limiting factor. Sorry, but I don't know what that max is but it shouldn't be too hard to find.

    As for getting a helo slot from UPT -- PM Raimius about that.

    Best of luck
     
  3. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Well, if you want to be a commissioned pilot, USAFA is the way to go. If you want to specifically be a helo pilot, the Navy has more helos than the AF, as does the CG. I don't know the breakdown and competitiveness in the USN and USCG for getting a helo pilot slot. Obviously, the USCG is a smaller service, so there will be fewer people going for their slots.

    For the USAF side, I can go into detail, but the posts I wrote for another website explain most of it. http://www.usafacommunity.com/forum/blogs/raimius/
     
  4. Invisibility

    Invisibility Member

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    My knowledge is anecdotal, but for CG--my brother toured there last week. He said that the tour guide said nearly anyone who keeps trying can get an aviation slot out of CGA. As in... not nearly everyone who applies straight out of the academy get it, but many do somewhere down the line.
     
  5. burnerafter16

    burnerafter16 Member

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    Touring USCGA in a couple of weeks. Have had a tour of active detachments and have spoken to several active duty members of the the different branches.
    Simply put, your chances of flying are better with AF. USN or USCG more than likely on a ship.
     
  6. time2

    time2 Member

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    You only attend the academy for 4 yrs, so I wouldn't make my choice simply based on 'liking' one location better then another. Those in military could live just about anywhere in the world based on your specialty and where the assignment takes you.

    Need to also think about your options if you DON'T get to be a pilot (for any numer of reasons). The first decision is about deciding to join the military where their priorities come first. Specifc areas of specialty come later.
     
  7. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    Raimius, do AF and navy pilots fly for Task Force 160, do you know, or it just army helos?
    Sorry for the off topic.:redface:
     
  8. nn139

    nn139 USAFA Appointee 2017

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    I met a B2 pilot who was 5'2". I think you should be fine!
     
  9. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Not necessarily. Standing height does not always correlate to sitting height because someone may have short legs and a longer torso and not make the standing height minimum, but be OK for sitting height. The sitting height is what matters the most, and that is waived depending on airframe. Since the OP is looking to fly helos he/she may not be fine.

    One of our son's friends who didn't make the standing height requirement, and got a waiver for the sitting height requirement only because they tried her out in many different airframes and she was able to qualify in the C-17.

    Stealth_81
     
  10. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    As far as I know, the 160th SOAR only has Army aviators, although an exchange program might exist. I can't tell you the intricacies of highly specific and secretive units, as I simply don't know most of that stuff.
     
  11. allaheadfull

    allaheadfull Member

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    Go wih he most options

    Somehing my mom keeps telling me is to go wih the one that will give you he most options:

    If you choose one wih the intention of doing X (Afa pilot), will you be happy if you do not get that and end up with your second or even third choice?

    Make service selection as hard as poasible so many doors are open
     

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