Setting the record straight

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Christcorp, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I get a lot of questions by applicants and appointees. One thing I've noticed, is that there are a lot of misconceptions about the academy and the process. I would appreciate any current cadets or alumni to add to this list of things you thought or heard were a certain way, but realized that it was totally different once you got to the academy. I know quite a few, but I'm really hoping current cadets will add to the list to help noob's and applicants know the truth. ESPECIALLY about Life at the Academy. I'll start with a couple of TRUTHS for the noob to read.

    1. Not everyone who applies to the academies want it as their 1st Choice for college.
    2. Not everyone who attends the academy wants to be pilots. Only about HALF of the class actually put in for pilot slots. The air force would accept more if more people applied.
    3. Do not ask what the MINIMUM STANDARDS are for the academy. That is a futile question. Why? Because the AVERAGE applicant is much higher than the minimum standards, and the accepted appointee/cadet is even higher than that. Look at the AVERAGES not the MINIMUMS. E.g. AVERAGE GPA is 3.86. Average ACT is 30.
    4. Mitch's isn't that bad;..... if you like Chicken. I've been told they seem to make chicken every possible way.
     
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    "Ditto!"

    My last four "BEST" candidates for USAFA; and honestly, the best candidates "on paper" I've had in 19 years...all received their appointments to USAFA fairly early.

    1. "A" has already completed his BSEE and is now a Masters Candidate at Stanford University. Decided that USAFA didn't have the PRECISE academic program he wanted.
    2. "B" is a "second classman" (third year) Superintendents List cadet at USMA
    3. "C" is a "third classman" (second year) Deans List cadet at USAFA
    4. "D" is a "plebe" (first year) Deans List mid'n at USNA

    As CC said; not everyone is SOLELY seeking USAFA. Initially all of these fine folks were "USAFA first" but then...they visited the academies, spoke with both cadets and officers, and then...

    They "made the call!"

    And I couldn't be prouder of them!! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  3. WAM

    WAM Member

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    Eat more Mitchen...

    Thanks Christcorp and Flieger, again. Apart from the Mitch, those were my questions and just didn't seem to find the answers in spite of all the searching.

    Is there a place to donate to the operating costs of the forum?
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    If you're interested; you can contact "TacticalNuke". He is the administrator of this forum. He'll be able to help you out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Back to the list: These are EYE related. I get a lot of these questions.

    5. You don't have to have 20/20 vision to get into the air force academy. If your vision is CORRECTABLE to 20/20 (Meaning with glasses or contacts you are 20/20), you are in great shape. But even if you aren't 20/20, that doesn't mean you still can't be accepted.

    6. The academy offers vision correction surgery to their cadets. And it's NOT JUST FOR THOSE APPLYING TO BE A PILOT!!! Any cadet at the academy, who has started their 3rd year and is committed, and medically qualifies for the surgery, can be approved.

    7. NO, if you're turned down for the vision correction surgery, that doesn't mean you can't be a pilot. There are individuals who got WAIVERS to wear contacts.
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    MOC/Nomination related:

    9. If you MOC has 2 opening that s/he is trying to fill, then s/he MUST PRESENT 2 SEPARATE slates. The academy won't take 2 names off the same slate. If you got nominated to BOTH your MOC's available slots, your name will actually be listed TWICE on your application for RECEIVED nominations. E.g. Rep Jones then Rep Jones again.

    10. The MOC has 3 ways to present their slate. 1) Competitive: Which simply means a list of 10 names; no priority; and the academy CHOOSES based on THEIR SCORING CRITERIA who fills that MOC's slate. 2) PRINCIPAL #1 and the other 9 competitive: Which means the #1 on the list in the MOC's PRINCIPAL nominee, and IF that individual IS QUALIFIED for the academy, then the academy has absolutely NO CHOICE.... They MUST GIVE THAT PERSON the appointment. If that person ISN'T QUALIFIED, for whatever reason, then the ACADEMY chooses from the other 9 based on THEIR SCORING CRITERIA who fills the MOC's slate. 3) ALL 10 nominees are RANKS by the MOC. Real simple. The #1 is the Principal. If they are qualified, the academy MUST give them an appointment. If they aren't qualified, the academy MUST go to the #2 name on the slot. If they aren't qualified, the academy MUST go to the #3 and so on.

    11. If you don't get an appointment based on your MOC's slate for your nomination, then you go to the "National Pool". And NO, it doesn't matter how many nominations you have once you get to the national pool. There, you are simply 1 person 1 slot. All those in the national pool are simply ranked in order of your TOTAL SCORE, as determined by the academy. The academy then starts at the TOP of the list and takes however many they need to complete the class size. Could be the top 100; 150; 200; etc...

    12. NEVER ASK what your CHANCES ARE.... It's an impossible question to answer. WHY? Because as I mentioned about not asking what the MINIMUM standards are; because those applying and receiving appointments are way ABOVE the minimums, so the minimums are irrelevant. Well, we don't know your competition. Your identical scores used LAST YEAR could get you an appointment, but this year NOT, because there is someone in your district who is MUCH BETTER. Or maybe because of the economy, more individuals are applying nationally and therefore what scores were good enough last year, aren't good enough this year. And because you initially start by competing on your MOC's slate, a score that is good enough on the Utah's senator's slate, might be too low on the Wyoming senator's slate. Again; we don't know WHO YOU ARE COMPETING AGAINST.
     
  7. BelowRadar

    BelowRadar Member

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    Sticky!

    I nominate this thread for Sticky status :thumb:
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I'm hoping some current/recent cadets will add to the list, for misconceptions on Life at the academy. The academy changes year to year and something that may have been true 10-20 years ago, may not apply today.

    I.e. Things taken for granted today such as cell phones, didn't exist back in prehistoric times. Here's one for academy life however.

    1. No, a C4C or C3C (Freshman/Sophomore) can not Own/Possess a car at the academy. But they ARE allowed to drive. They can BORROW a car from an upper classman if someone will loan one. Or, they can lease on. (Which is a bit difficult for most people under 21 years old). Or, sometimes their sponsor family will allow them to borrow theirs. Bottom line. You CAN'T OWN a car that is physically located on the academy, but you can borrow and/or drive a car.

    HINT: Usually, the way you get in good standing to BORROW a car from an upper classman, is to volunteer to be their Designated Driver when they and their buddies, who ARE OVER 21, want to go out to a club. Most places will give you all the free cokes or whatever for being the DD. And then, some will be nice enough when you want to go down town to a movie or get some real food, to let you borrow their car.
     
  9. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    "I'm stuck on base, and there's nothing to do." There are 80+ clubs at the academy. You can participate in anything from chess to airsoft to wargaming to horseback riding to flying at the aero club on base! Aside from that, there are always people around to play some pick-up basketball, etc.
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    You're right raimius. There ISN'T anything to do. LOL!!!
     
  11. nn139

    nn139 USAFA Appointee 2017

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    I remember reading somewhere on this forum that Appointees who have also received an AFROTC scholarship should go ahead and accept it since it is nonbinding. Can someone please clarify? Thanks!
     
  12. Knittle

    Knittle Member

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    ROTC scholarships have no commitment for the first year.
     
  13. Lewis95

    Lewis95 Member

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    What do you mean? I received an appointment to USAFA and have a type 2 afrotc scholarship, I still am unsure what I will choose.
     
  14. rztl

    rztl Member

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    I also have an appointment and a AFROTC scholarship. This is my understanding of it:

    Initially, you had to accept the scholarship offer before some date in March. It is non-binding and is basically just to confirm you still have interest in ROTC. After accepting the scholarship I was sent a few different forms via email. These forms are the ones that have to be completed by May 1st and include a letter of intent that you are going to utilize the scholarship at X university. Simply put, you have until May 1st to make a decision so plenty of time to think it over.
     
  15. nn139

    nn139 USAFA Appointee 2017

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    This is exactly what I was looking for. I will be accepting my Appointment to USAFA, so I assume I will have to send the decline form to AFROTC. Thanks!
     
  16. Lewis95

    Lewis95 Member

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    I'm not yet sold on the Academy yet, so I will go ahead and let afrotc I'm still interested, how do I do this?
     
  17. rztl

    rztl Member

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    You should have gotten a letter in the mail that said something like "Type _ Scholarship Indorsement Letter." It had a checklist with your choice for a major and instructed you to email it to your "scholarship technician."

    That's what mine said anyway and afterwards I was sent an email with everything I need to complete by May 31st (Just checked) to activate the scholarship.
     
  18. afa

    afa Member

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    just curious as to what you're not necessarily "sold on" ?
     
  19. Lewis95

    Lewis95 Member

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    I don't know if I will be able to handle USAFA for 4 years. I visited USAFA last April, and am visiting once again in about two weeks. College life seems more suitable for me, and I have great schools for AFROTC.
     
  20. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    Be sure to talk to current C4C's while there -- they are now recognized and life is much different for them than it was 2 weeks ago.

    There is nothing wrong with choosing AFROTC over AFA.

    you might want to PM Pima - her son chose ROTC over AFA and is now a 2Lt at UPT.
     

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