Some Questions

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Currahee, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. Currahee

    Currahee Member

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    Hello,

    I am a mostly finished with my application - everything is green except CFA and DODMERB, (which I have been told is currently being processed). I am a Senior in High School. I just have a few questions.

    1. Candidate Fitness Assessment - I know I have waited a long time to take it, but I am not the most athletically gifted person in the world, and I have been doing training - not as much as I want, or probably should have, thanks to school, but it is something. I plan on taking it early January after a get some time without school to focus athletically. Seeing that a lot of people have already taken it, is this a bad move? There's not anything I can do about it now, I just want to know if this was a bad idea on my part. Also, how exactly is it scored? I have heard it is pass/fail, but I also hear it is graded. I think it is both. My local liaison says I must complete this before I am granted an interview.

    2. Nomination - I got a nomination yesterday. However, so do five other people in my AP physics class - two for USMA, one for Merchant Marine, and one for Navy (yes, I have two other USMA candidates in my class - I think that's kind of funny, considering the odds), and those are only the people I know about in my school. I live in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, (next to B'ham) and this was Senators Bachus's last nomination. I am still a little confused on how this works. I have heard that they have a limited pool to nominate (around two), but I also hear that they nominate in slates of ten. How exactly does that work? Also, I assume it is in my best interest to pursue as many nomination as possible, correct? (there are still two politicians in my area that can give nominations, which I am applying for)

    3. Grades - My year has been a little rough on my grades. I project I will make all B's for AP classes, (Literature, Physics, Econ, and Calculus AB) which I understand is fine, but I am, erm, cutting it a little close with my calculus grade (as in my Calculus exam next week might be the most important exam of my life so far). How adversely would a C in calculus affect my chances, as in, "you're in very deep hole," or "it's not the end of the world"?

    4. Plan B - I have applied at VMI, Auburn and Texas A&M as plan B (or as Plan A, as I personally do not think I will make it to USMA - I'm not giving up, but I don't think the numbers are on my side.) I will do ROTC at the applicable schools. Which one is the best in terms of giving me the edge in getting a slot in my desired branch (armor)? Or does it really matter?

    My truncated resume of sorts is as follows:

    3.89 GPA
    Eagle Scout
    141/441 (i think those are the correct numbers) class rank
    32 on ACT (35 Eng, 34 Reading, 26 Math, 33 Sci, 31 on writing if I recall)
    Played varsity football (never actually got on the field my senior year, but hopefully they won't grade that...:frown:)
    National Honors Society
    Military nut (not really applicable, but I put it on all my resumes, and I am pretty sure I am the only person in my zip code who knows what an "M1A2 SEPv2 TUSK II w/CROWS" is. I also have all US military bases marked on Google Earth...yeah the NSA probably has a copy of my Hard Drive:shake:)

    Thanks in advance for reading this and answering questions. Feel free to tell me your thoughts, even if they essentially amount to "you are an idiot, and you are done for."
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  2. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    Very good act! Considering you have 5 other nominations in your class I assume you are in a very tough district.


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  3. BMB

    BMB New Member

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    Hello Currahee,

    1. The CFA is worth 10% of your USMA file. While this is not a huge portion, it is required that you pass. It's scored in a pass/fail method. For example, I took it over the summer and passed every event except the basketball throw, for which I received an "*at risk" marker, essentially saying I did not pass. I retook it today and improved greatly. Since you have plans to take it in January, I suggest you train, train, train until that day because it takes most people months to get into tip-top shape.

    2. Congrats on your nomination! This is(obviously) a very important step in the application. Every Congressperson can nominate up to 10 individuals to each Academy (for example, your congressman probably nominated you, the two other people in your AP class, as well as 7 others to USMA). And yes, be sure to apply to both your Senators, as well!

    3. I cannot speak for the Academy itself but I would guess that they would really appreciate it if you pulled a B or greater in your AP Calc. Obviously this is a tough class but West Point's classes will be even tougher. They want to make sure their students will be able to handle the stress and tough course load.

    4. I may be bias (my brother is a fish at TAMU) but I think Texas A&M is a wonderful school. From what I know, it has the largest Corps of Cadets apart from the Academies and prepares its students extremely well for the military (depending, of course, on which outfit you join). With that being said, all three schools you listed are great-TAMU's just the greatest :)

    Good luck!

    PS-Keep in mind that you also have to take an ROTC PFT in order to receive a scholarship. It consists of 1 minute push ups, 1 minute setups, and 1 mile run.
     
  4. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    You need to take the CFA as soon as possible.

    While I can certainly sympathize with not being a great athlete, if you want to do well at USMA you might as well learn now that sometimes it's going to take the extra effort to get up an hour earlier to workout or skip that party with your friends on a Friday night to make sure you get the right workouts in. There is nothing on the CFA that you should not be able to pass if you train every day from now until the first week in January.
     
  5. 845something

    845something Member

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    In addition to improving your calculus grade, you need to plan to take the ACT again in January/February (don't retake the writing section as it would cause your scores to arrive well after the deadline). Focus on the math section. 26 is on the low side and given your competition and potentially a C in Calc, you need to bump that score up. Your class rank is going to weigh on your overall application. Roughly top 1/3 is not as strong as top 20% or top 10% that you will likely need. Looking long term (potentially reapplying next year), you need to avoid senioritis and do everything you can to pull up your class rank all the way through the end of your senior year.
     
  6. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Vestavia Hills is an awesome school and produces top-notch students (me=c/o 1980). While your file may be marked as "qualified," you may not be ranked high enough for admission this year. If West Point is what you want, consider reapplying. MY DS had similar credentials last year and was told to consider reapplying. He got his file done by September (you have not helped yourself by dragging this out, unfortunately). So, if you are not accepted this year, you'll want to be get your file in pdq next year.

    A school that I did not see on your list that you might consider is the University of North Georgia. It is a senior military college in Dahlonega (about an hour from Atlanta). SMC means you are in the corps of cadets 100% of the time, as opposed to some colleges where you might wear ROTC uniform once a week. The corps does PT together daily, weekend training, and they all live in the ROTC dorm. Additionally, if you are in the corps, there is no out of state fee charged.

    Good luck to you however this turns out. :thumb:
     
  7. Currahee

    Currahee Member

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    Thanks for the responses.

    It is becoming higher on my plan B list. I have heard good things about it. I also think Texas is pretty cool...and I would be close to Fort Hood and its hordes of M1 Abrams.

    I am taking it this Saturday, and again in February. The interview committee for my nomination specifically asked me how I was going to improve my math score, so it is high on my priority list.

    If your curious, Buddy Anderson is still alive and coaching.

    I understand that you can apply multiple times (such as when you are a freshmen in college), but how can you reapply when the admission decisions haven't even finished yet? I probably misunderstood how this works.

    That sounds interesting. I will definitely take a look.
     
  8. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    If VMI is on your list, give The Citadel a look. They might give you a better financial aid package or something of that note.
     
  9. Currahee

    Currahee Member

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    I have. I am waiting to hear back from them on my application.
     
  10. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    I second the notion of taking a closer look at the University of North Georgia. Since it's an all-Army school, the training is focused across-the-board on Army goals. UNG had the #1 cadet in the nation this year on national accessions, and 5 cadets ranked in the top 10%. Seven cadets branched armor, 15 infantry, 8 military intelligence, 7 engineer, 7 ordnance, plus several others. There were 23 cadets who earned the Distinguished Military Graduate distinction this year. Out-of-state cadets receive in-state tuition. And if you train hard and keep a good attitude in the Corps while maintaining excellent grades, it can really pay off in terms of getting training and additional study opportunities. UNG is located only a few miles away from the location where the mountain phase of Army Ranger Training is conducted. Since your SAF name is "Currahee," you'll appreciate knowing that my UNG cadet accomplished a major goal of his on that mountain last spring, all the while paying homage to the great souls who trained there during WWII.

    Collectively, UNG's staff officers have over 24 combat tours. UNG's staff NCOs, who have 21 combat tours collectively, serve as the cadets’ primary mentors. This mirrors what cadets experience as company grade officers in brigade combat teams. One of UNG's NCOs was recently inducted into the Sgt Audie Murphy Club. A North Georgia noncommissioned officer has been selected as the Senior Military College NCO of the year for 3 years running. This past year, Sgt 1st Class David Smith was selected as the TRADOC NCO of the year and placed 3rd in the All-Army NCO of the year competition. The training you will receive by these fine officers and NCOs at the University of North Georgia is focused on preparing cadets for Army leadership.

    Questions, feel free to ask.
     
  11. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    Why does that number of cadets who branched various things seem small to me. I would think for a military school there would at least 100 branching?
     
  12. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    I only have branch info for 55 of the 87 who are commissioning, and I only listed a few of the branches, intentionally mentioning only the ones that jumped out at me when I looked at my list.
     
  13. TotheTop

    TotheTop Member

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    I think people mostly answered your questions, I'll just pipe in about your school choices since I've been to most of them;) I'm an '09 West Point Grad and looking back, WP is still my number 1 choice. The number 2 choice is hands down without a doubt Texas A&M. That school is amazing, the location is amazing, they have great traditions, a great corp of cadets. Next choice would probably be citadel, but only because of the location. After that, do yourself a favor, get a normal college experience and just do ROTC. Seriously. I might go as far as to just say go to college and then do OCS (officer candidate school) afterwards (direct commission). Obviously going OCS means you don't get any assistance with funding school.

    Anyways, just my advice.
     

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