Summer Leader Experience vs. other Summer Seminars

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by TriService2017, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. TriService2017

    TriService2017 Member

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    Anyone have a DD or DS attend more than one summer program? If so, what did they think? Mine totally drank the Kool Aid at West Point, but did not get the same vibe at AF.
     
  2. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    My DD went to West Point and Annapolis this summer. She went in thinking Navy was where she wanted to be, but West Point was a winner for her as well. Besides being attracted to the WP curriculum offerings, she really enjoyed the team work and marching in cadence. Her first day back in the civilian world she wore her WP t-shirt and is wearing it tonight as I type this post.

    However, she gave both summer programs a thumbs up. The optional Navy "in your face" hazing activity was her favorite as she could correctly answer the "How is the Cow?" and other goofy questions under duress. ;)

    I thought ROTC might be her first choice for education based on her academic and lifestyle preferences (such as sleep), but now she knows that she definitely wants to attend an academy to become an Officer with ROTC being Plan B. She spoke with an AF Academy recruiter at Girls State who inspired her to re-look at the Air Force, especially the curriculum. My DD received AF candidate status in March, but was not invited to their Summer program which was initially her 1st choice.

    Now her goal is to apply to the Army, Navy, AF and Coast Guard and see what happens. And if the military options are not available to her for whatever reason, she is also working a plan C applying for merit scholarships & Plan D, a gap year.

    I think I will take a vacation when she starts to write her essays for her nominations and applications. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  3. USNA2020

    USNA2020 Member

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    Not a parent, but I attended SLE and NASS this year!

    Although the the structure of the week was similar, the two programs had completely different vibes. SLE felt more competitive since there were only 500 candidates and 12 candidates to a squad. NASS was a bit too laid back for me (we had insane amounts of free time), but it was nice to be able to get really close to my 6 squad mates and squad leader (especially during sea trials).

    SLE was the winner for me, I loved the location of West Point, the academic workshops, the cadre, and of course, the dodgeball. It was interesting because I saw a lot of people from SLE, at my session of NASS. Of the people I talked to that went to both, it was a general consensus that SLE was better, but USNA felt happier and would seem to be a better college experience.

    I thought going to both programs would give me a better idea of where I want to go, but right now I can't settle on a first and second choice.. and I need to know soon for the nomination process! I feel that both the army and navy have plenty of career paths to choose from, and I would really love to be in either.
     
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  4. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    SLE/NASS - 1 week
    SA - 47 months
    Military Service - 5 years or more
     
  5. yrangd

    yrangd Member

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    I attended WP, Navy, and Air Force this summer. Initially, I had been set on Navy, Air Force, and West Point (in order of preference). However based on the summer seminars and atmosphere of the academies, my mind completely changed. Like Midwest, my first choice is WP, followed by Navy and AF.
    I understand that the summer seminars only briefly show the "fun" side of the academies and may be very watered down. However, I believe that I was able to get a feel for the general atmosphere of each schools.
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    The one point I challenge all candidates to consider (and mentioned by others) is to really think about the Service, not necessarily the SA. Remember you will spend a minimum of 5 years on Active Duty if not more. Its great you got a feel for the school, but what do you think about being in the Army? Or Navy? Or AF? A day or so in the field is fun, don't get me wrong. But think about that for a week or month or months. Also at 17 your body can take a beating and jumping out of planes sounds glorious to a teenager. Guess what at 28, 34, 42 jumping out of planes hurts, hiking 20 miles with a pack hurts, it all hurts, because these things are very hard on the body and take a toll. Trust me, I have been there, have the aches and pains to prove it.

    Really think post your school days. What kind of job do you want in the military? What are the options that each Service provides? Duty stations? Chances at advanced schooling? Promotion opportunities? Transferable skills to the outside world? Don't get me wrong it is great you are thinking about the school because you need to be happy there with your major, social life, training, etc. I mostly hear candidates making comments about the school, not about the service itself. I challenge each candidate to really think about these things, do research and ask questions here or to grads/vets. Each Service is great and has things that they do extremely well, but each has its own personality, strengths, missions, quality of life, etc. At 17 you don't think about a spouse and kids, but at 22, 25 ,28, etc they become issues and play huge roles in your decision to remain in service, duty stations, etc.

    Here are few of my take aways from each service:

    AF has lots of pros for great bases, shorter deployments, push education, alot of technology, great golf courses, good quality of life. For some that might sound great, others might not want to be in the "Corporate Service." Also the USAF tends to be either a pilot or everybody else mentality. Navy is great, but if you hate boats, not a good place. But there is also the USMC which is by far the best service there is obviously! :) As far as service options, USNA probably has the most with being able to go Navy or USMC. The Marine Corps is small, tons of camaraderie, work hard play hard mentality, very prideful service. Education is not pushed as hard at the lower ranks (as much as I think it should be), but they truly believe in leaders leading at the lowest level. The Navy has a wide range of choices with ships, subs, SEALs, Diving, and many others. You will truly get to travel the world and see many places, but if you hate a boat, that won't be fun. I am a believer, even as a Marine, there is no greater challenge than leading a war ship as a CO and ultimately the coolest job ever, Commanding a Carrier, I mean the pure power you have is insane! Navy pushes education and technology. No other job other than SWO in any service or career field has you reporting to a ship 30 days after you graduate and handed a job and Sailors to lead. Duty stations aren't bad in the Navy, but really depend on your warfare specialty. That is crazy scary! At least I had TBS and MOS school to break me in. The Army is huge and has tons of jobs, duty stations and branches. Tons of opportunities for unique schools and training. Duty stations sort of suck though, there are some gems though! Just a few of my thoughts for candidates to chew on and think about. Good luck on your applications.
     
    Roxane, Midwest and USNA2020 like this.
  7. whitewolf

    whitewolf Member

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    I think your child was lucky in the West Point visit. . . My DD had a visitor to her room. . . there were already three of them crowded in there and now 4?! The visit was during a typical rough week, so no hand holding or much explanation about what life was like. Instead, she watched my daughter doing a lot of studying! I can assure you there was no brief or plan!
     
  8. whitewolf

    whitewolf Member

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    Just realized you're talking about SLE and not the overnight visit!! My bad
     
  9. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    You will hear upperclass and grads call Summer Seminar 'summer camp' or 'summer scaminar' for a reason. It is a recruiting event. USNA doesn't hide that and why they use it to bring a wide variety of kids, especially those from under represented areas or races.

    The overnights at USNA can be hit and miss. I am a big believer that these are most important as they really show the real school. The accessibility to talk to a variety of Mids is key, really see the true daily life, and candidates need to be forward also that they want to talk to upperclassman too. I almost wish they paired candidates up with youngsters and Plebes, splitting time with each to get a well rounded view. Also it really helps to talk to upperclass to get a view of majors and summer training input, stuff plebes have no clue about. Realize what time of year you go can be a factor. For those who are Mids or grads we sort of know there are sort of moods to the school. Plebes early in the year are still figuring it out and their exposure is pretty limited, it's all new to them. Dark ages are after Xmas when it's cold and it's seems Plebe Year will never end, the grind sucks, cynicism tends be high. After spring break the mood turns very full of energy, weather is good, usually lots of dating, plebes realize they are going to make it, summer excitement. I just say this because it really plays into things.
     
  10. RedDragon

    RedDragon Member

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    DS really enjoyed SLE at WestPoint and thought the Cadre there were top notch. He came home and immediately left for USAFA and the SLS. He thought SLS was good but not as eye opening as SLE. He got to see his brother at USAFA which was a plus. Overall I think USMA is now number 1.
     
  11. Voyager20

    Voyager20 Member

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    After reading several threads about the experiences at the other SAs, I only wish my son had applied to the others. He only did NASS. Navy is the only branch for him ... he prefers boats and planes. At 17, I just wanted him to widen his glance to consider other paths for a moment.

    While at NASS, he spoke to others who went to other summer programs and they all said WP was better. One kid said he lost weight at WP, but gained it back at NASS for the food was better.

    My son enjoyed NASS very much and said he knew they were putting their best foot forward, but he had attended a CVW last February and felt he got a picture of the daily life at that time. So I agree, do the overnights during the school year to get a better idea of what it's like. Lastly, son was also impressed by the NASS detailers who had just finished their plebe year (I think)....positive, supportive and good listeners...lots of energy.
     

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