Tough Decision

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Derrick, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Derrick

    Derrick USAFA Class of 2015

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    Hi everybody, I'm new to the forums and am reaching out for some advice from others. Sorry for the long post, but hopefully it'll help paint my picture better.

    I'm currently a high school senior in the process of the whole college application process. I've known for many years that I have wanted to serve in the military and decided about six years ago that I wanted to attend an academy. The military just appealed to me. As far as what branch/academy, I was originally set on USAFA because I wanted to be a pilot. However, I'm not really sure what it was, but something changed about a year and a half to two years ago and I decided that I wanted to go to USMA. I think my change of heart had something to do with the discovery/realization that very few people make it to pilot school and end up flying (especially fighters). I have also known/had the feeling that I wouldn't be able to have a desk job. Therefore, I guess I saw myself more in an active combat role as opposed to a logistical or information role. From what I have gathered, the Air Force only has pilots, PJ's, some spec ops, and security who see combat; very small percentages of the branch. The Army would give me a better chance to be in a combat role with a hands on role.

    I decided to apply to both USMA and USAFA (along with VMI, VT and other schools with ROTC). I have gone through the application process for both academies (only missing a field force interview for USMA right now) and the nomination process. After meeting with Major Belmont regarding my file at USMA, he told me that I will most likely not make the cut this year (for the class of 2015), but with a couple revisions/additions to my file in the coming year, I could have a solid shot at the class of 2015. A bit of a letdown, but at least I have hope. Like he said, a one year delay in the grand scheme of things isn't much. However...

    I recently received an LoA from USAFA this past weekend. The only thing I'm missing is the nomination for them. I have yet to hear an update from USMA or a nomination for them, but I'm seriously torn. In the event that I get a nomination to USAFA and join the class of 2015, I'll have to kill off my dream of USMA. However, if I take the gamble and wait another year (attend VMI or VT since they're senior military colleges) and try applying to USMA again, I will miss my shot with USAFA. It could pay off and I'll join USMA's class of 2016...or I could miss again. I've spoken with my parents and they both think that if everything falls into place for USAFA, it's too good of an offer to pass up to wait another year for another shot at USMA (in the case that I don't get in this year).

    What I'm asking is, what do you think I should do in the event that I am fully accepted to USAFA this year, and not USMA? I'd be happy with USAFA, but USMA is my goal.

    Sorry for the long post. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
     
  2. jlwilkes101

    jlwilkes101 Member

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    I'd go with USAFA. And, I'm not 100% sure on this, but is it possible to then apply to USMA while at USAFA? I've never heard of someone doing this, but it could be possible. And if it is, then you'd basically get the best of both worlds. Except it could be difficult because of torn loyalties and that sort of thing...
     
  3. bpu

    bpu Member

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    Why all this discussion on USAFA vs. USMA? Do you want to be an officer in the Army or Air Force? Period.
    Want Army, bag USAFA and go ROTC, scholarship or not. Freshman year reapply as USMA as directed and if you get in you can decide whether to stay ROTC or go USMA.
    Want Air Force? Well a LOA is a nice start.
    Seriously, you are asking the wrong questions. Which SA to attend has nothing to do with it.
     
  4. jlwilkes101

    jlwilkes101 Member

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    bpu has a point, and it looks from your post like you know you want to go army, but your parents are afraid you'll regret turning down the USAFA appointment. All in all, what matters is what you want to do for the next 12+ years of your life.
     
  5. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Exactly what I was going to say. You are conflicted because you are letting things that don't matter play a role in your decision. What branch do you want to be in? Simple as that.
     
  6. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    If being afraid of getting stuck with some desk job I would not go Air Force. Like you said if you want to fly or be a PJ, CCT, CRO whatever, but are fine in some sort of technical field I say go with Air Force. If you want combat go Army, you won’t have much trouble getting a combat role. Its only up to you we can’t decide for you, but only give a little advice. In the end it is your life not mine, so make the decision on which branch you want to serve in for 20 years not 4 years of college.
     
  7. philmont

    philmont Member

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  8. condor17

    condor17 Class of 2015

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    it is possible but unlikely to cross-commision from USAFA to the Army...I know a man that did it a couple of years ago, and he's in an airborne unit in Afgahnistan right now...
    I thought about applying to Navy and USMA and trying to cross-commision, but I decided to close the application for Navy because it is unlikely that I'll be able to cross-commision. An admissions officer at the Naval Academy told me that there has to be a USMA cadet that wants to go Navy for me to go Army from Navy.
     
  9. abeastlybeast

    abeastlybeast USMA Class of 2015

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    Your post relates to the situation I was in. For years I wanted to go to USAFA and become a pilot. Over time, however, my perspective changed and I wanted to attend USMA instead. I also had to write to close my application with the USAFA; I have not regretted it. I chose USMA because I knew Army was for me. I could not see myself serving in the Air Force and being happy, because I felt like Army was my calling.

    To OP, I think you know deep down what choice you should make. If you feel Army is the branch for you, pursue Army. If you think you can adjust and thrive at USAFA, then drop ideas of serving in combat. You must consider the different aspects of each branch and realize your career in the military is not something to be taken lightly.
     
  10. Hawk88

    Hawk88 New Member

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    If you go to USAFA and graduate, you can switch to Army (or another branch), so long as someone wants to switch with you. Army is the easiest branch to find someone transferring out of, so I think you would be able to do it.
     
  11. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    A VERY small amount of people are able to do this. Not worth counting on this actually happening. If you go to USAFA, expect to commission in the Air Force.
     
  12. Derrick

    Derrick USAFA Class of 2015

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    Thanks everybody for the replies. I've got some decision making to do.
     
  13. supergirl

    supergirl Member

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    you do need to follow your heart but are you sure you have researched all opportunities in the AF properly? for example, my son wants to study atmospheric science/ meteorology. In exploring the various academies and that major he discovered that the Air Force provides weather support for all of the branches of military. he was told at the summer seminar that there are AF weather officers serving with all branches of military and with units in combat including special ops. (they told him to look for the gray berets). my question to you would be are there other careers in the Air Force that are similar? (i do not know the answer to that question but it would be worth exploring)
     
  14. Derrick

    Derrick USAFA Class of 2015

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    @supergirl.

    I knew that the Air Force provides weather support for other branches of the military, but I did not know that they would be deployed with other units from those branches. Thank you for that info. I have read about other options such as pararescue, combat controllers, etc. and I am seriously considering them as options.
     

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