Triple appointee -- what a choice

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by RLTW, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. RLTW

    RLTW Member

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    A friend of mine has been awarded appointments to USMA, USNA, and USAFA. The appointee is still undecided on which appointment to accept, has heard many compelling stories from various sides, investigated each academy, and understands that they should maintain the long-term view (consider the 8 or more years of service after graduation as well as the academy life itself). So far they find pros and cons with each choice, and are doing due diligence to finalize this decision.

    I’m curious if anyone else, from this year or before, has been through this particular decision process (multiple appointments) and what experience or anecdotal information was helpful in making their decision? And, were they ultimately satisfied with their choice?

    Thanks in advance,

    RLTW
     
  2. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. Member

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    Yep, DS went through the same thing. What you've noted here is, in my view, the key; take the long view and look at the bigger picture coming down the road which can be difficult for a young person perhaps just looking at the school. I can only say to do exactly what they are doing....the due diligence and evaluating everything. What your friend has now been given is the greatest gift of all...time. Time to consider, to reflect, to research, to explore all of the options and opportunities for both school and service.

    In my son's case, this was to be the most difficult decision that the 17 year old had ever had to make in his life. He was terribly torn at first and the emotional tugs of one would be offset by the pragmatic pull of the other. He examined this from almost every angle and took the full four months following appointments to decide based on all the due diligence you've mentioned. In the end, it wasn't the one he first fell in love with but the one that offered him what he saw as the long term opportunities to use his talents , where those might best be utilized in the service . He had come to the place in his mind and heart where we had hoped he would....100% comfortable with his decision and at peace with it without looking back.

    Decision was made and then you go to the place where the expectations intersect with the realities...off to the academy. For my own kid, it was a satisfying meeting and he's made the right choice for himself and thriving.

    It's a tough decision to be sure and I can only hope that your friend takes the time he/she has been given to come to the same resolution.
     
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  3. 2019 mom

    2019 mom Member

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    My DS was SURE he wanted USMA or USNA, but ended up applying to USCGA at the last minute. He then did the overnights at each of the academies, and I was shocked when he called me from USCGA and said he loved it there. He decided, however, that he would take some time and weigh the pros and cons of each. He actually ended up making a chart for each academy, and chose USCGA because he felt it was the best fit for him, both for college and for service.
     
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  4. MD2020

    MD2020 Member

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    Once my DD narrowed her choices to academies she had to choose between USNA (30 mins for our house) and USAFA across the country from where we live. She began by searching out female current cadets and graduates. She interviewed them (about 30 people total) to see what their thoughts were. She conducted overnight visits to both academies. She also looked at long term goals, what she wanted to do, where she wanted to be and family life desires. In the end she chose USAFA even though it was much farther away from home. She is very happy with her decision and is currently recruiting her little brother :).

    My DS is class of 2020 he is in the process of deciding between USAFA, USNA and USCGA. He did overnights at all three, is in the process of interviewing graduates and has a huge pro and con list for each. His decision will be more difficult because he loves all three academies and believes in all of their missions. His end goal is more flexible than my daughters were so that did not help with the decision. Ultimately he wants to fly planes so I think that USAFA or USNA will be in his cards.
     
  5. Dad of 2

    Dad of 2 Parent

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    The decision of where to attend (possibly) is as clear as mud for our DD.

    Your comments are very similar to what's currently happening in our home. I'll preface this by saying that our DD has not done any (zero, nada, zilch) overnights at any academy. She has visited 3 (USNA, USMA, and USAFA) academies several times. She fell in love with USNA (very first academy to visit) and it was that way for a long, long time. She then visited USMA two days later and left USMA saying "they are for real at that place ". Over the past several months, USMA has steadily risen to the top (at least in conversations around our home). USNA is still very much in her thoughts but it's difficult to predict what actually goes through a 16 yr old (high school Junior) head in a day.

    A pro/con list sounds like a great thing to do. Our DD has a CVW at USNA coming up in the end of March. She also has applied to all 3 academies for their summer sessions. Maybe doing one or more of them will help her to have some clarity in her mud!
     
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  6. lef9820

    lef9820 Member

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    I currently have appointments to the USAFA and USMA Classes of 2020, and am still pending a decision from USNA. I fell in love with Navy when I first visited my freshman year of high school, and although I visited other the other academies, was very close-minded about anything other than USNA (did CVW and NASS there). I received a Letter of Encouragement to West Point earlier in the fall and did an overnight there, and found it to actually be a better fit for me in terms of academy lifestyle and career opportunities once in the service. However, it has been very hard for me to separate myself emotionally from USNA since it was my dream for so long. I do feel that for me, this decision should be a logical one, not emotional, so I am about 95% sure I am going to attend USMA next year regardless of my status at USNA, but am waiting a few more weeks to see if I hear back from Navy, so I can have some closure. I applied in early July, so I sort of have the feeling that if it's been sitting there for 8 months without a decision, a "yes" isn't coming anytime soon... I guess that makes the decision that much easier!!
     
  7. brovol

    brovol Member

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    My son has only been admitted to USMA so far, and is waiting on USNA and USAFA. He really likes WP, and frankly after visiting WP now three times, and having met with the folks there, my wife and I get a great feeling about him going there. It is much more of a welcome feeling, and it really seems that they want every cadet to be successful. The people there seem so open to discussing everything, and they genuinely appear to want my son to attend WP. The place is amazing in terms of its physical presence, and history oozes out of every crevice of WP.

    USNA is likewise spectacular. However, it seemed to be less homey. Wish I could describe it better. At West Point either an RC, or a cadet gave us a tour, and gave a description of real life there, and the practical experiences that they have had at WP. At USNA, if you want a tour, you must pay for one provided by a retiree who may have no connection to the school beyond living it its vicinity. Most of the comments were about the sports teams successes, as opposed to life as a Midshipman. That's fine for a tourist, but not so much for a candidate and his family. We just didn't get the same feel as we did at WP. USNA also has tremendous history, and is such a wonderful campus. And the town of Annapolis is such a cool place. Way better place for a parent to go and hang out.

    USNA has so many options after graduation. Flying, subs, surface warfare, everything the Marines offers. Frankly, looking at things objectively, USNA may be the best option for my son; but there is a subjective component too. My son gets a better feeling from WP, and most of the career options in the Army are very attractive to him. He says he would like to be able to do them all, which is true of Navy as well. He had such a great experience on his overnight at WP, and it really drew him in. He would like to do the same at USNA, but it isn't available until he is admitted. That is too bad, and I think a poor policy, as the overnights are very valuable experiences in terms of hiving candidates a perspective.

    I'm not sure where my son will end up. It is a difficult decision for a 17 year old, as it would be for a 50 year old. I do think though that the candidate should have a real good feeling about the school he or she chooses. In a perfect world the parents will feel just as good about the choice.
     
  8. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    I remember this time last year. Our son had wanted Navy from the get-go, but Army just wore him down with attention and reasons why WP had more to offer and why he would have more options and sooner there than at Navy. (Army thinks it's better than Navy? You don't say.) He never heard anything from Navy. Zip. So, when the BFE from WP came, he only thought about it for a couple of days before accepting. "Love the school that loves you" was the way he chose. He didn't wait for or want the angst of multiple appointments. It was clear to him that WP wanted him, so he said yes and notified Navy that he was done. He seems very happy with his choice.
     
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  9. 18mamag

    18mamag Member

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    Congratulations to all on your Appointment(s)! It is truly a difficult decision and very humbling to receive an LOA/LOE followed by Appointments to multiple Academies. I watched both our children go through it one year after another. After much reflection and just really looking at majors, career options, and long term goals you will decide what is right for you. Most importantly understand the majors, programs and teaching methods at both schools. DS USMA19 finally has a firm grasp on the Thayer Method of teaching. It was an eye opening experience, but he is thriving now and is in a major not offered at USNA. He finds the campus is pretty 'isolated, yet steeped in tradition' and finds it easy to study long hours. DD USNA18 would not have enjoyed the Thayer method, and also her major was not offered at USMA. She would find it hard not to have the town of Annapolis right outside the gates and her wonderful sponsor families who are always there for her... If possible I highly encourage campus visits and summer programs. DS was 100% USNA until he went to both summer programs.
     
  10. lef9820

    lef9820 Member

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    What a great way to sum it up... West Point has an awesome admissions system. It's easy to contact your RC and the visits are always informative and welcoming. I did an overnight earlier in the fall, and emailed my RC to see if I could do another once I got my appointment. He was great about it... emailed me back ASAP and said he could make it happen. They have a way of making you feel "important" and is if they genuinely want you to go there. I also felt that my overnight at USMA was more eye-opening than CVW at Navy. Being a "drag" along with hundreds of other candidates for a weekend is not really reflective of actual midshipman life, in my opinion. Because there were so many candidates, it kind of felt like it was a recruiting weekend. At USMA, there were only a few other people there for the overnight the same night as me (3 or 4), so I was really able to experience cadet life.
     
  11. JTGib13

    JTGib13 DS-USMA & USNA Appointee Class of 2020

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    Same EXACT story for my DS this year except he waited only about 30 seconds to hit the "accept" button and immediately notified Navy that he was done. No angst here! :) He shifted his thoughts after an overnight visit to both and WP showed way more interest. Glad to hear your son is happy with his choice. :)
     
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