TWE, Re-applying, AFROTC, and much more.

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Nilet, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. Nilet

    Nilet Member

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    All,

    The dreaded TWE - one of the worst feelings of an applicant's life. I should know, I received that same letter 2 years in a row. It wasn't until the third application I felt the bliss of the BFE.

    The Academy is not for everyone. AFROTC is a great option as well, I took two years of my life to pursue a commission through it. However, some people have a DEEP desire to get into the Academy, and would like to re-apply.

    I would like to open a thread to all of those who are thinking of re-applying, are applying after already going to college, or have any questions about the prospect of AFROTC - all areas which I can personally feed insight to.

    I also have background in NCAA varsity athletics, aviation programs here at the Academy (PPL), cross commissioning programs, and many other areas. Feel free to ask anything on your mind!

    Don't give up! This place may very well be exactly where you are meant to be.

    -Nilet (2018)
     
  2. Asblake4

    Asblake4 Member

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    Do you have any tips for people reapplying in college? I'm a senior in high school now but I did not make it this year and plan to reapply and take AFROTC in the fall.
     
  3. katwswim

    katwswim Member

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    I am sure there are others who could answer this better than me, we are still waiting, but while looking into other options for my daughter: The thing that looked really good was Northern Arizona University AFROTC program. They seem to be rated rather high.
     
  4. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    Katwswim --

    If USAFA is really the dream school, don't give up on the dream- As Nilet illustrates, persistence does pay off. Many appointees do not make it in the first time. As for NAU, I have another kid attending and they do have a very active AFROTC Program. I met several kids that just graduated, or are currently graduating, and most received their first choice of duties (including flying). That can all change in any given year based on the needs of the AF, but yes, NAU seems like a solid choice. Another school to look into is Embry-Riddle. There are a lot of appointees that make a stop there, and a lot of graduate degrees for AF officers are through Embry. I know that there are many alumni on these forums that can provide a lot more info as well.
     
  5. Smalltowngirl

    Smalltowngirl Member

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    My DD is currently a student at ERAU and is a reapplicant. She is involved inAFROTC there and just informed me that they are ranked pretty high nationally. Many students got pilot slots this year as well. Good school, but expensive. Look into the ACES scholarships if you aren't on a AFROTC one.
     
  6. CivilAirPatrolCadet

    CivilAirPatrolCadet AFROTC Non-Tech Scholarship Recipient

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    Which ERAU, Prescott or Daytona. That is my plan B. Thankfully, I got a lot of scholarship money (for achievements, nothing to do with parents financial standing).
     
  7. Smalltowngirl

    Smalltowngirl Member

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    She's in Prescott. Which one are you interested in?
     
  8. CivilAirPatrolCadet

    CivilAirPatrolCadet AFROTC Non-Tech Scholarship Recipient

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    Prescott. What degree is she going for? Did she get an AFROTC scholarship?
     
  9. Smalltowngirl

    Smalltowngirl Member

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    She is in Space Physics and did not get an AFROTC scholarship last year. She,too, is academic scholarships.
     
  10. mlwmom

    mlwmom Member

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    I have a question for you, Nilet. What do you think made the difference for you when you reapplied the third time? What was "it" that finally made you stand out to the admission's team? Thank you for your reply in advance and best wishes at the academy.
     
  11. brovol

    brovol Member

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    How does cross commissioning work out of the academies? If you cross commision do you have choices in terms of what you will do one you commision? For example, my son will be attending USMA class of 2020, but would love the opportunity to fly fixed wing. Would it be possible for him to graduate from WP, and then cross commision into one of the other services to fly? Is that extremely unlikely, given the fact that flying is such a popular choice within each branch?
     
  12. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    You will find threads addressing cross-commissioning, but to sum up, it is not routine and is, indeed, unlikely. Service A has invested time and money to produce a junior officer to meet its needs, and will have to say "A doesn't need you." Service B will have to say "B is so needful of junior officers we will take one who has not been trained in our ways, and this particular person we really want because he/she (unique factors)."

    It does happen, but all planets have to align - not something to count on.
     
  13. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Ok. That's what I though I read previously. The OP mentioned it, so thought I would check that perspective.

    I wish the Army started flying jets. That was the only drawback of WP for my son, as compared to the other academies. In the end, he still saw so many other things he wanted to do in the Army, and wanted WP more than the others, that he is willing to give up any dream of flying jets. Just still keeping eyes open for other ideas.
     
  14. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. Member

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    The key will be less about AFROTC than how you perform academically at college. Try to mimic your freshman classes as much as possible to those of the fourth class cadets e.g. English, Math, Chemistry and Physics with labs, etc. If you validate any of those classes due to AP scores etc. take the next one up rather than repeat. Achieve A's and B's across the board. If your SAT/ACT scores were less than stellar re-take them.

    Find something to get involved in physically e.g. club or intramural and some other activity such as involvement in any number of the hundreds of opportunities available at most college campuses these days.

    The academies want to see how you perform at this level while also being involved. Much will depend on the courses and how you do. The time will fly by...it's April now and in a short nine months from now you'll have submitted a whole new application (they won't look at you until those first semester grades are submitted). If you can stay focused on your goal and hit the ground running hard come the fall, you can position yourself very well.

    I wish you the best.
     
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  15. mlwmom

    mlwmom Member

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    Does anyone know if the AFA looks at your first application when your re-apply? Do they compare the two to see if you are improving in some way, or is re-applying basically like never applying at all? I hope that made sense.
     
  16. Nilet

    Nilet Member

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    Great question :)

    So I'll go through all I did:

    I was a hockey player by trade, but picked up running after high school. I walked onto the NCAA running team at my college, and trained about 6 hours per day in order to make myself an intercollegiate blue chip prospect. That actually didn't work. So then I picked up another job and got my private pilots license. I had my AFROTC commander write me numerous recommendations, and was on my congressmen all the time with updates on what I was doing and showing motivation for a nomination.

    "THE" difference was that the third time I applied, I had demonstrated such unwavering devotion to getting in that I was able to sit down at my congressman's office, and not only request my third nomination, but to outright request a principle nomination. They listened, and agreed that they believed I had earned that from them :)

    However, I think that all things in conjunction with one another were the reason that I was able to make that request at all!

    -Nilet (2018)
     
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  17. Nilet

    Nilet Member

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    I would like to respectfully disagree with this. It is a set program at the Academy, and has a track. Congress allows all academies combined to cross commission 5% of the total graduating classes - which when accounted over all of the academies ends up being quite a few. Although it is rare because of people not necessarily wanting to pursue it, the "selection" is not usually what gets people.

    Now - if you are talking about crossing once in the active duty force - yes, very unlikely. The cross commissioning program is one where he could possible earn a pilot slot from another service before ever graduating from USMA, and would join that branch upon graduation. Some services, like the marine corps, require additional summer training to cross commission, so that might be something he would need to look at depending on where he is at the academy. Feel free to DM me if you would like a more in-depth look into this, because the cross is not difficult to understand.

    -Nilet (2018)
     
  18. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Yes, agreed, there is a specific process, and up to a certain percentage is allowed.

    That has been the case for many years. Needs of the respective services will always dictate to what extent that percentage is used, as will supply and demand. If an SA has more than expected attrition, added to any unusual attrition in ROTC and other pre-commissioning pipelines, coupled with a greater demand from its service, then it is less likely to permit full usage of the allowed percentage, if it needs to pump out a certain number of ensigns or 2nd lieutenants. If a service is overstaffed in the 0-1 ranks, and already looking for ways to "shape the force" (Pentagon-speak for cutting end strength), taking on an extra body from another service might not be feasible. And as a 4-star boss of mine used to say, "unless that regulation is carved on a tablet hand carried by Moses, it can be changed." No one here knows if that program will exist down the road - likely, but constant change is the hallmark of military life.

    Absolutely - not impossible, just not the usual path, and a very fine needle to thread. The Service-generated manpower modeling algorithms that dictate end strength numbers, intake and predicted numbers in each pay grade, within the allowed DOPMA guidelines, and in accordance with operational requirements, generally have the flexibility to accommodate the handful of cross-commissions that occur. I think we would all agree anyone going to a SA with that as a goal should ensure they are also perfectly happy to service select or branch options from the SA they are attending.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  19. mlwmom

    mlwmom Member

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    What a great story, Nilet! You obviously are a hard worker, have demonstrated perseverance, and shown courage in asking for a principle nom. Those are great characteristics for a military officer! Of course, this leads to further questions. :)

    Did your congressman always list a principle nom, or was this out of the ordinary for them to do so since you asked?

    What do you think caused your application to be overlooked the first 2 times you applied? Obviously, you will never really know, but do you think you had gaps or weaknesses somewhere that you were able to resolve for your third application?

    Were you able to keep a competitive workload while in college and do well academically before going to the AFA?

    And finally, when you re-applied, does the AFA look at your previous application to see how you've improved, or is it basically like starting all over? Or, do they save your application on your portal and give you access to it so that you can simply add additional info to it? I'm thinking of the EC section specifically. I would imagine you submitted new essays each time.

    Thank you so much for your reply! Best wishes to you at the Academy!
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    FWIW, 80-85% of all AFROTC cadets are STEM majors and carry a 3.0/3.1 cgpa. That means they are going to carry between 18-21 credits every semester, and do ROTC on top of that, plus many detachments will have military fraternities, such as Arnie Air, Silver Wings, Angel Flight and Honor Guard. IOWS, if an AFROTC cadet wants to commission they will be able to juggle it all just to commission, if they can't juggle college an AFROTC than USAFA is probably not going to be an ideal path.
    ~ AS100s do not hold jobs that will require a lot of hours for ROTC. It is basically show up for PT and LLAB. That is not to be confused with the fact that as they rise through the rank and especially as a POC (AS300, 400) they will hold positions that require hours of ROTC outside of PT and LLAB, but in the end they will still maintain that 3.0/3.1 cgpa if they want to get their intended career field.
    ~~ My DS as a POC spent @20 hrs a week just on his ROTC "job"/position. Was in Arnie Air in a leadership position, which meant more hours outside of the classroom. Carried a 3.4+ cgpa as a non-tech dual major, interned for a Senator, and the scholars program at his college which meant 18 credits + ROTC. I would love to say he was unique in his detachment, but the reality is he was the norm, and the TECH majors carried even more credits than him.

    Just saying that AFROTC is not like USAFA in any manner, but if the fear of a competitive workload and doing well academically is in your mind now, than beware because AFROTC will demand it just as fast as USAFA.
     
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