USAFA vs USNA ... decision stuck...

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by kelseysmiles28, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. kelseysmiles28

    kelseysmiles28 New Member

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    I've recently received appointments for USAFA and USNA and I'm having an extremely difficult time deciding. In a nutshell, I've always wanted to be a pilot, however my vision isn't that great and I know I'd have to get correction surgery. As a backup, I've looked at careers more on the intel side, but am still not 100% on what I want to do. I've been to USNA and it's absolutely beautiful; I've never been to Colorado, but I've heard it's equally amazing. I love the atmosphere at Annapolis, but I'm certain I can make a home at either. Basically, I'm stuck... Any advice or anything to look at to help with this decision? I want to make one ASAP! Thanks everyone! :smile::smile::smile::smile::smile:
     
  2. icarus

    icarus Member

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    If your eyes are correctable to 20/20 by PRK, both SAs will have it done by your 3rd year.
    If you pursue becoming a pilot, you have to decide the types of aircraft and whether you land on a floating carrier or terra firma.
    Dress blues or whites? It takes much longer to be a captain in the navy than AF:thumb:
    You can't go wrong with either. You have 'til May 1st to decide.
     
  3. USNA2016Dad

    USNA2016Dad Member

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    In my aviation career I've flown with all types of aviators from different backgrounds. If I had to sum up the differences between USN and USAF it would be this; the USAF way is do the job and don't break any rules. The USN way is do the job and have fun while you're doing it. Cheers.
     
  4. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    Kelsey -

    basically you need to decide which branch of service you'd like to serve in -- AF or Navy?

    because of your eyesight you can't guarantee a pilot slot - though I know at USAFA there are approx. 500 pilot slots per class, and lately anyone qualified for pilot gets it. I admit I don't know USNA numbers for pilot slots.
    And as Icarus said -- land on floating carrier, or land on terra firma?

    you mention Intel as a second choice. Investigate how many intel slots usually come to each class that graduates from both SA.

    Look/ask about the different opportunities both SA offer to cadets while attending.

    What do you want to major in? Does one SA have a program you want and the other one not?

    But don't pick because of the scenery -- both are very scenic, but completely different.

    If you can afford a short trip to USAFA -- do it. Shadow a cadet for a day.

    And while most people discourage double posting -- seems like if you only post on USNA thread you will hear more about USNA benefits than USAFA's. Or, by posting here, you know you are leaning USNA.

    Best of luck
     
  5. icarus

    icarus Member

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    If after research and much contemplation- you're still at an impasse, May 1st-flip a coin. You'll know which to pick before the coin lands. :wink:
    They're both excellent choices. Either way you'll be OK.:thumb:
     
  6. T-Bone

    T-Bone Member

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    I would also look at quality of life issues, bases etc. once you are commissioned. I have been on the bases of both and from what I have seen the AF bases are superior to the other branches. Also, the Navy duty will more than likely keep you away from your home and family for longer periods of time. However, they are both great schools and you will be getting a superior education and career from either of them. Congratulations on your accomplishments!
     
  7. Grad/Dad

    Grad/Dad Member

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    If you have an appointment to both, I strongly recommend that you visit both. You have the time and it's only a few hundred bucks vs a lifetime decision. I took my DS to all three and although, I loved Colorado, he did not care for the USAFA. I think that it was too laid back and just did not have the tradition that USMA and USNA impressed him with.
     
  8. ESLGuy

    ESLGuy Member

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    Navy, because landing on an aircraft carrier is cooler than landing on the ground. It takes more skill :p I'm sure some Navy pilots can back that up? ;)
     
  9. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Everyone gets wrapped up in the "hur hur Navy lands on boats" but that's only the tip of the iceberg for differences between Air Force and Naval Aviation.

    Some considerations for you:

    What interests you? Do you want to fly helos? A huge number of Navy/Marine aviators fly helos, but the helo community is fairly small in the AF. Not all Naval Aviators go to the boat either: VP and VQ squadrons (maritime patrol community, P-3s/EP-3s) don't land on carriers. The Navy also doesn't really have the strategic lift capability or platforms (big cargo planes like C-5s or C-17s) that the Air Force does if that's something that interests you.

    What if you can't fly? You say "intel," but what do you think "intel" is? I'm not trying to call you out; most people don't know. As an officer, especially a JO, your intel time will not be high-speed craziness in most of the services. If you're still interested in intel, keep in mind that in the Navy it's a restricted line community and so very few (Navy) spots are open out of the Academy (Marines find out at TBS).

    Where do you want to go? Frankly, most Navy/Marine Corps bases aren't bad. They may lack a little "cushiness" but they're really not bad, especially with regards to location.
    You will not end up frozen in a missile silo in some flyover state. But there's fewer options of where to go depending on what you fly. East Coast? Oceana (VA), Mayport (FL), Jacksonville (FL), and Cherry Point (NC), Beaufort (SC), and Lejeune (NC) for Marines. West and beyond? San Diego, Whidbey Island (WA), Hawaii, or possibly Japan or Guam.

    Your chances of getting pilot at either Academy are good so long as you're not an absolute mouthbreather. As long as you're qualified to, you will be given PRK at either Academy. So those are sort of non-issues.
    Talk to Mids and Cadets and feel them out. Talk to the officers from the communities you're interested in a well. Who do you want to hang around with or the next four years, keeping in mind that it'll be 14-15 years if you go aviation? Personally, I found AF Cadets largely unbearable, while I liked Mids (and Marines!), so USNA was the choice for me. Other people obviously feel differently.
     
  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Hurricane is spot on as usual. I had the unique opportunity to live for 3 months on one Air Force Base and 9.5 months on another Air Force base. For the 9.5 month tour overseas I was 1 of 3 Marines on that base for several months. The cultures are different. It is hard to explain. If your family has the means for you to visit Air Force I highly recommend it. This will help really formulate your decision.
     
  11. kelseysmiles28

    kelseysmiles28 New Member

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    Greentrees - I plan on majoring in most likely in chemical engineering, which is offered at both academies.

    Thank you very much for your help and advice! More research and more things to look at; hopefully it doesn't come down to a coin flip!! :smile:
     
  12. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Oh my, certainly not. ChemE is NOT offered at USAFA or I most certainly would have been a ChemE major instead of a Biochem major! USNA and USMA offer it, and they make beer at USMA as a class project!

    And for good measure, while Hurricanes likes mids, I found Mids largely unbearable with the exception of the mids who tracked aviation who did their semester exchange at USAFA to get away from USNA. :)
     
  13. Goworld

    Goworld New Member

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    Watch Showtime's Game Of Honor (America's Game) in its entirety, but pay attention to Army player Joe Bailey as he accurately sums up the attitude of AF students in his mini interview about AF/Army game. Good luck with your decision .
     
  14. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    In answer to a previous question, scanning the past few service selection analyses, about 300 grads per class go to flight training (pilot), and 30 to 50 go to flight training (NFO) - either Navy or Marine. As hard as it is for someone aching for flight, most of the NAVY grads are interested in driving ships, subs, crawling around in the mud, etc. There is competition for flight just as there is for USMC, so it still requires that you do the extra work to get what you want.

    I can see where the camaraderie probably is greater in the Navy or Marine Corps squadrons as you spend months living in tight quarters while on deployment which is a regular feature of life in the Naval Services. When I was in the Navy it was fairly common that we would be deploying one or two aircraft (P-3) for several days, and the officers on the crews had a good bit of autonomy regarding flight issues.

    Otherwise, the key is for you to use the next month talking to officers from both services, visit the academies, discuss it with your parents. It really does come down to your perception of what fits best for you. Best wishes.
     
  15. aseanag

    aseanag Eagle2013

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    I think it speaks volumes that you did not post this question on AFA site. My cadet is at USAFA but was an exchange at USNA. He loved both but is partial to USAFA. I am sure you will be a sucess no matter which school you choose. :thumb:
     
  16. kelseysmiles28

    kelseysmiles28 New Member

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    I looked at their list of majors and I thought it was offered, I just looked again and I guess not! Thank you for pointing this out!
     

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