USNA v USMA v USCGA

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by Driverainv, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Driverainv

    Driverainv Member

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    The title says it all. My son has received appointments to USNA, USMA and USCGA. Although this is all great and we are very proud of him the decision process has become a bit stressful. Initially it was just between USNA and USCGA but we received his appointment to USMA this weekend and already its has become confusing. I need some opinions from people who may have some incite into these academies. All we know is what we read. I dont know which one has the highest graduation rate, which one he would have a better shot of paying for law school. Which one he would be able to run track for. I want him to have a good experience and not one where somewhere down the line he will say " wow I should have gone to ...." Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Oh, that's easy. USNA, of course! :biggrin:

    All joking aside, the kid can't go wrong. What he has to do is to think of what he wants to do AFTER he graduates, and perhaps even after he leaves the Service. Ask him that, see what he says, then get back to us and I think we'll be more helpful.

    Doesn't mean I'll change my opinion, of course. :thumb:
     
  3. J Collins

    J Collins Founding Member

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    Land or Sea........... not sure about the law school after graduation.. but the land or sea will get you going in the right direction. :biggrin: Good luck and congrats on all the appts.!
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    He could easily run track for USCGA, it is a D-III school. As for law, not sure about USMA, but I believe lawyers are non-line officers in the Navy (does that mean there are more spots available?) In the Coast Guard, lawyers are "line" officers as well.

    Zaph is right, you're going to be set any way you go. I would advocate for USCGA, but I am biased.
     
  5. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    • USCGA Sports are Division III, much easier to make the team then a D1 major college program like Army or Navy.
    • 80% of all USCGA graduates go on to graduate school, paid for by the USCG.
    • 85% of USCGA graduates choose to serve beyond their 5-year commitment, the highest of all the acadmies.
    • 30% of Cadets are women, the highest of all the academies.
    • 965 Cadets enrolled, the smallest of all the academies.
    • 9:1 student to faculty ratio
    • 16 Cadets in average class
     
  6. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    Has he visited any of the academies? I would recommend visits if possible.

    Also, if he did not get law school after the academy what would he be happiest doing?
     
  7. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    I encourage searching and reading through threads, as various options for postgraduate education, law school, varsity sport opportunity,etc., pop up in past series of related questions and comments.

    In general, I would say all the SAs have a primary mission, which is not to produce lawyers, but once the initial objective is achieved and requirements fulfilled, then there are many great options for post-grad education and career transitions out there.

    As for the USNA and law school, the Navy gets many of its lawyers through direct commission, meaning they recruit from law school graduates who attended civilian college and law school. USNA is meant to produce warriors, unrestricted line officers, meant to serve and command in the Fleet and Corps. The JAG Corps is a restricted line community, meaning they may command ashore and only at JAG units.
    There is a path from Navy unrestricted officer career paths to the JAG Corps. Junior officers, regardless of commissioning source, generally go to sea in their respective warfare career path. After earning their warfare quals, and after a certain amount of time, they may apply for a lateral transfer from unrestricted line to restricted line, say from surface warfare to JAG. If they are approved and have been accepted to law school, they are released to go. This is the Navy's LEP, Law Education Program. VERY competitive, and only a few are chosen each year. Navy pays for the law school. We sponsored a USNA '00 midshipman, high achiever at USNA, excelled as a surface warfare officer during his initial sea tours, applied to LEP, went to UVA Law, now serving as a JAG. He is head and shoulders above his direct commision peers and highly regarded by senior JAGs because of his warfare experience. I remember him talking about it as a midshipman, but he knew he had to hit the deck running and focus on his surface warfare career to position himself to play for the JAG shot.

    It's something that can be done, way down the road, but I believe it's more important to focus on best fit at SA first coupled with best fit for immediate post-commissioning career paths. Make a well-thought-out choice there, and other opportunities will unfold. There are many naval officers who have transferred out of their warfare qualifications to continue serving as Public Affairs, Intelligence, Medical Corps, Engineering Duty Officers and others. A caveat: "the needs of the Navy (any service)" will trump all.

    Lastly, I wouldn't worry too much about graduation rates as a decision factor. The SA's are so far above "regular schools" in % graduating, they are in a class by themselves.

    Congrats on having such a choice. It's hard to leave a choice by the side of the road, knowing there are no do-overs once the other path has been chosen.
     
  8. USCGA_hopeful

    USCGA_hopeful Candidate Appointee

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    nice stats. USCGA is a great place to go. I have visited, but like above you should have him visit the academies and talk to the admissions and if at all possible to the cadets/midshipmen. And congratulations
     
  9. Driverainv

    Driverainv Member

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    Thanks all

    Thank you all for your quick responses. Its just tough and we dont want to take to long making a decision and possibly hold up someone else's appointment.
     
  10. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Dont worry about graduation rates.

    Army: Your son may get an information sheet on medical school and law school - unless they send these only to those who accept their appointments.

    Roughly - the Army has a small fully funded legal program (FLEP). No moer that 25 officers per year attend law school - this is for the entire Army - not just WP grads.
    Full salary is paid as well as ones educational expenses. You need to have between 2 and 6 years of active duty and be a captain or below to qualify. One incurs two years of service in the JAGC for each year of law school.

    Has you son visited all three academies? You and your son may want to look closely at the academic offerings - which majors are offered at each school and see if there is a clear fit.
    Other than law - what are his interests? Foreign language? Engineering?

    I, personally, don't see the need to get too hung up on grad school. There are opportunities in every service and Academy grads can use the new GI Bill.

    He will and he won't. He will have good experiences at any of the academies. He won't say "I should have gone to....."
    By 4 pm on R-Day or I-Day, if not 10 minutes after he makes his decision he will think "his" academy is the best! If he isn't convinced when he reports - he will be on Day One!

    Lastly, don't worry about holding up someone else's appointment. Your son has time to make this decision and make it with his head and heart. He deserves to have time to explore further, visit, talk with admissions etc. Good Luck!
     
  11. Profmom2

    Profmom2 Member

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    Your son has an appointment - he has until May 1st (as I remember) to make his decision. More Appointments are offered as the Academies know there will be a certain percentage that chose another path. Your son will by no means hold up another appointment and even if you think that it would that is not a reason hurry the process. Tomorrow when he is at one of the Academies he looks out for his "shipmates" today he needs to look out for himself.

    Personally, I believe the longer that they take to make an informed decision the better that decision will be. They are 18 years old - what seems right yesterday may truly be wrong on April 15th. (Same reasoning as to why many of the schools are doing away with early decision) Many will make a wrong decision just to get a decision made. Your son probably wants to get it done and over with and enjoy the rest of Senior year, not a good reason to make a hasty decision.

    We did not encourage our Mid to sign the acceptance until he had all of his options on the table and could make an informed decision.
     
  12. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I concur 100%. There is no need to hurry this decision - he earned them, he can (and should) take all the time he needs to decide which is right for him.
     
  13. Maui1

    Maui1 Member

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    Hey Driverainv,

    Just wondering how the decision making is going with your son and if he has visited any of the academies?
     

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