USNA vs USAFA

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by justbeingjackie, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. justbeingjackie

    justbeingjackie New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    4
    I need some solid advice. I have been offered an appointment to both academies, and I am having a hard time deciding. I intend to study political science. I am not 100% certain as to what I'd like to do in either service, but I'm leaning towards pilot or something with intelligence. Thanks in advance for your inputs!
     
  2. justiceforall

    justiceforall Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2014
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    33
    From a selfish standpoint, I would say USAFA to free up a spot for another USNA appointment, lol. Anyway, I don't believe USNA gives anything on intelligence, but they both have spots for pilots. I'm not sure if USAFA has intelligence, but I'm pretty sure USNA has nothing on intelligence.
     
  3. parent

    parent Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    23
    justiceforall that is not a correct statement. I was just at a USNA meeting and met a family whose son was an Academy grad and is now in the CIA coming from the Marines. I would think the CIA is intelligence. Plus they have a new major in cyber. Interesting if you are into technology. USNA thinks this is the future.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,502
    Likes Received:
    454
    In terms of Intel, I believe you cannot select it directly out of USNA unless you are NPQ (not physically qualified) for unrestricted line (ships, subs, aviation, SEAL, etc). That said, I also believe there is a program whereby you go surface line for a tour and then can transition to intel. I'm sure a mid or more current grad can weigh in.

    If you go USMC, I think you can select intel out of TBS. However, I must confess I'm not sure how MOS selection works so don't know how viable Intel is for USNA grads who go Marines.

    If you go USNA, understand that a pilot slot is not guaranteed -- would you be happy as a surface warfare officer or submariner? Also, if you fly, most (not all) USN and USMC fixed-wing aircraft and helos are carrier based. Obviously, USAF planes are land based.

    In terms of your time at the SA, at USNA more of your life -- especially the summer -- will be "water-based" than at USAF. For example, you will learn to sail, learn ship damage control, do summer cruises on ships, etc. Does that appeal to you?

    Both are great options. You can't go wrong with either choice.
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,085
    Likes Received:
    2,441
    The Navy has Intelligence Warfare but it is restricted line. For those unfamiliar the Navy has restricted and unrestricted line officers. Unrestricted are pilots, SWO, subs, spec war, spec ops (hopefully I didn't miss any). Restricted line are Intel, cyber, medical, supply, civil engineering, dental, HR, chaplain (not all these can be selected out of USNA). Only those that are found not physically qualified can select unrestricted line with a few exceptions (medical, cyber, CEC - all require certain quals). So unless something comes up medically you won't be going Intel initially. The path for most to areas like this are to go unrestricted line, become qualified, then request a move to Intel, cyber, HR, etc. You can google each class year's service assignments numbers and see the breakdown for these areas.

    The Marines are another beast totally. They have many Intel MOSs. The Marine Corps does not have restricted or unrestricted line MOSs. Really the only limitation is color blindness. Really don't want someone who can't tell red/green apart in certain MOSs. Also, the CIA has all kinds of folks, not just from Intel backgrounds.

    Agree with the advice to pick what service is best. really review each service's career fields, they do have some differences. Also, from a pilot perspective each service has different aircraft. AF has many more cargo planes than the Navy. How do you feel about water? Being on a ship? What about landing an airplane on a ship?
     
    COmom likes this.
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,085
    Likes Received:
    2,441
    Intel spots at TBS are small in number. Talking maybe 2-5 slots for each Intel MOS. This can vary some as they do with each TBS class.
     
  7. activedutymom

    activedutymom Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    13
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,502
    Likes Received:
    454
    The above is key. You can only select restricted line or staff corps directly out of USNA if you are NPQ for unrestricted line. Thus, for the overwhelming majority of mids, it's not an option. What you can do is select surface warfare and then later request to transfer into Intel. However, there are no guarantees. Bottom line . . . if you are set on Intel as a career, you may not want to select USNA. That said, I don't know how easy it is to select Intel out of USAFA.
     
  9. justbeingjackie

    justbeingjackie New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    4
    Firstly, to "justiceforall," I am not going to go into this with the mindset of just doing it to "free up" an appointment for another candidate. I earned both appointments, and won't make a decision just so someone else can have a chance. To everyone else, thank you so much for your input and links - very informative.
     
    AF-Dad and Juvat like this.
  10. mom2CO18?

    mom2CO18? Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    51
    I know USNA specifically has you take LOTS of engineering classes regardless of your major. An English major I know from USNA, currently has an engineering job.
    Is USAFA the same? Political science and engineering can be very different.
     
  11. PoppapH

    PoppapH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    64
    Lighten up, you asked a group of people who either want to go to the USNA or have a DS/DD that they are rooting for to attend USNA. You have what is known as "an embarrassment of riches". Honestly, I also hope you take the USAFA appointment too...for the same reason. But to get 2 appointments means your Kung Fu is strong. Good luck to you.
     
    mb1395, nodiva and mom2CO18? like this.
  12. justiceforall

    justiceforall Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2014
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    33
    Relax, I only meant it in good taste as a joke. Congrats on your appointment nonetheless.:)
     
    AF-Dad and Juvat like this.
  13. Spud

    Spud BGO

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    460
    I think you have the info on going intel in the Navy but what I would suggest is to decide which job you want in either service as a Number #2 job. If you can't be a pilot what is your number #2 desire for each service? If you cannot go intel, what is your number #2 desire for each service? Life can hand you amazing surprises that you never see coming.
     
  14. justbeingjackie

    justbeingjackie New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    4
    My mistake! I took your comment as an attack - thanks for the advice and the congratulations!
     
    Juvat and justiceforall like this.
  15. gems

    gems New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    6
    Not sure this is accurate any longer. I just watched a speech by VADM Ted Carter addressing Johns Hopkins APL where he stated that the USNA ascended, for the first time, newly commissioned Ensigns into the IDC who were fully qualified for every other warfare community.
     
  16. BamaMama

    BamaMama New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hey justbeingjackie! Congrats! What an AWESOME position to find yourself in!!! I wish we got a BFE - but, so far, … silence… But I understand, too many great opportunities can make the decision almost too hard to make. Relax, and spend some quiet time looking in your heart and seeking what you want. Do not conform to what a school wants you to be. College is 4-5 years out of your life. A career is (pretty much) forever. Research both academies (required academic curriculum in detail for both) then research career paths in detail for Navy and Air Force (it’s out there). We had to do this for DS. While waiting for news from USNA (still :muscles2: ...GRRR...;)), he was awarded both the Army and Navy National ROTC scholarships. We, then, had to delve even deeper into each choice. He had to make certain he knew what each opportunity held and what he really wants, not only in college, but beyond. After much soul-searching and educating himself on each, he really wants the Navy.

    Anyway, I told you all that to basically agree with the statements of usna1985, NavyHoops, and activedutymom. At this last September’s CVW at USNA, we were told specifically (during the parents’ briefing) that Intel is not an option upon graduation from USNA unless you are found not physically qualified. We doubled checked that one-on-one with the admissions officer because DS was thinking that Intel could be a path he’d like to pursue. After learning that at CVW, we had some serious discussions with him to consider every option and decide where his “warm and fuzzy” place is – not only for college but for (at least, the launch) of his professional career.

    They are both great schools! And by getting appointments to both, I’m sure you’ll do well at whichever you choose. Blessings! And, again, congratulations!
     
  17. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,502
    Likes Received:
    454
    Having been an Intel officer . . . it's not as "sexy" as it sounds, especially not the first few years. If you think you're going to be running around doing spy-like things -- especially as a jr. officer -- uh, no. Your first tour is usually as a squadron Intel Officer -- on a carrier most of the time. There are some exceptions but you're still likely supporting either a carrier itself or maybe a land-based squadron. Your second tour is usually as a shore-based analyst/briefer where you basically read a lot of stuff written by others, condense and repackage it, and then provide it in writing or orally to senior officers. That takes you to about 6 years out. It's interesting and great to be part of a unit (ship/squadron); the work is valuable -- but if you're thinking you're going to be Jack Ryan of Tom Clancy novel fame . . . not happening.

    Also, you can go into cyberwarfare without being NPQ. It's similar to, but obviously not the same as, Intel.
     
    BamaMama likes this.
  18. JShawshank

    JShawshank Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    55
    Usna1985 - how have things changed (if at all) with 10th fleet reactivation / designation in 2009/2010? Is this just a realignment of structure with Intel, IW, etc. in same command?
     
  19. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    Messages:
    734
    Likes Received:
    79
    IDC is open to physically qualified midshipmen. This includes METOC, IP, IW, and Intel. SWO-IDC is still available.

    Intel: http://www.usna.edu/Cyber/_files/documents/idc/Navy_Intelligence_Community_Overview_2012.pdf
    IW: http://www.usna.edu/Cyber/_files/documents/idc/1810_IW_Community_Info_Sheet.pdf

    Though based on your poli sci major choice, you're probably looking for the Intel community specifically. IW handles Signals Intelligence, Cyber Operations, and Computer Network Operations, while Intel handles the rest.
     
  20. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    51
    Here's another way to look at it ... If you really aren't sure what your Service Selection would be , Navy gives you so many more choices. I was extremely disappointed when I didn't bet into USAFA, but it was my BGO that told me to recognize that there really is only one service selection in the Air Force ...pilot. Times may have changed, but the message was that if your eyes went bad, or you couldn't fly for some reason, your options were limited. My eyes went bad while at USNA, I was a P3 NFO, and I loved it, but I also had the choice of USMC, Surface, and Subs.
     

Share This Page