washouts

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Texasrocks, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    how many washouts do they normally have. I noticed a post on webguy that a girl dropped out on the bus. I would think they would know what to expect at that point.
     
  2. aggie83

    aggie83 Member

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    Class of 2013 has already lost about 100 of its starting appointees.
     
  3. HNeedle

    HNeedle Member

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    usually, ~1300 go to basic, and ~1000 graduate. probably between 50 and 80 will drop out during beast, another couple dozen freshman year, not quite a hundred more before commitment, then the rest are kicked out.
     
  4. bandit

    bandit Member

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    you would be surprised how many cadets show up at Iday only because their parents want them to be there. They don't usually last very long before it becomes evident they don't want to be there. And yes, it can become evident as early as the bus ride.
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    And then we had the appointee 2 years ago, who made it through the line, said goodby, went upstairs, out the back, the AOG tour, over the bridge, picked up his backpack, got on the bus, got yelled at like everyone else, got to the cadet area, getting off the bus............ "TRIPPED, getting off the bus; messed up his knee (can't remember if it was his meniscus.). And was on his way home.

    And that is why so many of us on this forum emphasize that there is a "PLAN-B" for your education. BCT is approximately 2 months before traditional colleges start the semester. A lot of things can go wrong. Best of luck 2014 and to all their families. It will be fine.
     
  6. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    We had 2 going into my flight not make it to the dorm rooms on I-day, last year. :confused:
    From what I've heard, one didn't show (after Form 34ing half way through 1st BCT the previous year! :confused:), and one didn't get off the bus.

    I hear the reasons, but I still don't get it. If you accept an appointment, there is no reason to quit before you even get to the cadet area!
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Reality is a difficult concept for some people to comprehend. I'm serious. They really don't understand what they are getting into. They see movies like officer and a gentleman, Annapolis, etc... They see the glory. The theme music playing in the background. It looks very romantic. Then, they finally get to BCT and it's either their parent's crying, the look on the face of the other appointees, getting on the bus, or someone yelling at you when you realize that this isn't anything like the romance and glory of the movies.

    But for what it's worth, I've seen very similar things with students going to regular colleges. They are excited because all their friends are going to State, and they got the full ride to Brown, Tulane, Dartmouth, etc... They are excited and talk about it continuously for months. They get all packed, have their going away parties, etc... Then either right before mom and dad get them in the car, or right as they reach the college campus, they have a total emotional melt-down. Most of them will still try the college for at least 1 semester. (They did have to pay for room and such, and mom/dad aren't letting them out so easy).

    But the military academies have no down-side if you quit and leave the same day you get there. It might be a little embarrassing back home, but they definitely have nothing to lose. I know 2 people who had academy appointments. One to air force and the other to navy. Neither saw it through. People definitely rationalize their feelings. The air force appointee lasted about half way through bct and quit. The Navy turned it down literally a couple days before leaving. Different years and parts of the country. Both said it just wasn't for them. I'd buy that, except they were both bragging like crazy about their appointment. Plus, I could understand it if they decided to go to Brown, Dartmouth, or Tulane. NEITHER went to college. So you never know what goes through some people's minds.

    P.S. Raimius; are you still on leave? When/where do you report? End of July??? best to you buddy. Mike.....
     
  8. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    A friend of mine has a son who lasted 4 hours at an academy last summer.
    This was the only place he applied, he was accepted early, before Christmas. An officer representative came to the house and met with the family, he made two visits to the academy during the admissions process.
    Since he was accepted early, neither he (nor his guidance counselors or parents- neither went to college) saw the need to apply anywhere else.
    A huge deal was made during the senior awards banquet and graduation. He got several standing ovations. His mother told me later that no one asked HIM if he wanted to go, or still wanted to go.
    During the spring his father became very ill and went through several surgeries, hospitializations. He was barely able to make it to I-Day. In August his oldest brother was getting married. He was convinced he would not be able to attend the wedding and worried about his dad. During R-Day he was simply overcome by it all.
    He went home with his family that night.

    My point is - a lot of kids carry a lot of "baggage" with them. It weighs heavily on their mind. Sometimes all it takes is one of the cadre to yell at them that they "won't see their family until Christmas" and it's over.
    It happens because we are dealing with 17 and 18 year old kids. This happens at every college across the country. I have known kids whose parents drove them 6 hours to college only to bring them home that night. I have known kids who last a week.
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Frankly, it's not for everyone. Some people just don't have the fortitude to push through the emotional tidal wave that hits when you walk away from your family and enter into the institution. Many of these kids have been told for years that they're the cock-of-the-walk. And in one blinding moment, they go from being the rockstar of their high school to being a nameless entity in an organization bent on molding them into a new type of person. It sounds harsh and blunt, but the truth is that some kids don't have the fortitude for that, be it for lack of will or lack of desire.

    For some of those kids, ROTC is the better option because they won't face that same crucible-type environment (SMC's excluded) and the emotional toll it takes.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Texas,

    you can never know really what to expect until you are actually there. As others have stated people wash out for a multitude of reasons. You may think you are prepared mentally and physically, but you get there and what you thought life was going to be like in difficulty is only a small percent of reality. Many military members have learned the adage your tree roots run deep. It is hard to live by a 10 minute phone call when life sucks. For 18 yrs your parents have been your biggest cheerleaders, enforcing the fact you can do it. Now, all you hear is negatives. It is an emotional mind game, and while you are in it you don't understand it. When you survive it and it fades to a memory you realize why they did it to you. They didn't do it for fun, they did it so you would bond with your classmates, and realize that you all need to be a team. Those that can mentally say, the only thing I fear is death, and I know they won't kill me IMHO have an easier time transitioning during BCT than those who live in fear of what they are going to throw at them next.

    It is so easy to say, that it won't hit you emotionally, but it does, lack of sleep and constantly being berated doesn't help:rolleyes:. We need to remember cadets are young, this is a HUGE transition, and not everyone makes it.

    In the end, approx 25% of each class will not be there 4 yrs from now. It is a statistical fact. Are they not prepared? No, IMHO, this was just not their fate. You should walk in believing you will graduate, but if you walk away then you should still hold your head high for realizing and accepting that this was not a match for you. I would hate to see any officer stay in the military when all they want to do is leave.

    I believe they say statistically 5% will not complete BCT, this is one reason why the AFA is really concerned about the CFA. They realize that the altitude causes issues in the beginning, thus, it is important every applicant and candidate try to max the CFA, since they will deal with this issue come BCT.

    As a Mom, I want to add onto CC and JAM's stories. Our DS had 5 noms, and it sewn up for the AFA. We were very disciplined and making him eat 7" from the table at attention, chewing 7 bites, up at 6, daily PT, etc. We wanted him to experience just a 10th of it at home so he had no false illusions. One night we called him in the room and said if money was no issue, and you could get your dream AF job, where would you go? Without hesitation he said where he did matriculate. At that point, we said "call the ball". He did. Both JAM and CC are correct some kids and parents lose sight of what an SA life will be like, they get wrapped up in the allure and adulation. They do not do it intentionally, it just happens. When reality hits they realize the error in their decision. All SA's know this and place it into the equation.

    As many people know I am also a proponent of not attending the AFA for that Pilot slot. You should only attend because you want that AF commissioning for your butter bars. A lot can happen between I-Day and graduation. There is no guarantee that you will get a slot...great to dream, but always keep one foot in reality.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  11. DougBetsy

    DougBetsy Member

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    You have just described my son to a "T." He considered WP briefly in 8th/9th grade but decided against it before he hit 10th. Instead, he's headed to Wake Forest for AROTC.

    Son's GF, however, went the other way. She got an AFROTC scholarship to Duke, but chose AFA.

    Diff'rent strokes. :thumb:
     
  12. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    I agree with Christcorp and Just A Mom here, but I do disagree a little about calling them kids. At age 18 they are adults here. They should be able to handle themselves, when planning to attend an SA and have the ability to make decisions. Some are not, these young men and women, think they want to go to an SA and really do not. The young men and women who attend the SA's are the best and the brightest, in the country. They are far and above any student who attend a traditional college or university, which some students find are a better fit for them. Even some students who a attend a traditional college or university, couldn't or won't even leave their dorm room to learn about life or develop a social life. It is better to probably washout right at the beginning, that say after the first year ot half way through.

    RGK
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    +1. They are definitely not kids. However, it is semantics. Many of them are immature 17-18 year olds. They may have made a mature and adult decision to attend the academy, but their maturity level didn't just automatically shoot up the minute they got on the bus. But they definitely aren't kids. They are a step above most college bound students.

    But I do agree with JAM when she said that a lot of "kids/young adults" come to the academy with a LOT OF BAGGAGE. I'm fortunate because when my son was going through those tough teen-age years, when all they want to do is "GET AWAY" from home, the military was something he always wanted. Of course, by the time he was a junior/senior in high school, he "Liked Us" again. LOL!!!! But he never changed his mind. And he really had to be serious about his decision. He had to call, personally, and turn down 4 other colleges that he had scholarships to. Including full rides. He knew he choice was no going back. While he didn't have the baggage that some appointees has, he knew that once he turned down those other schools, if the academy didn't work out, all the "Extra and special" things he did his whole life, that got him accepted to all these schools, would have been a waste. He wouldn't have any of these options, and he'd be at State "U". Appointees have a very important and difficult decision to make.

    But the ones who usually leave immediately after arrival, are usually the ones who didn't want to be there in the first place. They were doing it for their parents, teachers, coach, family, etc... It's very important that we make sure our sons/daughters accept an appointment because THEY want it and not because someone else said it's distinguished or an honor to attend. And definitely don't do it ONLY for the education. You will hate it at the academy. If that's your primary reason, then call me. I guarantee you that I can help you find colleges/universities that will give or get you scholarships. "If you can get accepted to the academy, you can get accepted to most any place else". But I help people get accepted to colleges and find the money for it all the time. It isn't difficult. Don't do the academy to save your parents the cost of school. Do it because you want it. Because it's your desire. Because it's your dream. Education, travel, benefits, etc... can all be part of it. That's cool. Just don't see it as another school giving you a form of scholarship.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Theoretically you are 1000% correct, realistically it is not that simple.

    As CC stated there is a semantics issue. 18 by law emancipates you from your parent. Theoretically you are an adult. However, for many of us here, adult means self sufficient. In other words, you pay for your car, the insurance, apt, sundries, etc. You have your own health insurance. In other words, you are no longer a dependent. Your parent is not a financial safety net, you are willing to make it or break it on your own steam. That is the true adult.

    Being an adult is not tied to a specific age, it is tied to a maturity level, and not every one is an adult at 18, even if they are at an SA.
     
  15. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    The vast majority are 17 during the application process and a good number are 17 on R-Day. As high school students they really have not had ANY opportunity to practice their adulthood in asserting themselves.
     
  16. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    my kids birthday today - I am sure it is not Happy but it is also not sad, he is where he wants to be.:thumb:
     
  17. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    My birthday os today too. Happy Birthday to your child!!!!!!
     
  18. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Yes, I am still on leave until the 26th. My ASBC starts in August.

    I agree, no one should go to an SA for anything other than their desires.
     
  19. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Christcorp: that young man you described who fell off the last step of the bus, he had been at BCT the previous year as well and was injured then and sent home with as medical. As I recall he had one or two surgeries on the knee.

    We know of a young man from the Class of 2012 who had all the accolades, etc. but who didn't want to be at AFA, because he missed his girlfriend. MISSED HIS GIRLFRIEND? OK, so he leaves before BCT is over and by Christmas, they've broken up (that was hard to predict, no?). he's still mad at himself.
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I remember that too fencer, but wasn't there another one also?

    For future cadets, this is why when we say CONGRATS on the BFE, we also say now wrap yourself up in bubble wrap. I think every parent can agree with me, September of your SR HS yr you jump down 5 steps and we yell as parents because of the noise. Do it when the BFE has arrived and we yell because if you land wrong that could mean BUH BYE AFA!
     

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