Which to choose: USMA, USNA, or USAFA?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by howacupcake, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    Recently I have come to the realization that I may receive appointments to all three service academies. I have already received a appointment to USNA in December. I got word from my USAFA ALO that she expects I will receive an appointment to USAFA, and word from my Regional Commander from WP that I will hear back in a couple weeks but will also likely get an appointment. I never thought I would get into any of the service academies, and now its more than a dream come true. To be honest, I was never picky about any of the branches. I think each branch offers amazing opportunities and adventures.
    My heart is very conflicted because I want to make the right choice.

    Can anyone highlight the differences between the Academies and why they choose USMA, USAFA, or USNA?

    Thank you!!
     
  2. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    It's simple: which service do you want to be commissioned into? Think about your career after graduation. You spend a minimum of 8 years in that uniform and only four as a cadet or midshipman.
     
  3. thehoaxbuster

    thehoaxbuster Member

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    It depends upon:

    - What you want to be doing in the military... (Flying? Ground? etc.)
    - What you want out of each academy... West Point and Air Force are out in the middle of nowhere. In terms of surroundings, Annapolis has all of them beat. It's a great little town. There are good things about the others also, but as a Navy guy that's my input for USNA.
    - Which has the best opportunities academically/athletically... Do your research on that.
     
  4. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    Good point USMA2016.


    Thanks--I will definitely do my research...:D
     
  5. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Wait . . . is there really a service academy besides USMA?
     
  6. globalview2

    globalview2 Member

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    I wouldn't say Air Force is in the middle of nowhere. It is in Colorado Springs(literally minutes outside of it really, like West Point to Highland Falls kind of) and Colorado Springs has around 500,000 people and it a great, great city. Just to clear that up
     
  7. robinhood17

    robinhood17 USMA Cadet

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    Hiya:)

    I'd like to point out that you posted this in the USMA forum. Hint to yourself maybe?

    Anyways, When you received your usna appt, did your heart jump and say "sign it now!" or did you think "what if i get something else?"

    I am in the same boat as you, only switched. Truthfully, all of the academies are great (I am leaving the football topic out of this) and I would be (an am) truly grateful to have an opportunity to serve with the future leaders of America.

    Now when it comes down to decisions...it's not really so much as highlighting the different aspects of the academies...it's what appeals to you. In general (please correct me if i'm wrong):
    The Army's mission is to provide ground support (aka boots on the ground)
    The Air Forces mission is space and air support(aka planes, space, technology)
    The Navy's mission is to provide sea support (aka ships,submarines)
    The merchant marine/marine/Coast Guard also fall in these main categories.

    ...This will sound cliche, but if you really cant make a decision..pull out a di. 1-2 is usma 3-4 is usna and 5-6 is usafa.

    roll it and see what happens. the trick is, that split second it's in the air, you know what number you want it to fall on.

    :)
     
  8. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    And you can get to NYC from USMA faster than you can get to Denver from USAFA.
     
  9. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    not exactly. First, USNA does not equate to Navy. About a quarter of the midshipmen at USNA commission into Marines (both Ground and Air). Second, about a third of Navy midshipmen commission into Naval Aviation, which is not exactly sea but more like Air :)
     
  10. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    If you can't decide, go to USNA. It has the most varied commissioning options of the three.
     
  11. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    Yeah its interesting. I did post this in the USMA forum... hmm I think deep down inside I might just be rooting for Army..
     
  12. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    The real question is - where do you want to serve when you graduate.

    But, have you visited all of them? If not, suggest you do that. You might feel "at home" one place over the other. But, I wouldn't visit USAFA this Friday-Saturday. It's Recognition for 4* and things will be very different, and no cadets available to take you around.

    I do suggest you post it on the USAFA & USNA threads too to get more of a response.

    Best of luck
     
  13. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I don't think that is correct... well, depends.

    USNA:
    - Marine Ground
    - Marine Air
    - Navy Nuc (subs)
    - Navy Surface
    - Navy Air (fixed wing mostly, plus rotary)

    USMA: (these are general categories... the official categories are more complicated)
    - Ground (Infantry, Artillery, Armor) + Ordnance, Air Defense Artillery and Engineering
    - Air (rotary mostly)
    - Combat Support: Medical Services, Intelligence, Logistics/Supply, Signal Corps, Transportation, HR, Chemical,

    Combat support offers a few career options right out of USMA (no waiting) that USNA doesn't, generally, until the first 2-3 years are over.

    I would say the career options out of the two are roughly equally varied, unless you're mostly attracted to fixed wing aviation. Can't speak to USAFA, but the comment you mostly hear that differentiates that Service is that most of your service time is on an 8-5 schedule, which is not the case with the other two Academies (three services). It is said, again I have no exposure, that the hurdles to raising a family with both parents equally participating, combined with being an officer, are more easily cleared in the Air Force than in either Navy, Marines, or Army.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  14. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Good summary Dunnila, but also remember in the Marine Corps you have intelligence, logistics (transpo is included in this), supply, communications (signal), adjutant (HR) and a dozen or so other MOSs that can be selected out of the TBS (unlike the Navy side). Also another item that was not listed is selection of Special Warfare and Special Operations on the Navy side that can both be done out of the Academy. Also you can go Nuclear Surface Warfare on the Navy side.
     
  15. Hoffy600

    Hoffy600 Member

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    You should go to USNA or USAFA, so I can get your spot.

    :yllol:
    :yllol:
    :yllol:
     

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