Which to choose?!?!

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by yankeefan8182, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. yankeefan8182

    yankeefan8182 Member

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    My MOC called me yesterday to inform me that I will be interviewing with the Congressman's review board on November 15. A few days before I will be attending a USNA CVW. The next available tour of USMA is November 17, 2 days after my interview. I understand that because I have interest in both USMA and USNA, I will have to make a decision between the two academies at the MOC interview. I'm concerned, however, that I will have an extreme bias towards Naval Academy after my weekend visit. In June, I attended an award ceremony at West Point in which they gave me a full tour of the grounds and allowed me to eat in the cadet dining hall. This was a more formal tour, not to what my understanding of a day visit at USMA is in which you spend the day with a cadet(go to class, observe dnc, etc.). For this reason, I fear that my decision may not be as informed as it could be. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Easy answer...your SA experience will be only 4 yrs, your AD will be at least 5 with 3 additional in reserves...what branch do you want to be in 24/7/365...remember as an officer they can send you anywhere in any position. If you have no desire to sit in a tank in the sandbox than that is your answer. If you would rather sit in a tank and not on a boat in the Med., then that is your answer.

    You are putting the actual SA as a priority, whereas, the reality is the service should be 1st.

    This will come to light during the interview.

    Have you asked if the MOC is doing one board for all SA's, or if they are holding multiple boards, 1 for each service.
     
  3. Jezzie

    Jezzie USAFA Cadet

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    How to decide?

    I have a similar situation, interview coming up, two LOAs and needing to decide which branch of the service to choose as #1. I went to the summer seminars of both but feel torn between the two because I loved them both!

    How/Where can I get more in-depth information about the differences between the two branches I am interested in?

    Thank you!
     
  4. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    Jezzie - I'd strongly recommend arranging to visit a base for both of the branches. My son did this for the two branches he was deliberating between. He had one LOA, and as a result, the liaison officers were willing to get him in contact with the closest base for a tour. He told them he didn't expect much, just a chance to see the area and maybe talk to a few officers about what they actually did. They ended up planning a full-day itinerary for him to see each unit, tour the facilities, talk to several officers, NCO's, and enlisted. Much more than he was expecting.

    He then contacted the second branch base and explained the situation - interested in A, would like to see B. This was more low key, but they still arranged for him to fly a simulator, speak with a couple officers/NCO's, etc. I would think that if you have two LOA's, your BGO/ALO, etc. would be willing to help you at least find a point of contact. If not, you could do what my son did and just contact PR on the base itself. Everyone was very, very helpful to him and this helped him make a decision as far as his first choice, but more importantly, opened his mind up to a lot of possibilities he didn't know existed from his second choice. If you're in Texas, you should have an even easier time doing this than we did in the midwest!

    Good luck!
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It is not as hard as you think..what is your first choice career wise? Do both offer it? Second choice? Both offer it? IF it is still tied ask yourself can you see yourself on a boat for 6 out of 18 months, including every holiday, birthday, etc? If the answer is yes, go Navy. If you cay I am not thrilled with the idea of being on a boat, than go AF.

    Don't read too much into it...your gut has already told you which way you want to go, you will be fine no matter what. You will always have what ifs, but you have the best possible what ifs as a candidate and a future cadet.

    I would suggest that you google the career field you want and read from there if all else fails.
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    yankeefan -
    Do you want to make the decision or let your Congressman decide your future?
    If you want to decide your own future then don't agonize. Go with your gut.
     
  7. Jezzie

    Jezzie USAFA Cadet

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    Thank you all very much for the advice! After I posted on this thread I got a phone call that I have a nomination to AF so that might decide it for me. If I also get a nomination to WP I will visit some bases as marciemi suggested...great idea!...and listen to what my gut tells me. :)
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The problem with visiting bases, is 1st you have to get on, thus, unless you are military you will not get on. Bases are not like colleges, they are not open to everyone. If you are not military you need someone to sponsor you.

    Second, visiting Langley will not be anything like Mt Home. Night and day difference. Langley has always been voted the best base in the AF, ID is in the hub of Elmore county with 8K people.. Visiting Bragg and going across the street to Pope is again night and day. Pope has no commissary, theatre, etc, because they have the ability to shop at Bragg. Go to Elmendorf and they are attached to Ft Rich...Rich there is Pope, Elmendorf is Bragg.

    Finally, your bases may be tied to your career, and at this time you will not have that idea yet. For example, if you fly 22's you are going to spend your career rotating between Elmendorf and Langley, you may also go to Nellis, Eglin, Hickham and Edwards, but that is more rare than common. If you fly Strikes you are going between Mt Home, Lakenheath and SJAFB, again maybe Nellis and Eglin. Thus, even in the fighter community you are going to very different places.

    If you go Army and are a jumper, you will also rotate between specific bases Drum, Bragg and Benning. You go in the Army as a PA than you get to go anywhere there is an opening for a PA officer.

    I am not trying to dissuade you from visiting bases or looking where you may go, just realize your actual career will dictate where you PCS to. Everyone gets in with the grand illusion oh, I can live in Hawaii, when the reality is you have a better chance of becoming a general, than getting an assignment there. The reason why is at least for the AF, you either take a crappy tour and it is their thank you, or you have managed your career very well to get there. Just because you put Hawaii, Germany and Italy on your dream sheet does not mean AFPC won't laugh their butts off and send back orders saying Cannon.

    I can tell you when Bullet proposed and was at UNT, I thought oh we can live at Langley, or California, or Florida...I never thought my 1st 8 months of marrriage I would find myself in Almogordo (commonly known as OMG NO) and Mt Home ID (commonly referred to as BumbleF**k Idaho). We did get to go to AK, UK, and VA, but we never did make it to CA, HA or FLA. Also out of his TX course of 16, not one of them made it to HA, 1 did go to Eglin.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  9. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

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    Second the not visiting bases. Not only for the reasons Pima identifies, but unless you're with a member of the specific service, you probably won't know what you are looking at or what you should be looking for. Your concerns for what you want/need on bases wil be very different when you're 22/23 then when you're 17. And like was pointed out, bases can be very different, even if they're in the exact same area.

    I'd recommend talking to some people (not BGO or the other equivalents) in each service or just out of the service, and try to get an honest assessment. I'd also recommend talking to someone who did something that maybe wouldn't be your first choice (that is, if you want to be a pilot, don't just talk to a pilot).
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    There is a web site, I think it is called base ops and you can lurk over there to get a feel for each service, since it really is geared to AD.

    I also agree don't talk to people that will be your 1st job choice in each branch, talk to your 2nd choice. You might feel different, maybe it will become your 1st choice, and maybe you will say heck no that is not for me.

    There are alot of people who think being a BFM in the AWACS community sounds so cool...then they find out that hey are deployed 200+ days a yr and go ...nope not for me.

    You can also go to off topic here and ask posters like flieger, CC, TPG, ds, what their pros and cons are for each branch...none of them are going to sugar coat it for you.

    Finally every base does have a web site, so you can actually see it in a virtual method.

    Also, if you still want to visit bases, each SA typically has a parent organization within the area, contact them. Typically, you will find a parent who is military and they will probably offer to give a tour. Bullet did this for Eastern NC for the AFA a couple of yrs ago. They toured the squadrons, flight line simulator and had lunch at the golf course. It was something he had no problems doing it because they are brethren.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  11. 2011's Mom

    2011's Mom Parent

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    Visiting Bases

    About visiting bases - I actually think it's a good idea. In Marciemi's post she said her son called (either the base public affairs office or maybe his ALO) and arranged a visit. As I interpret what she wrote, someone on the base met her son and got him on base and then took him around and gave him a tour. Obviously the guide would only be able to discuss those areas of the base that the guide actually knew but I think this is a wonderful way to see a little about the different services. Obviously it is a very small sample, given the number of bases and their focus. However, I do believe that given the time to talk freely and visualize a great deal of things about a base is a good thing. As Marciemi stated, it opened her son's eyes to career field options within one (or two?) branches that he had not thought of before. For those kids that are unsure between two SAs- I think it is a great idea, if for no other reason to really focus on the long term career vs. the college years that each SA would lead towards. Particularly candidates with no military history, they may benefit in any number of other ways as well.
     
  12. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    An excellent website to visit to explore Army jobs is:
    www.branchorientation.com

    This talks about all the branches of the Army, what they do with "day in the life" video clips. Very educational and informative.
     
  13. Jezzie

    Jezzie USAFA Cadet

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    Thank you all for the great tips!!! I will check out the web sites that were mentioned.

    My liaison officer is setting up a meeting for me with another liaison officer who is stationed at a not-too-far-away base. A bonus is that the officer stationed there is a female so I can get the female perspective on things. I will keep in mind to not be shopping for the perks of a particular base/post, but since I did not grow up in a military family this will be a chance to see every-day military life that I have never seen before and look at different jobs and just get a feel for what the two branches are all about. I think it is cool that since this officer offerring the tour is a liaison officer she will be familiar with academy life too!

    Thank you all again for taking time to type your suggestions!! I may never have gotten LOAs or a nomination without this amazing forum and all the very helpful knowledgeable people here and also all the encouragement and support!!! I read alot of posts early in this year that helped me so much with the many steps it takes to apply to academies.
     

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