Why did you want to join USNA?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by che527, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. che527

    che527 Member

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    A little bit of an open-ended question to all. I'm still having second thoughts about applying for this academy.
    What made you decide to join USNA? Or really, any other service academy?
    Did you have a different dream career before? What made you choose USNA over that? Were you pushed beyond your limits to do anything you could to qualify for USNA?
     
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  2. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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    I am not from a military family at all. In fact, my parents weren't thrilled with my interest at all when I first said I was interested in USAFA. For me, at first it was about a school where I could compete at the DI level in tennis without compromising my academics. I knew I wanted to do something in the sciences and the Air Force seemed like a good fit.

    I also love structure and knew that I had ZERO interest in the party culture at most big colleges, plus I never turn down a challenge and my parents skepticism at my interest and ability to succeed also played a role. Those were the reasons I chose to apply and attend, but not the reasons I stayed and commissioned. To be honest I didn't really think about the commitment I was making and what it meant to be an Air Force officer until after I got to USAFA.

    Once I got there, the teamwork and environment were amazing and I realized that I wanted to do meaningful and applicable work when it comes to physics. The research I do directly contributes to the security of our nation and there are few feelings as awesome as that.

    I will add that if you choose to apply and get an appointment, make sure that your decision to attend is entirely your own. It is not the path for everyone and if you went for a reason other than self motivation, you will find it very difficult to stay motivated through what is a very challenging four years
     
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  3. che527

    che527 Member

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    That's great to hear! :)
     
  4. Crtusa

    Crtusa Member

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    This is essentially the exact same story I would tell - down to the exact detail! I realized that I wanted to go the military route by freshman year, but was throughly confused by the overwhelming amount of information. However, I did get to opportunity to attend the Summer Seminar at USNA (try it if you have the chance - it'll give you a better understanding of the academies and processes and help solidify your decision) and I loved the teamwork and spirit. I had never ever felt more motivated to wake up at 5:00 and run around with people who I had only known for 4 days!

    I'm still in the middle of applications for the c/o 2021, but I am confident that I want this. My parents have absolutely zero knowledge of the military, and everything they know comes from what I tell them. That being said, my own determination propels me to reach my goal of a service academy. Obviously I don't know what it's like at the schools yet, but I hope to find out soon!

    hope this helps, and i encourage you to take time and figure out your own goals in life. Don't let other people's opinions and ideas affect your own when it comes to these decisions. Each SA requires your highest degree of commitment, so make sure you know what you want! Sorry I'm not much help, but good luck to you and pm me if you have any questions.
     
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  5. che527

    che527 Member

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    Thanks for the advice. :)
     
  6. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO Member

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    -------> I'm still having second thoughts about applying for this academy.

    With all due respect, you should resolve this before applying. If you are not 100% committed to applying and attending USNA, you either won't make it, or you will be miserable. You aren't going to find your motivation online, and you aren't going to find it from a BGO or another Midshipman.
     
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  7. Milly

    Milly Member

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    I disagree with the post that says you must resolve all doubt before even starting your application. Most importantly, being aware of some doubt does not necessarily make you much different from most other applicants. It might simply mean that you are thoughtful about this process. This is a good thing. Many students have some doubt at some point in the process. Also, the application process is too long for you to put it off. By necessity, you must continue on the path you are on, making sure you are also laying the groundwork for other options as well, all the while doing everything you can to figure out what is best for you. The best news is that there is always room for a reversal of course -- wherever you start your first year of college need not be the school from which you graduate. If you haven't had a CVW, be sure to pursue that as it seems to give a good idea of what daily life is like at Navy. If you can find others to talk with in person, that's the best course. This forum might be useful but the advice is all over the place, and none of us know anything about you. I'd imagine that it would be very difficult to go through the entire application process for Navy, experience the joy of being admitted, and then decide not to attend - so much emotion goes into it and so many other people help you along the way -- BUT still, the final decision MUST be what is best for you and anybody who cares enough about you to support your Navy application will also respect your right to make that final decision. Good luck!
     
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  8. che527

    che527 Member

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    Thank you!! :)
     
  9. MiddyB

    MiddyB Member

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    I have a VERY long family history of service. I grew up, not idolizing professional athletes, but great war heroes. I knew I wanted to serve very early on. I wanted to be the next Nimitz or Patton or Chesty Puller. I went to the Academy because it was the hard way to go. Since being here I have changed, as have my motives. I'm here now for my future Marines. They deserve the best, a selfless servant to take care of them, get the job done, and bring them all home safe. That's why I'm here, because I hope to be that for them. If you are looking for an easy life or even a normal one, a service academy isn't for you.
     
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  10. blueplate99

    blueplate99 Member

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    Although my dad was in the Navy, I was not raised in a very military family. I have always known that I wanted to help people, and after talking with my dad about his time in the Navy I knew it would be a great fit. I've been to the Academy three times (lacrosse camp, CVW, and NASS) and every time had the best experience. I love the morals there and how Midshipmen value respect and honor. You don't find very many young men and women like that anymore. It is a place to get a great education and opens so many doors for you. The internships they offer are incredible, not to mention that on your summer breaks, you will be jumping out the back of an airplane while your old high school classmates are sitting on the couch watching TV. The relationships the Academy fosters are also not found at civilian schools. I remember at Summer Seminar, one of the detailers said that he knew his squadmates so well that he would know what they were going to order at a restaurant when they went out. It's the little things also, all the traditions, superstitions, among everything else, that have made me realize that USNA is the right place for me.

    A Service Academy is a big decision. It's not easy, the application reflects that, and it will definitely make you step out of your comfort zone. If you're not sure if it's right for you, I would highly encourage you to apply for Summer Seminar next year or try to get a CVW. Even just taking a tour of the Yard will show you how much the Midshipmen love it.
     
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  11. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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    I just wanted to second summer seminar. It is a great opportunity to see what it's like. I'll also add I walked away from summer seminar thinking USAFA was probably not the place for me, it wasn't until I visited several other "normal" colleges that I realized the challenge was what I wanted
     
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  12. che527

    che527 Member

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    That's some great advice. Thanks.
     
  13. vcent@2021

    vcent@2021 Member

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    BEAR WITH ME: this is going to be very long and very personal.
    My grandfather is my inspiration to join the Naval Academy. He was a South Vietnamese armor officer (an O-3, I believe) who fought alongside American forces against the NVA and the Viet Cong on numerous battles. Before that, he was an engineering teacher at a local high school in Quang Ngai, a city not too far from Hue. When the battlefield kept closing in on his very home and community, he decided to join the Army in order to defend his country against the communists. He utilized his engineering skills as an armor officer, and commanded a tank company comprised of m41 bulldogs and m113 ACAV vehicles.

    My grandfather saw some very bloody and destructive fighting during the war, and it is clear that some things haunt him to this day. When the war was coming to an end, and he saw his country and home being overrun by the enemy, he had no choice but surrender so that his family (my mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles) could be spared a worse fate. He was thrown in "reeducation camps" where the conquerors deemed all South Vietnamese soldiers and government officials traitors. For 15 years, he was tortured, poorly fed by his captors, and frequently mistreated simply because he was on the wrong side of the war.

    When he finally left the camps, he applied for asylum in the United States, fearing that his home country would continue to persecute his family. In 1991, my grandfather and my mother's side of the family came and settled in Northern California. Life was tough for my grandparents. Coming here with only the clothes on their backs and a belief in the American Dream, they essentially worked their butts off to make it here in the States. My grandfather who had professional degrees in Vietnam, could not continue his occupation here, so he worked as a janitor for a Tech firm that is still around today (ever heard of IBM?) in order to support the education of my mother and uncles/aunts.
    The United States gave my family hope that they could start a new life, and that they could be assured that hard work and perseverance was all that was needed to live prosperously.
    Even in his old age, 79 to be exact, he still does his best to keep in shape. He wakes up at 0530 every morning, and goes for a run as if he was conducting PT. A man who has seen many horrors still manages to smile and move on with his life, because in the end, that is all he can do, My grandpa left the past behind him in Vietnam, and came to the United States a new man.

    The things he has said and taught me still stick. When I have terrible day, I remember all the hardship my grandfather had to endure, and how he kept on pushing even when the pain, the misery, and the humiliation would wear him down. His spirit not only kept him alive, it allowed him to thrive. It makes all my problems seem minuscule in comparison, and this knowledge gives me the motivation and the drive to pursue my goals to fruition.

    Deep inside, I want to attend the Naval Academy, because I believe that this institution will best prepare me as a Naval Officer, and will instill the same kind of values and the mindset that my grandfather possessed. Serving my country will also pay a debt that my family has owed for so long; The United States gave my family everything and all the means to succeed, and asked nothing in return. It is important that I answer the call to arms one day, when our nation is under threat.

    Che527, best of luck on your application to the class of 2021! I hope this post gave you some inspiration and allowed you to understand my motivation for applying to USNA.
     
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  14. CaliNavyMom

    CaliNavyMom Member

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    VCent, amazing story! Thank him for his service!
     
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  15. CaliNavyMom

    CaliNavyMom Member

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    Well DS isn't on this forum so I'll share his "why".
    He had an older brother in the Navy, enlisted, HT on the Jason Dunham. He's always admired him, but DS-17, is more of a student that older DS. So he knew he wanted more in the way of schooling.
    In January, we went on vacation to Oahu, did the tourist thing, went to Pearl Harbor, saw the memorials, ships, etc. during that visit DS had some alone time walking around the memorials.
    The next morning, he and his dad had breakfast together. He said "I want to join the Navy". My husband told him if he's worried about money for school, we'll figure it out, loans, scholarships, etc.
    DS said "No, I want to SERVE, yesterday, I came upon a quote by Adm Nimitz that said 'They fought together as brothers, they died together and now they sleep side by side, to them we have an obligation'"

    Hubby said he is set on it, so we support. Then in Feb at a dinner, we saw DS 4th grade teacher and I told her about his aspirations. She asked if we knew about the USNA? I told her no, she told me a little so we checked it out. DS looked through the whole website and said "okay I want to do it".
    Everything is done, we are Complete waiting review.
    But the question came up at BGO interview..."What will you do if you don't get in??
    DS response: "I will enlist, I want to serve our country and I will reapply while enlisted."
    Proud and makes me tear up every time I talk about his Pearl Harbor experience and how it spoke to his heart so clearly.
     
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  16. che527

    che527 Member

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    What an amazing, inspirational, and motivational story. I am glad there are still people in this world who would do anything to give back to the nation that gave them a stable life. I'm glad you keep that thought inside of you. God bless you!
    Also, thank you for your support! I'm actually class of 2022! :)
     
  17. che527

    che527 Member

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    My mom had thought the exact same thing your husband did. She said, "I don't care about the money, as long as you get a good, stable job."
    I'm glad your DS has found his passion in life and what he wants to do. Good luck to him and his process in the USNA. :)
     
  18. CaliNavyMom

    CaliNavyMom Member

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    Thanks Che!
     
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  19. Vtmom

    Vtmom Member

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    Da also isn't on here so I will answer. He wanted usna since before high school. He applied, got his appoint,went in decmbernof senior year but also wanted to hear from his regular colleges. One gave him huge scholarship, honor college, first year research, etc.... He was torn. Should have taken that as a clue. He reports to usna on July 1 last summer. He had no issues thru plebe summer or the ac year. He did great academically and even was highly ranked within his company. However, after the lengthy process to declare majors, he decided his passion was in his studies and not the military. He didn't want to take 5 years doing "something" the military told him to do and not be doing what he studied. maybe he truly didn't want to serve, but I think it is more than that. He loved his plebe year and it was a difficult decision for him to leave. Maybe we should have known when he was torn between reg college and navy. But he was so excited when he finally decided on usna. Never a question or concern. All I can say is listen to your heart. It will lead you in the right direction. Don't try to make something out of a small feeling if it isn't 100%. Not that he regrets his year at all!!! Leave your options open but be true to what you really feel. (I'm not an emotional mom so this sounds weird for me to say - but very applicable in this case ). And remember, every experience is something you grow from, good or bad.
     
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  20. che527

    che527 Member

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    Thank you so much for your advice. I'm glad your DS made the right decision that he wanted.
     

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