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Why do you want to go the Air Force Academy?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by a.olson, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. a.olson

    a.olson Member

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    I just completed my application to the USAFA. Over this summer and fall I have been dead set on going to the Academy. But, just a few weeks ago I was offered an Air Force ROTC scholarship to Penn State University which covers full tuition. This alternative has thrown me off a bit although I still really want the Academy experience. These are my reasons for wanting to go to the Academy: I love this country and I want to serve it in the best way I possibly can, I feel the academy will make me the best person and leader I can be. AFA cadets will share my values of hard work, teamwork and integrity. I love challenges and I want to see how far I can push myself. The academy will give me a great education for mechanical engineering (my planned major). But, I was wondering what reasons other current applicants and cadets had for going to the academy. I was also wondering what doubts you have and what your overall outlook on the cadet experience is.
     
  2. airman

    airman Member

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    Because I'm enlisted and I'd like to get paid more while doing cooler ****. It's not all that philosophical.
     
  3. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Those are good reasons, IMO.

    ...and airman, I like your blunt response! :shake:
     
  4. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C4C '17

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    Serving my country as a fighter pilot and a commanding officer in the Air Force. I don't just want to see how far I can push myself, but I want to see how far I can push others. What doubts do I have about the academy? I sometimes wonder if I'll get enough sleep to function. I hear you learn how to sleep while standing at attention as a basic, so I guess it's something everyone learns. :wink:
     
  5. navy2016

    navy2016 Member

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    only another applicant but...

    This was all before my USNA appointment but:

    I know SA would be the toughest route but also believe it will best prepare me to serve.

    That is probably the top reason I see USNA over Michigan NROTC
     
  6. dagger

    dagger Member

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    Being a Commander is a good 16 years down the road. After graduation.

    You don't need to sleep at attention. Enlisted basic training is two weeks longer than the Academy's and it was a cake walk. Yeah you're tired but who cares. BMT is the easiest part of every Airmen's military career.
     
  7. a.olson

    a.olson Member

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    thanks for all of your responses! LFry94, i am worried about the sleep too, i don't function well on little sleep... but i guess that's just going to have to change. I am also a bit worried because I the first person in my family to join the military since WWII. So, I don't have much experience with the military expectations and attitude. It's just very hard to fully understand what it will be like to experience an Academy until I have actually done it.
     
  8. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C4C '17

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    I don't know about you, but I think USAFA offers excellent training to be a commander in the Air Force.

    The part about sleeping at attention was humor. :thumb:

    I think the best way to sum it up would be that expectations are high.
     
  9. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Ah, says the civilian high school student!

    I'd say experience and hard work are much more valuable to being a good commander - not exclusive to USAFA!
     
  10. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C4C '17

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    No doubts there! I'm sure you know, being USAFA alumnus. :smile: I feel I need to correct myself though, because I now realize I said commander instead of officer, and there appears to be a big difference that I don't know about. :biggrin:

    While I do dream of being in the Air Force for many years and climbing the ranks, I am not foolish enough to think that USAFA will prepare me for everything that will be thrown at me after graduation. I believe that USAFA offers the best programs to equip myself with the knowledge, training, and leadership ability to best serve in the Air Force.

    That is my reason for wanting to go to the Air Force Academy.
     
  11. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    haha that's the best response I've ever heard. :thumb:

    Seriously though, I would say that there's more "security" at a SA than ROTC. They're cutting down ROTC scholarships, but SA's don't kick out a bunch of people unless there's a good reason to do so.
     
  12. Shurstell

    Shurstell Member

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    I was asked this question a lot during interviews. I said that I was looking for the whole experience. Instead of just having a few ROTC classes a week at a civilian college, I wanted to be full time Air Force at the Academy.

    I also think different colleges are better than others. Going to Texas A&M and training every waking minute would be more of an experience than going to a small university where you need to travel to another school to take your ROTC classes. Not exactly sure how all that works, but different colleges definitely offer different experiences. My suggestion would be to ask the instructors and some cadets how they feel about whichever school you are looking to enter.

    Congrats on the scholarship! :thumb:
     
  13. mustang10

    mustang10 Member

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    Two Reasons

    USAFA gives you access to more faculty and staff that have been in your shoes as a young officer.

    Standing on the football stadium turf beneath the Thunderbirds' with 1000 fellow second lieutenants.
     
  14. Cayou

    Cayou New Member

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    A.Olson,
    Here my 2 cents. The school is not the end of the journey, just a mode to get you where you want to go.

    Do you want to be a pilot? You need to ask about the numbers/percentages of who gets to pilot training from ROTC and the USAFA. In recent years it has been easier to get to UPT from the USAFA. Not to say no one from ROTC goes, but you have better odds from the Academy.

    Are you thinking career? USAFA grads tended to do better than ROTC grads, in general. Someone mentioned the shrinking Military. If/When there is a Reduction in Force (RIF) your odds of remaining on active duty are higher if you are an Academy grad.

    Does the Academy have a top notch program in the degree you are looking for, does a civilian school offer a better program.

    I'm a retired ROTC guy who got to fly for 19 of 20+ years, and wouldn't change a thing. My nephew is a 2010 grad at the USAFA, and will graduate from UPT next month. My son has an appointment to USMA starting this July. A lot of different options that all work. I encourage you to look farther downrange and see which option gets you where you want to be in 10, 15, and 20 years after graduation.

    Good Luck
     
  15. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    This thread, a repeat of many like it before, is refreshing! Less "sound bite (byte?)" answers and more practical/believable answers. :)
     
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    "For the Food". Just like Mama use to make. :thumb:
     
  17. Texasrocks

    Texasrocks Member

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    That must be why he comes home and licks his plate:thumb:
     
  18. Matthewmillr94

    Matthewmillr94 Member

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    To be surrounded with people dedicated to integrity, service, and excellence while receiving one of the best educations this world offers.

    The uniforms are pretty sweet too.
     
  19. a.olson

    a.olson Member

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    I really appreciate all of your advice and input. If I get accepted in April then my family and I will take a trip out to Colorado Springs to see the Academy. I feel like seeing the Academy will help solidify my decision. I have only seen the campus through pictures and second-hand accounts so far. One thing that I have found is different about me than the normal AFA applicant is that I am not aspiring to fly at the moment. I am focusing on the Air Force for several reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is that it offers a lot of opportunities in engineering. In fact I was so set on the Air Force Academy the only other Academy I applied too was the Coast Guard Academy. Are any of you other applicants/cadets not set on flying as a career?
     
  20. Liberator45

    Liberator45 Member

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    If it is possible, I would suggest that you try to shadow a fourth-class cadet before 15 March 2012. If you visit after Recognition or follow an upper-class cadet, I don't think you would get the same understanding of what the first year is like here.

    Plus, the fourth-class cadets are at Rest when they are escorting:thumb:
     

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