Why Naval Academy be a choice for a smart kid

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by kazi, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. kazi

    kazi Member

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    Our son seem motivated to seek admission in a full academy or as NROTC, but we as parents are not sure if we can support his decision. He did the summer seminar and now preparing his application. Of course, the value of almost free education is great but why and how could we send our kid harms way? For a smart kid (GPA 4.3 due to AP courses), why should Naval academy be a choice. Questions ringing in my head. How often they are sent to fight as an Engineer, he aspires to be one? What do Engineers in Navy do when sent to war, say in Afganistan or Iraq?
     
  2. Rentasailor

    Rentasailor RN, BSN. 1SG, USA (Ret.)

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    Why ask why without knowing why?

    You gather information. You process information. You have a discussion with your son. You all decide what kind of person your son aspires to be and the potential steps it might take for him to achieve that goal. The military is not for everyone, however, since you are asking the question, I would guess that you have very little experience with the military. Perhaps, your son might want to consider the Merchant Marine Academy which has an outstanding engineering program and creates advanced career opportunities for its graduates. I hope that helps in some way...I would encourage you to read materials on the Naval Academy, it's graduates, its philosophy, and current Naval Warfighting Doctrine. My last suggestion would be to ask yourself what you true objections are after you have educated yourself in the subject matter.
     
  3. kazi

    kazi Member

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    How can i talk with other parents?

    I am wondering how i may be able to connect with Parents who have been through this decision. Any suggestion? thank you so much. Kazi
     
  4. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Kazi, one source for contacting other parents for face-to-face would be to locate the parents' club in your area. If you cannot find it, contact the academy to get the name of the president. Most areas have a club.
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Having strong parental support for a decision to attend a SA and success there is invaluable.

    That said, at the end of the day, it should be your son's decision, not yours. If he is truly committed to USNA, then he should apply and -- if appointed -- attend. If he's unsure, then he should probably apply and see if his views change one way or the other -- there's no harm in applying as one can always decline an appointment. If he isn't interested, especially after NASS, he should move on with his life. It is HIS life.
     
  6. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    I've written a couple iterations of this post and kicked it down several notches from my initial knee-jerk reaction in the spirit of the holiday.

    The bottom line is, as usna1985 and others have pointed out, is that it's not your choice.

    Anyway, to address the actual title of your post. I have a more pragmatic answer in me too, but I'll go with the more idealistic one first.

    The military needs smart kids, both as leaders and as followers. Aside from the technical side of things, officers are supposed to be able to think critically and be responsible for large amounts of personnel and material.
    A Marine rifle platoon commander (first job out of USNA, probably age 22-23) is responsible for the lives of 45+ Marines, not to mention the weighty decisions he has to make regarding interaction with the local populace or other military actions which can have strategic consequences. Read up on stuff like the strategic corporal, counterinsurgency, the three-block war, and how the military fits into foreign policy decisions to get an idea of how a military officer's job can fit into the bigger picture and have a huge impact.
    I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want dumb kids doing these jobs.

    And if he (or you) truly decide that the military doesn't need your smart kid, that's fine. I'm sure my class had that too. Don't worry, just as with my class, kids who will go on attend grad school at Oxford, Cambridge, MIT, and Harvard (and in some cases, go on to be major players in whatever sector they choose to in the end, whether it's public or private) will decide that the Navy/Marine Corps is worth their time.
     
  7. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    why any kid

    Instead of asking "Why Naval Academy be a choice for a smart kid?" one might ask "Why Naval Academy be a choice for a any kid?"

    The answer would be the same.

    We dont really come from a military background. When I see my son (4.4+ GPA, 34 act E and M, ap scholar, engineer hopeful, etc) outside throwing a basketball back and forth to improve his CFA, I dont get it-I ask a couple of open ended "why" type questions-but really my job is just to hold the tape measure and return the basketball....

    I can say that the entire process has made him a better, more reflective person and really a better family member.

    Good luck to your son in whatever he does.

    Enjoy your Fourth!
     
  8. Packer

    Packer Member

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    It has already been said but it is not and should not be your decision. It is your son's life to live and his decision to make. Your job is to make sure he is making an informed decision.

    Also the whole "why would a smart kid go to the Naval academy" is quite offensive.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    If not your kid, we should we send to harms way? Poor and dumb?

    The way I explain it to some parents are that attending a military academy is not about free college education or becoming an engineer. The reason why someone should attend a military academy is to become a military officer AND serve our country.
     
  10. subvet

    subvet Member

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    Also the whole "why would a smart kid go to the Naval academy" is quite offensive.[/QUOTE]

    It is! Our DD is also a smart kid who chose the Academy despite her mothers misgivngs. She is now in Flt Trng at Pensacola and realizing this is exactly where she is meant to be.
     
  11. DanGir

    DanGir Member

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    Instead of asking "Why Naval Academy be a choice for a smart kid?" one might ask "Why Naval Academy be a choice for a any kid?"
    Thanks for the laugh! I appreciate it.:biggrin:
     
  12. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Kazi: I think many of us are offended by the suggestion that your SMART kid may be too SMART to choose a SA.The truth is that all the "kids" that are fortunate enough to receive appointments to any of the SAs are SMART. These young men and women often have many excellent civilian college choices but choose a SA over what some may consider a more prestigious school. Be assured that our children are not only SMART, but also patriotic... and we are VERY proud of them and their choice.

    Good luck to your son and as already mentioned.... the military (and the USA) needs smart kids.
     
  13. Black_shoe

    Black_shoe Member

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    As you struggle with your ethical question as to support your child in their personal decsion, I would recommend stepping back and pursue some research so that you can make sense of your biased understanding. I might suggest a review of the mission of the USNA and all of the sister service academies. Additionally, a quick review of publications from RADM Miller, the current superintendant might provide some insight as to the role of a highly technical, creative and liberal (diverse) education for our countries leaders.

    Good luck with your pursuit of the facts.
     
  14. Seahorse

    Seahorse Member

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    "Why Naval Academy be a choice for a smart kid"

    I know a number of smart kids who went to the Naval Academy to get away from their ignorant parents.

    -Seahorse
     
  15. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    OK. Seahorse has been given a warning about that post. Before this gets out of hand and everyone piles on the OP, I think we need to be a little kinder here.

    Yes, the service academies are for smart kids. We need smart kids to drive ships, build airfields, and fly planes. We needs smart kids to negotiate and plan so that those ships, airfields, and planes don't need to be used.

    The OP is here looking for information on the Naval Academy, and we should answer questions without being rude.

    Kazi, please don't be offended by these remarks. Your question is valid for someone who is not familiar with the academies. Personally, my son had scholarships to Rice and Northwestern along with several other schools, but he chose the Air Force Academy because it not only allowed him to attend a premier school, it allowed him the honor to serve his country. Thats is what the service academies are about. Please continue to learn here and ask questions..

    Stealth_81
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
  16. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    KAZI: You are not the first to ask this question; I had a parent who was totally mortified that her son wanted to go to a SA, and was torn over how she could support his decision - and that is very important to our young people through the candidacy as well as the four years in the SA. Long story short, her son earned his appointment and as she and he went through the four years at NAVY, she began to see that it REALLY was what he wanted to do in life, and that there were many positive factors at play in his education and training as a midshipman. He graduated about a month ago and is headed to Pensacola - and she is as proud as any mother ever could be! Be aware that there also is a flip side of sorts to your question: the youngster who really is NOT interested in attending a service academy who is being pressured to attend for any one of a number of reasons, none of which take into consideration the youngster's interest, aptitude, or abilities. Some youngsters figure a way to escape the pressure and avoid the SA; others, like one of my prep school roomies push on to satisfy the family tradition, financial interest, whatever - to end up in the psych ward about three weeks into plebe summeren route to being discharged.

    You have received many gems of advice here, but I also would commend to you the parents' site of Service Academy Forums where you can get feedback from parents of youngsters pursuing all of the academies. BTW, you had one respondent suggest the Merchant Marine Academy, and that is an excellent suggestion as USMMA grads need not be commissioned as officers in the military service.

    Finally, these really are very fine, high quality schools with cadets and midshipmen who truly are intelligent, serious, hardworking, and high achieving young men and women and who will earn Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, among others, on their way to serving their country. SA grads have served in many capacities in the US - as President, members of Congress, judges, community leaders, physicians, engineers, Nobel prize winners, among other roles. One of my classmates currently is serving as appointed CEO of General Motors.
     
  17. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Kazi,

    Agree that your son should be the one making the decision. You do not necessarily have to agree with his choosing, but you should surely always support your son. My mom (and grandmother) were very hesitant of me attending USNA and if you asked them before my I-Day if they agreed with my decision, they would have said "no." When I-Day rolled around, they were present with all the support they could give me and they still support me to this day.

    With regards to engineering, there are plenty of jobs that Naval Officers can fill...in fact there is an Engineering Duty Officer (EDO) route. The great thing about USNA is that your degree doesn't necessarily matter. Your son could be an engineering major but want to fly planes, be on a sub, or work in intelligence. If your son decides to leave after his minimum service obligation, companies will hire him, not so much for his technical expertise, but his ability to lead both personnel and growth in the company. If he stays in the service, he might have the chance to make a difference in what the Navy will do in years-to-come (ship design, planning, UAVs, etc.).

    Many entering USNA attend because they want to serve and lead men/women...your son might have this same calling. The military is one of the best institutions to give back to our country and oversee the wellness of those who serve.

    Hopefully this helps a little. As mentioned in previous posts, do some research alongside your son (USNA Catalog is a good starting point) and I would also talk to parents of MIDN or parents of MIDN who recently graduated and ask them many questions!
     
  18. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I agree that it should be the son's decision and the parent's job is to make sure its informed and thought out. For NROTC it might be wise for a parent to provide guidance on school selection and guidance with plans B, C, and D. Although your son would get an excellent engineering education he would also acquire skills that are difficult to obtain elsewhere as others have indicated. Leadership, command, ability to reason cooly under stress. These are life skills that are invaluable in any walk of life and will leave your son standing out from the rest.

    Icll tell you why my son wants to serve. As Ronald Reagan said, "Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. Marines don't have that problem." Truth be told that statement applies to any service. My son participates in NROTC without a scholarship because he wants to make that difference in other lives.

    Do I worry about my son going in harm's way? You bet. We all do. No one wants to see their child harmed. Am I proud of what he's doing? Yup! Do I support him in what he's doing? 110%. Will I be devastated if he is seriously injured or killed. Of course. Will I still support the decision he made if that happens? Again 110%, because that was his calling and he had the courage to answer that call. Do I lie awake at night worrying about all this? Hell no!

    Do I notice changes in my son that I attribute to his participation in NROTC? Yes. He's more disciplined, more focused, works much harder at his studies and makes better grades. He works harder on staying fit and maintaining a healthy diet. He holds his head higher and steps forward to lead when that's needed. He volunteers more and is more concerned about his fellow man. I truly believe none of this would be true were it not for the training he has received as a participant in NROTC.

    I have no doubt that any other Academy or ROTC parent would tell you the same or similar things. I personnally think you should look for ways to support your son's informed decision. It takes a selfless individual to pursue this path, and even when on the path, it will not last forever.
     
  19. Longhorn

    Longhorn Member

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    Proud Plebe- 2016

    My son was humbly inducted into the Naval Academy this past week.
    3rd in his class of 480 students. Over 2300 SAT scores,All A's in 15 AP classes and studied Calculus @ Georgia Tech his senior year. His Lacrosse team won back to back state championships his Junior & Senior year. National Merit Scholarship,National Honor Society and multiple service awards.

    He was graciously honored to be inducted this past week to the naval academy and the last thing he said to his family was that he prayed that god would bless him with the strength to live up to this prestgious honor of leading other men & women of our special country. :smile:
     
  20. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Respectfully disagree.

    We should have some sense of humor.

    Being kind sometimes can perpetuate certain behaviors or don't send a clear message.
     

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