Why no LOA's for AF?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Coach62, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. Coach62

    Coach62 Member

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    I feel it puts the AF at a competitive disadvantage to not give LOAs. I know a kid that got one from MA but wants AF first. He's of course concerned that he's going to get a Nom for MA instead of AF because of his LOA.

    Why don't they give them?
     
  2. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    USAFA does give them, I have a friend who received one.
     
  3. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Coach, if you'll peruse these threads, you will see that receiving the LOA is the exception, not the norm. If you do not receive one from AF (or any other SA), do not assume then that you weren't a stellar candidate, a good fit.

    They give out very few.

    Case in point: of my twins with almost identical stats, one got one, one did not.
     
  4. parentalunit2

    parentalunit2 Parent

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    People put far too much stock in receiving an LOA. It’s a nice pat on the back, and not much more.
     
  5. Coach62

    Coach62 Member

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    My bad. I was told they don't give them out. My son did get one from Navy but was hoping to get one from AF.
     
  6. Freda'sMom

    Freda'sMom Parent

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    Do you know what a LOA is?

    It's a lot more than "a nice pat on the back."

    It's a conditional appointment.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I took parentalunit's statement differently. Once at USAFA nobody cares. The slate is wiped clean come I Day. Getting an LOA does not equate to commissioning at the top. Thus from an appointment perspective it really is nothing more than a nice pat on the back when looking at the 1350 cadets that will get the BFE and arrive for BCT. At least for me that is how I see it.
    ~ I get what you are saying, but I also see it another way.

    Coach,
    Has your DS told his ALO that he has an LOA from USNA? I am not saying that an ALO can do anything about it, but impho, it is a good idea to let them know that he has that in his pocket, just in case there is something that they can do, ie maybe contacting his regional and telling them that USNA offered an LOA, but he really wants USAFA.
    ~ My friends DS had a USAFA LOA, but wanted USNA. He called his BGO, and a few weeks later he had an LOA from USNA.
     
  8. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    My DD got an Oct LOA from USNA when she was applying. I actually think it helped her get a Early Action appointment in January from USAFA - but that's only my perception and I have absolutely nothing to base that on. I just think that if you have an academic LOA, then you'll look good to all of the SAs. Personally, I think it's an advantage across the board and you shouldn't look at it as hindering your DS's chances with USAFA.
     
  9. Coach62

    Coach62 Member

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    No, I'm going to speak to my DS (what does DS stand for?). Today. He's actually pretty close with the local AF admissions liaison but he had to recuse himself as his daughter is also very good friends with my son and she's of course applying to the academies. He's actually a big fan of my son and a great guy but I'm not sure if he's comfortable getting involved.

    I think that's a great idea though and I'll address it with him. I guess my main concern is that while the AF admissions liaison really likes my son he's still competition for his daughter. He strikes me as a man of integrity though and I do trust him.
     
  10. Wishful

    Wishful Parent

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  11. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    LOA's at USAFA are, as a normal rule, only given out to recruited athletes (I know you don't want to hear that) and to some VERY VERY highly ranked candidates. USAFA has, for the 21 years I've been an ALO, lagged far behind USMA and USNA in the use of LOA's. Part of me thinks that's a good thing and part of me doesn't. I can understand that we want to give everyone the most opportunity to get their packages as stellar as they can and that means waiting. However I also understand that some folks would like a little reassurance. However here's the rub...if I were "Da Man" and I had 1250 appointments in my box to hand out...I don't think I'd give out too many early on...I would want to see what the entire process brought me. And if that really upsets some candidate: "I have an LOA from USMA but nothing from USAFA so I guess I'll take USMA..." then I have to question how serious about USAFA the candidate is/was?

    But that's just me...I simply tell my candidates: "Welcome to the ride...patience will be your best friend..."

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree flieger.

    I would only add, have you thought about the 5 years owed after you commission?

    Our DS never applied to any other SA. He knew he did not want to live on a boat or in a tank. It was AF or nothing at all.

    I am not saying that it is wrong to apply to all of the SAs, just saying this a marathon...basically a decade. Think about it...it is 2015, they can walk in 2025.

    My DS, fencers DSs's (twins), and Hornet as a senior in HS, had yet to meet their spouses but all 4 at the ripe old age of 25 were married, way before they could do the 5 and dive.

    Life is funny...it gets in the way of your plan.

    Thus, as flieger stated if that LOA is the make or break, than I think it is time to address long term goals. I am not saying you are being negative, just saying don't let it become a negative aspect in your decision process for selecting the branch.
     
  13. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    I did this when I got my early appointment from USNA. My ALO told me I'd pretty much have to keep waiting, because that was the way USAFA Admissions worked and there wasn't really anything he or I could do to change the situation. It wasn't really what I wanted to hear, but it was very accurate advice...I got my AFA appointment right in the middle of March like many (most?) of my fellow classmates.

    (Begin wild goose chase.)

    TBH, last year I remember thinking that USAFA was strategically a bit behind the other academies when it came to "snapping up" top candidates. I still think so. IMHO, USAFA needs to rework its LOA/Early Action system to match Army and Navy (I know Navy is pretty good about this from personal experience, and I've heard Army is too). Call me bitter from last year, but somehow I haven't heard of USMA and USNA saying "wait till April if you're serious about coming here" as much as USAFA. This argument may have merit, but I don't think it sends a great message if at the same time, there are 2 other Academies actively demonstrating that they are interested in the same candidate.

    I'm not dissing USAFA at all--I love it here and it is a top-notch school in every way--AND I would ABSOLUTELY rather be here than USNA or USMA--but I do have a few criticisms about their admissions system. Hopefully they will work out these issues in coming years.

    (End chase.)
     
  14. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

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    Here is another wrinkle.
    Say a kid's first choice is Air Force but he has a L.O.A. to USMA or USNA.
    Many MOC's make you prioritize which academy you wish to attend. They may give only one nomination.
    So do you go with the bird in the hand or take the chance?
    Hmmmm
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Take the chance impo if the LOA is not from your number 1 choice. This is not 4 yrs of your life, it is 9 yrs. 5 will be where they tell you to move to, what job you will do, and it is 24/7/365 days a year.

    SA life may feel like 24/7, but it isn't.

    Can you spell K-O-R-E-A? If so, now ask yourself if sent there which branch would you rather serve in if you get your plan B career choice? Basically, if you say I am applying to the big 3, and want to go pilot, than think about what you will do if they say no to rated...will you be happy on a boat, in a tank, or maintenance anywhere in the world?
    ~ If you say I would rather be in a tank than on a boat, but USNA offered you the LOA, than why would you not take the chance?
    ~~ LOAs are not common. I would guess if it is not recruited athlete, than you have a strong chance for an appointment come Mass Mailing March.

    I am sure the Navy and Army has the same type of jokes like the AF. Why not Minot? Freezin is the reason. Oh My God No Alamogordo. Hell Rio (Del Rio). Many members stationed at those bases might say they would rather Korea over those assignments.

    Just saying think long term before you accept that bird in the hand.
     
    Boozebin and FalconsRock like this.
  16. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    1+ Pima - choose the academy that offers the life after the academy that you want. If not, it could be a very long 9 years.
     

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