Why?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by navyasw02, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. navyasw02

    navyasw02 Member

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    So I am wondering why kids today want to go to the Naval Academy. Is it the prestige? The education? The Naval Career? What drives young folks to continue to want to attend the Academy?

    I graduated 10 years ago and I had my reasons for applying and going to the academy, but I am wondering if the reasons now are the same then given that so much has changed in the world of education, technology, society, etc. Today, more than ever, we need the best and the brightest to apply to serve in the Naval service due to the extreme budgetary and geopolitical pressures in the world. I can see many youth being easily attracted to a profession that either pays more or requires less than the ultimate sacrifice. I am glad that there are still young people willing to make the sacrifice to attend the Academy and pursue a Navy career.
     
  2. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    :thumb:Just one thought on yours. Ok, like Lay's 'chips ... can't just have "one.":rolleyes:

    Some have argued the apps are up because of USNA being perceived as "free." Of course you know well, it is anything but that, and in the end might cost everything one has in "re-paying".

    Some confuse the lack of tuition, r & b expenses with "scholarships, grants, and more generally financial aid" at secular and sectarian institutions. Apples and oranges. Beyond loans, none of the latter require repayment. Only adequate ongoing performance, just like at USNA. That is where the commonality ends though.

    And so my point is just this ... some may apply, even go, a very few even finish at USNA ... because of our terrible economy and the massive and constantly escalating price of non-SA education.

    In general, this requires so much sacrifice and commitment, beginning in the app process and hyping up at I Day and going from there, the money motive doesn't work except for a very few exceptions. Imo, $$$ is NOT the "cause" for the USNA effect.:thumbdown:

    I'd venture ... love of country, family traditions, sexy visuals (ads, uniforms, jets and carriers, etc.), bin Laden's demise at the hand of great Navy SEALs, macho mystique, great athletics, amazing educational opportunities (AMAZING!!!), 10 "salad day" years of relatively better football (this is coming to an end, it seems for various reasons), fabulous and "guaranteed" career opportunities, better promotion and easier access for minorities who are priorities, women realizing one need not be a lesbian look-alike to be a Mid coed (au contraire ... MANY cute Midshipwomen!), but for those who might fit that mode there are better and dare I say, more "diverse" career paths within military service, a GREAT location w/in easy access of 75% of the nation's populace (unlike the others), easy access to major metro and notably our Capitol city which leads to both GREAT and far superior engagement of national and international figures ... AND better opportunities for post service employment because of the HUGE USNA alumni population there in the Beltway, and lastly ... it is far more military-like than the mamby pamby USAF and far less so than the spit-and-polish, sleep in the mud at West Point. This is such a no-brainer, we could do this all day!:bang: USNA should be one of the easiest sizzles to sell on the planet!:thumb: :rockon:

    Just MY ideas.:eek::hammer:

    Go NAVY! Beat everyone!:groupwave:

    P.S. Imo, possibly THE most substantive motivation for considering USNA? A world-class education literally like NONE others.

    While a bit off the beam, I've always contended in the discussion of which is "better" ... HYPrinceton vs. USNA? None can answer that. It is impossible. However, one answer that is 100% on the money ... there are FAR MORE USNA Mids who could and would graduate from Harvard than there are Harvard students who could and would graduate, get commissioned, and serve following USNA. This is the real no-brainer of all time!:beer1:

    P.S.S. Just one thing that USNA does NOT do well and they contend otherwise ... raise $$$. They seriously underestimate and underperform relative to what they should be doing in private giving.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  3. givethemwings

    givethemwings Member

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    I'm speaking for my son, here, but I know him and his motivations so well that I feel qualified to do so. Starting when he was 8, we moved every two years for my husband's job. He has seen his share of just about everything, as we spent two years in Slovakia, where our security team was a bunch of former British SAS officers who were, to the kids, totally cool. They sure did talk a lot about their adventures! That time spent living in a (basically) third world country, and all the subsequent travel, showed my son how truly lucky he was to be American. He enjoyed learning about the governments of various places and is totally into the political races. (Although he wants to be an engineer?!) Also because of all the moves my DS has never had the luxury of being in the popular crowd and has even been bullied because he was the new kid and what we call "quietly confident," a personality type that can rub typical teens the wrong way, but quickly earns the respect of coaches and teachers. Through all the heartaches of moving and saying goodbye over and over again, he poured himself into studying, swimming, and service and emerged as a strong leader on local and national fronts. Now, finally settled back near family and surrounded by great friends, the thought of going to "normal" college brings to his mind images of parties and drinking and a loss of the discipline on which he thrives -- and he is just not that kid. He seriously is at his best when he is getting up in the wee hours of the morning to go to practice and staying up til God-knows-when to finish his homework, (and throwing in some time at the Habitat For Humanity resale store on top of it). He was the three-year-old who stopped to pick up litter when walking through the mall! We can afford to send him to the college of his choice (and have encouraged him to please please please consider many of them!)and he is bright enough to get academic/swim scholarships, so it is certainly not about the free education. It's about being a part of something so important and with like-minded, service-oriented people working together to become something great. (And the uniforms are really awesome!) I'll bet in the heart of most of these midshipmen-to-be and former midshipmen like you, you'll find reasons not so very dissimilar. Thank you for your service to our country!:smile:
     
  4. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Love the Harvard.:rofl: Substitute any other Ivy.:thumb:
     
  5. Frassy16

    Frassy16 Member

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    I agree with everything that "Givethemwings" said. Although we haven't moved around as much, my DS was also the 3 year old picking up the trash from the floor, holding doors open for people and began serving in our church in the 3rd grade. His father is a veteran of the first gulf war. My DS wants to give back to those who've helped him become the young man that he is today. He also loves to surround himself with high achievers and people who push him beyond what he thinks he's capable of. He wants to be an electrical engineer and wants to get the best possible engineering education and work with the best equipment that technology has to offer. SO - where do you get a top of the line -world class education, surround yourself with the best of the best, get to keep your focus on service and work with the best technology in the world? USNA!!!! :thumb:
     
  6. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    just a theory, haven't given it a lot of thought, but --

    The Vietnam War made most... and I say that carefully, Americans question the use of our military. Then 1991 came. Then, finally, 9/11 came.

    I think the general perception in our country has become more supportive of the role of our Military, and the value of it, the further we get from Vietnam. Parents of current applicants who might have dissuaded their children from applying to an Academy in the year 1990, or 2000, realizing the implications of 9/11, are more open to the idea of their child serving in the military.

    Generally, I think the increase in applications to all the Academies has more to do with this generation of applicants being born soon after 9/11, than with the current recession or the rising full price of attending college. The latter two are influences, but to me the primary contributor is a response to 9/11, and applicants wanting to be part of a solution to a real threat to our homeland, and their parents or other mentors agreeing to support that effort.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  7. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    I LOVE THIS RESPONSE! USNA oughtta enlist "givethemwings" as their chief parents ambassador! This really touched my heart! THANK YOU for taking the time to type and tell! You da man, Mom! :thumb::rockon: Here's to you!:beer1: Salute, albeit w/ my left hand! :welcome1:
     
  8. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    nothing like Pittsburghers cheering each other on...:smile:
     
  9. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    I think the ratio of parents to current MIDN/candidates responding to this topic is interesting.
     
  10. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    That's obvious. Wisdom and perspective are essential to interpreting adolescent responses like ...

    "I don't know."

    "Who cares!"

    "Why are you always talking to those other parents about this stuff?"

    "Cool clothes!"

    "The food in King Hall is sooooo good!"

    "We love showing off in those really cool parades!"

    "It's like being at the beach all the time."

    "I really like bobbed / buzzed haircuts. And they're free!"

    "I'm not good at getting up in the morning and they really help me out."

    "I loved the way they're allowed to fix up their rooms."

    :eek::screwy::screwy: :blowup:
     
  11. Daddy_12

    Daddy_12 Member

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    I think that I can answer this properly. I grew up playing army guy and always loved to grab a hockey stick and pretend it was a gun so I could shoot all of the Nazis in my back yard. But I eventually grew up and matured. As did my respect for the armed forces, I learned that my country has given me sooooo much, and I wanted to give back to it. I have always wanted to join the military, and my first thought was to enlist in the Marines and go to boot camp. But that quickly changed shortly after my Freshman year finished. I currently go to a private school that is not cheap. I realized that if I just joined the Marines out of high school, that I would be throwing all of that hard work I had to suffer through, and all of that money my parents worked so hard to make so I could go to this school. (I am not trying to put down anybody who joined the marines, I have the upmost respect for you and all that you do) That is where the service academies came into place for me. I could be a part of a family and serve my country at the same time. I would have a bright future a head of me as well. It would be a dream come true if I could attend this academy.





    Plus, you wouldn't have a hard time picking up the ladies in those uniforms
     
  12. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    My interpretation of the OP's question was why USNA, in particular.
    So far the responses have been about 'why my kid chose to go to a service academy/chose to serve' but for the most part, the responses could be about any SA.

    I can tell you why my kid wanted USMA over USNA, USAFA, USCGA and USMMA. I think that is what the OP wanted to know.
    Why USNA - specifically.
     
  13. givethemwings

    givethemwings Member

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    Thank you whistle pig :) and hurricane, most kids don't want to write more! They've finished their essays!!
     
  14. givethemwings

    givethemwings Member

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    My DS was all gung-ho USCGA and attended AIM instead of NASS ... Then he talked with some former Navy guys at a congressional office and admissions events, and then his BGO, and there was a shift. (It's always been all about water, however, which of course rules the other two SAs out!) Maybe because he struggled over and completed his Navy application before the Coast Guard's even came out? Maybe becase he decided he'd rather do the kind of service that the Navy asks? This I cannot answer for sure, but I do know that he is following his heart. It'll be USNA or NROTC or bust!
     
  15. pilot2b

    pilot2b Candidate Appointee

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    This is definitely applicable to me, since I received an appointment offer from USAFA, but chose NAPS instead (I'm sitting in Ripley Hall now). I chose USNA primarily because I hope to commission into the Marines. I decided I preferred their missions/culture over that of the Air Force. I also liked my options for service selection (be it Navy or Marine Corps) better than AF if I don't manage to get a pilot slot.
     
  16. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    p2b ... however you figured out the missions AND culture issues, VERY different things and both very distinctive for each of the SAs. Congratulations, as it can be very important, as you are learning. AF and NA are as different as can be. Same w/ West Point. Coast Guard is a different beast, imo. A fine place, not in the same game beyond some anecdotal stuff.

    But what you've figured out can be very challenging for HS students to grasp ... and there is often a reluctance and defensiveness among the institutions when the differences are brought into the light. It's always interesting to me how many posters note they have applied to multiple SAs. Imo, it begs for more research and self-analysis by the candidate.

    Viva la differance ... but work at discovering what this means.

    Thanks for sharing, p2b! Excellent insight! Good luck at NAPS. Imo, you chose well! Ooo RAH!
     
  17. navyasw02

    navyasw02 Member

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    My question was for service academies in general, not just USNA, but the USNA vs others is a good subtopic as well. I'm just a bit nostalgic considering my 10 year reunion is coming up soon and it is good to see that the reasons that I went to USNA are holding fast over other less important factors that could woo young kids to want to join.
     
  18. Melitzank

    Melitzank Member

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    All right, well, I`ll go through both why SA and serving and why USNA:

    When I was 8 my parents were watching the Today Show and they did a spot or Parris Island....I remember how they showed a clip of the recruits and it did NOT look easy, especially to a little kid. I thought it looked interesting, but didn`t really think about it much more than that. When I was 13, I read an article in the newspaper about some servicemen dying overseas. For some reason, all of the things I`d seen and heard in the past years--Veterans Day ceremonies, seeing men and women in uniform, seeing the story on becoming a Marine, it just clicked, and I said to myself, "Why can`t I do that? Why can`t I serve?" And the answer was that I could serve...and so I decided I would. To serve my country, like the usual generic response, but to me personally, it`s also mainly to give back to those who are serving/have served and to give back to those who`ve died serving.

    I originally wanted to be in the Navy, and I don`t really know why I changed my mind, but I decided that I wanted to be a Marine instead...seemed like the biggest challenge (of course, all branches are a challenge) and I guess I remembered that story about Parris Island and I liked what I saw about it. So then I heard about USNA, and decided that would be the perfect way to go--become an officer, lead, go to a good college, but I didn`t (and obviously, still don`t) want a normal college experience. I enjoy a challenge, and it seemed like the SA`s offered that more than the others. And since I want to become a Marine, that explains why USNA. Originally, I wanted to go there and become an officer for the Navy, but I feel the Corps is a better fit for me. Also, a somewhat irrelevant reason that doesn`t make me choose Annapolis over one of the other SA`s but is a additional benefit is that the Academy`s only about 4-5 hours away, compared to any of the other ones.

    Of course, having a "free" ride to college is a great additional benefit, but it`s just that--and additional benefit. The main reason why I choose USNA (if I can get in) is because I feel like that it`ll allow me to reach my potential the most, and it offers a big challenge, bigger than NROTC, OCS, or PLC.

    That`s my story, anyhow.

    I forgot to mention, I do understand where you`re coming from, navyasw02, about why....I think the majority want to go for "good" reasons, compared to the "bad" ones highlighted here. However, there`s this one guy I know in my grade who says he wants to apply, and honestly, he had higher level classes than I do (He takes gifted Math and science classes, special program at my school), but I know for a fact that he doesn`t actually want to serve per se....he just wants to go to USNA because it`s an excellent engineering school, which is a great additional reason for people interested, but I don`t think it`s a very good reason, that alone. I feel that that`s a "bad" reason for wanting to attend, when serving in the military is an obligation for him, whereas for me, that`s the whole point of applying and hopefully attending. *Shrug* But at least I`ll probably be the happier one there if we both attend, because I don`t know if just the fact he`s going there to get a good degree in engineering will keep him motivated for 4 years.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  19. Beaz

    Beaz Member

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    For my son it was STEM

    I have asked myself the same question...and this is what I think...My Son has attended the Naval Acadmey STEM Program for the last 4 summers. They invite him to a few football games...he goes.

    Now...does he go to the USNA or the USMMA? It may depend on who lets him play ball.
     

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