Will leadership in Civil Air Patrol be enough?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by xray328, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Sons academically solid and will be a dual varsity athlete, should make nationality honor society (volunteering with that) as well. Only concern we have is leadership. Because of the sports he can't do clubs at school. He's doing civil air patrol though. Will squadron and special activity leadership positions be enough to make up for it?
     
  2. E.Cadet.18

    E.Cadet.18 Member

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    When our son (USAFA Class of 2018) was in high school we wondered if school leadership would be enough. I thought (opposite of your situation) that he needed to be in Civil Air Patrol or Scouts to have a better shot at getting in USAFA. What we have learned is that "enough" is not where you aim. Always strive for more than enough, or maybe I should say, the best you possibly can; whether that be ACT/SAT scores, grades, volunteerism or leadership. One theme I have seen repeated over and over on the USAFA website, from ALO's and on this forum is that each student should seek opportunities in leadership and service that they enjoy an want to be involved in, not just what will beef up the resume for a SA. So since your son is in sports, can he try for team captain or co-captain? Our son was captain of his basketball team his senior year. There are also leadership positions in National Honor Society he could run for. Our son was also an officer in NHS. These leadership positions, along with those he held in his youth group at church, became a great learning process for him and also showed he had leadership experience when he applied to USAFA. So I would say, yes, seek leadership in CAP and school activities, even if they are not clubs. Sounds like you have a great son there! Keep up the good work.
     
  3. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I was a multi-sport athlete in school, NHS, a part-time job, and I was very active in CAP. It seemed to be "everything" that USAFA wanted.

    As an ALO, I would say based upon what you have said, he is doing fine. Leadership participation in NHS, on his team, etc., will also be a good thing but being a solid candidate is the key: grades, test scores, and that which you've described...he's doing well!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Just an added $0.024856. (Inflation). There's 2 variables that change each and every year that no one knows but is the determining factor.

    A) The rest of the individuals application. The academy looks at the whole person. Not just their gpa, act/sat, sports, etc. for one person, one leadership activity such as CAP could be enough because of the rest of their application. For another, it may not be enough.

    B) The competition. This is something that no one here knows. The applications of all the others competing for an appointment. Maybe the overall application of your son is better than the others even with just CAP for leadership. Maybe it's not.

    Remember, especially when talking about the competition, about half of the appointments are from MOC slates. In other words, you're competing against only 9 others from your state or district. This is federal law. All states and citizens pay taxes and fund the academies, and therefor each state representative and senator is allowed up to 5 cadets at the academy at one time representing their state and/district. The remaining half of appointments are basically the academy's choice. Minus a few for other mandated slots such as military related like presidential appointments.

    Anyway, it's quite possible and common for an individual on a representative or senators list to be seen as the best on that list, and they receive an appointment. However, there could be another individual from another state who had a better application and they didn't receive an appointment because on their state or district there were better applicants. Example: an applicant with a 3.75 gpa, 28 act, played 1 varsity sport, etc. receives an appointment; while in another state, an applicant with a 3.9 gpa, 31 act, played 2 varsity sports, etc. didn't receive an appointment.

    To some, this may not seem fair. But overall, it is fair. Each state has an equal representation. Plus, the academy gets to choose the other half of the class.
     
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  5. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Consider leadership in all aspects of his life: school, sports, volunteering, work, CAP, etc. All present opportunities for people to step up as leaders.
     
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    There are so many variables, as ChristCorp and others have pointed out.

    with summer upon us, is there a reason son can't get a p.t. job? a 40 hour a week volunteer position? There are so many "wasted" hours for kids in the summer.

    I was mean, but my kids got up at 5:30 every day, summer included, and went full tilt till they fell into bed.
     
  7. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I don't buy this. Plenty of the other applicants will find a way to do both. Put in the extra effort to make it work and you'll have some idea of how to be successful at USAFA.

    Stealth_81
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Totally agree, Stealth. If your child was a DivI athlete I would say, ok, he can squeeze in only one club (which he does not neglect).

    FIND the time. Remove video games. Skip the sleeping in (except on a vacation, which lasts a week, not a summer). Lose the cell phone.

    The time is there for all kids and learning time management skills will be one of the best lessons they can absorb.
     
  9. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    lI guess you'd have to be in our shoes to understand.

    Fall soccer practice is 3-5, every day on non game days otherwise he's at the games. Same time all the clubs meet.
    Spring track practice is again 3-5:30 every day unless theres a track meet. Same time all the clubs meet.

    In the winter/spring (starts as soon as school soccer is over) he has club soccer from 6-7:30 Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sundays from 1-4. In the spring I'd pick him up from track where he's just run 5 miles, he'd slam dinner in the car, and then head to soccer where he'd get hit hard physically again.

    He helps coach a recreational team both fall and spring (getting some volunteer hours from that) twice a week, last year that was on Mondays and Wednesdays 5:30-7. He's was the assistant coach, so the head coach would cover until he got there.

    Civil Air Patrol is Thursdays 6:30-9. He'd leave club soccer early and get to that a little late.

    He also squeezes in time at the gym whenever he can.

    During fall and spring he also referees games in both the rec and travel games for soccer as well (so I guess that counts as a part time job)

    He's taking all honors classes as well (mega homework) while maintaing a 4.71 GPA, 2/653 in his class, 27 ACT as a freshman, 30 in math.

    He's also attending summer camps (engineering/leadership/Civil Air Patrol encampments).
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Here is my 0.02368 cents (inflation according to Mike)

    Am I reading this correctly?
    If he is only a rising sophomore currently, than I believe you are totally jumping the shark here with the aspect of leadership, especially from a sports perspective.
    ~ I don't know many HS sports that give Captain to a sophomore, heck even juniors typically will not be a Captain.

    As far as the mega homework aspect, please take this with kindness, but every candidate can say the exact same thing. Our cousin is a BGO in a competitive state for USNA (ALO equivalent). He has to tell candidates that they are basically on par with ALL of his candidates. They all have APs and Honors up to their wazoo, and superscore ACTs of 34+ and top 5% of their graduating class while juggling sports and ECs.
    ~ My point is you are preaching to the choir regarding the homework aspect. Everyone that is competitive will have mega homework.

    His academic resume looks strong, but as you navigate the process, you will start to also understand that they will look at his school profile. 4.71 sounds great, but since they do not use a 5.0 or 6.0 scale, that number is deceiving. How many go to Ivy? How many of his peers are in APs, right now, and not the Honors.
    ~ There are over 2K HSs in the nation, and they will have to balance the playing field. School profile is one part of how they can do that.

    If I am correct and he is only rising sophomore, than he will also be more competitive when it comes to his ACT as a spring semester junior.
    ~ 30 M, but 27 Comp is a red flag for me. It means 24 E. I would work on that aspect from an academic aspect.
    ~~ I am sure it will increase with time, but it is saying from an education perspective this is his weakness.

    If he is a rising junior, here is my advice
    1. Take the PSAT
    ~ Only juniors can use their PSAT score for National Semi Merit/Merit Finalist. Get that and he can place it on as an award.
    ~~ Plan B college with ROTC scholarship should always be in place. Colleges love NMSF/NMF applicants. They tend to offer nice merit packages to those applicants.
    2. When SLS opens up in Dec. have him apply.
    ~ It will not guarantee him an appointment. However, it will give him a glimpse of the easy AFA life.

    Best wishes.
     
  11. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    No judgment here.

    Everyone has exactly 24 hours in an day and can freely choose how to use them.
     
  12. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Yes, he's a sophomore in the fall and will be playing Varsity Soccer this fall.

    He's the captain on his club team, which is of course easier since all the boys are the same age. His coach did call him a natural leader though, which was nice to hear.

    I'm not in anyway saying his homework load is any worse than any other kid in his situation, just that it's one more reason he's too busy for an after school club.

    The 4.71 is out of 4 and as I understand it they don't even consider weighted classes for gpa in the application process, although as a freshman he took every available honors class and still maintained straight A's. In his school most of the AP classes start your junior year. He's taking the most challenging courses available to him, including doubling up in math next year with Honors Pre-Calc at school and Stats at the local college (for school credit), he's the only sophomore ever being allowed to do so.

    Yes, his ACT score is low but I think pretty darn good for being 14 at the time (15 now). He still has a lot of time to bring it up though. He took the test with zero prep/studying. We picked up a few books since then and he will be much better prepared next time around.

    His PSAT score as a freshman this year (we got special permission to take it) was a 196. 80 Math, and 58 on the others.

    My point in my post was just to explain that he's too busy for the after school clubs and is seeking out the leadership positions through Civil Air Patrol instead since it's later in the evening and after sports are over.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Okay,

    One by one.

    1. He is a Captain of his club team. Is that not a leadership position ?
    2. I was only saying every candidate can say the same thing about homework and being too busy. Sorry, but you are preaching to the choir. They are all too busy. FWIW, many also hold part time jobs. My point is that the reason you state is probably not going to fly when many other candidates, due to financial reasons hold a job, play on sports, and carry the same gpa.
    3. The cgpa is 4.0 scale. 4.71 means you are using weighted. It is impossible to have a 4.71 out of 4.0 for a unweighted scale.
    ~~This is where school profile becomes a factor. You can have a 4.0 out of 4.0, but if all the classes are Art, Gym, Teen Living, it will be seen differently than a 3.43 and the only standard class is an elective.

    4. Please re-read my post regarding his ACT. I thought 30 M was very strong as a freshmen. I only felt that his E was much lower, and he should pay attention to that portion.
    5. Please note for NMF/NMSF only their scores as a junior will be taken into account.
    ~ He did very well as a freshman.

    I get your point, and my point was he is 15. You probably do not want to read this, but emotionally and mentally you will be burnt out before he even submits his PCQ 2 years from now. The appointment process, along with filling out college applications is grueling. It is the emotional roller coaster ride that nobody ever wants to get on again after 1 year, let alone prepare for it for 3 years.

    He is on the right path. Have him talk to his GC.

    Meanwhile, as a parent, if you know any medical conditions, work on that aspect.

    I really wish you the best, but he is only 15. Embrace these moments, don't wish your life away. If at 17, he still wants it, GREAT!
    ~ My biggest regret with my eldest child (AF O2 pilot), I spent 9 months absorbed in the next step (USAFA/College) when he was a rising junior. I didn't spend time embracing the laughter he created in the home. I can't get back those memories and in the end, nothing I worried about made a crap of difference, because he already knew what he had to do!
    ~~ Just my opinion.

    OBTW, yes, I did learn. #2 and 3 that went through college applications. I turned to them as HS students and said, I won't be attending college with you. You need to step up to the plate now.

    Just me.

    I really wish you the best. I hope his dreams come true. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting him in the decision to defend this great nation.

    ABOVE ALL...AIM HIGH!
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    xray,

    Here is my 2nd piece of advice. Investigate the appointment process.

    The fact is to get an appointment you need a nomination. Please research the nomination forums. I am not saying post a chance for your state, but read the threads for that state.

    He may be a superstar for your state. He may be on par for your state.
     
  15. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Thanks Pima. I genuinely appreciate the advice. Kid just won't stop, I honestly haven't pushed him into any of this except Civil Air Patrol, and that's only because I was in it as a kid and I definitely think it gives him a taste of military life while opening amazing opportunities, including those in leadership.

    I actually tried to get him to stop travel soccer and he refuses. Personally I think it's taking up way too much of time, but he's just a driven kid.

    Same with taking every available honors class, he wouldn't accept anything less. For instance, I don't see a need to take Honors Spanish III next year, but he wants the most challenging classes possible. It's like he feels that has something to prove.

    He's been this way since he was very young, whatever he did, he always wanted to be the best at it.

    And even with the USAFA, I think he sees it as the ultimate challenge. I don't think that's his main motivation in attending, but I know that certainly plays a part.

    I spoke briefly to our ALO off the record and he said he's never had the nomination process interfere.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It appears he has a great cranium on his shoulders. He will be fine.
    ~ A favorite quote of mine from a movie
    ~~Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end.

    I am a little confused with your ALO comment. I don't know any ALO that interfered with the nomination process. My point was the nomination process is part of the appointment process. He can be a superstar in his school, district, but no MOC nomination equates to no appointment.
    ~ ALO rec. is part of the WCS. 2 different things. You are confusing ALO rec. with MOC nomination.
    ~~ If that is response to my post about him as a BGO, you misread it. The point was, you and everyone else are superstars. Welcome to this world! Now tell me what separates you from them?

    In his (cousin) harsh terms, what makes you the special snowflake? All of you are at the very least top 5/10%. You all have honors/AP/IBs. All of you are in athletics, and many are also Eagle Scout. NHS President. PT jobs. Hundreds of volunteer hours.

    It is called WCS for a reason. Have you stopped and looked at the incoming class?
    ~ I truly believe he is strong right now, but nobody is psychic and can see his future.

    I am going to be a Mom right now and disagree with one part of your post
    Maybe he will love it, maybe he won't. However, you state he has no time on his hand and that appears you are forcing more time away from home, because in some way you think it shows him something about military life.
    ~ That is like saying JROTC is going to help for ROTC scholarship or USAFA. Or the SAs are showing him the AD lifestyle.
    ~~ You don't see ADAF doing mandatory PT everyday. You don't see USAFA pilots getting fighters at a higher rate than any other commissioning source. You don't see ADAF having Generals only from USAFA. What you do see is success based on the person, regardless if their background.

    I really am not trying to be harsh. I am just trying to highlight that HS to college is different. The slate is wiped clean. Just like it is after you commission.


    OFF TOPIC
    Just me, but I think we place such a weight on our kids to be competitive for acceptance that our children are no longer kids. They work more hours everyday than their parents. Being a kid no longer exists starting at the age of 12. It is all about, getting into a top notch college. Hanging out with friends at the pool is no longer an option, they must be volunteering somewhere, if not volunteering they better be in a sport summer camp. Playing FB because it was fun, is now a yearly program. Studying for SATs are no longer just your junior/senior year, it is starting in the end of your 8th grade.

    I don't get it. I expect that the next generation will either resent us, or start forcing our grandchildren to start this as 6 year olds.

    JMPO.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
  17. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Hey, I get the "what makes you special" deal. Stanford said they could fill their entire incoming class with Valedictorians, for them they're a dime a dozen. And you're so right, it's all about "what else have you done?"

    In regards to the ALO part I think maybe you read that wrong. What I meant was that he said securing the nomination was going to be the least of our concern. He's never had a kid that wanted to go to the academy not go strictly because he couldn't get nominated.

    In regards to CAP, the only thing he's said is that he wished he'd of gotten involved in it sooner so he'd of had the chance to obtain the Spaatz award (C/COL) which has a time requirement of 38 months (again, him overachieving). His sisters also joined up, as have I. His sister (12) was begging me to get her involved last fall (absolutely loves aviation), I only waited until school was over so we could all get involved together. Looks like I'll be assisting the Deputy Commander of Cadets.

    Actually what I said is that he has no time to be able to participate in after school clubs. I just saw CAP as an avenue for leadership experience he might not otherwise be getting since he's not able to participate in those after school clubs.
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    ~ Flame on this, but YOU saw CAP...

    It is not all about being the Class President, NHS President, or Booster Club.
    ~ It is a little disconcerting to me that you think it is just pay the time and you will be placed in a leadership position.

    Please don't flame me, but I have to ask what exactly you desire right now?

    He is a rising sophomore in HS. SOPHOMORE. SLS should be your immediate goal impo.

    He is very competitive from an academic/sports perspective.

    I have said apply for SLS. Take the PSAT as a junior.

    3 years in CAP and HS sports he should have some leadership under his belt as a rising senior will be competitive

    What exactly is your fear come the class of 2022 applicants?

    I am not just following. I would feel confident right now. You are sooooo in front of the 8 ball it is insane. Probably one of the first posters for that year group to find this site.

    Again, not trying to antagonize, just trying to grasp where you are coming from right now. In CAP, plays sports, 2 out of 653 as a freshman, Captain of Soccer Club, etc. FRESHMAN.

    Many candidates would wish to be in your kids shoes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
  19. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Well, yeah, I saw it because I was involved in it myself. Isn't that a parents job? If I know of an opportunity that could better his chances why in the world wouldn't I suggest it to him? He decided he wanted to go to the academy long before I suggested CAP.

    Mom and I are both prior enlisted so having lived the life that he's about to (military service), we're trying to prepare him as much as we possibly can for a decision he's made.

    CAP is an incredible program btw, just take a look a the national activities alone that are available to them as members:

    http://www.ncsas.com/

    My original question was, would the leadership opportunities he could get in CAP fulfill the leadership that the selection board wants to see because, due to sports, he can't participate in after school clubs? That questions been answered.

    Thanks :)
     
  20. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    To our OP, if your child wants to be in a club but most school clubs conflict with his sports schedules, surely, somewhere nearby, there are innumerable clubs your child can join (numismatics, political, social welfare, religious, art, local orchestra, literacy program, etc.). If he can't find one that fits his schedule in which he is interested, how about this: he can start one himself! Now, leadership is a giant check-off on your list.

    I might suggest too that son forgo the extra gym time you mentioned in favor of a club or PT job. Sounds like he gets plenty of running around exercise.
     

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