Wings of Blue questions

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by usafacademy4, May 9, 2012.

  1. usafacademy4

    usafacademy4 Member

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    Does anyone have experience or know someone with experience on the Wings of Blue parachuting team? I am very interested and motivated to try and make the Wings of Blue team when I get to the Academy. I was wondering if anyone can tell me what it takes to get on the team.
     
  2. cadet15

    cadet15 Member

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    First thing is you have to have AM 490 your summer before 3* year, which is basic parachute. Then there is a tryout either at the end of the summer or at the beginning of the school year. If you make it through that and are chosen, you spend a year on Wings of Green learning and jumping a lot. Wings of Blue is then junior and senior year. You can only apply sophomore year, so if you want it that bad, you have to get AM 490 during the summer. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Rage_14

    Rage_14 Member

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    You can also apply as a junior, but they rarely take any. I know a junior who is a WoG now.
     
  4. usafacademy4

    usafacademy4 Member

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    What is AM 490? Is that the summer program where you get your jump wings? And do you know how competitive it is to get a AM 490 slot?
     
  5. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    The "try out" at the end of the summer after Freshman year is a physical fitness test (including pull ups) and an interview, rather than a jump "try out." Cadets who have gotten in their 5 required jumps/earned Wings sign up for interviews. The fitness test is performed first -- those who pass the test then sit in the hangar to see if they will be called for an actual interview. My understanding, based on the experience of my daughter and several others, is cadets are pre-ranked for interview order -- based on their grades, class rank, upperclass perceptions of the cadet's military bearing (would they be a good representative of the Academy), etc. My daughter's year (summer 2010), something like 150 Cadets went to the interview. The interview order was posted 25 names at a time. Once the available number of slots on Wings of Green (something like 25 slots) were filled -- the rest of the cadets were released and were not interviewed. That year, the available slots were filled (if I recall correctly) from the first 75 interviews -- the rest of the cadets sat for the day but were never interviewed. It is definitely a very competitive selection process.
     
  6. usafacademy4

    usafacademy4 Member

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    Wow this is very informative! How many cadets get selected to at least do the jump program over the summer?
     
  7. falcongirl

    falcongirl USAFA grad

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    While the basic framework of the selection process remains the same year to year (essay, physical tests, possibly an interview), the details of tryouts for the C/O 2013 was an anomaly (because of a Jump accident earlier that summer that was still under investigation).

    Basically, if you earn your jump wings over the summer after freshman year, you can choose to show up for WoG tryouts, which are set during one of the first few days of August. If you choose to go, you get on an o'dark thirty bus to the airfield. Then the fun starts. For tryouts last year, we DEFINITELY did not sit in a hangar and wait for interviews. More like physical anihilation for an hour, THEN PT tests, then random *fun* activities like FOD walking the entire airfield, picking pebbles off the hangar floor, etc for the rest of the day while HOPING for an interview :rolleyes:

    A bunch of people withdrew their candidacy (quit) on the spot during the first PT session and were bussed back up to the cadet area. It was that rough. Everyone who completed tryouts were bussed back up around 5pm.

    You could definitely tell who had tried out for about the next week...
     
  8. usafacademy4

    usafacademy4 Member

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    Falcongirl, so you went through the tryouts last year?? How were they for you??
     
  9. falcongirl

    falcongirl USAFA grad

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    Yep, I went through tryouts. Finished the day, got an interview, but wasn't selected for the team. The truth is, most qualified people who tryout don't make the team simply because of statistics. The harder truth to accept is that while some rising sophomores make the team who had no PTWOB connections/friends, tryouts are a popularity contest. Wings of Blue even says at tryouts, "we can teach a monkey to skydive, so we select people who will fit the team". If you have PTWOB friends, you are much more likely to be selected, simple as that. If you want specifics on tryouts, feel free to pm me.

    On the brightside, if you aren't selected or don't get your jump wings and can't do tryouts, you can always jump with the civilian skydiving club. We go up to civilian dropzones almost every weekend and have a blast. I've done 65 jumps just since spring break. No prior experience necessary. The only downside is that it is pretty expensive.
     
  10. HeWantsTheBFE

    HeWantsTheBFE USAFA Class of 2017

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    Popularity contest? That stinks. Any chance you can PM me more details on Wings of Blue? Thanks!
     
  11. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    Look at this as a life lesson. People hire people that they like. It's been that way since the beginning of time. So be liked by those who have influence. That is different that being a kiss butt. But "networking" is a valuable skill set.
     
  12. HeWantsTheBFE

    HeWantsTheBFE USAFA Class of 2017

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    Not saying I can't do that, but politicking always gives me a headache. Though in this case, it can only be worth it.
     
  13. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    Don't look at it as politicking, and it shouldn't give you a headache. Like MN Dad said, it's all about networking and it's no different than how it will be for the rest of your life. Reach out to those on the team and get to know them a little bit. If you get along with the culture of the team, then you have no worries. Otherwise even if you're selected, it will cause many more headaches because you won't enjoy the team atmosphere.
     
  14. packermatt7

    packermatt7 USAFA Cadet

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    1. Work your *** off to get an AM-490 slot your first summer (it's not that difficult, but if you're on probation or something, you won't get it)
    2. Have a friendly, fun personality... you can't really control this, but they're looking for people who will work hard and be fun to work with. You can teach anyone how to skydive, so your skydiving ability doesn't matter.
    3. Network with current WoG/WoB upperclassmen. You won't be their friends (since you'll be a 4 degree), but talk to them about WoB, show that you're interested, and get to know them. They might be doing your interview.
    4. Don't suck at fitness... this goes for anything you do. Just don't suck.

    Some of my good friends are WoB members, and they absolutely love it.
     
  15. HeWantsTheBFE

    HeWantsTheBFE USAFA Class of 2017

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    Thanks for the tip! Sounds simple enough.

    Funny story, I had dinner with a USAF two-star working at the Pentagon... over his front door he had a nice hand-drawn picture of a WoB jump. Turns out he was on the team in his cadet days. He says it was one of the most awesome things he did there.
     

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