Would you do it again?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Rdelahunr, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. Rdelahunr

    Rdelahunr Member

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    Every time I've talked with a past academy grad, the question that most interests me is whether or not they would do it again. I'm calling on those of you who have graduated any service academy, ROTC included, to let me know if you would attend an academy again and if it was worth it. Every opinion, good and bad, is of value to me. Shoot away!
     
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    3.5 years out, YES.

    I got a lot of cool opportunities, met great people, got the chance to become a helicopter pilot, and get paid pretty well to do it.

    Every choice has opportunity costs. My life isn't all rainbows and unicorns, but I wouldn't go back and change any of my major choices.
     
  3. HeWantsTheBFE

    HeWantsTheBFE USAFA Class of 2017

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    As a Doolie in 40 days, I can say that it can suck sometimes. But taking a look at what grads and upperclassmen get to do, I can say that it certainly LOOKS like it is worth it.

    That being said, USAFA isn't something you can really do half-heartedly or hesitantly. You give it your all, or you leave, one way or another. THAT'S the hard part.
     
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I would absolutely would do it all over again. I have no regret for any of the decisions I made. I have seen the good and bad of war, lead Marines in battle and made the best friends anyone could have. USNA was tough and by no means easy for me. I had a blast though. Everything is about what you make of it. A SA, like anything in life, is what you make of it. Make it what you want to be.
     
  5. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    30 years out...an Academic Probation "star" who had a very rough time at USAFA after having been in the top 10 of my HS class...etc...etc...etc...

    IN A HEARTBEAT!!

    There's not enough room here for me to list all the reasons; suffice it to say, my classmates, the experiences, after graduation, the people I worked with, the planes I flew, the amazing young men and women I worked with, the locations I visited, the other nations I flew with, the amazing young men and women I worked with, meeting amazing leaders/mentors that taught me so much that aided me in my AF career and beyond...

    Did I mention the amazing young men and women I worked with?

    It's a family and a life experience that is unique.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  6. Rdelahunr

    Rdelahunr Member

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    It is nice to know that even academic probation did not deter you from loving the experience. I will admit that few to no people on this forum disliked their experience. If you hated it, you probably wouldn't be giving us all advice!
     
  7. HeWantsTheBFE

    HeWantsTheBFE USAFA Class of 2017

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    Probation still sucks. Don't ever settle for probation. It's not good. At all.
     
  8. batmom

    batmom Member

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    Thank you Steve for your words of wisdom

    Thank you- Steve for your words of wisdom. I always enjoy reading what you share on this forum, because you are a voice of encouragement and years of experience! I am grateful to have a C3C who would share your same words although he doesn't yet have the years of experience. He loves being a cadet and has made the most AMAZING friends. I am thankful to the Lord daily for allowing my son to follow his dream by attending USAFA. Thank you Steve for your continued service to our nation and to our cadets!
     
  9. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Oh how VERY true!!!

    Okay...to destroy the Flieger83 image...

    I was a 4.0 unweighted, 3 sport letterman, CAP Colonel, etc...etc...etc...

    In high school. Cruised...but no USAFA. Had to go to prep school...which is FINE; great experience, helped me achieve my goal! Nothing but awesome things to say about Northwestern Prep!

    USAFA...I'm GOOD...went to Air Academy High School...know this place COLD...

    End of doolie year I'm sitting at the end of a long table, with Lt Col's and Col's facing me, preparing to toss old Steve right out of USAFA for that "F" in Calc 3!

    LOOONG story short; a ridiculous amount of extra instruction (EI) saved me. But for the next 3 years...the Dean and I had a contentious relationship...all my classes were AWESOME but the math...kept me on the AcPro list...for 5 grading cycles; yes, Flieger83 was an "AcPro Ace."

    NOT something I'm terribly proud of BUT...it taught me the value of persistence and perseverance and never ever being afraid to ask for help! Something that's paid dividends since!!

    Bottom line...I graduated! And from that point on...a fabulous career, two masters degrees, I'm doing my PhD right now...academics SINCE USAFA have been a breeze...learned how to to it RIGHT at USAFA!

    So...while it was a real pain...the lessons I learned...have been an amazing benefit since!

    Nope...wouldn't change a thing!!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Thanks for the inspirational post! :thumb:
     
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Fleiger, your story sounds like mine. I sat in front of the board my first semester Plebe Year. Man, that was scary! Luckily I was retained. So for those who are struggling, you can make it through! I was never academically unsat again, but academics were never a cake walk for me at USNA. I even made the Dant's list a few semesters. As an athlete I really had to learn time management for studying, practice, games, and sleep. The ability to focus on the activity at the time and manage my time are things that helped me do well as a Marine and today as a civilian. I think the single best thing from my time at USNA is by the far the friends. Now that we are grown and live all the world, we can go years without seeing one another, yet it likes a day never passed when we get back together. We have stood at each other's weddings, funerals, baptisms for their children and many other significant life events.
     
  12. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    After being member here for the last few years. You all make me proud to be an American. Reading here, what I have read. You all have dedicated your lives for the greater good, a bigger purpose. I could never serve our country, I was born with cerebral palsy. I can support those, who choose to keep this great country in the world free.

    Thanks to each and everyone of you,

    God Bless and God Speed to you and your families,

    RGK
     
  13. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    I join the other posters in that I would do it all again in a heartbeat but that is from the standpoint of 45 years. After 2 years of college I went to Navy and, like Flieger, battled the academic monster all 4 years. What surprises me even today is that what I took away from the Academy was not academics, sports, travel, etc. but Plebe Year. To this day my work ethic, how I judge other men, my sense of honor, my sense of loyalty, what I look for in leadership, was all formed (i.e. pounded into me) during a very hard and physical Plebe Year. Maybe I was really a project for the upperclassmen, but years later as I sat in big shot corporate conferences listening to the "smartest guys in the room" and their miserable leadership, all I could think was "Bozo, you would not have lasted 3 days in my Plebe Year company".

    Plebe Year also came out 24 months after graduation when, much to my amazement, I found myself off my destroyer and wading through mud with the brown water Navy in Vietnam. Now the virtues of being on time, prepared, and on target was no longer yelled at me and enforced by the spawn of the devil we considered the class of '65 & '66, but an actual life-saving pillar of truth. Things like truth in communications, loyalty to a shipmate, no excuses, and facing choices--all bad--were very real. I had run into it all before in the sweaty halls of Mother B and I was astonished to find others who did not operate that way.

    I cannot tell you a thing about differential equations, old football games, Mahan's impact on naval warfare, or even the names of the streets outside the wall in Annapolis, but I remember everything about Plebe Year. And, by the way, I hated it and would not have traded it for the world.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  14. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    VERY well said! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  15. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Graduated back in 1994.

    Yes, I will do it again, similar to all the reasons mentioned already.

    Also, I want my children to attend a SA, if they want to.
     
  16. Buff-IP

    Buff-IP USAFA '88 Pilot

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    It sucked for 4 years, the Dean and I never saw eye to eye.

    But I would not be where I am nor have had the experiences I have had if it wasn't for my Zoo experience.

    I wish I knew then what I know now, I could have had a much better experience in Fairchild Hall.

    It isn't for everyone, but apparently it was for me.

    '88
    24 years AF flying.
     
  17. Blue&SilverBear

    Blue&SilverBear USAFA Alumnus

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    I got to do some amazing things at USAFA... I traveled to 11 countries, spent a semester on exchange, double majored, and always put going to basketball games as my first priority.

    It wasn't easy. I always tell people that I didn't have fun at USAFA... I did fun things, but I didn't have fun in college.

    I ended up not being pilot qualified by the time graduation rolled around, and I'm not thrilled with my USAF job. I'm proud of what I accomplished at USAFA and on active duty so far but I don't see myself doing 20 years.

    That said, I would do it again. I would definitely make a few different choices along the way (my AFSC included), but USAFA was an incredible experience and I'm proud to be a Zoomie and an Air Force officer.
     
  18. lillian

    lillian Candidate

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    What is your AFSC and what would you choose if you could do it again?
    And. What do you dislike about your current job?
     
  19. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I think it's fair to say, that there are some alumni of the academies that if they had it to do all over again, might choose differently. However, the question is being asked in a forum that is visited by 1) Those wanting to attend the academy; 2) Current cadets who care enough about the academy that they want to help others interested in applying; 3) Alumni who obviously have a passion for the military and probably the academy or they wouldn't be on the forum. And others. Point is, while I believe there are definitely those who would choose differently if they had it to do over, and possibly even regret their choice to attend the academy; I doubt very much you'll find them posting on an academy forum.

    I actually think the question being asked is a very important question. I'd love for all applicants to be able to ask this question to many academy graduates. I just don't think a popular, pro-academy forum, is going to provide any valid feedback from the "Negative Side". Again, I think this is a great question. One that should definitely be asked by someone interested in attending the academies. Just not sure you'll get an accurate answer here. I'm pretty sure it will be somewhere in the 98.984832 - 99.9993289% positive.
     
  20. Rdelahunr

    Rdelahunr Member

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    I've talked to maybe four other graduates not on this forum, and every single one said they'd do it again. One commented that knowing how much work it was he wouldn't do the work again, but he's glad he went through in the first place.
     

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