Youngster cynicism

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Born Free, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Born Free

    Born Free New Member

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    I am currently a youngster at USNA and I am considering leaving the academy. I am totally committed to serving my country in some way, but I am not sure that the academy is right for me. I joined with idealistic expectations of leading people into combat, and the daily academic grind has been a disappointment, as well as the realization that much of an officer's job is administrative. I lost the sense of purpose that I once felt when it became clear that the academy is a college more than a military environment. Staying at the academy is still a possibility, but I am also considering enlisting in the Marines or shifting my focus away from the military and towards a career in law enforcement, such as the FBI. Although I believe the program of USNA is disappointing, I have great relationships with my companymates that I don't want to leave behind. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    2 thoughts I heard one Mid pass along to another who was espousing your points, some word for word. She told him these ...

    1. Quit being a baby. (THAT's the best kind of 'quitter.')

    2. Grow up.

    Turns out, she was right. And he listened.

    Now, who knows if those might be applicable. If so, no charge. If not, you might want to reconsider.

    Not meaning to be "mean" or insensitive, but your stuff sounds like the classic "yes, but ... " we've all tried and too often gotten away with. Just my opinion and advice.

    Have you seen the Geico commercial featuring "mamby pamby?" The reason it worked is because the Sarge was a tough-loving counselor. Guard against patronizing and pandering. It's a killer when people succumb to it.

    Don't worry. You'll get some other viewpoints here, each worth precisely what you're paying. :wink: I think you might do well to put this aside for now, and get about your business. Ol' Lucipher's playing with you.

    P.S. You could well be writing the very same if you were a 2nd year student at Slippery Rock! Ever hear of the infamous "sophomore slump." Well, sit up straight and google it.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    i agree with WhistlePig. If you think you'll ever find a job as a leader that doesn't include vast amounts of admnistrative work then you are sorely mistaken. If you think you'll find an environment where you can get an education that is more of a military lifestyle, you already know you won't. If you think enlisting is an opportunity to shove a knife between your teeth and go after the enemy right after boot camp, again your mistaken. Stick it out for the rest of the year, at least, and in your case I would even say stick it out the four years, and THEN you can worry about getting into combat. I'm sure you'll mature over the four years. BTW - I'm sure once you are in combat you'll rather you weren't.
     
  4. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    While still a candidate and dreaming of attending the academy and graduating as an officer - just what was it you envisioned? Constant action and combat? Ask those who do that and see if they are enjoying it?

    Mostly, you're WAITING to lead into combat. And then you want to be ready. That's the nature of serving in the military.

    The cynicism you're feeling is typical. Midshipmen can be a cynical lot. But don't allow all the ***** sessions to become part of who you are. It should mostly be therapeutic.

    I'm going to take a guess - if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. You're struggling with academics.
     
  5. Rage_14

    Rage_14 Member

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    I'm currently a junior at USAFA, and have many classmates who were in the same place last year that you're currently in. The summer after our 3 degree year, one of our summer programs is Ops Air Force. It gives us the chance to see the real, operational Air Force. I know the grind gets bad, but don't let it get you down. The real thing is infinitely better than what you're dealing with right now. All of those friends who were having second thoughts are committed to the Air Force now. Some days you just have to put your head down and drive forward. Best of luck...
     
  6. AJM7680

    AJM7680 Banned

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    A lot of parents and their offspring use the same user name on this forum. "Youngster" is the term used to identify second year (sophmore) Midshipmen at USNA.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2012
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Let me start with something my late father once told me:

    "Wherever you are is the worst. Wherever you're going is the best. And wherever you left isn't as bad as you thought it was when you were there."

    It tends to be true more often than not.:smile:

    The OP mentioned a possible career in law enforcement -- FBI, police, etc. First, in order to be an FBI agent, you must be a college graduate. Many special agents also have law degrees. And most of their work is administrative. Most never, ever fire their guns other than to qualify on the range.

    I've worked with police officers (an internship years ago). Most of what they do is write up reports. They testify in court about traffic offenses. They try to settle domestic disputes. More senior officers (i.e., detective) investigate crimes. Now THAT is paperwork. Again, most police officers never fire their weapons in anger. So, before you leap into another area, be sure to check it out.

    Now, as to USNA and cynicism. In my day (and I assume it's still the case today), there is a lot of cynicism the last 3 yrs. IOW, it won't go away just b/c you sign the 2 for 7 papers. HOWEVER . . .

    USNA is not the fleet. I can tell you that some of the most cynical people in my company are STILL IN THE NAVY or USMC -- 27 yrs later! And, conversely, some of the "true believers" were gone in 5 yrs. Now, I'm not saying that's universally true about cynics.:smile: The point is that USNA is not representative of what you'll do in the fleet/USMC and, once you get there, you may find you love it.

    Even if you hate it . . . it's ONLY 5 years. That may seem like forever as you sit here today (age 19/20). Trust me, it's no time at all. And what you learn and do in that 5 yrs, regardless of your service selection, will stand you in great stead for the rest of your life.

    Finally, as a general rule (there are exceptions), those with college degrees from wherever end up in some sort of managerial/white collar position. Most of those positions require a fair bit of paperwork and administration. You can be the person being managed/led -- nothing wrong with that. But if you have the skills to be the leader, you will likely chafe as the one being managed/led. Not to mention that, again as a general rule, you will make less money.

    There are very, very few jobs in life where it's 100% excitement and action all day long. Actually, I can't think of any.:smile:

    Once you leave USNA, you can't go back. You've burned the bridge. Make sure that's what you want to do before you want to cross that bridge again.
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I hope SAF is not becoming a forum for cadets and midshipmen to turn to for pep talks and "tell me why I'm great".

    Your classmates are there for that. Your mentors are there for that. USNA has officers who are more than happy to talk to you about this.

    A random online forum is not where you should be going if you're serious. You "live and die" with your class. Bounce your ideas around with your friends.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Actually, I'd rather a mid/cadet ask the opinion of those who are older and -- presumably -- wiser than his/her peers.

    Granted there are others at the SAs who also fall into that category but I can understand why a cadet/mid might not want initially to talk to those folks.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I'm fairly confident that most of the people on here have SOME connection to service academy, however, we're teaching "kids" to consult the internet.

    Yes, I PROBABLY went to CGA and you PROBABLY went to USNA..... but without confirmation, I just recommend using due diligence.

    We're "wise" but we're also removed. I know my idea of how it was at CGA as a 4/c cadet is likely different now, over 10 years later, than it was then.
     
  11. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    A couple things to think about:
    -There are 50+ Marine Officers on the yard. Off the
    top of my head I can think of at least three or four Infantry Officers and one who has served extensively with Force Recon and more recently MARSOC. Seek them out and talk to them about the sorts of things they do. Though obviously they're not kicking in doors as Officers, they can probably provide insight into your situation.

    -The military, including the Marines, is both trying to wrap up operations inAfghanistan and downsize. Think about the likelihood of you making it to Afghanistan as an enlisted Marine, possible restrictions on available MOS choices, and life in the peacetime Marine Corps. You might have to seek out some of the older and crustier Majors for the last one.

    - To piggyback off of the last point, the economy sucks right now. The FBI and the Marine Corps can afford to be choosy. If you choose to leave USNA, be aware that the route back in to the service will be a lot harder as a civilian. Out of my TBS platoon, many of the OCS ascensions had to have rock star packages just to be selected and many are reservists: there just aren't many active duty spots floating around.

    If I can throw in a word of more personal advice...it gets better. I'm a nerd who loves school so we might be on different pages here, but I followed a rough 3/C year with a great 2/C year and absolutely loved firstie year. Get out there and try different things and ECAs, take responsibility for stuff in company, and just get invested in what's going on. The Academy won't lift a finger to make you happy, but you can make your life a whole lot more enjoyable if you choose.
     
  12. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    Reply

    Wow, never once did I see my job as "Administrative," sure we all have paperwork in every job we do in life no matter military or civilian, but your remark is way off base.
    And the daily "academic grind" is a disappointment; maybe college isn't your thing. But what would your alternatives be? Trade school, liberal arts degree? Would you feel fulfilled in life if you choose that track?
    As has been previously noted, you are suffering from the Sophomore slump (we all did) and need to think long and hard as to how your life would change if you do choose to leave USNA. Do not make rash decisions that you may regret in the future. We've all been there. :thumb:
     
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I hated my 3/c year. I opted to "dark side" that year, and my fellow 3/c girlfriend broke up with me. My grades took a hit. I got my first (but certainly not last) Class III offense (a "room in general"). We hated the 2/c. We weren't happy with the 1/c.... and then the summer came around, and we turned into 2/c and we had real responsibility....


    and it just got better and better and better.



    4/c year isn't fun. I was miserable. Yes, 3/c year is a change, but it's still not "fun" because people don't take you seriously.
     
  14. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Mine always said youngster year was the worst. A Plebe no more. But not a real Mid. No chopping. None caring .Not led. Not leading. More freedom. Not enough to go anywhere. Nor anyway to get there. More rope. Just enough to hang.

    Lost in Yard Space ... :spacecraft:
     
  15. cdb3

    cdb3 Member

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    Im very close to a 2011 grad and the other week he was telling me about his first two years compared to his second two years.

    He said how he absolutely hated his first two years but decided to stick with it. he ended up graduating with honors while playing a varsity sport.
    When he looks back on it he tells me that the first two years are meant to suck, but the suffering makes the second two years that much better.

    may or may not be like you just a thought
     

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