Guys, i would like to address the issues. Bugsy, I wish I could switch places with you but I guess this is our kids' destiny. First of. I already have an older son at USAFA Class of 2011 so I am looking forward to graduation on May 25. Ever since DS #1 entered USAFA in 2007, DS #2 always looked up to him and worked his butt of to make sure that he has a strong application just like his older brother. He also made a lot of cadet friends over at USAFA when we visited during Parent's Weekend. However, during that whole time in High School, he started reading about USMMA and was quite fascinated with it. He mentioned about the flexibility upon graduation to choose whatever branch of Service to join if you choose to do so as an officer of the Armed Forces. If not, you always have that 3rd mate or Engineer's license to get you a job as a ship's officer or Engineer and then of course, the chance to see the world at a very young age during "sea year". Thus, despite all the convincing his brother did to go USAFA, he was focused on USMMA. Anyway, good luck with your son Bugs.
Hopeful, in response to your question, the same exact thing happened to my older son. He was on waiting list with USCGA which was his first choice and was actually offered prep school at the end. But just like his brother, he was also fortunate enough to get into USAFA. With that said, I truly believe that it is a numbers game. With both USCGA and USMMA, their annual appointments are only in the 300 level. In fact this year, it is lower (275 for USMMA). Thus, stiffer competition. My analogy is that DS #2 is probably in the top 350 candidates which is not good enough to make the top 275. However, with USAFA, he could be in the top 900 which is good enough to make the cut. That is my personal opinion.
Thus, for future qualified applicants, my suggestion is that if at all possible, apply to ALL Academies, assuming you get all the nominations of course. That would improve your chances greatly.
By the way, although it may have sound so easy, it wasn't. despite DS #2's effort, he did not make it the first time he applied so he was very disappointed. He did not even receive a prep school offer. So this is when we decided that he attend NWP which was an hour's drive from our place. Of course, he attended as a free agent. But this is another story.