Advice for a parent

cb7893

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I saw this and I thought it applied to my son:

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/kim-j.pdf

Ever since seeing Star Wars Episode II, my son’s dream has been to be an astronaut after finishing medical school and doing a Neurosurgery Fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. I hear that’s the best. His ultimate goal is to be a flight surgeon on a manned Mars mission, but only after serving his country as a Navy SEAL.

After reading this guy's resume I have a couple of questions:
  • Is being a SEAL really the best? My neighbor, Larry, says that when push comes to shove a Green Beret can kick a SEAL’s butt from here to Syria and be back by tomorrow for dinner.
  • Does he HAVE to be a SEAL before USNA or can he do it after. We live just outside of Baltimore and I think his separation anxiety will subside by the time he's 21.
  • He’s going into 9th grade and has to decide on a foreign language. Would it be better to learn Pashto for when he’s a SEAL or Japanese to better communicate with his Kenjutsu instructor. I told him I thought the knife work in martial arts would be more beneficial for him as a SEAL.
  • He’s been doing martial arts since he was 4, but he’s never done a team sport. What would be a good one to do? I was thinking baseball since he’s really good with a sword and golf isn’t a team sport.
Thanks. All comments and help are welcome.
 
I think we should send Jonny Kim to Pyongyang to beat up Kim Jong Un while he is entertaining Dennis Rodman.

Also, I think Jonny's Asian parents are likely disappointed in that he didn't become a CPA.

(full disclosure: I am an Asian parent)
 
Looking at the resumes of those selected for NASA this year, it seems that the level of education and the degrees they have played the biggest role in their selection. Not to say that being a SEAL would not look good on the application, it's just my gut feeling that it would not be a deciding factor. For a rising 9th grader your son has some very detailed goals.....good for him.
 
  • Is being a SEAL really the best? My neighbor, Larry, says that when push comes to shove a Green Beret can kick a SEAL’s butt from here to Syria and be back by tomorrow for dinner.
  • Does he HAVE to be a SEAL before USNA or can he do it after. We live just outside of Baltimore and I think his separation anxiety will subside by the time he's 21.
  • He’s going into 9th grade and has to decide on a foreign language. Would it be better to learn Pashto for when he’s a SEAL or Japanese to better communicate with his Kenjutsu instructor. I told him I thought the knife work in martial arts would be more beneficial for him as a SEAL.

1) SEALS and Green Berets are really two different missions. My understanding of Green Berets are they focus on the training of indigenous forces. SEALS are direct action, small unit fighters. You can talk about which is tougher until you are blue in the face. I suspect that your neighbor is neither.

2) Best route would be going SEAL out of USNA rather than enlisting and trying to get into USNA as a SEAL. Going to USNA after enlisting as a SEAL may be impossible due to age constraints , ie. there is a max age for enrollment at USNA. Enlisting at 18, and going into SEAL training would eat up most of that time.

WOW - impressive resume for this astronaut ? Is that for real ?
 
To answer your questions,
  • No, being a superhero is the best, but you failed to mention if your son has any superpowers
  • I suggest checking with USNA to see if he can be a SEAL in his spare time and while you're at it, see if they'd make an accommodation for his separation anxiety so he could live at home
  • Galactic Basic would be more relevant when he applies to become an astronaut
  • Does your son play video games? Maybe multi-player games would count as a team sport?
Also, be sure to have some good personal interests to list on the application, like solving world hunger, negotiating peace in the middle east, reversing global warming...that sort of thing.
 
He should join one of the high school athletic teams...since he's identified SEALs as a potential career path, he might as well go out for crosscountry and the swim team. Even if he doesn't go the special forces route, both of those will help at the academy and overall fitness. (Tryout for baseball, by all means, if that is an interest.) As for SEALs vs. Green Beret, I would just offer that the Green Berets aren't even the most elite fighting force in the Army.
 
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