In the Army, a lot of it depends on what type of unit you are in; for the most part, I can only speak from my experience as an Infantry Officer (and as an 06 grad and I know things have changed so I might be a bit dated). I will limit the discussion to schools that were open to cadets when I was there (hence, no Ranger School, Pathfinder, etc). Getting Airborne, regardless of branch, is not that difficult (and is mandatory for Infantry Officers). Air Assault is more difficult to get unless you're with the 25th ID, 101st, or 10th Mountain (and I think there might be one more Air Assault school out there, plus there is an Air Assault Battalion in Korea). Schools like Mountain Warfare and Northern Warfare are very difficult to get in the Army unless you have a reason to go, ie you're in the 10th Moutain. You will not get a chance to go to Special Operations Diver unless you are Special Forces or in Ranger Regiment. You will not go to Sapper School unless you are an Engineer or you have some outstanding unit that will allow you to go. The Sandhurst I spoke of was not the competition, rather it was the MIAD where USMA cadets travel to Sandhurts and take part in their culminating military excercise (everyone I know who did this said it was the best thing they did at USMA). Basically, USMA offers a lot of schools you wont be able to get in the Army, so unless you're deadset on Airborne (I was, unfourtunately), I would try to go to something that is unique and you wouldnt get the chance to otherwise. Too many cadets get caught up in the "flair" aspect of schools; wings, tabs, etc. What's on your uniform doesnt matter so much as what you know, so take advantage of the rare opportunities you can get there.