Ask a Doolie Anything

Airbud123

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
81
In high-school, what was your strongest and weakest area on your application. And what good traits should I start practicing as a high school student to increase my chances of receiving an appointment.
My strongest was playing sports (was not a recruited athlete) and being in a ton of clubs. Weakest was my sat scores. I feel that my best trait that has helped me was being friendly and being able to talk to people. If you can make friends easily and talk to people you will be fine!
 

Airbud123

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
81
That would shock me....curious to hear from other current cadets if that is actually a thing some squadrons do.

Very few (if any) upperclassman outside of training staff would be remotely ok with that...cadets value their sleep highly. Now if all of USAFA decided to have something mandatory super early, then sure - but sounds like that is not currently the case.
Different squads have to wake up different times. Usually never that early. At the earliest 6. My squad has minutes every day but others only have it 3x a week.
 

2026

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
84
Hello! My son just got his acceptance letter for USAFA and he is beyond thrilled!! He was asking (and for my own sake):
What are some main reasons that you hear of/have heard that people find the AFA is NOT a good fit and they separate?
Of course don't want to think negatively before he even starts, but we think its good to have a realistic view of some struggles that cadets have.
Thank you for whatever you can share!!
 

dah19

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
234
Did you consider non-service academy universities and why did you choose USAFA?
My son considered it, he had an AFROTC scholarship. But after visiting he just couldn't pass up the opportunity. He was really unsure until after that trip out. He still says he probably has missed out on some "normal" college experiences but it was the best choice.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2021
Messages
4
Hello! My son just got his acceptance letter for USAFA and he is beyond thrilled!! He was asking (and for my own sake):
What are some main reasons that you hear of/have heard that people find the AFA is NOT a good fit and they separate?
Of course don't want to think negatively before he even starts, but we think its good to have a realistic view of some struggles that cadets have.
Thank you for whatever you can share!!
Congratulations to your son!

There are many reasons a cadet decides to leave a service academy. I certainly cannot list them all here, nor do I know all the reasons, I can, however, list some of the reasons based on feedback I have gotten from parents whose cadets have disenrolled.

1) Going to a service academy was not the cadet's idea
2) Went to play sports not realizing that they must be involved in much of the military training as well
3) The service academy wasn't what they expected (do the research!)
4) Does not like all the physical training, military training (knowledge tests), and/or being yelled at during their freshman year (C4C)
5) All cadets graduate with "Bachelor of Science", which means they take Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, etc their first 2 years. A cadet who doesn't like STEM may struggle during this period and decide to disenroll.

That's just a few things. My suggestion is to encourage your son to continue to train and run, run, and run some more. ... and relax! Enjoy his time with friends and family before I-day.
 

2026

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
84
Congratulations to your son!

There are many reasons a cadet decides to leave a service academy. I certainly cannot list them all here, nor do I know all the reasons, I can, however, list some of the reasons based on feedback I have gotten from parents whose cadets have disenrolled.

1) Going to a service academy was not the cadet's idea
2) Went to play sports not realizing that they must be involved in much of the military training as well
3) The service academy wasn't what they expected (do the research!)
4) Does not like all the physical training, military training (knowledge tests), and/or being yelled at during their freshman year (C4C)
5) All cadets graduate with "Bachelor of Science", which means they take Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, etc their first 2 years. A cadet who doesn't like STEM may struggle during this period and decide to disenroll.

That's just a few things. My suggestion is to encourage your son to continue to train and run, run, and run some more. ... and relax! Enjoy his time with friends and family before I-day.
This is very insightful -thank you! As I read the list I feel like my son is starting off on a good path so far: he runs in 3 seasons of running, he wants to major in Math + Physics, he joined CAP and loves the small taste of routine/order, etc that he has experienced and he wants to attend, not pushed into it. But I have read that even w/ my son's background, its just not for some people.
I DO hope we can get him out there to visit before June....have not even seen the campus yet.
Thanks again!!
 

moho

GA pilot, artist, AFROTC cadet, Candidate USAFA'26
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
49
How did you receive your invite? Were you recruited for athletics? Did you apply for FVE?
I got an email out of the blue (pun intended) saying I was selected from a “competitive pool of applicants” to attend. I had no idea what it was and hadn’t even submitted my Candidate Kit yet.

My stats are average at best (dm me if you really want to know) so I was incredibly grateful for the awesome opportunity but have no idea why I was picked. I am not a recruited athlete.
 

MCA_10

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2021
Messages
17
I got an email out of the blue (pun intended) saying I was selected from a “competitive pool of applicants” to attend. I had no idea what it was and hadn’t even submitted my Candidate Kit yet.

My stats are average at best (dm me if you really want to know) so I was incredibly grateful for the awesome opportunity but have no idea why I was picked. I am not a recruited athlete.
FVE is designed to give candidates from areas of low interest an inside look into academy life and prove that the academy is the place for them. It is used as a tool for diversity at the academy and to get applicants from historically marginalized regions or backgrounds to finish their application to the Academy. If you weren’t chosen, it doesn’t mean you aren’t qualified. It just means that you are not specially targeted for this program. Those selected would probably be applicants from areas of historically low interest and marginalized areas leading to low application rates to the academy.

Diversity is how we win wars. It’s how we are effective in the profession of arms. Admissions realizes that we need people from diverse backgrounds to go to USAFA. This is one way they ensure that. Glad you got experience FVE in person!
 

nw2003

Candidate for USAFA 26'
Joined
Jan 11, 2022
Messages
16
FVE is designed to give candidates from areas of low interest an inside look into academy life and prove that the academy is the place for them. It is used as a tool for diversity at the academy and to get applicants from historically marginalized regions or backgrounds to finish their application to the Academy. If you weren’t chosen, it doesn’t mean you aren’t qualified. It just means that you are not specially targeted for this program. Those selected would probably be applicants from areas of historically low interest and marginalized areas leading to low application rates to the academy.

Diversity is how we win wars. It’s how we are effective in the profession of arms. Admissions realizes that we need people from diverse backgrounds to go to USAFA. This is one way they ensure that. Glad you got experience FVE in person!
Will there be a visit available for candidates who have been offered an appointment?
 

moho

GA pilot, artist, AFROTC cadet, Candidate USAFA'26
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
49
FVE is designed to give candidates from areas of low interest an inside look into academy life and prove that the academy is the place for them. It is used as a tool for diversity at the academy and to get applicants from historically marginalized regions or backgrounds to finish their application to the Academy. If you weren’t chosen, it doesn’t mean you aren’t qualified. It just means that you are not specially targeted for this program. Those selected would probably be applicants from areas of historically low interest and marginalized areas leading to low application rates to the academy.

Diversity is how we win wars. It’s how we are effective in the profession of arms. Admissions realizes that we need people from diverse backgrounds to go to USAFA. This is one way they ensure that. Glad you got experience FVE in person!
I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity. I’ve wanted to attend the Academy for years but had never had the chance to visit in person, and being there was beyond cool. The staff were super nice, the cadets welcoming, and the advisors insanely helpful.

My one gripe was - being a reapplicant I took everything said with a grain of salt. I am afraid the HS seniors did not. So when the LT’s, Col Primas, and the Supe talked us all up and how great candidates we were, I had the context to know they have no way of knowing that.

They were talking the invitees to be such great candidates and many of us were average. Having been TWE’d already, that doesn’t bother me. What did was knowing a lot of those seniors took what they said naively at face value and will be very distraught and confused when some of them get rejected, as I may be.

It is a diversity program from what I have gathered, but I wish they just would tell us that instead of having the USAFA/RRS CC and the Supe hint at us being invited for b/c of merit on whole.

TLDR, beyond incredibly grateful for the amazing opportunity but wish they were more honest about what FVE is
 

MCA_10

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2021
Messages
17
I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity. I’ve wanted to attend the Academy for years but had never had the chance to visit in person, and being there was beyond cool. The staff were super nice, the cadets welcoming, and the advisors insanely helpful.

My one gripe was - being a reapplicant I took everything said with a grain of salt. I am afraid the HS seniors did not. So when the LT’s, Col Primas, and the Supe talked us all up and how great candidates we were, I had the context to know they have no way of knowing that.

They were talking the invitees to be such great candidates and many of us were average. Having been TWE’d already, that doesn’t bother me. What did was knowing a lot of those seniors took what they said naively at face value and will be very distraught and confused when some of them get rejected, as I may be.

It is a diversity program from what I have gathered, but I wish they just would tell us that instead of having the USAFA/RRS CC and the Supe hint at us being invited for b/c of merit on whole.

TLDR, beyond incredibly grateful for the amazing opportunity but wish they were more honest about what FVE is
Sorry to hear about your TWE for last application year but in my experience candidates who went to FVE had a high chance of going to the academy as long is nothing egregious with their application. Think about it, the academy spend thousands of dollars fly you out, feed you, and house you. The logistical planning of that is insane - not to mention the paperwork that needs to be sent up - so the fact the the Admissions Board did that for you shows that they truly want to invest in you. If you weren’t qualified, admissions wouldn’t have picked you plain and simple. They see value in you and want you to succeed at their Academy. Best of luck on your journey and hope you get a letter of acceptance.
 
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