Attending USAFA, considering applying to USMA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by cbaum2022, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. cbaum2022

    cbaum2022 New Member

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    This is not a typical situation so I am asking for guidance from anyone who may have experienced something similar or knows someone who did.

    Up until the end of my junior year of high school I planned on applying to USMA. That being said, I applied for all summer seminar programs at the 3 major service academies. I was only accepted into USAFA’s and enjoyed that program. I liked the idea of being a pilot and USAFA is definitely the place to be if that is your career goal.

    During basic training this summer (I’m currently a doolie) we were tested again for our vision and I failed the depth perception test. By a lot. I have a follow up appointment this week to make sure I legitimately do have a problem with my eyes.

    If this is the case, I’m not sure what else I’d like to do in the Air Force. I want to have a combat oriented job. Having done more thorough research, West Point might have been the better choice after all.

    I’m totally fine with going through basic again, and dealing with being a doolie/plebe for an extra year if it means a more satisfying career.

    My questions are:
    -has anyone done something similar to this?
    -am I even allowed to apply to a sister service academy while attending one?
    -would nomination sources view me as “flaky” for leaving one academy for another?

    Thank you all for your time and advice in advance.
     
  2. cbaum2022

    cbaum2022 New Member

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    This is not a typical situation so I am asking for guidance from anyone who may have experienced something similar or knows someone who did.

    Up until the end of my junior year of high school I planned on applying to USMA. That being said, I applied for all summer seminar programs at the 3 major service academies. I was only accepted into USAFA’s and enjoyed that program. I liked the idea of being a pilot and USAFA is definitely the place to be if that is your career goal.

    During basic training this summer (I’m currently a doolie) we were tested again for our vision and I failed the depth perception test. By a lot. I have a follow up appointment this week to make sure I legitimately do have a problem with my eyes.

    If this is the case, I’m not sure what else I’d like to do in the Air Force. I want to have a combat oriented job. Having done more thorough research, West Point might have been the better choice after all.

    I’m totally fine with going through basic again, and dealing with being a doolie/plebe for an extra year if it means a more satisfying career.

    My questions are:
    -has anyone done something similar to this?
    -am I even allowed to apply to a sister service academy while attending one?
    -would nomination sources view me as “flaky” for leaving one academy for another?

    Thank you all for your time and advice in advance.
     
  3. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    I don't have any advice for your specific questions, but I was in your boat when I also miserably failed my depth perception test. It really freaked me out, so I went online and did a bunch of those 3D hidden picture puzzles. I learned that I didn't actually have a depth perception problem, I had a problem knowing what to look for. I did a bunch of those, learned what to look for, and passed a 2nd time without issue. I don't know if this will help you, but definitely try it out before resorting to more serious options. Also, staying at USAFA and cross-commisioning is a very viable option.
     
    Capri120 likes this.
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I don’t have stats but I would venture to say that your chances are higher to stay and try to cross commission then apply to USMA. Work hard, apply for any field related training, do an exchange semester at USMA, build relationships with Army officers at the Academy. Find an Army mentor. There is CRO, security forces and probably a few others I am missing that you can focus on to. Moving among academies is not something that is really supported among Academies. Sure there are once a decade or so story, but usually it involves an athlete or someone who left one SA then applied to another.
     
  5. BDHuff09

    BDHuff09 5-Year Member

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    I know of at least two people from the class of 2018 at USAFA who commissioned into the Marine Corps (trained w/ USNA at Quantico last summer). They even have a club for prospective Marines at USAFA, it's called Bulldog Club or something to that effect, and they have a Marine Major stationed in Colorado Springs who sponsors them. They still had to work for their commissions and not everyone who trained with the USMC last summer was accepted into the Corps. One of those people went to USAFA because she didn't get into USNA (they wanted her to go to NAPS), but her dad was a Marine and she intended to cross commission since the day she set foot on USAFA. It ended up working out for her. I don't know if it will work out for you, but cross commissioning definitely happens every year for a few people.

    As far as AF related jobs, others will have more/better input, but my understanding is that now you can select regular ALO (Air Liaison Officer) as your career out of the Academy, in addition to CRO and STO. All of those careers would have you working in a combat environment.
     
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  6. CrewDad

    CrewDad Member

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    You have an option to commission into the Army from USAFA. You should talk to the Army Officer at USAFA about your desire. There is always an Army Officer doing this sort of thing as a liaison.

    If you want to apply to USMA from USAFA you will have to first resign from USAFA then apply to USMA. That is not ideal and I don’t recommend it. Unless you want to risk losing your Appointment from USAFA and try your luck. I personally think it’s a hard sell because what if USMA doesn’t want you for the same reason. I know a kid who got the TWE from USMA because he has an eye issue. But he received an Appointment to USNA and now a happy Plebe. Maybe he’ll go Marines.

    You should also consult your MOC where you got your Nom for the USAFA. It is likely he/she will recommend you the same thing I am recommending you.

    Unless you hate the USAFA or struggling with the heavier STEM requirement or hate the altitude for medical reason, I would stick it out and try to really enjoy the Academy. Look you just started so give it a time. I know USMA doesn’t like candidates leaving another SA for academic reason. It maybe equally challenging for you with a Medical issue with your eyes. You should consult DODMERB. It is on campus at the USAFA. Go and talk to them and see what they say about your issue with USMA standard. I think you should feel fortunate Air Force is happy to keep you at the Academy. You will be scrutinized more in-depth with USMA.

    I really would like to recommend you to stay with USAFA and give it a chance! It’s a great Academy! And really become a core member of the Wing! Stay and I think you will not regret the decision in few years. After 3 years if Army is still where you want to be you can commission into the Army but need to start the paper work I believe beginning or your 3rd year or 6th semester. You can take a Combat Infantry role in the Air Force. I believe Combat Air Controller is a key Infantry role in the Air Force working with Army Infantry. You are the Infantry eyes in the skies.

    USAFA won the Sandhurst competition this Spring. Join Sandhurst and you can compete at West Point for the Air Force. Also you can be a visiting Cadet at West Point in your 3rd year.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  7. Oscar Whiskey

    Oscar Whiskey Member

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    You could cross commission. But before you start down that route, You need to look into the Air Force Specialties Like Combat Controller, Combat Rescue Officer, and Special Operations Weather. You can find them all listed under Air Force Special Operations Forces. The latest Medal of Honor recipient was an Air Force Special Operator.
     
  8. mom3boys

    mom3boys 10-Year Member

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    I agree...a cross-commission is your best option.
     
  9. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I merged these two threads as they were duplicates and left it in the USAFA forum.
     
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  10. BBBRRRTT

    BBBRRRTT Member

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    You are one "extremely hot summer" and "half grueling academic year" in at this point, tough it out for another 3 and half years, and then cross commission. I think you should find something challenging in USAF if you look hard.
     
  11. c17hopeful

    c17hopeful Member

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    The service academies have an informal gentlemen's agreement not to take current officer candidates from the other institutions.