Candidate Visits


10-Year Member
Jun 27, 2006
Q: Does the AFA offer Candidate Visitation Weekends?

I see on the website they offer day visits:

The Admissions Office offers cadet-escorted tours for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors during our academic school year.

* Tours begin in mid-August and end mid-May.
* Available Monday, Thursday and Friday, except during holidays, Spring Break and final exam week.

What are the hours of the day visits?

Thanks in advance.
I'm not positive about this, but here is what I think.

I have seen visitors during morning classes and in the early afternoon. I am not out on the terazzo much other than those times, though.

I'm not sure if admissions would do a weekend visit. It would not be a very accurate picture of the Academy anyway, because there is no real schedule unless it is a training weekend.

You could probably arrange a cadet to show candidates around on the weekend. I am not sure about the policies or security for this.

Your best bet is to call admissions and ask what you could do.
I'm doing one of these on 6 Oct. i believe it starts around 9 and lasts until 4
My son will be at the Academy this Friday (2/23) for the cadet escorted tour. Does anyone out there have any recommendations for him?

He is trying to set up an appointment to see his admission's counselor for a brief meeting but he has not responded to snail mail, so the son has attempted to leave him a voice mail message. We live in region 2.

Any advice on what I should be doing while I wait for him to finish? Where should we eat on Friday night?


Advice-Ask lots of questions. I know a few people who showed up on I-day without having major questions answered. Also, listen to the escort.

For you-I would hang out in Colorado Springs and tour the visitor's center (It doesn't look like we have noon meal formation on Friday.)
My D visited this fall and she just called to make an appointment with her admissions counselor. Got VM a lot but I think she only left one message and then called back several times until she got a real person - or maybe she went through the voice mail mill until she got a person. They were great and pleased to see her, very welcoming. When she got to the admissions office her meeting was probably 30 or 45 mins (long time for me standing outside in the cold - the chapel was closed for a funeral, just my luck!) Admissions was glad to see her and gave her a goodie bag of toys - don't purchase a lanyard, water bottle, bumper stickers until after he meets with the admissions counselor - we were early so hung out at the gift shop and made said purchases prior to her meeting - ended up with several "doulbles"!!!

Good Luck.
Also watch the weather, should be decent on Friday (40's), but calling for a good amount of snow and wind Fri night into Sat.. Gotta love the weather in Colorado Springs...
FoF -- in the visitor center is a short film that runs continuously. I thought it wasn't bad. There are some nice exhibits there and, of course, more memorobilia and clothing than you can imagine. From there you can take a nice walk to the chapel which you may want to do to watch the noon formation (wait, i just saw ramius' post -- but check anyway, these things change a lot). Also, next to the chapel is Arnold Hall where you can get an idea of where cadets hang out - though it's somewhat restricted for 4-digs till recognition.
Weather is odd indeed! Right outside of the southgate where the hotels are, are plenty of food places. There's Panera, CPK I think, and several others. Easy to roam and find stuff. I highly recommend Mimi's for breakfast.
Thanks for the all the advice.

My thoughts on the visit.

Parents were escorted by a female 2nd Lt. who had just graduated last May. She was very genuine and talked with great candor about the academic challenges she faced as a cadet as well as a number of other things.

I couldn't help but notice that everybody knew her and vice versa. As we moved through out the campus she would see a number of people she knew. I noticed that she received more hugs from people than she received salutes and she got a handful of both. They say the Air Force is run like a business, that view is consistent with what I saw.

From the 2 hours I was on tour, I could see that the academy goes the distance to make sure that the freshman cadets know that they are (take your pick) - nothing, dirt, not worthy, pond scum, disease carrying maggots. Message received loud and clear.

I especially like the way freshmen cadets are to run everywhere, but only on the granite accent stones using the most inconvenient routes - message to cadets: do not get in my way you worthless piece of trash. There are more examples, but most of you probably know about them. This does not come as a surprise to me by the way. I guess why I'm making note of it is because the pervasiveness of this message was surprising to me.

My son's escort did a good job. I don't think that he is convinced that he will get a better education than he will at state U back home, sigh!

My opinion of the architecture (believe me I'm no critic) - it's different, except for the Chapel, the buildings are strictly functional boxes that I would guess hail from the late 60s to 1970s. The Chapel, love it or hate it is the only building of distinction on campus. Were it not for the mountains, the central campus (where the dorms and classrooms are) would be rather beige. Brick and mortar it is not. The only bricks on campus that I can remember seeing are the ones you step on.

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I have to agree with the architecture points! The buildings were built in the late '50s. I have heard some say of the campus, "Never design anything to be futuristic, because it will look very dated in a few decades."

You saw one of the harder parts of the year for the freshmen. It is in the middle of "40 days," the 40 days before recognition. This is when the upperclassmen enforce the rules most stictly.

Being a freshman is tough. Some people see you as worthless. However, this gives you a clear opportunity to see who are the best leaders. The great leaders are those who can get their subordinates to perform AND treat everyone with respect. Part of a quote every freshman learns goes, "...he who feels and hence manifests disrespect toward others, especially his subordinates, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself." It is true (so is the opposite), and seen daily.
Don't worry Raimus, FoF doesn't really mean all that he said. Some of us USNA alumni paid him to make that post.

Thanks for the post on your visit. I am jealous because I will not set foot on the Academy grounds until Parent's Weekend! It is nice to hear someone's point of view who has been there. I am looking forward to keeping in touch with other class of 2011 parents. Keep the reports coming!

Nifty fact: the Academy architects and engineers were socialist/communist defectors. That's a bit why we seem to have the bloc style housing and facilities, because they are.
USNA69 said:
Don't worry Raimus, FoF doesn't really mean all that he said. Some of us USNA alumni paid him to make that post.
The check hasn't cleared yet!

I haven't been to any other academy, but I have seen photos of my son's trip to the USNA and what it lacks in acreage it makes up for in beauty. Maybe the AFA is for high school students who failed art appreciation. Ok, Ok, enough piling on - I'm just kidding anyhow.

I also learned that in order to make the rank of Major, you have to have a masters degree. That didn't ring true to me. Can anyone verify?

I shot HD Video of my trip, if I get around to editing it up, I'll post it on youtube.

Or perhaps a masters equivalent? I don't know, but I'm sure others can edify.

I really had to laugh though about the young lieutenant doing your tour doing all the "hugging." My uncle who's a 30 year guy in the USN but currently stationed on an AF base told my son several years back ... "The Navy boys are always totally disgusted watching those AF guys hugging all the time."

And then about a year later, the boy went to a program where an AF major was his advisor, and he came home and said "Dad, you won't believe it. Major Soandso was hugging people all the time."

So, your experience would seem to lend some validation to this affectionate observation.:zip:

I have heard that to make O-4 you need a master's degree - but not that surprising really, if you think about it. For the upcoming generation a Master's is equivalent to a Bachelor's for our generation. You just don't get anywhere without an advanced degree.....

I can honestly say I have never seen my father, retired AF Col, hug another man.

Without a doubt West Point is the most beautiful architecturally. Splendid, breathtaking and an aura surrounds the place that cannot be duplicated. IMHO.
HaHa, No the choice was more like do a tour at the Pentagon or retire. A choice he never regretted.