Choosing between USAFA and USMA


Jan 27, 2017
I have received appointments to both USMA and USAFA. I appreciate having a choice but I am very torn. I'm leaning more towards army because I have heard it described as a more people-driven service and I love West Point, which is also considered a little more prestigious because of its long history, BUT I am a Midwesterner at heart and love Colorado and it would be much easier to get home from USAFA when I can than USMA, and I think I might prefer the higher quality of life that the Air Force offers. Any thoughts to sway me either way? Is the Air Force really that much 'nicer' to its people than the army? I am also a woman, being surrounded by men doesn't bother me, but does anyone know gender issues to be more problematic at one academy over the other?
Where do you see yourself in ten years? What color uniform are you wearing?

Air Force has better housing, far better football, a FENCING TEAM, skiing, planes.

USMA has... a lovely chapel.

There, now you know.

(Seriously, consider what job or major you would like to have. That may make it easier for you to decide)
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They are both excellent schools but have slightly different missions just as the services also have different missions. The both are intended to provide leaders to the country but the services develop and apply those leaders differently.

The Army's mission is to have soldiers on the ground in direct contact with the enemy. New 2LTs will be leading those soldiers in direct contact or leading the troops that support those in direct contact. Nearly every new 2LT will be a platoon leader in his first assignment.

The Air Force's mission is to control the skies and support the individuals on the ground. New 2LTs will be flying the planes or supporting those flying the planes. There are going to be more technical roles in the Air Force where one would not be directly in charge of leading soldiers.

Now there are exceptions and some specialized roles in each service but generally this is what happens. You have to decide what you want to do those first few years in the service and where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years from those experiences.
Do you want to fly? Fixed wing - Air Force. Rotary - Army.
As a USAFA Cadet who is cross commissioning into the Army: it depends mainly on the lifestyle that you want for yourself and the culture that you want to be a part of.
I would love to discuss further over PM if you are interested. The good news is that, ultimately, you can't make a bad choice. That's a good position to be in :)
What kind of leadership do you want to do...Aka what careers interest you?