Choosing the Right Branch

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by byxguan, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. byxguan

    byxguan New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am an incoming high school freshman and it has always been a dream of mine to attend a service academy. The goal would be to become a fighter pilot or ground crew if I don't grow to meet the height requirements.

    So far, I've been trying to decide between USNA and USAFA. I know that both have outstanding aerospace programs and many opportunities to become a pilot, so I was wondering what you guys based your "branch decision" on.

    Thank you so much for taking your time to read my message. I really will appreciate any advice.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    9,660
    Likes Received:
    3,229
    1. Think lifestyle. Do you want to be away at sea for six months at a time? Do you get sea sick? Do you want to land your plane on a pitching and rolling postage stamp? Are you willing to fly a rotary aircraft in the Navy if it comes to that? Or do you prefer to be at home in the evening with the family, taking off and landing on a long runway on land, and have a better probability of getting fixed wing?

    2. Does your sitting height match the air frame you desire? You have to fall within a particular sitting height range for a particular air frame. If you're really short or really tall then a pilot slot could be out of the question, or your desired air frame might be.

    3. Study the jobs available in each service in case you don't get your first or even second choice. Are there jobs you would still consider interesting? There is never a guarantee you'll get your first choice. Even if you're at the top of your class, if the service doesn't need new pilots that year, then you will not be getting a pilot slot. You can locate officer MOSs on the respective service's web site. Study them.

    4. The last factor to consider is which school you prefer. But that's only 4 years and being a pilot you'll serve at least 7 years active duty. Last I checked 7 is greater than 4, so what comes after college is probably more important to you than the college itself, especially if you think they both have excellent programs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
    Falcon A, byxguan and AROTC-dad like this.
  3. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    110
    Just a comment here as I've seen you and others write this before. During my time as a Surfavce Warfare officer, especially aboard an Amphib where we brought many new people aboard often, I've seen literally thousands of "landlubbers" experience being at sea for the first time. Depending partially on weather the first few days at sea, I've seen quite a few people get seasick in those first few days in the environment but probably 95 (or greater) percent of the seasick ones get over it and become accustomed to the motion of the vessel. I've seen plenty who had been seasick on the one or two occasions they had been out on the water get through it as well.
    Bottom Line for me - unless a person has spent a significant amount of time at sea, them being seasick long term is far from a probable thing and probably similar to being carsick/airsick (really probably the same people) in terms of being a long term problem.
     
    BTCS/USN and kinnem like this.
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    9,660
    Likes Received:
    3,229
    Good point @OldRetSWO. Still it's something to be considered along with the rest of life at sea. Maybe in future I'll say something like "Can you deal with being sea sick the first few days at sea?".
     
  5. 36falcon36

    36falcon36 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    29
    Definitely check out both campuses when it comes time. I’m a high school junior right now and at first, after visiting the campus, I was pretty convinced I wanted to go Air Force and only Air Force. Plan 1 was the academy and plan 2 was AFROTC. But, after getting back from my CVW today at USNA, I’m realizing how much I loved the campus and the navy. It’s definitely something that you should check out first hand. Thinking you know what the academy is all about and actually experiencing it/ visiting it are two completely different things. It put so much into perspective for me and definitely changed my mind. Now USAFA is still my first choice, but USNA is a close second. I would’ve never known how much I loved the naval academy and the opportunities there if I hadn’t visited this weekend!
     
    byxguan likes this.
  6. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    309
    Kinnem, how much time have you spent at sea? Myself about 17 years total mainly on Tin Cans. Found that people that stayed busy didn't have an issue with sea sickness and if you're not busy or asleep you're a passenger on a Carnival cruise.
     
    OldRetSWO likes this.
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    9,660
    Likes Received:
    3,229
    Hah! I spend time in small boats on fresh water lakes fishing. Just repeating what people have said here in the past and I've already stated I would change what I say in that regard. BTW, the main point of what I stated remains the same, consider life in the Navy and at sea vs life on land with the Air Force.
     
  8. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,057
    Likes Received:
    1,493
    @BTCS/USN: I may be in the minority, but I can get seasick looking at a fish tank. I have spent a fair amount of time onboard various amphibious (LST, LPD, etc) ships and even 6 weeks on the USS Blue Ridge (LCC) and been seasick on all of them. Even worse when drilling circles in the ocean before a landing buttoned up in a Landing Vehicle. I have always believed the reason Marines fought so hard to establish a beachhead was so they wouldn’t have to get back in the ship!
     
    Falcon A and AROTC-dad like this.
  9. believe2023

    believe2023 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2017
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    19
    May I ask how you already had a CVW as a junior and the application just opened?
     
  10. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    309
    USMCGrunt, I hear ya but when I said stay busy I meant standing 8 -10 hours of watch a day, doing ships work in between, drills, taking on stores, refueling, loading bullets, working on quals and a "boatload" of paperwork, eating and grabbing the 4 or so hours left in the day for rack time. Most MarDets I've rode with spent their time working out or hanging around, not doing much and bored to death waiting for us to land them someplace. Ship's company has a slightly more intense schedule underway. Not much time left in the day to spend hanging over the rails.
     
    Kensington likes this.
  11. 36falcon36

    36falcon36 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    29
    I applied for summer seminar, and a few weeks ago got an email telling me that I was not accepted to summer seminar but was being invited to CVW instead. The majority of the other candidates at CVW this weekend were juniors as well.
     
    believe2023 likes this.
  12. THParent

    THParent Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    936
    I will state the obvious answer to your title-of-the-thread question.
    Marine Corps.
     
    BTCS/USN and USMCGrunt like this.
  13. believe2023

    believe2023 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2017
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    19
    Thank you
     
  14. Zeus

    Zeus Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2017
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    56
    Kinnem, would you consider changing that phrase to “do you have what it takes to land your plane on a small piece of US sovereignty in the ocean”?
     
    kinnem likes this.
  15. Tptb518

    Tptb518 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    5


    I am a junior and had my CVW in November of my junior year. They just invited me.
     
    believe2023 likes this.