Complete but Disqualified

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by RSTFamily, Mar 11, 2017.

?

Is there any hope?

  1. I can help

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  2. forward information

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  1. RSTFamily

    RSTFamily Member

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    I'm a father of A Candidate...
    My heart dropped in disbelieve this morning when my son showed me the online email received.

    My son is also in disbelieve, filled with emotions...His heart and soul wants so badly to be part of the "Whole Air Force Academy Experience"...He wants nothing less but to be a "fighter Pilot" since he was a young boy...this is his dream, nothing less... Plan A period. He does not want to do plan "B" which is Embry-Riddle and applying to ROTC...his heart is with the Air Force Academy.

    He's already a pilot, holds rank as a Captain and is the C.O. in the US Marine Jr. ROTC sponsored through his High School, he is also a Color Guard. He is outstanding young man by many who know him...

    He wants nothing but to Start his career in the Academy right after High School...

    This is what we don't understand...He has an avg GPA of 4.0, An Outstanding young man, completed the Application process. Not a big Sports person except did Play Little League Baseball for several years and enjoys Volley ball.
    He is Physical fit and strong. Goes to the local gym on a normal basis...Matched and Exceeded the max on all but one of the CFA's (running was not the best).

    But yet he received the following:

    "Admissions has received and evaluated the results of your candidate fitness assessment. Unfortunately your performance indicates that you may have difficulty with the physical demands of the Air Force Academy. The CFA is a key component of our application process and your results were not strong enough to make you a competitive
    candidate therefore we have closed your file."



    I'm sorry but this blows my mind...I also understand they do receive military physical training before the Academy begins, Right? I mean it is the military correct?
    ...and what about the Preparatory School?

    I myself am a veteran...Army. I/we were not physical fit like my son is today...not before I/we entered into the military, but the Army made us fit and before our BT ended we ran like we never did before. I guess what I am saying is...the Air Force seams like they are only looking for Athletes the excel with with High Grades. I thought they were a Military Institution?
    They need Pilots...my son is ready!

    I guess this is why they are short over 1000 pilots today... A whole discussion can begin on this subject of why they are short Pilots?

    Anyway, I apologize if I offend anyone, the Air Force Academy is a Great institution but I think it can be even Greater...this is my conclusion after I have listened to so much news and read all the forums from others.

    Congrats to all those who do and don't make it through the process...All the Candidates are very well deserving and are exceptional young man and women. I'm sure you will All Excel in life and happiness.

    Anyway...if anyone has any thoughts, help or advise please contact me...

    A proud Father.
     
  2. Sneak

    Sneak Member

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    Failure of just one event on the CFA can mean a fail for the whole test, no matter what the other scores are. Usually USAFA offers a single retake opportunity for candidates who fail the CFA the first time. I do think it's odd that your son was not offered a retake if it was his first try. Maybe he completed his file relatively late in the process and the academy knew that he would not be receiving an appointment anyway due to other circumstances (e.g. nominations and such)
     
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  3. Love4monsters

    Love4monsters Member

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    If this is his future, it's not over. Next step is to get in contact with his counselor at AFA and ask how to improve for his file next year. Having an excellent Plan B, doing well, improving his CFA will only increase his chances for next year. He needs to keep his chin up and focus on enjoying the rest of senior year.

    I am sorry for the disappointment and sad feelings. This is so important for our children and as parents, it's terribly difficult to see them beaten down. I can tell you from personal experience that personal growth comes from adversity. He can do this! Might not be on the time table he had planned but it will happen!
     
  4. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    Nine years ago, my oldest daughter essentially received a similar notification, but as a letter. She exceeded in all areas academically, extra curricular, community service, etc., except she could not do a pull up or flexed arm hang for more than 15 seconds. Her ALO and counselor basically begged her to just get this one thing done. But she couldn't. So, she, too was rejected. It was very devastating for all. But, as we all see now, it was for the best. She has a very good career in something she is very passionate about; has been married for nearly 5 years to a very good man also with a good career, and expecting their first child in a few short months. We could not, now, imagine her on a different path than her current one.

    There are many pathes to achieve one's dreams and goals. Although the gauntlets thrown in front of us may make us question ourselves.

    If your son truly wants to be part of the AF Academy, he needs to work on what the Academy sees as his weakness, and apply again next year. Or, seek another avenue to achieve the same goal of AF pilot.

    I know this is a difficult time. Our family has been there. There is a purpose for everything, even if it is not evident to us at the time.
     
  5. xcmum

    xcmum Member

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    RSTFamily- I am so sorry for your son & your family.

    I believe USMA used almost the exact same language to notify candidates that they had failed just one (sometimes more) event of their CFA's, mostly for events like BB Throw & mile times. They also asked some kids, regardless of whether they failed the CFA or not to do push ups & pulls up again, video them & upload to the portal. I would advise your son to call his admissions counselor/RC and ask what event(s) they felt needed improvement.

    I can empathize so much with your DS's disappointment but if the USAFA is his dream, he shouldn't give up! He should find out what needs improvement & work on those areas during the upcoming months and be prepared apply again as soon as can. The forums have so many success stories of people who apply a second time.
     
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  6. Mountain

    Mountain Member

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    I was in your shoes last year. Completely shocked my kid didn't receive an Appointment. Weeks after that news, he received a Falcon Scholarship. Gained an Appointment this year, is more mature, and has a great group of Prep friends joining him at USAFA. Solid.

    For all who get the same, it doesn't have to be over...it just isn't now. Hard to accept after the wait, I know.

    Only question is "whats next"? Sounds like your son may need to work on fitness and, if that is the issue, then work on it! Another year of maturity will help.

    Suggest he speak with his counselor and find out "why". If he really wants USAFA, work on any deficiencies and don't give up.

    It's hard to be a parent during this exhausting process...don't burn bridges.

    Looks like he has a solid Plan B but I'd encourage him to work hard and reapply. I'd strongly consider a year of Prep school with focus and dedication.

    It's over, only if you give up the dream.
     
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  7. AimHighReachForTheStars!

    AimHighReachForTheStars! Member

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    RSTFamily, we feel your pain. The only consolation I can offer is this...from the 2020 class appointment thread, 7 who got TWEs later received an offer of appointment. I Don't know if those lucky ones had disqualified CAF scores. I think your DS's CAF scores met the minimum requirements which did not warrant a retake but in the end his scores were not qualified/competitive. My reference for this statement was from the Admissions Profile: Class of 2017, the Candidate Pool was 6,967 and the Qualified Candidates was 2,277. It may be hard to do Plan B but he has to, do well in it and reapply to USAFA again next year. Good luck.
     
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  8. KamikazeKim

    KamikazeKim Member

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    From my knowledge, the minimum pull ups all men must do is 2 and run below a 8:00 for the mile. They must also have to pass the basketball throw with something like 55 feet (I think). If you fail any of these events I believe it disqualifies you. The sit ups and push ups and shuttle run are important but won't make or break you like the previously mentioned events.
     
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  9. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    Your son sounds like a great young man. However, you need to look at his whole application objectively. He does not have any organized sports or varsity letters. That is going to be noted by USAFA right away. That means he would need to knock the CFA out of the park, but you state that he did not do well on the running portion of the CFA. It is his weakness and that is what was pointed out by USAFA when they closed his file. There are many other candidates out there who have all of the same qualities as your son, but also had no failures on the CFA. If his goal is truly to be an Air Force pilot, he needs to take this setback and learn from it. He needs to start running to build up stamina and make a good time for the run. He should apply to his Plan B school, apply to AFROTC, and then re-apply to USAFA next year if that is what he still desires.

    As far as the pilot shortage, the AF is not short of pilots because they are turning down Academy candidates. There are more than enough people applying there as well as through AFROTC. There is a pilot shortage because of dissatisfaction with the AF by pilots getting to the end of their 10-year commitment, changes in the commercial pilot (airlines) requirements causing a shortage of pilots there, and large group of AF pilots who are separating for other reasons. The AF has been slow to respond to these issues and they continue to lose many people. There is no shortage of people who are trying to become pilots in the Air Force; there is a shortage of trained, experienced pilots in the Air Force.

    Stealth_81
     
  10. AimHighReachForTheStars!

    AimHighReachForTheStars! Member

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    IMHO, overall the AF needs members to have a little more loyalty, commitment and service before self.
     
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  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Although it wasn't the Air Force, nor an Academy, my son faced hurdles to become a Marine Officer as well. He did not receive a scholarship. He was nearly tossed from the program twice his freshman year, and also had a glitch his junior year. Nevertheless, he got up each time, learned from the experience, dusted himself off, and is an excellent Marine officer today. A lot depends on one's determination. If plan B isn't an acceptable path for your son, then I would suggest he doesn't want it very badly. Hard knocks can make him both a better person and a better pilot and officer. Hope he achieves his dream... it might be a path he hadn't imagined though. Tell him to keep in mind that this is not personal (AFA's decision or this post).
     
  12. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Sorry your DS received the turn down. I am sure it will be a tough few weeks for him and your family. Unfortunately there are always more qualified candidates than spots. USAFA is one path to a commission. There are plenty of other paths. He can always reapply. Yes the USAF is short pilots, but that doesn't mean they will increase class size. A SA class size doesn't change much year to year. The USAF will try to meet this shortage with other commissioning sources. But there are so many other factors then just churning out a 2LT flight school student... pipeline intake, retention, etc.

    Passing the CFA is required to be qualified by a SA. An appointment cannot be made without that qualifier. Did your son do this right before the due date? Normally a candidate who takes the CFA far enough in advance and fails it will then get an opportunity to retake it. His ALO and even on this forum, it is well known that a CFA will play a large role for a candidate with little to no sports. Even on the enlisted side a recruit must pass a PT test before they are sent to boot camp. The bar is even higher for a future officer. The PT standards at a SA are higher than in the operating forces.

    If you look at a class profile you will see 90% or more of appointees have played a sport. It's not because a SA wants a bunch of athletes, they want to see team work and leadership are demonstrated, as a veteran yourself, you know these are important qualities. The scholastic qualification has tons of factors. Your son has a great GPA, but standardized test scores also play a huge factor, level of courses taken, how did they do in Calc/Chem/Physics, school profile all are factors in this. Volunteer time, leadership, interview, and a dozen other factors all go into a candidate being qualified. I am sorry about the TWE. Mourn this for a week or two, contact his ALO or admissions counselor and find out what to improve, knock it out of the park at his Plan B and reapply.
     
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  13. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    RSTFamily I feel your pain as we went through this last year. I had a highly qualified daughter who was not offered an appointment. The reasons were a little different but the shock and hurt remain the same. You have to remember that this is a competition and your son was competing against other highly qualified candidates. There are Federal Laws that govern the process and ensure that highly qualified individuals are selected from throughout the country.

    The academy is looking for leaders who they can mold into officers. Physical Fitness and athletics is a big part of that equation. Leading a team of your peers as a Captain is often more difficult than leading a group when you have the position of supervisor.

    I will echo what the rest of the group has said. If this is truly his dream, it is not over yet. He needs to understand where he application can be approved and keep working at it. His counselor can provide some insight but a true self reflection can probably answer the question as well. From the information you provided, he will have to work in his physical fitness and try to expand his extracurricular activities to increase his WCS. He also needs to go off to college and do well with a challenging course load that is similar to the academy. He will receive an boost to the academic portion of his WCS with this successful semester of college.

    My daughter went off to her Plan B school and did all of these things and is now a member of the class of 2021. It can be accomplished if he is willing to put the effort in.
     
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  14. xxmetal

    xxmetal Member

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    Really sorry to hear it. Just remember that he has until he's 21 to get in, so there is always time. Also, the end result of ROTC is the exact same, and Embry Riddle's AFROTC has 100% preferred field placement in from the past 2 years. I'm sure it will all work out.
     
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  15. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    @RSTFamily

    Some of the hallmarks of a good military officer are grit, determination, adaptability and the ability to re-group, re-attack and win through obstacles from different directions.

    If the goal is to serve as an AF officer, the paths are there, including re-application at USAFA. He just has to set foot on a path and commit.

    Let him (and the family) go through the five stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance - in whatever proportion is needed. Re-assess the commitment to being an AF officer, because that is the real goal. If it's still there, get the candid feedback on what improvements can be made... and build out and execute the plan(s) to get there. No looking back, only forward.
     
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  16. RSTFamily

    RSTFamily Member

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    He was offered and retook the CFA, but had only two weeks to take it before the deadline. He did better, maxed but the running time was still not better. Ran only an 8 min mile.
     
  17. RSTFamily

    RSTFamily Member

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    Thank you very much your words...He is strong and knows this is not the end but the beginning. He is Going forward. Thank you.
     
  18. RSTFamily

    RSTFamily Member

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    Thank you very much your words...He is strong and knows this is not the end but the beginning. He is Going forward. Thank you.
     
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  19. RSTFamily

    RSTFamily Member

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    Thank you very much for your reply...Awesome words. He is going strong and going forward.
     
  20. RSTFamily

    RSTFamily Member

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    Thank you!