Dealing w/ Multiple options


10-Year Member
Nov 3, 2007
First, I know my son is very lucky to be in this position. However, I would be interested in hearing from others who were similarly positioned. How did your son/daughter ultimately decide when faced with more than one appointment? What were the factors leading to the decision they made? Did they lean one way most of the process? Are they happy now?

It took about a month before my son actually finalized the decision on paper, but I think all along he had a preference for his #1 choice. I think they all do, even if they are not stating it openly.

Many apply to multiple academies, hoping that they can get into ONE. When their dream suddenly multiplies by being appointed to TWO, sometimes they may forget the real reasons, the first reasons, their "deep inside" reasons for applying in the first place.

My son compared his Summer Seminar vs AIM experience, the courses offered, the campus, the "feel" of the small school vs big school, his ability to play DIII varsity football (no chance to play DI - too small) but ultimately, the career choices AFTER graduation became the biggest factor.

I think it also came down to the humanitarian mission of the USCG: i.e. saving lives vs taking lives. Not that he has anything against the other services nor is he missing any "warrior" qualities, but I think he feels that the mission of the USCG fits more with his philosophy and life goals.

Your son is truly special, (spectacular in my opinion) and he is certainly in a very enviable position, having to decide between two winning choices.

A clue for you - when someone asks him about his college choices or college plans, how does he respond to that person? IMHO, whichever one he mentions first is his subconscious choice, whether he admits it or not. :wink:

Good luck, and enjoy your remaining time with him at home.

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the career choices AFTER graduation became the biggest factor.

Great post, Luigi. This was the decision maker for my son also. He chose USMA and is happy (so far) with his decision. I wonder, though, how much of a factor the Long Gray Line was...the Alumni were very welcoming and encouraging even before he accepted his appointment.
First let me start with how lucky and proud you should be with such difficult but honored decision to make.

Last year, my daughter was in the same situation sort of.

She got accepted to her back up school (The Citadel) and was offered a full academic ride. This all came in by Thanksgiving. It was great going into the new year knowing that her college was covered, even on her back up plan. In February, she was offered NROTC at The Citadel. This was just icing on the cake so to speak.

In March, she was on the waiting list at USNA and asked her RO what could she do to improve her chances as this was her dream. The offered her the option of NAPS and she said that she would accept it knowing that she would be doing 5 years as opposed to 4 years on her back up.

Well, in early April, she received notification of her appointment of direct admission to USAFA.

Her decision was first did she want the 4-year plan or 5-year plan. Then she had to decide if she wanted Air Force or Navy career. We talked to her about all of her options and ultimately let her make the decision herself.

The one thing she kept saying was that she always saw herself in a Navy uniform. That was her dream and she was willing to give it the extra year to make that dream come true. She is currently at NAPS and does not regret her decisions at all.

I would suggest to try not think about it for a short period of time. Then ask yourself, when you wake up in the morning what is the first college that you think about. That is where your heart belongs.

Be there as a sounding board for his fears and concerns, but let him make the final decision. This is only the beginning to the roller coaster ride.

Keep us posted as to what his decision is.
My dd was in the same boat (so to speak) with appointments to CGA, USNA and AFA, plus an NROTC full ride. For her, it came down to options after graduation. I have to admit, sometimes it would be nice to have her just 3 hours down the road at AF, but she's not regretted her decision to go Navy.
After the academy is deffinatly the most important. I love being enlisted in the AF but being an officer is a completely different story. The flexability in jobs just isn't there. You're aircrew(pilot, nav, abm, ect.), spec-ops(RARE), or your doing paperwork(btw you can do missiles but I'm also not really into the whole working underground with thermonuclear warheads as my responsibility...not that thats not a cool job I just don't trust myself!). And you're never a pilot forever. I chose USMA because of the jobs I can have after the academy. I want to fly a helo but I know if that doesn't work out I'll go into a combat field and directly defend my country. I love my Air Force and our traditions and I can't wait to see the Army's!
And you're never a pilot forever. I chose USMA because of the jobs I can have after the academy.

Truer words are rarely spoken. The same goes for SEALs, BTW.

All things considered, if I had to select a SA now, I would most likely choose USMMA first, and West Point second. USNA would be third.


USMMA gives you the most flexibility immediately after graduation, and sets you up to be able to make a KILLING in maritime law after your service is up. West Point, for better or worse, is simply better-known in the civilian world than Annapolis.

In my case, I went to USNA because USN is all I wanted. I was going to do a career. Times change. So do plans.