Deciding between Army and Navy


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Sep 6, 2008
Ive recieved an appointment to USMA and an LOA from Annapolis. I am trying to decide which academy to go to. I want to be a Marine (but not career). When I look at the fact that West Point has much better academic program (Forbes rated WP 6th in the nation and Navy 36th) I fear Navy will fail to give me the opportunites after serving my active duty that west point will. I want to go into the FBI or CIA after serving. will Navy set me up for success as well as west point?
Just look at the Football History!!! Either place will vbe great, just follow your heart and best of luck
I know it probably doesn't help cuz you're all worried right now, but go with your gut. Sleep on it a few days, thinking about other stuff. One day within the next week or so you'll look at the window or be talking to a friend or writing your english essay and you'll suddenly realise where it is you want to go.
Accept that decision, and run with it 1000% then.
I would not say that West Point has a "much better" academic program than Navy - it all depends on what you want to study. They do offer some excellent academic programs and opportunities that are not available at Navy.
Any ideas on what major would interest you? If you are interested in and want to learn a foreign language, pick West Point. The curricula are different but similar at both schools. Both offer excellent engineering programs but West Point offers a lot of liberal arts majors as well.
At both you will take a heavy dose of calculus, chem and physics as well as engineering.

A limited number of USNA grads get to commission Marines. I don't know the procedure but you could end up not getting Marines at all and commissioning Navy and spending 5 years on a boat. Not that that is a bad thing, just something to think about.

From either service you will be in good stead to pursue a CIA or FBI career.
Here are some points to consider:

(1) Academically, it's a wash. Depending on which rating system you look at, USNA or USMA will be higher than the other but both are considered excellent. If you go engineering, your education will keep you in good stead with grads from MIT, CalTech, RPI, etc. Any degree from either school will be helpful in life.

(2) If you want to be a ground pounder, both are great options. Almost 25% of USNA grads now go USMC, so choosing that option shouldn't be a problem (although it is NOT guaranteed).

(3) If you think you want to fly, drive ships or subs, think about USNA. If you think you might want air defense, signal corps, medical service corps, intel, think about USMA b/c those aren't realistic options for USNA grads right out of school (some of these might be USMC options).

(4) If you go to USNA, you will spend a lot of time on ships during your 4 years -- at least 2 summer cruises, YP training, sailing training. If that doesn't interest you . . . . If you go to USMA, you'll spend a lot of time doing ground exercises (marching w/packs, land nav, eating MREs, etc.). If that doesn't interest you . . .

(5) As for FBI, CIA, etc -- any military background will be helpful. I had a colleague accepted for CIA Operations (but turned it down b/c he didn't want to spend his first few years in a 3rd world country). Had another accepted for FBI (turned it down for family reasons). Bottom line is that either academy and either service will be equally good.

There is no right or wrong answer as they are both exceptional schools.

zskater1312, many congratulations to you for having such awesome SA options! Have you visited both USMA and USNA? You should be eligible for overnight visits to both.
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Yes, I was just gonna post this.... go visit if you havent, that will help you make the decison. I REALLY LOVED USAFA, then I visited USNA, and I LOVED USNA haha, both are great but I liked USAFA better, now I just gotta find time to get to USMA, good luck and have fun deciding :D
After you visit USMA you will wonder what you thought was so great about USNA or USAFA! :wink:
I guess now you have to wait until spring. My suggestion is to wait until after the cadets come back from spring break. :shake:

When you visit - do more than gaze at the scenery. All the academies have lovely scenery. Talk to people, ask questions.
Congratualtions on getting 2 SA's!!!

As to deciding which one..... Visit or revist each one again. Each has their own candidate visit programs in the January/February timeframe. Follow your heart after the visits. You will make the right choice.