Spartan19

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Nov 29, 2019
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I am looking for some insight from Soldier applicants who gained direct admission to USMA. Some background: I had an unimpressive ACT score (28), HS GPA and class rank (3.4, probably around the 50 percentile class rank). Enlisted in the Army NG, flipped the switch and started crushing my college courses. Two years of engineering coursework with a 4.0, tons of extra curriculars, treasurer of honor society, etc. Also participated in a NASA Aerospace education and research program. Also, I am a Sergeant in a Cavalry unit and received the Leadership Award at BLC in my class of 168 Soldiers. I am worried about the possibility of getting a USMAPS offer instead of direct admission. Does anyone know how my credentials hold up against the other Soldiers?

Also, if any prior enlisted WP cadets are reading this right now, some insight on cadet life would be awesome. What was it like to go from enlisted to cadet life with the majority of the class being younger, what is going well and what isn't, etc. ANY guidance is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

aulusvitellius

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Nov 19, 2019
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Currently a prior applying. If you really want to go, don't worry about USMAPS. Think of it as basically a free year to better yourself and ding another year time in service. From the priors I'm friends with at the Academy its definitely different. Most of us are in our 20s and our fellow cadets may be 2-3 younger. Its especially hard if you're a NCO to put down your sword and take on the role of cadet. You're no longer in charge of anything and are being taught how to be a leader by senior cadets. You're going to be treated the same and you'll be able to speak to cadre on a more equal level. I guess to answer your other part I'll compare myself. I had a 3.4 unweighted in highschool and was around the top 20% of my class in a class of 600. I took a pretty rigorous schedule full of honors and AP classes. Enlisted in the Army as active duty and became a 35T. Nearly have my AA in Computer Networking and a 3.9 GPA in college. Currently a SPC and have deployed once to Afghanistan. I myself can agree with preferring a direct appointment over USMAPS. But either way, you still become a Lieutenant and get one of the greatest educations this country can offer.
 
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You will be bringing a lot of experience and maturity to (any) academy as prior enlisted, both excellent qualities, whether you must go through a year of prep school or not. DS went to CVW at USNA, one of the plebes he stayed overnight with was 23. He had a lot of good info to share about military life in general after the academy. You will be an invaluable resource to others, so keep on trying!

Good luck to both of you gentlemen (and thank you for serving)😍
 
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UHBlackhawk

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My DD was active duty prior service, direct entry and current USMA cadet. I’ll refrain from discussing her service background as it will pretty much say who she is and who I am, although I’m afraid that ship has probably sailed.
As mentioned you bring things such as maturity and experience. You have hopefully learned lessons, both good and bad, on leadership while enlisted.
On the flip side you will need to learn “followership” and humility. I will be honest, the adjustment Plebe summer and the first semester was tough for my DD. Giving up freedom, having people the age of her little brother bossing her around. There were times I expected to see a cloud of dust out Thayer Gate.
But she came to realize that Plebe summer wasn’t just about her, it was about those around her. Her fellow Plebes, the upper classmen over her learning leadership skills. Over her time at West Point things that didn’t make sense... “the West Point Way... now do make sense. Where she used to sometimes complain about some things she is now a staunch defender of how most things are done. She has also made friendships that she knows will last her entire life.
Last word of advise. Most chain of commands will be supportive of sharp soldiers applying to SA’s, but you may run into resistance, overt or covert. Be honest and upfront with your COC, but also keep a low profile about your application, if that makes sense. If you run into resistance or “hazing” because of it keep your nose clean and do your job, but don’t let that stop your dream and use the experience as a lesson in leadership. If necessary go up your COC in a respectful manner. My DD’s COC was very supportive, but she encountered a rear detachment COC that attempted to stop her from attending R-Day and it took CSMs stepping in to make it happen.
Feel free to PM and I will try to give you any advise I can, both as a father of a prior and a retired officer.
 
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Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner, Salt-Encrusted
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One nugget of insight I heard from the prior enlisted I have known at USNA over the years, when dealing with an upperclass younger than you and no field experience, is to respect the fact they do have experience being a cadet or midshipman, they survived Plebe summer and year, and can be an invaluable source of survival tips. Otherwise, keep your sense of humor, watch out for chip growth on the shoulder, and know that your helpful coaching on “military stuff” may be what you trade for help from that 17 year old math whiz.
 

jl123

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Feb 20, 2016
Messages
1,508
USMA Class of 2020 - Prior Service Applicants

Number of Applicants: 1,330
Number Qualified: 177 (13.3%)
Number Appointed: 83
Appointed from USMAPS: 36
Direct Appointments: 47
ACT Average USMAPS Appointees: 27
ACT Average Direct Appointees: 28
 

jl123

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The number of appointees above seems too low - USMAPS should have more prior service appointees, closer to 70 - 90. Must be an error, but number is also consistent with class of 2019.
 

Spartan19

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Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
39
The number of appointees above seems too low - USMAPS should have more prior service appointees, closer to 70 - 90. Must be an error, but number is also consistent with class of 2019.
Thank you for sharing these statistics. Can you share the source you got these from?
 

Spartan19

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
39
My DD was active duty prior service, direct entry and current USMA cadet. I’ll refrain from discussing her service background as it will pretty much say who she is and who I am, although I’m afraid that ship has probably sailed.
As mentioned you bring things such as maturity and experience. You have hopefully learned lessons, both good and bad, on leadership while enlisted.
On the flip side you will need to learn “followership” and humility. I will be honest, the adjustment Plebe summer and the first semester was tough for my DD. Giving up freedom, having people the age of her little brother bossing her around. There were times I expected to see a cloud of dust out Thayer Gate.
But she came to realize that Plebe summer wasn’t just about her, it was about those around her. Her fellow Plebes, the upper classmen over her learning leadership skills. Over her time at West Point things that didn’t make sense... “the West Point Way... now do make sense. Where she used to sometimes complain about some things she is now a staunch defender of how most things are done. She has also made friendships that she knows will last her entire life.
Last word of advise. Most chain of commands will be supportive of sharp soldiers applying to SA’s, but you may run into resistance, overt or covert. Be honest and upfront with your COC, but also keep a low profile about your application, if that makes sense. If you run into resistance or “hazing” because of it keep your nose clean and do your job, but don’t let that stop your dream and use the experience as a lesson in leadership. If necessary go up your COC in a respectful manner. My DD’s COC was very supportive, but she encountered a rear detachment COC that attempted to stop her from attending R-Day and it took CSMs stepping in to make it happen.
Feel free to PM and I will try to give you any advise I can, both as a father of a prior and a retired officer.
Thanks for sharing. If you don't mind sharing, what were her academic credentials when she gained direct admission? ACT, GPA, extracurriculars, college coursework, etc. Thanks again.
 

UHBlackhawk

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Sep 22, 2015
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Thanks for sharing. If you don't mind sharing, what were her academic credentials when she gained direct admission? ACT, GPA, extracurriculars, college coursework, etc. Thanks again.
I’d rather PM. Let me know when you have enough posts.
 

jl123

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Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
1,508
Thank you for sharing these statistics. Can you share the source you got these from?
Database of all applicants for several years. The info has shown to be quite accurate, but as with any large database there are errors, which is why I think the USMAPS number is incorrect.
 
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