Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jm123, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. jm123

    jm123 Member

    Jan 6, 2013
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    I just wanted to check a quick scenario. Which would be more advantageous to my Service Academy application(s): four years of marching band with senior year involving leadership positions of Section Leader and possibly even band captain or quitting band to shoot trap and skeet in the national championship?
  2. Dixieland

    Dixieland 5-Year Member

    Mar 10, 2010
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    If you are involved in band, do you have time for a sport? West Point wants to see that you play a sport.
  3. mom3boys

    mom3boys 5-Year Member

    Nov 3, 2007
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    This was our dilemma...son loves band...has from the get go. He's been on the leadership team for 2 years, and expected section leader his senior year. The band director instead cut leadership positions and only has one in percussion (not my kid; gave it to the superior musician). He had a chat with him about it, but director wouldn't budge. He is only concerned with kids that want to be professional musicians, it appears. So, son found a sport that only mildly conflicts with band...and if he has to miss some band this year for the sport, ACT/SAT, etc...he will because after all "he's not in charge." This director lost some really good members this year due to his crappy leadership. He lost some great parent volunteers, too...but I digress and am venting and not really answering your question, am I? :wink:

    National championship? Do it.
  4. oldcorpsdad

    oldcorpsdad 5-Year Member

    Jan 17, 2011
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    Every candidate is judged on their own merits. Some will say you must.... It all depends. My DS did band for 4 years, squeezed in indoor track for 2 years, never earned a letter. He had mid 700 SATs, Eagle Scout, solid scores on CFA. He is now a Cow squad leader at Beast. Do what you are good at, make choices you can live with, realize that there are many facets to a candidate and check some other good criteria that you like. If you become someone you aren't just to get in, you may not be happy in the long run. As it turns out, a really old grad pays for a piano maestro from NYC to come up and give lessons to a few cadets at no charge. It is a fantastic experience that continuing music in HS helped facilitate. Be you.
  5. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Band is considered an ECA by all of the service academies it is not a sport. Physical fitness is a BIG deal at the academy since so much of what they do involves being in good physical shape. I think it is important to look at the bigger picture here and realistically, if you son doesn't plan to be a pro musician, band is something you do for fun in h.s. and perhaps civilian colleges.

    The amount of real 'leadership' you get from your band experience probably varies by each school, but frankly being in charge of few people who play the same instrument won't get you vary far. I think most would be hard pressed to say what they actually did as a section leader.

    90+% of those at the academy have participated in varsity sports while in h.s. those are the people you will be expected to keep up with once you start the program. I think he needs to make some tough decisions recognizing what the endgame is. If you aren't already athletic and have never participated in any physically demanding sports in h.s. you will be at a distinct disadvantage to your classmates, assuming you even get an appointment.
  6. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

    Jun 18, 2012
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    All those previous posts are very valid as to what WP is looking for. They are looking for a well rounded candidates. They focus on Academics, Athletics, and Leadership in their selection process. Look at your quals, and ask yourself how strong are you in these three areas?

    Academics-strong back ground in Math, chem, physics
    Athletics-At WP you will be invlolved in PT, sport and maintain your conditioning. You will be tested constently.
    Leadership-Must have condfidence in yourself to be able to accountable for those you in command

    Push Hard, Press Forward
  7. MemberLG

    MemberLG 5-Year Member

    Jan 4, 2011
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    What other things do you do?

    My understanding is no extra credit in the whole candidate score. So ECA is divided into SOE, activities, and varsity sports. So if you give up band and do trap and skeet, you might lose points in activities and gain points in sports, with minimum net change. The optimal solution is doing both.

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