Getting into tough academies

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Cody T English, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Cody T English

    Cody T English Jayhawkx

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    My name is Cody and I am 17 going into my senior year at a private college prep school. I struggled with some personal issues these past couple years and as a result my grades suffered. As of now, I have a 2.7 ( 3.0 in a public school) and play baseball, involved in 4 clubs, and am now starting an internship for a congressman. I was wondering since I have pathetic grades and I am nearing the end to my time in high school, is there any way I could still attend a military academy? I really want to do it and I want to improve myself as a person and put myself through hell to do so.
     
  2. anon2021

    anon2021 Member

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    What are your test scores?
     
  3. Cody T English

    Cody T English Jayhawkx

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    As of right now my ACT is a 25 and I have only taken the SAT once and am taking that again.
     
  4. Hawaii5OH

    Hawaii5OH New Member

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    Have you considered The Citadel? My DS is applying to USNA, USCGA, and the Citadel.
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    First, I suggest you contact the site administrator and change your username to something other than your own name. This is for your protection.

    Second, based on what you've told us, it would be difficult to get into one of the 5 federal SAs unless there is something about you/your life that would still make you a competitive candidate. People say that you don't know whether you'll be accepted until you apply, but one also has to be realistic about where they apply in order not to waste time and (for civilian schools) money. I suggest you obtain the contact info for the Blue & Gold Officer assigned to your school (see sticky above on how to find your BGO). Talk to him/her about your situation; he/she can offer some decent advice regarding whether it makes sense to apply.

    It's also a great idea to consider Citadel and VMI. Both are (private) military schools from which many graduates go on to military careers, though it's not required to do so.
     
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  6. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    +1 usna 1985

    Minor correction:

    VMI and The Citadel are two of six Federally recognized Senior Military Colleges, the others being Norwich, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, and University of North Georgia.

    All of these are public, state owned colleges except for Norwich, which is the only private senior military college.

    SMC's charge tuition unlike the service academies but are given special assurances of active duty for those who participate in Army ROTC, under Federal statute.*

    * https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/2111a
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  7. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Two things ...
    1) 100% if those that don't apply don't get in.
    2) You have an uphill batttle, but improving ACT/SAT and being able to tell a compelling story about overcoming personal challenges would help alot. Also, don't just participate in clubs or sports ...USNA is looking for leaders.

    Good luck.
     
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  8. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

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    Unfortunately, I don't think that G.P.A. and ACT score will get you in. There will literally be thousands of applicants with better numbers. Also, out of concern for you I must point out that your goal of self improvement through putting yourself "through hell" could be good but I think a military academy might not be the place to find success. The stress is almost constant and it lasts for 4 years. It does improve those who can tolerate this environment a great deal but it is not right for everyone and that's perfectly ok. Also, there are other ways to become a naval officer, ROTC and OCS are also paths. They also have rigors that test and grow individuals. Best of luck to you in finding the path that is right for you.
     
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  9. davejean90

    davejean90 Member

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    Honestly you best shot a Service Academy is to enlist in the active force. This is not an easy path as you have to remain focused on your goal and at the same time you must perform your enlisted job at a high level. There are lots of duties and distractions out there and finding time to improve your ACT and CFA scores will be a challenge. However, the academic competition among those who are nominated from the enlisted ranks is much lower and there is always the prep school option. I had many prior enlisted classmates with poor high school performance that was erased with enlisted service. Also, it may to 2 to 3 years after you high school graduation for you to finally get to the service academy. Patience, persistence and focus will be vital on this path.
     
  10. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    This with some recommendations.
    First, your grades from this day forward must be excellent. I don't know what it will take to motivate you, but just do it.
    Second, work on getting above average ACT/SAT scores. Take it several times. Also, understand that the academies take your "super scores", meaning if you take it several times they take the best in each area. If you smoke one area but bomb another, work on the weak area for next the next test.
    Third, apply. You probably won't get a nomination, but try anyway. You never know and at least you will go through the process.
    Fourth, try to show successful college work. The academies won't just take any enlisted, they want enlisted who will succeed. So go to a university for a semester. Take challenging courses, but courses where you can succeed.
    Finally, enlist. Do the best you can as a soldier. Prove yourself.
     
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  11. Cody T English

    Cody T English Jayhawkx

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    Ok thank you for the advice. A few questions. 1. What is the difference between ROTC and OCS? 2. What makes Citadel different from one of the more selective/difficult military schools like West Point. 3. I can't seem to find my BGO at my school, how do I find out?
     
  12. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    You might also look at the State Maritime Academies. Son got his commission through Mass Maritime and has unlimited engineer license which you don't get at USNA. ROTC you do during college years. OCS is after college graduation.
     
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  13. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    ROTC is a 4 year college program designed to commission officers. Many, not all U.S. colleges offer Army, AF, Navy and Navy/Marine Option ROTC programs. Some, not all cadets/midshipmen earn 4, 3 or 2 year scholarships for these programs.

    OCS or Officer Candidate School (also OTS for some branches) is a post college program for candidates who have a four year college degree and wish to commission.

    Generally, the Service Academies are the fill the first 20% of officer slots. ROTC fills the remainder. If ROTC does not provide enough officers, then OCS is used to "top off" the number that are needed. In other words, OCS, is usually the least certain of commissioning methods, depending on the needs of the Pentagon.

    The Citadel and VMI are dominated by a military atmosphere similar to West Point and other SA's. They are less selective than WP, and USNA, or USAFA, but still very challenging. The other SMC's have a Corps of Cadets but are part of a larger student body.

    Here are links to VMI and The Citadel:
    http://www.vmi.edu/
    http://www.citadel.edu/root/

    Remember, BGO's are local volunteer representatives to facilitate interviews and provide admissions information on behalf of the US Naval Academy. They are not (always) "assigned" to a particular school, but (possibly) by geographic region of the U.S.

    Here is a link to find your local BGO if you are interested in attending USNA.
    https://www.usna.edu/Admissions/BGO/index.php
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
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  14. Cody T English

    Cody T English Jayhawkx

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    Ok, thanks so much for this information. I am looking into the ROTC. In ROTC, can you become an officer and build up your ranks in the military or is it only a short time thing? I would assume it takes time to become an officer from the time you enter the program.
     
  15. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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  16. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    In ROTC, you would go to college like a regular student (except at SMC's where it is a military atmosphere 24/7). You would choose a major and attend those required classes plus you would take additional courses in military or naval science. Each year you would progress as a cadet or midshipman, with increasing responsibilities, including leading other cadets/mids. Upon graduation and meeting the military and medical requirements, you would commission as a second lieutenant (or ensign in the Navy) in the branch. Your assignment would usually depend on how well you perform during the four years.

    Review these links for ROTC in the various branches.
    https://www.goarmy.com/rotc.html
    https://www.afrotc.com/
    http://www.nrotc.navy.mil/

    Edit: Cross posted with @UHBlackhawk
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
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  17. Cody T English

    Cody T English Jayhawkx

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    Ok thank you. I think ROTC is the right thing for me, but I am gonna look more into it. I want to join the military for a 2 main reasons. One, I am passionate about politics and with that comes patriotism. I feel obligated to do my part. second, I am planning on going into politics after I get out of the military. Will I be able to manage a job at a campaign or for a congressman while doing ROTC in college for my first 4 years?
     
  18. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

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    Many cadets/mids hold a part time job, but it is not easy to manage the time. It CAN be done.

    My son was a 2nd year cadet this past year, carried 20 semester units, participated in color guard and football cannon duty, and taught snowboarding lessons at the local resort. With all that he still made Dean's list.

    It is entirely up to you. If you have had past challenges with personal issues, then your FIRST priority is to keep your grades up or you will not be allowed to continue in ROTC.
     
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  19. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    Nothing wrong with serving and later entering politics - sad more politicians haven't served. However, (1) the military has no room for politics (elected) (2) you will have to be careful and very clear when you wear the uniform what you are allowed to do and say on the political spectrum. I have no idea how that translates to being in ROTC or the guard/reserves, but the military takes a very dim view of actually wearing the uniform and expressing a political opinion.

    So make sure you know the rules as you don't want your passion for elected politics to get you into trouble with the military.
     
  20. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    A couple of things. First, BGOs are typically assigned to particular schools, at least in our area. In less populous parts of the country, they may cover a bunch of schools in a certain geographical area . The fact is there is typically one BGO assigned to any particular school and BGOs know the school(s) they cover. Area Coordinators, OTOH, are assigned regionally -- typically one to a state for less populous states and more than one for populous states. They don't usually work with candidates; rather, they coordinate and manage the BGOs in their region. If your school career counselor does not know the BGO that covers your school, contact your Area Coordinator (name available on the usna.edu website). He/she will put you in touch with the right person. Note that the other SAs may take a different approach to assigning their equivalent of BGOs.

    Second, enlisting in the military is a terrific way to serve. It is NOT a terrific way to enter USNA. It can be done but is a long shot and no one should enlist expecting/anticipating that they will be able to attend USNA. This advice may not apply to enlistees from the Army and Air Force -- I simply don't know. It is SOMEWHAT easier (cannot emphasize that word enough) to become an officer from the enlisted ranks, but again, not an easy path. It can be done and is done, but isn't the normal route.

    In order to get into NROTC on scholarship, you must plan on being a STEM major. It is my understanding (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that you will not get a scholarship as a humanities major. NROTC is a very competitive program (for a scholarship) -- and you must also be accepted to the school itself. It's a different way to become an officer, but not necessarily an easier one.

    There are quite a few military folks who go on to careers in politics. AFTER their service. Sadly, a small number go into the service to boost their resumes, so to speak. Join the military because that's what you want to do. If your desire for politics still pulls you, then get out and pursue that dream.
     

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