How do enlisted Airmen get the opportunity to attend USAFA?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by DevilDog, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. DevilDog

    DevilDog 5-Year Member

    Aug 25, 2008
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    My son has a friend that is interested in enlisting. The kid is extremely smart but did not set the world on fire in High School. He played football and wrestled, he was ok at both. He is pretty athletic for the most part and a really good kid.
    My son is telling him how great the AF is and how it is more like a family, and that he should really look into enlisting in the AF.
    This young man knows I served and came over for advice. I told him to look at all the branches, decide on what he would like to do for an MOS, then I would sit with him gop over the good and the bad of the branch and of the MOS if I can.
    I also want to know if he can get in the academies, what the chances are, so I can help him make an informed decision.
    Also, it was really cool to see how much my son appreciates the AF Academy and how he understands how special it is.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 5-Year Member

    Jul 26, 2008
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    The air force has a program called LEAD: Leaders Encouraging Airmen Development. It has "Chief of Staff" visibility and is highly supported throughout the force. All base education offices have a person that is knowledgeable about the program and can help airmen begin the application process.

    ALO units also normally have at least one officer that is "The LEAD expert" and they work closely with any AF bases in the state. My state does well in this; we typically have 3-6 airmen attend the prep school and then move on to the academy. Once in a GREAT while, we have an airman directly appointed to the academy, although that is NOT common.

    All this being said, this is not a "quickie program" with any guarantees. There are a LOT of bridges to be crossed: NCOIC's have to support the airman, then their commander and their chain of command, etc. There's a lot of things that have to go "right" to make this happen.

    BUT IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR! And the support structure is there to enable it!

    USAFA '83
  3. johnd9090

    johnd9090 5-Year Member

    Oct 14, 2010
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    Fliger83 is correct. I am currently working on the LEAD program.

    It's a ton of work getting it all done. The major part was convincing my commander that I was worthy enough to goto the Academy.

    The best part about it is that my whole chain of command is backing me on this. I am lucky enough to work in the command area with a lot of senior leaders in my Wing. So I have the base commander, vice commander, director of staff, all my senior ncos, and ncos backing me and helping ensure that I get in. It's pretty nice. But If I was in a normal squadron, I think it'd be a lot harder to get this achieved.

    His background in high school still has to be just as good as any other Cadet's background in high school to get in. The only real difference is we don't require a nomination besides the endorsement from our Commander.
    Also, prior enlisted have the ability to be directly considered for the Prep School.

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