How to explore USNA as possibility

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Alynnlala, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Alynnlala

    Alynnlala New Member

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    I’m hoping to gain some knowledge on how my daughter can explore the possibility of attending USNA. She’s a 9th grader and has been talking about going to USNA for the past couple of years. What would be the best way for her to experience or gain insight into what attending a military academy is like? She’s very bright, a great athlete, competitive, and a wonderful patriot, however, I have concerns about sending my daughter, whether USNA is a viable option, etc. I’d be exceedingly proud for her to serve her country, but nervous as hell because she’s a female and my only child.

    I should add that she is registered to attend Naval crew camp this summer!
     
  2. thunderheadc6

    thunderheadc6 Member

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    Since she is only a 9yh grader have her look into the STEM programs offered in the summer, when she becomes a JR. she can apply for Summer Seminar
     
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  3. DesertCaliMom

    DesertCaliMom Member

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    Good for her!

    Check out youtube videos of campus - funny stuff and informative

    Read everything possible at usna.edu - so much there

    Have Showtime? There's a documentary on the Army Navy Game that showcases both campuses and female students

    Look for local Academy days, mids and admissions counselor come to visit. Like the Admissions Facebook page

    Attend a Congressional Academy night (usually in the fall) and talk to the reps there.

    We have several amazing women here that are graduates that I'm sure will have more info: D
     
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  4. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Congratulations on raising a daughter who has a desire to serve!

    Here are some suggestions:
    • Read this Washington Post article about 40 years of female midshipmen at USNA. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...the-u-s-naval-academy/?utm_term=.6f16ee23bf5c
    • Explore the USNA admissions website, and as Captain MJ says read all the pages and drop down boxes. It is the most authoritative source for correct information.
    • +1 DesertCaliMom - You Tube is a great source for unofficial information about life at the "yard."
    • Plan a trip to visit USNA (and maybe USMA while you're at it). The vibe will help your daughter know if it is right for her.
    • Review this website forum for more information about life in the military and the service academies. This acronym list may also help: https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/the-acronym-list.11568/
    • Make sure a plan B (and C and D etc.) is set as well. It is a competitive process. My DS worked out plan "H" and will commission as an Army officer in 2019.
    Bottom line, a service academy is not for everyone, but it might be perfect for your daughter. Explore, get the facts, visit, and I'm confident she will find her answer.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  5. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    The above are great suggestions and there's not time like the present to consider one's options. I would also encourage her to look at the other SAs. Each is great in its own way and she may find that one or more "speak to her" more than the others.

    Has anyone from her h.s. attended USNA in the past 4-5 years? If so, she could try to contact that person to get information. But suggest she do that after she's had a chance to review the publicly available sources described above so she's more focused in her questions. I.e., "What's it like to be a woman at USNA" is a very hard question to answer -- where do you start? "Do you wear uniforms every day?" or "How much time is devoted to sports?" or "Do women have the same career options as men?" are much easier topics to address.
     
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  6. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Crew Camp is a great start..I presume she will have some opportunity to meet with current Midshipmen. If that's the case, she should take every opportunity to talk with them...Midshipmen usually love to talk about USNA !

    There is lots of great information on-line, including this Forum, but I would caution that you should be cautious about relying on information that comes from other than Official Sources like USNA.edu.

    You should also consider reaching out to talk to your local Blue & Gold Officer. Blue & Gold Officers are essentially field representatives for the Admissions Office, responsible for promoting awareness of USNA and the Admissions process. (The BGO also interviews Candidates as part of the Admissions process). BGO's are not recruiters --- I will encourage interested and motivated candidates, and am always happy to talk to parents that have reservations, but I make a point to paint the whole picture.

    If your school doesn't have a BGO assigned (or the Guidance Office doesn't know who their BGO is), there is a list of Area Coordinators at USNA.EDU, You can contact him/her and they will tell you who your local BGO is.

    I would encourage DD to do their own research using the sources above before contacting the BGO. It is much more effective to call with specific questions rather than the broad "tell me about USNA." First impressions count, and that BGO may be doing a formal interview 3 years from now, so being prepared with a little knowledge is well received.
     
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  7. Alynnlala

    Alynnlala New Member

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    I’ve been reading these posts wondering what BGO means... thank you!
    These are all fantastic ideas and we’ll put them into motion ASAP. We visited Annapolis in Sept, went to the Navy football game, walked around at night watching the midshipmen...she fell in love with everything she saw. Was so impressed by their manners, the wholesomeness of them out getting ice cream on a Sat night instead of being drunk and staggering out of bars. She’s a very conservative, straight-laced, no nonsense kid. Not sure how she’s mine.
     
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  8. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    BGO means Blue and Gold officer who does the first face to face with the applicants in her region. DD stopped at Annapolis on a Blue Water trip home to RI and spent a day wandering around. Came home and said out of the blue "This is where I want to go". Only applied USNA, no plan B. We were in shock but she made it. Good Luck.
     
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  9. eljay60

    eljay60 AFROTC parent, former ANC in USAR

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    • Plan a trip to visit USNA (and maybe USMA while you're at it). The vibe will help your daughter know if it is right for her.

    We did this between Sophmore and Junior year - made a family vacation of it. Started at the USCGA in New London, went to West Point, took the train into NYC so DS and DH could say they'd been to Times Square, drove to the southern end of New Jersey and took the ferry across to Maryland and Annapolis. We hit an academy about every other day, and DS got a quick impression of each. It was a great 'college tour' trip.
     
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  10. Alynnlala

    Alynnlala New Member

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    Amazing! What a wonderful achievement. God bless her!
     
  11. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    There is a list of things to do to prepare for the academy for each high school year on USNA.edu. Read it. You can find it here: https://www.usna.edu/Admissions/Apply/index.php#ApplyindexPanel1

    As others have said, visit the campus

    Whether or not she decides USNA is for her she should also look at NROTC as (at least) a backup plan. Many fine officers come out of the ROTC programs.
     
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  13. iscerealasoup

    iscerealasoup New Member

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    There's lots of things out there that your DD can do to best prepare herself for the admissions process. But one of my main suggestions is to not only attend the Service Academy Nights/Admissions Forum once or twice, but attend as much as possible when they are occurring in the area. This will show USNA that your DD is interested in them, allow your DD to keep in contact with BGOs/Admissions Counselors, and you guys will always learn something new about the admissions process at each event!

    Make sure your DD gets on the Naval Academy's mailing list if she hasn't already (your DD probably already is since she is registered for camp). From there, USNA can send you emails about future Admissions Forums. However, if you guys do miss the chance of attending one of these events, DD could still participate in College Week Live USNA Q&A chat rooms. Here, your DD will be able to view the same admissions presentation at said events or even ask the representative a few questions.
     
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  14. ThePatternisFull

    ThePatternisFull BGO

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    But one of my main suggestions is to not only attend the Service Academy Nights/Admissions Forum once or twice, but attend as much as possible when they are occurring in the area. This will show USNA that your DD is interested in them, allow your DD to keep in contact with BGOs/Admissions Counselors...

    Attend one if you are looking for info. I would not attend more than 1. If your child is qualified they will get an appointment!
     
  15. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    You don't need to build up "face time" with your BGO. Interest and Motivation is only one of the characteristics we evaluate, and frankly, its pretty simple to tell who really wants to attend USNA and who is going through the motions. I love it when a candidate contacts me early in the HS career and asks good questions about how to best prepare, but don't necessarily need a regular check in to tell me what they are doing.
     
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  16. pilot2b

    pilot2b 5-Year Member

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    Not trying to disagree, but just making sure you approach USNA with the right perspective... Most of those you saw in uniform on Saturday night were plebes and youngsters who are still under 21. Most mids are very polite, but there are plenty stumbling back from the bars on the weekends. I see plenty of candidates/plebes who become disillusioned, in part because they approached USNA as the shining city on a hill instead of with realistic (and sometimes earthy) eyes.
     
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  17. MiddyB

    MiddyB 5-Year Member

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    This is important.
     
  18. ThePatternisFull

    ThePatternisFull BGO

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    They are still going to be young adults and do young adult things. They need to be able to blow off steam.
    :wiggle::jump1:
     
  19. momofmod

    momofmod Member

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    I'm throwing a negative in here and I don't want to sound judgmental BUT shouldn't the child interested in an academy be the one doing the digging? My son SCHOOLED me big time. He knew as much as he could possibly know as an outsider. The crew camp will be fun and she will get to talk to Mids but it is in no way an indicator of life at the academy. My two cents. Sorry to be negative.
     
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  20. mswmommy

    mswmommy Member

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    True, but in grade 9 they might not be aware of what they want to dig into yet. No harm in exposing them to different opportunities and possibilities so that by grade 10 or 11 they have a better sense of what is is they want to put their own energy into. At least that's my thought when remembering back a few years :wink: