Is it with trying again?


Apr 11, 2017
I am about to graduate college in May. I want to be an officer. I tried for the USNA last year and was waitlisted. Should I try again, or go for OCS?
Eight years would be long time to spend on your undergrad but if you want it that badly then go for it. If you're a senior in college I don't know how much you can improve your application, perhaps one of the BGOs here can comment on that. There's nothing to lose by giving it another shot though. If it doesn't work out, OCS is a fine way to commision. Good luck.
If you do OCS, you could be an O-3, in 4 years - whereas 6 years from now - you'll be an O-1 sitting before a promo board for O-2.
Something to think about, if this is going to be a career. :)
You applied for USNA after 3 years in college ? Did you apply when you graduated HS ? Why the late interest ?

USNA is a great experience, but only you can decide whether you would want to attend undergrad for another 4 years. With an undergraduate degree (BS/BA ) , you have one of several tickets necessary to apply to any one of a number of commissioning sources. THParent is dead on, if you qualify for one of the other commissioning programs, you are 4-5 years ahead in your career path. The big gold ring does not make you a better officer (I have addressed my views to the benefits of USNA on other threads), and a good leader from any other commissioning source has the same opportunities as a USNA grad.
Let me turn your question around. Why do you want to attend USNA at this point and repeat four years of college? USNA is a terrific school, but as Old Navy BGO says, it's certainly not the only path to a successful career in the USN/USMC.

There's no harm in reapplying (other than cost of your time), but I think at this point I'd focus on OCS. Move forward with your life.

[As an aside, unless things have changed since my day, there isn't a promotion board for O-2. Promotion is automatic unless there is some issue (i.e., criminal charges) holding it up. But fully agree with the premise that it's better to be an O-3 four years from now than an O-1.]
Why didn’t u do NROTC. It would seem that would have been the way to get a commission in case you never got accepted to the academy . Your way seems to be all or nothing proposition when in reality there were different ways to get in
Why didn’t u do NROTC. It would seem that would have been the way to get a commission in case you never got accepted to the academy . Your way seems to be all or nothing proposition when in reality there were different ways to get in

I was not fit enough after HS graduation for anything military. 3 years in, I was in a much better physical state, so I applied. NROTC was also going to be hard because I didn't live on campus
These suggestions are very helpful. Basically I should strongly consider OCS over anything else at this point. Does OCS have to happen directly after college?
I think it's still the "between 18 and 32 years old, with a 4-year college degree". Pretty easy to look up, I would imagine.
You would be what we used to call a "90-day-wonder" (2nd LT after 12 weeks of OCS), and well on your way to a rewarding career in the Navy, while Plebes are still remembering how hard it was to climb Herndon. :)
Regardless what any of us on the boards say (including me), at the end of the day you need to make the decision that is best for you.

If you are seriously looking to reapply to the USNA, check the nomination deadlines for your MOCs (I know they have already passed for my MOCs) and then look at your application package components -- are they stronger than those submitted last year? Have you actively worked to close any of the gaps that slipped your selection to the waiting list last year?
There is also an age limit to apply to USNA......

at least 17 and not past their 23rd birthday on 1 July of the year they would enter the Academy

You need to decide if your main goal is military service or being able to say you graduated from USNA (as mentioned above, no one here can make that decision for you).
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A few things to consider . . .

How will you feel being in a class where the majority of classmates are four years your junior? They've just finished h.s. -- you've finished college.
How will you feel taking orders from 1/C mids (not to mention 2/C and 3/C) who are younger than you are?
Are there sufficient courses at USNA that you can take and not feel you are "repeating" work you've already done?
Do you want to spend four more years in the undergraduate classroom? (recognizing you would almost certainly be able to do graduate work at some point)
Are you okay with not drinking (alcohol) as a plebe even though you're over 21? (I believe the rule is still that plebes can't drink, period)
How will you feel always being 4 yrs older than your peers in the military?

OTOH, you would have a terrific level of maturity, ability to live on your own, experience with college level academics, etc. that would be a huge advantage to you and to your classmates.

There have been plebes who've entered USNA with a college degree. But it's maybe one a year.

As noted above, apply to USNA and see what happens. If you receive an appointment, you can then consider what you want to do. But do be prepared to explain to MOC committees and your BGO why you're doing this and not OCS as they're sure to ask.