Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
25
Hello all, this will be my first post here, I've been interested in the Naval Academy since February of last year, for a multitude of reasons that others before me have had, but another reason that I believe is special to me. The Cyber Operations Major.

Since November last year, I decided upon taking an IT Security class, that would cover a plethora of curriculum from the general call center and help desk, System Administration via Linux, Network Technician and Hardware Technician, to lastly Security Analyst and IT Security Specialist. However, the only way to actually apply to these jobs is to be certified. This class offers a variety of dual credits that would get me one-third of the way to a Bachelors in IT, I haven't taken any in lieu of USNA where the credits would not transfer. The class provides me with more leadership positions, where I will be president of the CTSO next year, as currently, I sit as an officer, only Second Years (seniors) hold the president seat. The main appeal of the class is the certifications...

I'm currently at the top of the class at this trade school, with three certifications in just the first semester alone, CompTIA A+, Testout Linux Pro, and Testout PC Pro. The closest person to me (the class as a whole) only has the PC Pro which is the easiest of the Certifications. I am currently working upon Testout Network Pro and CompTIA Network+, will be working on CompTIA Linux+ and Redhat Certified Systems Administrator by the end of this next semester. I will mainly focus on getting CompTIA Security+, CYSA+, and Cisco CCNA Security or Cyber OPs by the time of my application and congressional recommendation, so summer will be packed for. Most of these certs are highly respected certifications, taken by industry professionals with years of experience, I am hoping that these added to my name will sway my admission as my work ethic will be accurately reflected through these certs as 16 and 17-year-old taking certs expected of 25-year-olds with degrees and years of work.

I will be retaking the SAT and ACT after getting an 1130 and 26, I have many leadership positions as a camp counselor at a boy scout camp, peer facilitator, mentor officer, CTSO officer, and countless hours of volunteer work at my local church. I regularly do PT in my garage as I played football prior to my joining the trade school and wish to do it again at USNA.

My main priority is these certs, I was asking for all of your opinion's on this strategy. I understand USNA and all SAs look for Varsity Athletes, leadership, and Academics but I am hoping that my cause is peculiar enough for an appointment, I have the academics, I have the Leadership, I have the fitness but I need your own opinions if I am different than the others. I realize this is a hasty guess on my behalf to assume USNA will care at all about these certifications, but I believe it's worth mentioning that CompTIA and Cisco follow DoD approved 8750 baseline certs. I am fully prepared to not receive the appointment and will enlist promptly after as Information Systems Technician, where my schooling will be nearly identical to that of my own, as we cover virtually the same curriculum, the source being a former student now an E-5 on a sub. So I would very much appreciate your opinions if I will stand a chance with USNA admissions, and maybe some other recommendations to make mine a little bit better. Thank you for your time! :)
 

NavyHoops

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A couple of items... your standardized test scores... you need to put some focus there. The other part is you focus very heavily on these certs. They are great certs and everyone who works for me has these along with many others. But, in your long post, you mention wanting to attend USNA for a multitude of reasons, but spend a lot of time focused on these certs and the major. So how does that help as a commissioned officer? Why do you want to be one? You blow past many things in your post and state that you have things like leadership and PT, but not seeing how you do with having played football and working out in your garage. There isn’t a need to post about them here, but your focus on these certs seems very singularly focused. I would say this is the same for a candidate who is all athletics or only did JROTC and nothing else. Will it send you over the top? No, because your competition is well rounded. I can see it’s a passion for you and that is great, but take a step back and compare your entire resume to a class profile.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
25
A couple of items... your standardized test scores... you need to put some focus there. The other part is you focus very heavily on these certs. They are great certs and everyone who works for me has these along with many others. But, in your long post, you mention wanting to attend USNA for a multitude of reasons, but spend a lot of time focused on these certs and the major. So how does that help as a commissioned officer? Why do you want to be one? You blow past many things in your post and state that you have things like leadership and PT, but not seeing how you do with having played football and working out in your garage. There isn’t a need to post about them here, but your focus on these certs seems very singularly focused. I would say this is the same for a candidate who is all athletics or only did JROTC and nothing else. Will it send you over the top? No, because your competition is well rounded. I can see it’s a passion for you and that is great, but take a step back and compare your entire resume to a class profile.

I appreciate your time to reply, my main reason to post was to ask some question regarding the certs, so I cut some corners about discussing my leadership, PT, and reasoning for attending the academy.

I understands my need to retake the standardized tests, as I took them all the way back in the summer, with no studying. As aforementioned, I am currently studying networking, however all of these certs instill
upon me a necessary need to study and succeed, so I’ve already planned to retake them.

Thank you for your effort for to reply, I will most definetly will work on other aspects, I was curious as to how my chances stacked with these.
 

CrewDad

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
674
Jhenry904. I love your enthusiasm. And your tech proficiency is amazing! But your ACT/SAT are not so amazing nor your other qualifications that matter to get you in and to make you a good commissioned officer. You certainly have the passion for Cyber but you sound like a ONE dimensional dude! Academies are looking for multidimensional officer candidates who are Scholars Athletes Leaders and want to Serve their nation. Cyber is one of many fields the military needs. In order for you to be successful as an officer, you need to be strong in all 4 areas! And demonstrate that you are good and ready in all 4 areas now.

On the other hand I think you are a great fit for Cyber given your interest and preparation. With the level of proficiency and narrow specialty you’ll be a great fit as an enlistee who are specialist and who actually do most of the programming. You might want to consider that first if you think you will enjoy that more. Then later consider USNA after job experience and with more maturity through the Navy. At the Naval Academy you have to study 110 credits in things you may not like. You only study 30 credits for your major in Cyber Ops. You graduate with 140 credits with a BS.

Remember Naval Academy is a Leadership Academy with people who are smart, strong/athletic, willing to follow before they can lead and serve. Remember the movie Forest Gump, he said he made everything out of shrimp: shrimp soup, shrimp cake, Shrimp Pie, etc. you sound like Forest Gump. Don’t be that guy. Most colleges and most certainly all Academies want multidimensional strong candidate at their schools. I still think you’re great fit to the military as an enlistee in the Cyber Force where you’ll fit in well as a specialist and then seek Academy Appointment through the military. And it sounds like you want to do Cyber now and start hacking back the enemy rather than wait 6 years from now to do it if the military lets you do it later. It all depends on the needs of the military 6 years later and you have to compete for that narrow direct Commissioning into the Cyber Force out of the Academy. I honestly think you’ll enjoy the enlistee path more than trying to apply to the Academy now which in my assessment you don’t seem competitive. You can do Enlistment in Cyber Force which the military will guarantee. After 2 years review the military “may” recommend you to the Academy if you qualify. You can join the Navy Air Force or Army for the Cyber Job. They all work for the same Joint Command. Pick the Force and culture you think you would like more so you can seek Academy sponsorship through that service. That’s my opinion based on how I read your post. And Merry Christmas!
 
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Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
25
Jhenry904. I love your enthusiasm. And your tech proficiency is amazing! But your ACT/SAT are not so amazing nor your other qualifications that matter to get you in and to make you a good commissioned officer. You certainly have the passion for Cyber but you sound like a ONE dimensional dude! Academies are looking for multidimensional officer candidates who are Scholars Athletes Leaders and want to Serve their nation. Cyber is one of many fields the military needs. In order for you to be successful as an officer, you need to be strong in all 4 areas! And demonstrate that you are good and ready in all 4 areas now.

On the other hand I think you are a great fit for Cyber given your interest and preparation. With the level of proficiency and narrow specialty you’ll be a great fit as an enlistee who are specialist and who actually do most of the programming. You might want to consider that first if you think you will enjoy that more. Then later consider USNA after job experience and with more maturity through the Navy. At the Naval Academy you have to study 110 credits in things you may not like. You only study 30 credits for your major in Cyber Ops. You graduate with 140 credits with a BS.

Remember Naval Academy is a Leadership Academy with people who are smart, strong/athletic, willing to follow before they can lead and serve. Remember the movie Forest Gump, he said he made everything out of shrimp: shrimp soup, shrimp cake, Shrimp Pie, etc. you sound like Forest Gump. Don’t be that guy. Most colleges and most certainly all Academies want multidimensional strong candidate at their schools. I still think you’re great fit to the military as an enlistee in the Cyber Force where you’ll fit in well as a specialist and then seek Academy Appointment through the military. And it sounds like you want to do Cyber now and start hacking back the enemy rather than wait 6 years from now to do it if the military lets you do it later. It all depends on the needs of the military 6 years later and you have to compete for that narrow direct Commissioning into the Cyber Force out of the Academy. I honestly think you’ll enjoy the enlistee path more than trying to apply to the Academy now which in my assessment you don’t seem competitive. You can do Enlistment in Cyber Force which the military will guarantee. After 2 years review the military will recommend you to the Academy. You can join the Navy Air Force or Army for the Cyber Job. They all work for the same Joint Command. Pick the Force and culture you think you would like more so you can seek Academy sponsorship through that service. That’s my opinion based on how I read your post. And Merry Christmas!

Hey I really appreciate it! I will admit that I have been douple downing a large sum on the cyber aspect of my schooling, and not so much on my standardized test, which I will be taking again.

I have highly debated which route to initially take, as an enlistee, or as a midshipmen. The one downside I see in potentially going enlistee is losing the school life and returning again. I’m sure you understand when students take a gap year and find it difficult to return back on the grind. I do have one question because it looks as though you are more familar, what exactly is entailed in the enlistee route? I understand you do some time and apply to a nomination and receive appointment that way, but is it always two years or one year? I appericate the time and effort, merry Christmas to you as well!
 

NavyHoops

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There is no cut and paste path from enlisted to USNA. A lot of it depends on schooling. The Nuke pipeline screens sailors there and those with good high school stats, demonstrated maturity and academics in the pipeline will apply to USNA. I would say this is more the exception than rule. A CO’s endorsement is required to apply. So that is the difficulty in the school pipeline and why many must wait until they get to their commands, have some observed time and then ask for the endorsement. A CO isn’t going to support someone they don’t know much about and can’t put their name behind. So the longer the school pipeline, the longer it takes to get to the fleet to get that endorsement.

I tell anyone going this path to be prepared to serve a full enlistment. It’s a contract, one can’t get out of. And life throws curve balls. The enlisted route is great for hands on experience. The officer side you are more leading, managing, problem solving. And there are no guarantees you get cyber from USNA either. Read the USNA admissions sites for prior enlisted.

It’s great to pursue a passion, but take a look at how to expand that passion. You love this stuff, so how do you turn it into an internship, volunteering, etc? Are there kids you can teach? Help out a non-profit? Establish a club at school? This is how you show being well rounded while pursuing something you love. Get on those SAT/ACTs.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
25
There is no cut and paste path from enlisted to USNA. A lot of it depends on schooling. The Nuke pipeline screens sailors there and those with good high school stats, demonstrated maturity and academics in the pipeline will apply to USNA. I would say this is more the exception than rule. A CO’s endorsement is required to apply. So that is the difficulty in the school pipeline and why many must wait until they get to their commands, have some observed time and then ask for the endorsement. A CO isn’t going to support someone they don’t know much about and can’t put their name behind. So the longer the school pipeline, the longer it takes to get to the fleet to get that endorsement.

I tell anyone going this path to be prepared to serve a full enlistment. It’s s contract, one can’t get out of. And life throws curve balls. The enlisted route is great for hands on experience. The officer side you are more leading, managing, problem solving. And there are no guarantees you get cyber from USNA either. Read the USNa admissions sites for prior enlisted.

It’s great to pursue a passion, but take a look at how to expand that passion. You love this stuff, so how do you turn it into an internship, volunteering, etc? Are there kids you can teach? Help out a non-profit? Establish a club at school? This is how you show being well rounded while pursuing something you love. Get on those SAT/ACTs.

I have considered forming a club for IT at my school, just finding a sponsor is the difficult part, I will further persus a sponsor, searching high and low.

Once again those SAT and ACT scores! My school provides a free ACT on February 22, and the next SAT is March 9. So my current plan is Network Pro and Network+ by the end of January, SAT and ACT All of February and early March. I already volunteer at my local church since I was 10 , so I will certainly invest more time there as well. The one downside is my trade school runs from 3 to 7 every day! So it servely limits my ability to pursue other interests, all my nights after the school are spent studying and PT, but I am currently 3 merit badges, and Eagle Scout project, and 6 months from an Eagle rank. How much would Eagle increase my chances? Thanks for the input!
 

CrewDad

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
674
Eagle Scout is an excellent Leadership achievement. If you can cover 3 outstanding achievements in 3 areas Scholarship Leadership Athletics I think you can be competitive for SAs and leading colleges with ROTC option. For Nomination you have to be the most competitive in your district or one of the few most competitive in your state. This you have to find out. And of course there’s the DODMERB CFA. Many things you have to qualify beyond being good in Cyber.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
114
It was mentioned in a post on the OTS/OCS/PLC forum, but you should consider going through a normal college program and getting a BS in a computer/IT related field and applying to the Army's Cyber Direct Commissioning Program. The Army might not continue the program into the next 5 years, though there is a good chance they might, and that other branches might introduce something like it. You could also decide during your college years to focus your cyber prowess into a job in the private sector, or you could do OCS for the Navy rather than the Army's program, or apply to USNA halfway through. As you make it seem in your post, you seem more focused on performing a role in military cyber than specifically Navy or Marine Corps cyber, though it could be otherwise. You also indicate having a year of high school left, so continue your school's IT program, but focus also on fitness, leadership, military, and your SAT/ACT scores. Also, TAKE THE DUAL ENROLLMENT CLASSES. You don't want it to seem to USNA like you're throwing such a good opportunity away, and you might not make it either, or focus elsewhere during your next year of high school, or once enlisted, and they'd be helpful then. Imagine, 20 years from now...
You never made it to USNA. You either enlisted, but never got an appointment, or went to regular college but never got into OCS. Well, you're out of college now and have a BS in Information Technology, but can't get a good job, even though you have the certs. You have to compete against people with work experience and masters and PHDs in IT. You regret not taking the dual enrollment courses that could have gotten a year and a half out of the way, or even two if you buckled down. You could have gotten your masters in 4 years, or a PHD in 6. You throwing a good opportunity away!
Take the dual enrollment courses while you still can. They'll look good on a USNA application by making it seem like you took every path to better yourself and your plan B, C, and D. You can also validate courses at USNA in lieu of credit transfers. IT courses usually have some basis in science and math. You could validate plebe year science and math, and even basic computer science courses, leaving you with a lighter course load and more chances to focus on a Cyber Operations Major. Also, apply to NASS. Get your Eagle Scout award if you haven't already. Work on fitness. Work on leadership. Work on academics beyond your IT classes. Do everything you can do to get into USNA. Interesting plan B, though, with enlistment being your only other mentioned option. Not meaning to insult you, but have you looked into OCS or ROTC? Though you may just want to be in the military, not specifically an officer.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
25
It was mentioned in a post on the OTS/OCS/PLC forum, but you should consider going through a normal college program and getting a BS in a computer/IT related field and applying to the Army's Cyber Direct Commissioning Program. The Army might not continue the program into the next 5 years, though there is a good chance they might, and that other branches might introduce something like it. You could also decide during your college years to focus your cyber prowess into a job in the private sector, or you could do OCS for the Navy rather than the Army's program, or apply to USNA halfway through. As you make it seem in your post, you seem more focused on performing a role in military cyber than specifically Navy or Marine Corps cyber, though it could be otherwise. You also indicate having a year of high school left, so continue your school's IT program, but focus also on fitness, leadership, military, and your SAT/ACT scores. Also, TAKE THE DUAL ENROLLMENT CLASSES. You don't want it to seem to USNA like you're throwing such a good opportunity away, and you might not make it either, or focus elsewhere during your next year of high school, or once enlisted, and they'd be helpful then. Imagine, 20 years from now...
You never made it to USNA. You either enlisted, but never got an appointment, or went to regular college but never got into OCS. Well, you're out of college now and have a BS in Information Technology, but can't get a good job, even though you have the certs. You have to compete against people with work experience and masters and PHDs in IT. You regret not taking the dual enrollment courses that could have gotten a year and a half out of the way, or even two if you buckled down. You could have gotten your masters in 4 years, or a PHD in 6. You throwing a good opportunity away!
Take the dual enrollment courses while you still can. They'll look good on a USNA application by making it seem like you took every path to better yourself and your plan B, C, and D. You can also validate courses at USNA in lieu of credit transfers. IT courses usually have some basis in science and math. You could validate plebe year science and math, and even basic computer science courses, leaving you with a lighter course load and more chances to focus on a Cyber Operations Major. Also, apply to NASS. Get your Eagle Scout award if you haven't already. Work on fitness. Work on leadership. Work on academics beyond your IT classes. Do everything you can do to get into USNA. Interesting plan B, though, with enlistment being your only other mentioned option. Not meaning to insult you, but have you looked into OCS or ROTC? Though you may just want to be in the military, not specifically an officer.

I have thought about ROTC and OCS, however, I viewed them as them as a lesser option to USNA, which I largely want to pursue no matter which path I take. I really wish to pursue a cyber degree, the main priority to me right now is grinding out these certs to reflect my work ethic and desire for an appointment. I have other leadership opportunities, work experience, and community service that I neglected to mention as I was concerned with discussing the certs. I do have one question though, I realize that the Navy Prioritizes running over lifting, but with football, it is vice versa. I recently hit a 425 on my deadlift, and I'm looking to be going higher up, I do focuss on fitness whenever I have time away from the certs or studying for the AP classes I have at school, but how will weightlifing stack compared to running and calisthenics when compared to football? Thanks for your input, I will take the OCS and ROTC route, as I have looked at local colleges and their ROTC programs, however, I do not exactly enjoy their Cyber Degrees compared to USNA.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
114
I have thought about ROTC and OCS, however, I viewed them as them as a lesser option to USNA, which I largely want to pursue no matter which path I take. I really wish to pursue a cyber degree, the main priority to me right now is grinding out these certs to reflect my work ethic and desire for an appointment. I have other leadership opportunities, work experience, and community service that I neglected to mention as I was concerned with discussing the certs. I do have one question though, I realize that the Navy Prioritizes running over lifting, but with football, it is vice versa. I recently hit a 425 on my deadlift, and I'm looking to be going higher up, I do focuss on fitness whenever I have time away from the certs or studying for the AP classes I have at school, but how will weightlifing stack compared to running and calisthenics when compared to football? Thanks for your input, I will take the OCS and ROTC route, as I have looked at local colleges and their ROTC programs, however, I do not exactly enjoy their Cyber Degrees compared to USNA.

Thanks for clarifying that you have looked into OCS and ROTC. I do not think it is wise to consider OCS/ROTC lesser than USNA, especially since your goal should be to commision as, in your case, a cyber officer in the Navy or Marine Corps. OCS and ROTC do have benefits over USNA in certain cases. You get more bang for your buck at State U with ROTC for your major, as (mentioned above) only part of your course load at USNA is related to your major. OCS allows you more freedom, as you might not want to commision as an officer after college. If you go to, for example, MIT for their IT program on a NROTC scholarship, you get an amazing education that is completely centered on your major. You also get it for essentially free, a guaranteed job in the Navy, and leadership experiences that none of your peers from high school will get. However, at USNA you will be completely overloaded with work and will be constantly be surrounded by military life. The program that fits you depends on the person.
I'm no expert at Navy fitness, seeing as I have no experience beyond what I have learned from veterans and graduates of USNA and members of this forum. However, football will probably help you at USNA, though read the sticky on Plebe Summer which will provide tips on fitness for plebes.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
25
Thanks for clarifying that you have looked into OCS and ROTC. I do not think it is wise to consider OCS/ROTC lesser than USNA, especially since your goal should be to commision as, in your case, a cyber officer in the Navy or Marine Corps. OCS and ROTC do have benefits over USNA in certain cases. You get more bang for your buck at State U with ROTC for your major, as (mentioned above) only part of your course load at USNA is related to your major. OCS allows you more freedom, as you might not want to commision as an officer after college. If you go to, for example, MIT for their IT program on a NROTC scholarship, you get an amazing education that is completely centered on your major. You also get it for essentially free, a guaranteed job in the Navy, and leadership experiences that none of your peers from high school will get. However, at USNA you will be completely overloaded with work and will be constantly be surrounded by military life. The program that fits you depends on the person.
I'm no expert at Navy fitness, seeing as I have no experience beyond what I have learned from veterans and graduates of USNA and members of this forum. However, football will probably help you at USNA, though read the sticky on Plebe Summer which will provide tips on fitness for plebes.[/QUOTE]

While I have made it evident that I do indeed have a large interest in the Cyber Field and a degree there, what attracts me to USNA is the history, honor, and prestige of attending it. Much like other high school students in this day and age, I am also interested in the activities such as the aforementioned football but I've also looked into the special programs offer such as the academy exchange, semester abroad, VGEP, and honors programs. These are what I've looked into and one of the reasons I've desired to go to USNA. I've also had a large sum of patriotism ensued within myself as a result of two visits to pearl harbor that has solidified my choice into the Navy. I've had struggled to find a passion and how I would stack up to the Navy, but finally found it in Cyber. My first priority to me had been Navy, Cyber as a second, so I believe that's one reason why I'm so gung-ho about USNA Appointment and if not, Enlistment. I will certainly search for more answers to my fitness question, but I will continue lifting for the time being and push my maxes higher than before in hopes of the navy. Thanks for the advice!
 

CrewDad

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
674
I have thought about ROTC and OCS, however, I do not exactly enjoy their Cyber Degrees compared to USNA.

What makes you think USNA is the Cyber college in the nation. It is not. USNA although may become one of the best programs in the nation in Cyber, it is not today. The program is new in year 2. It is still at infancy today and still forming its program. Classes and instructors are still shaping and becoming. My DS currently at Annapolis is considering Cyber as a Major but not sure if he will commit to Cyber because it is still shaping, now in year 2. Don’t choose any schools for Major as number one reason to attend. Always pick the brand first, then culture/environment (SAs are 100% military vs part time military ROTC), then overall quality of the academic program, then the Major. If you want only Cyber then you are better off going to technical college. You are seeking a Bachelors Degree in Science at USNA. There are many other colleges that offer stronger Cyber Degree than USNA such as Norwich. Again USNA is not a Cyber school, it is a leadership Academy. Only about 15 May direct commission into Cyber Force out of 1100 graduates. Most will be Pilots/Aviators 45% of the class and the rest in Subs, SWO, and Land Force Marines. Less than 15 will direct Commission into Intel, Med Schools, and others mostly because they fall under restricted duty. So think again if you want Cyber Cyber Cyber. Yes you can study Cyber at USNA but your first job most likely will not be Cyber for 5 years after graduation. So what will you do then if not Cyber, you have to be ready to serve in combat lines like the most of graduating MIDNs. If you want to attend USNA then you have to be prepared to serve in combat lines as primary. Every MIDNs at USNA will graduate with at least 2 Cyber classes so that everyone is Cyber trained/oriented. Only small few will go directly to Cyber Force out of USNA. Numbers may change but not by a whole lot at this time.and you need to run like hell. Your mile run time is key. Target runtime under 7 minutes. Push ups and pull ups 70-90 in 2 minutes. Lifting weights actually will not help you. It may make it worse because it does not help with agility and stamina. You will develop more mass in the wrong places. You need a light body and agility. Learn boxing and Juijitsu you will need to learn to fight with stamina. There is Plebe boxing and wrestling and you need to pass. If you are not a wrestler you will get B even if you are good. If you are not a boxer then you will learn as you get punched around the ring. If you are not a swimmer then you’re in trouble. You will need to swim well in order to graduate from USNA. Focus on things that matter for you to get an Appointment and do well at USNA if you are serious. In your case you need to raise your ACT/SAT first. That’s your first big hurdle. Bring it up to 700/700 and 30+ in english and math if you want to start the competitive race against your peers. And work on your other weaknesses, you have many, and study AP CHEM and AP PHYSICS. Chemistry is a Plebe killer at USNA. So can be Calculus 1-4. There is 4 semesters of Math at USNA. At ROTC just 2 semesters of Calculus and No Chemistry.
 
Last edited:
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Dec 25, 2018
Messages
25
I have thought about ROTC and OCS, however, I do not exactly enjoy their Cyber Degrees compared to USNA.

What makes you think USNA is the Cyber college in the nation. It is not. USNA although may become one of the best programs in the nation in Cyber, it is not today. The program is new in year 2. It is still at infancy today and still forming its program. Classes and instructors are still shaping and becoming. My DS currently at Annapolis is considering Cyber as a Major but not sure if he will commit to Cyber because it is still shaping, now in year 2. Don’t choose any schools for Major as number one reason to attend. Always pick the brand first, then culture/environment (SAs are 100% military vs part time military ROTC), then overall quality of the academic program, then the Major. If you want only Cyber then you are better off going to technical college. You are seeking a Bachelors Degree in Science at USNA. There are many other colleges that offer stronger Cyber Degree than USNA such as Norwich. Again USNA is not a Cyber school, it is a leadership Academy. Only about 15 May direct commission into Cyber Force out of 1100 graduates. Most will be Pilots/Aviators 45% of the class and the rest in Subs, SWO, and Land Force Marines. Less than 15 will direct Commission into Intel, Med Schools, and others mostly because they fall under restricted duty. So think again if you want Cyber Cyber Cyber. Yes you can study Cyber at USNA but your first job most likely will not be Cyber for 5 years after graduation. So what will you do then if not Cyber, you have to be ready to serve in combat lines like the most of graduating MIDNs. If you want to attend USNA then you have to be prepared to serve in combat lines as primary. Every MIDNs at USNA will graduate with at least 2 Cyber classes so that everyone is Cyber trained/oriented. Only small few will go directly to Cyber Force out of USNA. Numbers may change but not by a whole lot at this time.and you need to run like hell. Your mile run time is key. Target runtime under 7 minutes. Push ups and pull ups 70-90 in 2 minutes. Lifting weights actually will not help you. It may make it worse because it does not help with agility and stamina. You will develop more mass in the wrong places. You need a light body and agility. Learn boxing and Juijitsu you will need to learn to fight with stamina. There is Plebe boxing and wrestling and you need to pass. If you are not a wrestler you will get B even if you are good. If you are not a boxer then you will learn as you get punched around the ring. If you are not a swimmer then you’re in trouble. You will need to swim well in order to graduate from USNA. Focus on things that matter for you to get an Appointment and do well at USNA if you are serious. In your case you need to raise your ACT/SAT first. That’s your first big hurdle. Bring it up to 700/700 and 30+ in english and math if you want to start the competitive race against your peers. And work on your other weaknesses, you have many, and study AP CHEM and AP PHYSICS. Chemistry is a Plebe killer at USNA. So can be Calculus 1-4. There is 4 semesters of Math at USNA. At ROTC just 2 semesters of Calculus and No Chemistry.

I appreciate the input, I now realize the extreme gravity of my SAT and ACT scores, since I'm already on the last few legs of my Networking Certifications I will finish those first then promptly resume studying for the aforementioned tests. The one downside of the trade school like I said was that it does severely limit my free time, I will most definitely focus upon these tests in the upcoming months. I will continue to focus on CFA, the one dilemma that I see is to halt my lifting, focus on the running(my mile is currently 8:30), I have the sit ups and push ups down, I've gotten up to 3 pull-ups from last year when I started and was unable to do even one. If I were to actually receive the appointment and follow my plan of football, aren't I to just return to my current work out schedule? I know for a fact that I would be one to play line, as I played from 3rd to 8th grade, they prioritize the "big guys" which I fall under at measly 240 Lbs and 6 foot 3 inches, do they not take your desired sport into consideration when weighing your CFA scores?

Questions about my leadership, I worked as a summer camp counselor where I had direct subordinates under me I was responsible for teaching, disciplining, and directing orders. I also served as the assistant leader of the camp, under the elected leader, who I lost to by one vote. The camp was 4 weeks long and saw 100 hundred kids each week, I was responsible for 7 to 14 kids at a time, sometimes alone with my CITs (counselors in training). I excelled at my job and was responsible enough that I received "Staff Member of the Week"amongst 30 other members, only 4 would recieve the reward. For my leadership, the ability to teach effectively, and lastly my self-discipline that I could reflect onto others I was invited back to serve as the leader next year, provided I didn't make the USNA summer seminar where I would have to skip a week and be disqualified to lead. I continue to volunteer for the camp director outside of this camp on various Sundays teaching sailing to kids for no pay, which I taught at the camp previously. I will most definitely use my camp director for a recommendation as she has first-hand experience with my leadership, and willingness to say no to any tedious task.

Secondly, for leadership, an hour out of my day is to serve as a peer facilitator which also grants me the position of mentor officer. First and foremost, the peer facilitator class, I serve as a mediator with two other students who believe have high aspirations, one even attends football at our school and is shooting for any of the Ivy League schools. As a mediator I take part in conflict resolution at my school under the school counselors, I bring students in who have arguments in class, we listen to each story, address the problems, brainstorm ideas for what each prospective student wants, then lastly agree upon something to resolve the conflict. I received training upon this subject and used both in class as a mediator and outside in other leadership positions. The other aforementioned position is a mentor officer, the mentor club is used to greet incoming freshmen to our school, as many students find the transition initially hard. As a mentor we are assigned mentees and are responsible for communications with them basically letting them know of school events and serving as a guide to their newly encountered problems at high school. That is a typical mentor, however, as an officer I am responsible for other mentors, I serve as a head of the committee, the emcee committee where we do all the talking in front of the freshman class, and lastly I serve as valuable input along with other officers to the counselors of the school. The same counselors I might use as a recommendation as well.

I don't know if I should ever mention this for leadership but I worked as a dishwasher for about two months, while I like to say I worked a part-time job the hours were basically full time with 70 hours accumulated over two weeks. The managers seemingly forgetting that my coworkers and I were full-time students in high school, nonetheless it taught me responsibility and camaraderie, asI came in for my coworkers, not for the money, as I knew if I quit they would have been left in the dust. It's also worth mentioning that I did give a one week notice when I quit, and my fellow coworkers walked out on their last night as it was close to finals and was running close to 2 am, so the establishment is unable to be used as a recommendation.

Now my trade school, where I serve as an Officer in the CTSO, SkillsUSA. CTSO means Career and Technical Student Organization, where I may run as a state officer in March for my state but I question if it is worth running, should I focus more on academics? A state officer is a very demanding role out of a normal student with just 4 classes, with me and my trade school next year, I imagine the absences will soar and my grades may drop... Nonetheless As an officer in my CTSO I am responsible for decisions made on the student body's behalf, I do not hold the position of president as a year 2 does, but I will promptly take that over as head of my class with the most certifications out of anyone, 5 before the end of January before anyone has 2. There isn't much more to say regarding the officer role, sometimes when the teacher does step out to do something he puts me in charge instead. When the time comes I will use him as a recommendation as he has the first-hand experience of my work ethic, leadership, and academic ability.

Lastly, Boy Scout roles. I was Assitant Senior Patrol Leader for a year, where I took upon the mantle of SPL many times like the current one at the time was often absent, I was also responsible for heading events, taking charge, and disciplining those under me served as the basis for my role in the summer camp. Once the troop realized how much I excelled I was offered the position of SPL the next year and was voted in, where I had done exactly the same before, just this time I was actually SPL not just for the time being. I went on to be elected to the Order of the Arrow and went through the rigorous ordeal, which served as a basis of my ideas and morals of commitment towards servitude and intense labor under one unifying cause. I went onto receive brotherhood where I currently sit, as receiving the rank of Vigil at age 16 is virtually impossible, I speak on behalf of the O/A for my troop currently as well as for the summer camp I attended. The reason for my eagle taking so long as the trade school, however, that is all about to change as I will surely find a Project in the upcoming months, receive the last 3 merit badges I need, and fulfill my court of honor by July 9th when my 6th months are finally up.

The church mentioned before, a large church with many locations across my city, I served as a volunteer back when my brother was still working there at age 15, so about age 9. I did taper off here and there but I'm asking, is it worth putting in the time in volunteering there or should I potentially put it somewhere else. The leaders could provide another necessary recommendation as they have seen me work, the jobs I did they were usually dishwashing(ironic), food prep, or food serving. The food serving is where I grew most, as a little child I was out of place and unable to speak to anyone, simply listening to the words of my superiors and what food to grab. Now as a 16-year old I serve opposite jobs, serving as the front for the serving, talking to people, and even telling those under me, although rarely, on what to do.

I listed all of these as they are the most recent and current leadership spots that I can mention to my head, if you believe that I may need some more time spent here, I would appreciate the input. Should I focus on state officer or academics or potentially try both? Should I focus on more community service at this church as opposed to my certifications and concrete evidence of my work, as opposed to my word and my "boss's" word? Just let me know what you think...
 

CrewDad

Member
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Jan 7, 2018
Messages
674
They take nothing under consideration. You have to pass CFA like everyone. Unless you are a recruited football player and a must have to pass the CFA. Mile run in 8 mins is a Fail. You must run under 8 minutes. Pull ups, you must try to be at the Academy average for USNA. Should do 10+. Practice pull ups everyday until CFA. You can start from one and reach 20 with daily practice. My kid did that over 6 months. Lighter men can do 18 proportional to their body weight. Like I said BIG muscles are liabilities in athletics. You need stamina agility and strong muscles around your bones and tendons to protect you from injuries and breaking bones. Big hulk muscles lack sustained power. You need to work on building muscles that can sustain endurance and strengthening. You need density not mass!

Camp staff is good stuff put that on your leadership. Make sure you make Eagle Scout. That’s the biggest leadership point. Go to Boys State. You need American legion sponsorship. Forget about summer seminar don’t need it. Instead apply for CVW at USNA. You get to be a drag and shadow a Mid for 2 days in classes and activities. You can go to a Cyber class and show off your Cyber knowledge. You probably already know more about Cyber than Youngsters in their second year. Spend your summer to get your CFA right. And work on your Academy Apps. Mention all your work experience. Just don’t go too detail in your essay with one dimension. Be sure to add details of how you made impact to your personal development in all your activities and how you made impact to others. Be sure and be clear why you want to attend USNA or USMA or USAFA or USCGA or other colleges for your ROTC schools. You should apply to all ROTC Scholarships. There is min SAT ACT Scores for each service. Read about and find out. Air Force does direct commission you to Cyber Force so look into AFROTC and USAFA.

Don’t focus so much in getting certifications in Cyber at this time. Sorry to say most schools don’t care you have one. They don’t even care if you have Pilot license. So don’t focus on certifications. Most important is your act sat Scores. That adds most to your academic points. So get over 1400 SAT or 31 ACT if coming from a reasonably competitive district. Of course higher the better. And improve your running time. At the moment if you took CFA you would fail. You need to run under 8 minutes and do min 8 pull ups. Do 70+ push-ups and sit ups. Throw basketball 60+ feet. Get a Nomination and be healthy and qualify DODMERB. You must qualify in all of these to be considered for an Appointment. That’s only consideration without guaranteed Appointment. ROTC path is more simple. Choose few colleges you like with on campus ROTC Programs. That should be in your plans. SA Appointment is very very difficult to get. You have to be the best in your district for an Appointment. Good luck son. And be sure to enjoy your Christmas week! And stop writing on this post! Take a break. ^^
 
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14mccpa

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Aug 4, 2015
Messages
38
@CrewDad ... re “The program is new in year 2”, I’m pretty sure you meant that USNA is graduating it’s second class, therefore it’s 6th year. It is also one of 4 Cyber schools now accredited.

https://www.usna.edu/NewsCenter/201...URITY PROGRAM RECEIVES ABET ACCREDITATION.php

Cyber is a very dynamic field right now, as you would expect.

https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/ne...2018/03/01/corps-unveils-new-cyber-job-field/

Agree it is still somewhat difficult to go directly Cyber upon graduation, that is changing too. Two of my son’s Cyber friends selected into Navy Crypto, and my Firstie who selected USMC infantry has already been contacted by USMC Cyber about starting a Cyber MOS this summer ~right after commissioning.
 

CrewDad

Member
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Jan 7, 2018
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@14MCPPA. Yes 2 years 6 years it’s very new! But great Major Navy got going. It needs little time to get it right like all curriculum. The school added a real good National Security major into their portfolio. It will draw many strong talent to the school.
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
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Aug 27, 2010
Messages
2,240
Interesting that I've seen people recommend Norwich for Cyber in different threads on this site and they are not ABET accredited.
On the other hand, I teach at a university that has a pretty highly regarded cyber major and they aren't ABET accredited either.
 

Humey

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Jun 21, 2016
Messages
1,614
As great as the academies are, there are many other fine colleges that are as good or better in terms of that degree. Getting a Cyber degree from Stanford, Cal Tech or MIT might get you a little further in tech world than the Naval Academy (no offense to the Naval Academy) and assuming they have a Rotc program, will get you a commission in the Navy. Not telling you not to try getting into the Naval Academy , but if it doesnt happen, there are other routes to commissioning and just as important there are other schools that have fantastic cyber programs. My son did AF Rotc and is now in pilot training. Do you know what the differnce between him and the other student pilot who came out of the Air Force Academy? A different class ring. And yes there are other intangible benefits when you go through the academies and no one can deny it, but for all practical purposes, there is no differnence once you commission
 
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