Just received a Letter of Assurance... I had a question about the English Department/Languages

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by DenMammo, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. DenMammo

    DenMammo New Member

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    Hi,

    I just received a Letter of Assurance to the Naval Academy, and I am beyond thrilled. All I need now is a nomination, which I think I will get because my area is under-represented and everyone from my school has gotten the nomination from my area, despite getting rejected or accepted into the Academy.

    I am trying to look at this decision as not only short term but also long term. If I attend, I plan on serving for at least 20 or so years, possibly making it a complete career. However, if something happens, I really want a fallback. I have wanted to become an English Professor since I can remember, but I am worried that USNA does not give me the tools to do this. If I remember correctly from attending NASS, the Masters Program is insanely difficult to get into. Also, even if I do end up getting a Masters before my service or after, how would I approach a Phd? I don't think after 20 or so years of service I would really feel inclined to pursue a Phd, as it takes forever. Do they even have a Phd option... before serving your 5 years or after serving your 5 years? I know for medical school, you do it all before serving your 5 years.

    My other question regards double majors. I would really like to pursue a study of a critical language at the academy as well. Anyone know the process? I hear you get put into a language slot depending on a test you take that determines your aptness for a language. If lets say I do get chosen and get that degree, what is the benefit for the Navy? Would they station me in one of the countries that speaks that language, etc.?

    If anyone has any insight to any of these questions, that would be great. Should I should pursue possibly ROTC instead; maybe getting a Masters/Phd is easier using that route?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    First, take a deep breath.

    The vast majority of officers from all services, all commissioning sources, do not get their Master’s right out of, say, USNA or NROTC. Yes, a few go right away, and then they have to play catch-up with classmates in the Fleet or Corps in terms of their warfare qualifications, in which they are 1-2 years behind. The services have many programs to obtain a Master’s degree, both as a full-time student or after working hours. Search the many grad school threads on this forum. That opportunity occurs after a few years doing operational things.

    Let’s say you do 5-8 years active duty, then get out. Check out major private and public university programs, most of which have dedicated veteran web pages and support services staff, as well as a Yellow Ribbon program. As I am fond of saying, in your late 20’s, you are not teetering on the edge of the grave just yet.

    A good friend of mine did a 24-year career in Navy personnel management, attended some refresher college courses in life sciences, took some prep, applied and got into vet school (a challenge similar to med school), used her GI Bill. She started her large-animal vet practice in her late 40’s, and is happily ensconced in her new career in Big Sky Country.

    The moral of this story is, you can and should have short, mid and long-term goals and plans. Then, life happens. Be open to the journey. Your focus right now should be on gaining your appointment, getting ready for your SA, and knowing you have to figure out the next 4 years, then at least 5 after that, for your warfare specialty.

    Trust in the military to give you briefings on everything as you go along, from double majors to grad school to all the what about???? topics banging around in your head.

    Think of your life in twenty year chunks. The first twenty you spend in school and becoming a young adult. There could be another 20 in uniform, or not, but possibly another 45-50 years in the working world, doing any number of things. So - there’s time.

    Rein in the galloping thoughts and just be in the present. You’re in a good spot with an LOA. Focus on the things you can control. That’s a valuable officer skill. And enjoy where you are right now!
     
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  3. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Your USNA education will NEVER hold you back. Many, many USNA grads go on to graduate education in medicine, law, engineering, business, science, the humanities, religion, etc. Some do it after 5 years of service. Others do it after 20. And, of course, many get their masters' degree while in the USN/USMC. Your USNA degree will always be a help to you in grad school.

    As to your specific questions, going ROTC won't change your ability to get a graduate degree. The only language majors at USNA are Chinese and Arabic and you do need aptitude (though not prior knowledge). I believe you can "minor" in other languages, based on your major and the ability to take sufficient language. You can earn your PhD while in the military if you want to be permanent military professor at USNA. I'm not sure whether English is an option or whether it's limited to STEM subjects.

    Agree with Capt MJ. Take a deep breath. It's great that you have lots of specific goals at this stage of your life. You want to be an English prof today. A few years could well change that goal (or not). I ended up in a career (law) that I'd never even imagined while at USNA. You never know where life will take you. The ride is the fun part!
     
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  4. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    ++++ I tell my candidates that a USNA degree will open doors. It won't get you a job or into post-grad school, but it at least get you a look. Your resume or application will stand out among all others, regardless of what you do.

    I believe English is still one of the group 3 humanities (or "Bull" ) majors at USNA. I was a Bull major (Poli Sci ), and will be the first to admit that my political science background wasn't a strong as someone that went to Georgetown because alot of time and effort is spent on core STEM classes that we all took. That being said, the Poli Sci had some really top notch professors with real world experience. I really viewed it as the best of both worlds, and have never been held back by my experience at USNA.
     
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  5. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    As already mentioned, if you get an appointment, there will be plenty of time to think about your major once you are actually in the program. I don't see a lot of value in lining up what you think you will be doing that far into the future, since so many others things need to happen and you interests may change. Even some who are top-notch students in h.s., find the academics far more challenging at USNA then they had ever imagined. Then there are all of the other demands on their time. You really have no idea how well you will do before even starting the program and as mentioned above, you will be provided ample opportunity to learn about the available majors once you are at USNA.

    Your choice of service selection (as an example) could be impacted by a number of factors not within your control. Being overly focused on a single specific path while still in h.s. is probably not the best use of your time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  6. dakine

    dakine Member

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    OP. I suggest contacting your USNA admissions officer with these questions. Ask to talk with the English Dept. They will be able to answer these questions (but perhaps not about ROTC).
     
  7. DenMammo

    DenMammo New Member

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    Just curious, but do you know anything more about earning your PhD in the military if your goal is to be a permanent military professor at USNA? I have never heard of that.
     
  8. DenMammo

    DenMammo New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your sincere replies. I think I will end up attending the Academy, and like many of you have mentioned, my career choices could definitely change. I will just see what happens because, regardless, I know I am in good hands there.
     
  9. Vaquero

    Vaquero Member

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    What are your interests in English? Are your a "great books" person with more of a classical approach to English are do you tilt toward more post-modern theory and criticism? If you are more of a "great books" person, the USNA curriculum appears to be a bit radicalized--though not as much as most departments of English. You may wish to go to USNA's English Department's webpage and look at the interests of the faculty members.
     
  10. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Below is what the USNA website says about the PMP program:

    "PMP officers help meet the demands for senior military instructors at USNA. Those officers are able to instruct and shape both entry level and advanced portions of USNA's curriculum. PMPs provide a stable source of officers with the appropriate professional experience and academic preparation to teach at both the basic and advanced levels at this institutions. In addition to affording greater staffing stability, PMPs also help provide recruitment, counseling, and mentorship for more rotational military instructors.

    USNA is authorized up to 50 PMPs, consisting of at least 34 commander (O-5) billets and up to 16 captain (O-6) billets. PMPs selected to instruct at USNA not already possessing a relevant Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree shall attend designated civilian institutions, NAVPGSCOL, or Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) to obtain a PhD. Once designated as a PMP, PMP officers are obligated to remain on active duty through statutory retirement: 28 years of active commissioned service for O-5s and 30 years for O-6s."

    "JPMP officers help meet the demands for military instructors at the USNA. The JPMP program provides a stable source of officers in the grade of Lieutenant Commander with the appropriate professional experience and academic preparation to teach at the USNA. The JPMP component seeks post-department head URL or IDC Lieutenant Commanders with relevant master’s degrees and preferably with teaching experience to join the faculty of USNA. USNA is authorized up to 40 JPMPs, consisting entirely of Lieutenant Commander (O-4) billets. Subject to available funding, JPMPs not already possessing a relevant master’s degree may attend designated civilian institutions to obtain a master’s degree."

    Note that you can't participate in either program until you are at least a mid-grade to senior O-4, which means about 12+ years of service. PMPs have at least 16 years in, and probably more.

    There are selection boards for both programs -- don't know how competitive the program is. I also don't think may folks start out with a goal of being a PMP -- and it's certainly not guaranteed for anyone.

    If your goal is to be a college English prof, there are much better, easier and more reliable ways to accomplish that than starting your career at USNA.