Questions for a Current Cadet!

Tx2AFA

USAFA '23
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
36
Hey everyone,

I'm a current '23er here at USAFA.

This forum was extremely helpful to me as I made my way here to the Air Force Academy so I thought one of the ways that I could give back would be through answering some questions for any prospective applicants. Feel free to ask anything about basic, cadet (doolie) life, or anything else you may have on your mind!

Also feel free to PM if you'd prefer I answer your questions there.
 

txfwindian

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
271
Thanks Tx2Afa
Would you share ( if you can) what was your candidate profile like? Such as SAT, Athletics, CFA, Leadership, GPA and anything pertinent. Anything that can help
 

Tx2AFA

USAFA '23
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
36
Thanks Tx2Afa
Would you share ( if you can) what was your candidate profile like? Such as SAT, Athletics, CFA, Leadership, GPA and anything pertinent. Anything that can help
Sure!

GPA: 4.6 Weighted
Rank: 2/98
SAT: 1430
Athletics: 4-years on varsity basketball and team captain two of those
CFA: Don't remember exact numbers but ~70 pushups, ~80 sit-ups, 6:00 mile, maxed basketball throw, maxed shuttle, 10 pull-ups
Leadership: Class President, Basketball Captain, Founded and led an investment club at my school
Other stuff: National Merit Scholar, a lot of community service
 

Air Force7

Aim High, Fly-Fight-Win.
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
36
Thanks Tx2Afa
Would you share ( if you can) what was your candidate profile like? Such as SAT, Athletics, CFA, Leadership, GPA and anything pertinent. Anything that can help
Sure!

GPA: 4.6 Weighted
Rank: 2/98
SAT: 1430
Athletics: 4-years on varsity basketball and team captain two of those
CFA: Don't remember exact numbers but ~70 pushups, ~80 sit-ups, 6:00 mile, maxed basketball throw, maxed shuttle, 10 pull-ups
Leadership: Class President, Basketball Captain, Founded and led an investment club at my school
Other stuff: National Merit Scholar, a lot of community service
Did you get an LOA? Any mistakes you made prior or while at the Academyand tips you have to prevent them? Anyways, congrats on being accepted, and thanks for doing this!
 

Tx2AFA

USAFA '23
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
36
Did you get an LOA? Any mistakes you made prior or while at the Academy and tips you have to prevent them? Anyways, congrats on being accepted, and thanks for doing this!
I did not receive an LOA and few I know here did either -- the AFA is different from the other Academy's in that since. As to mistakes, nothing major really comes to mind. To appointees I would say keep your head level but make the most of your senior year and enjoy the last few months that you have at home. Don't stress too much about BCT because it will suck no matter how hard you prepare, the cadre ensure that.
 

flieger83

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Messages
3,745
The AFA gives out VERY FEW LOA's except to recruited athletes and the "very few" above amazing academic superstars.

Steve
USAFA ALO
USAFA '83
 

trackandfield08

USCGA 2014
10-Year Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2008
Messages
600
I would advise candidates and parents on this forum to ask current cadets questions about their experiences, rather than their statistics or application. While there is always a formula to the admissions process, each individual applicant is different and will be treated as such by an admissions board. Strive to get good grades, shoot for high test scores, demonstrate leadership skills, and enjoy the ride as you attempt to achieve your goal. You can only control your own accomplishments, comparing yourself to others and worrying about LOAs will only cause you unnecessary stress.

Instead, use this thread and others like it as an opportunity to get the unfiltered “truth” of a SA experience from someone currently living it. They have no obligation to make USAFA sound like a place of only sunshine and rainbows, they can give you the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly.

@Tx2AFA Congratulations on completing basic! Could you please share your thoughts on your experience? Were there things that you found to be more difficult than you anticipated? Easier? Do you have any advice for future cadets in terms of basic or preparing for it? Have you felt any regret at any point in your decision to attend USAFA?
 

Ditka089

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
25
Hey everyone,

I'm a current '23er here at USAFA.

This forum was extremely helpful to me as I made my way here to the Air Force Academy so I thought one of the ways that I could give back would be through answering some questions for any prospective applicants. Feel free to ask anything about basic, cadet (doolie) life, or anything else you may have on your mind!

Also feel free to PM if you'd prefer I answer your questions there.
So much competition to get into SAs... once in, are your peers super competitive still or are they supportive of each other?
 

txfwindian

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
271
I spoke recently with some one who graduated from USMA ( about 12 years back) about exactly the same thing. The response I received, I was in awe. He told me that every one was supportive and ready to help your make it even though it is competitive. He said remember it’s about team work and once you are in the field / duty, you carry the same feeling that your goal is to bring everyone home safe. His remarks was that you want to succeed and at the same time want to help others succeed and make it as well. Again this was over 12 years back.
 

USAFA10s

USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB
10-Year Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2007
Messages
546
My info might be a little old, but I think in this case it is likely still solid. Even in the case where helping classmates literally hurts your grade (physics major's courses that are graded on a curve) everyone was willing to help everyone else. USAFA was one of the most supportive environments I have ever been in, and you can still see it in the grad community - we have a networking page on Facebook and it is amazing how fast grads reach out to help other grads.
 

BBBRRRTT

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
216
I would advise candidates and parents on this forum to ask current cadets questions about their experiences, rather than their statistics or application. While there is always a formula to the admissions process, each individual applicant is different and will be treated as such by an admissions board. Strive to get good grades, shoot for high test scores, demonstrate leadership skills, and enjoy the ride as you attempt to achieve your goal. You can only control your own accomplishments, comparing yourself to others and worrying about LOAs will only cause you unnecessary stress.

Instead, use this thread and others like it as an opportunity to get the unfiltered “truth” of a SA experience from someone currently living it. They have no obligation to make USAFA sound like a place of only sunshine and rainbows, they can give you the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly.

@Tx2AFA Congratulations on completing basic! Could you please share your thoughts on your experience? Were there things that you found to be more difficult than you anticipated? Easier? Do you have any advice for future cadets in terms of basic or preparing for it? Have you felt any regret at any point in your decision to attend USAFA?
......."to get the unfiltered “truth"........
Come on, there is a little filtering going on don't you think? That's why there are moderators on this forum.
 

Tx2AFA

USAFA '23
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
36
So much competition to get into SAs... once in, are your peers super competitive still or are they supportive of each other?
Super supportive. There are definitely times when we are pitted against one another in competitions but the entirety of BCT as well as the environment during the academic year is designed to make you work as a team and help one another. The friendships and relationships I have made here in two months are already stronger than nearly all I had back home. Everyone from the upperclassmen to the faculty here are looking to help you succeed and will ultimately do whatever it takes to ensure that happens if you too put in the effort.
 

Ditka089

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
25
So much competition to get into SAs... once in, are your peers super competitive still or are they supportive of each other?
Super supportive. There are definitely times when we are pitted against one another in competitions but the entirety of BCT as well as the environment during the academic year is designed to make you work as a team and help one another. The friendships and relationships I have made here in two months are already stronger than nearly all I had back home. Everyone from the upperclassmen to the faculty here are looking to help you succeed and will ultimately do whatever it takes to ensure that happens if you too put in the effort.
So glad to hear this. Thanks for ur candid response
 

Hunter.50cal

5-Year Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
15
As someone who just finished at the academy I’m happy to answer any questions as well. Wasn’t a perfect child at the Academy and definitely won’t paint a completely sunshine and rainbows picture of it, but looking back it was worth it
 

txfwindian

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
271
Can you pls throw some light on “sunshine and rainbows picture? What in your experience was worth it and why? These are questions from a dad whose DD is preparing for class of 2025.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
2,116
They have no obligation to make USAFA sound like a place of only sunshine and rainbows, they can give you the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly.
Come on, there is a little filtering going on don't you think? That's why there are moderators on this forum.
I don't venture over here to USAFA often, but saw this. I've never got the impression that anyone is making any Service Academy sound like a place of sunshine and rainbows here. At least on the USNA side, BGO's are not "recruiters" , and that is one one of the first things I tell my candidates. We do promote awareness of the Service Academy, but I never try to convince any individual to apply or attend --you have to want it yourself. Plebe Summer, BCT and Beast are bad enough when you want to be there , you will be completely miserable if you are there for the wrong reasons.

Yes folks, there are good (great) things about attending a Service Academy, but also bad ..think of it as the good, the bad , and the ugly. Two sayings ring true " Attending USNA is like a Turkish Steam Bath , not so hot once you get in" (I think this was in David Poyerr's , Return of Philo McGiffen) and the alway popular,"its a great place to be from !"
 

Nebulalabai?

Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2019
Messages
27
So much competition to get into SAs... once in, are your peers super competitive still or are they supportive of each other?
Super supportive. There are definitely times when we are pitted against one another in competitions but the entirety of BCT as well as the environment during the academic year is designed to make you work as a team and help one another. The friendships and relationships I have made here in two months are already stronger than nearly all I had back home. Everyone from the upperclassmen to the faculty here are looking to help you succeed and will ultimately do whatever it takes to ensure that happens if you too put in the effort.
From what you know so far, is it more or less challenging to earn a pilot slot than what you thought?
 

Tx2AFA

USAFA '23
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
36
From what you know so far, is it more or less challenging to earn a pilot slot than what you thought?
At the AFSC brief last week they said 550 people put in top choice as pilot and there would be ~500 pilot slots. So not 100% guaranteed but pretty good odds if you stay on top of your work here. I should note that the number of pilot slots rises and falls with the needs of the Air Force. They are currently in a shortage so the number of pilot slots is high.
 

Hunter.50cal

5-Year Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
15
Can you pls throw some light on “sunshine and rainbows picture? What in your experience was worth it and why? These are questions from a dad whose DD is preparing for class of 2025.
Sunshine and rainbows- USAFA is perfectly run, sexual assaults are absent, people don’t get depressed, the rules have purpose and everyone at the academy truly wants to be there, people don’t cheat, lie, or steal. The AOCs/AMTs/Leadership care about you all the time. I’m not saying all of those are untrue BUT when you are at the academy you realize it’s not as perfect as in those colorful pamphlets.

What made it worth it- I made friends who I could call and they would drop everything for me, I learned what it meant to care about your people and still be a military professional from some truly wonderful Instructors and some Permanent Party. I got to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia with Navy and West Point. I am now at UPT waiting to start my dream and can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.

That’s a short list and a lot is based of my experience: other peoples results may vary
 
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