Rising Firstie: Ask Away!

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by screamingeagle20, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. screamingeagle20

    screamingeagle20 Member

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    Ask literally any question you may have (about-to-be basics or parents)! And I’ll answer them to the best of my ability!
     
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  2. NervousMother

    NervousMother New Member

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    Son really wants to be a fighter pilot. We heard not many get to do so, but he’s heard it’s a clear path via the Academy. What’s your experience in reality, do you have a lot of control of your path?
     
  3. screamingeagle20

    screamingeagle20 Member

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    As of right now, the Academy is the best path to go in regards to being a pilot. If he doesn’t have 20/20 vision, the Academy pays for LASIK or PRK (ROTC does not). He would get flight experience via Powered Flight or the Soaring program. Right now every cadet that is medically qualified is pretty much getting a slot... not so sure about the future though. As to being a fighter pilot specifically, that depends on his performance in UPT. In UPT there is the T-6 Texan (1st), T-1, and T-38 (after T-6). His performance in Academics and during his flights will determine his rank in his flight and thus whether he goes to the T-1 or T-38. T-1 students can choose from “Heavy” aircraft and T-38 students have the choice between fighter, bomber, and heavy aircraft. The aircraft he will fly for the next 10 years after UPT will be determined by his rank and the Air Force’s needs
     
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  4. screamingeagle20

    screamingeagle20 Member

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    In all reality, if he works hard... he will get a favorable final result. Tell him to consider the vast amount of benefits that come from being a Grad as well. It’s worth it.
     
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  5. LuckyBlue27

    LuckyBlue27 Incoming Basic Cadet '23 ~Sapere Aude~

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    I'm an incoming Basic Cadet with two unrelated questions:
    1. I've heard I'll get two overnight passes for the semester, and I'd like to use them to fly home over Veteran's Day weekend for an event. Is it unwise to buy a plane ticket now before I can get any official permission? I know I have to return by 7pm on the Monday night, but when is the earliest I can leave on the Saturday morning (I'd like to use the passes on the Saturday and Sunday overnights).
    2. I should receive AP credit for a lot of classes. I've heard mixed opinions on whether to validate many of these classes, and the relative merits of validating a lot of classes. I think I should be able to validate Econ301, Chem100, Calc141-2, Bio315, English111, Phys110 & 215, (World) History 300, (American) History 351 or 352, and hopefully some Spanish (on another note, how difficult is the language placement exam/what is covered?). Which of these classes would you recommend validating and how will it affect my courseload/coursework as a C4C?
    Thanks for any insights!
     
  6. screamingeagle20

    screamingeagle20 Member

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    1.) I would wait for approval from your chain of command. Just in case there is any obstacles or problems. Usually, you will send up a SSS form to your chain of command to get your trip approved. If there is no training that weekend (I haven’t look at the calendar), you may be able to leave Friday after your last military duty. Again, make sure you clarify with your AOC/AMT.
    2.) I would suggest validating any and all core classes you can... trust me.. it will free a lot of your schedule up. If you can validate Physics, Chem, and Calc... that would insane haha. I don’t really think there is any negatives to doing this as well. As to the language placement test... I’m going to be honest I don’t really remember. I was placed in Portuguese and loved it. What are you thinking about majoring in?
     
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  7. LuckyBlue27

    LuckyBlue27 Incoming Basic Cadet '23 ~Sapere Aude~

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    Thanks for the rapid reply and helpful info!
    I'm definitely going the Engineering route but I'm torn on specialty, probably leaning toward Aerospace or Aeronautical since they seem to be the best programs. I would also consider Comp Sci. but I just don't have much experience compared to the people who have been coding since Middle School and building their own computers. I suppose some double majors might be available due to all that validation?

    A couple more questions are coming to mind now if you don't mind...
    I don't like my laptop very much that I bought last year and I'm considering reselling it... Is there any reason I would need a personal computer this year?
    Would you recommend attempting to walk on for a sport? I'm a long distance runner and my fitness seems to be in line with some C4C walk-on times I've found online. I'm pretty serious about my academics and I wouldn't want to compromise that too severely in order to run IC.
     
  8. screamingeagle20

    screamingeagle20 Member

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    Double majoring would definitely be possible but would obviously require more effort and all that. If you’re willing to sacrifice some time and freedom, and you really like the majors then I would consider doing it. As for the computer, you can definitely sell it. The Academy will give you a computer that you can use for everything you will possibly need for school. Finally, IC sports definitely take up time but in my opinion having more on your plate (not too much) makes your more organized, efficient, and it will make you mentally stronger. If you’re serious about both, I would say why not? If you don’t like it, you can always walk away from it. Coaches at the Academy should understand where you’re coming from if school is becoming too much. End of the day, don’t regret not doing something. Just see how you like it.
     
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  9. 4BravoX1

    4BravoX1 LEAD program C/O 2023

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    Just asking for those that are over or will turn 21 during doolie year, like myself, but are we allowed to drink during doolie year?
     
  10. screamingeagle20

    screamingeagle20 Member

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    There’s no drinking in the cadet area besides at Haps (but you must be a 2 degree to get in unless they changed those rules... just ask around and I’m sure you’ll get an answer). If your squadron has a party at Haps then you can drink. Besides that, it would have to be off-base. Just be smart about it and remember you have to wear service dress off base as well.
     
  11. 4BravoX1

    4BravoX1 LEAD program C/O 2023

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    Of course 0-0-1-3. And thanks for the quick response.
     
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  12. LongBlueLine2023

    LongBlueLine2023 New Member

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    Pretty simply question but how long will showers typically be? Is it a quick rinse because w have to take two every day or a little longer? Also, during the appointee tour they said you can bring running shoes but the packing list doesn’t have it on there. Would it be better to just use the issued ones and bring mine after?

    Thank you in advance!!
     
  13. screamingeagle20

    screamingeagle20 Member

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    Showers are quick. Not exactly sure, but it will depend on your cadre. 30 seconds or maybe a minute (honestly can’t remember). And you can wear your own shoes but they will also issue some to you. You can always bring them after too. That will be up to your personal preference!
     
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  14. Newinwin

    Newinwin Member

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    SE-20. This is helpful in understanding what our DD's and DS's are pursuing in the pilot realm if they go that way. Thanks.
    But I'm not sure if I understood correctly. I get that their rating at UPT (undergrad pilot training) and needs of USAF determines which of three tracks you will fly.
    Do those three tracks take place in phase two and phase three of UPT? And if so, does the list below reflect what you were communicating?
    1. T-6 Texan (1st - Does that mean choice?)
    2. T-38 (Fighter, Bomber, Heavies)
    3. T-1 (e.g., Helos??)
     
  15. NervousMother

    NervousMother New Member

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    Another question if it’s ok! DS has had some advice to pick an “easy” major (not STEM). He’s a good student in HS and does want to fly fighters. I think this is bad advice for after USAF. Any real-world experiences with hard v easy majors?
     
  16. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    UPT has 3 phases.
    Phase 1 is academics.
    Phase 2 is T-6s.
    Phase 3 is either T-38s, T-1s, or TH-1s.

    Your scores from phase 1 and 2 and flight commander's ranking, along with your preferences go into determining which aircraft you get for phase 3. This is called "track selection."
    T-38s can "drop" fighters or heavies.
    T-1s drop heavies.
    TH-1s drop rotary-wing.

    As to majors, pick one you will enjoy and do well in. For some people, that will be aero engineering, for others it might be history.
     
  17. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB 10-Year Member

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    @NervousMother I have heard this "advice" but raimius is sport on - it's most important that it be a major you enjoy. That being said, there are some Air Force career fields (and jobs beyond the Air Force of course) that require a STEM degree. Specifically here I am thinking about test pilot school - which does require a technical degree last I checked. Fighter pilot might be the dream - but picking a major that he enjoys AND that will be useful if the dream doesn't happen would be wise. I know a lot of people that washed out or decided pilot training/the pilot lifestyle wasn't for them and those with a STEM degree had a lot more options.

    @LuckyBlue27 If you plan to do a STEM major - validate anything and everything you can (remember that you will likely have to actually test out of calc, physics and chemistry though, unless things have changed they don't just take your scores) with the possible exception of a language. If you don't care about actually learning a foreign language, then validating will just mean you have to take a year of language at a higher level instead of the usual first year intro level, because everyone has to take a year- you don't just get to skip (unless things have changed...someone correct me if I'm wrong). But, if you want to learn spanish, validating is a good idea because you won't waste time in a lower level. Those that advise not validating are thinking that it will be nice to have some easy classes freshman year - but if you plan to major in aero or astro, you will want more TIME your junior/senior year, because freshman year classes are going to seem pretty easy compared to the upper level majors courses. Also, if you have a light schedule in your upperclass years, you can be more involved with doing research projects/attending conferences - an opportunity that a lot of USAFA cadets just don't have time for.
     
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  18. LuckyBlue27

    LuckyBlue27 Incoming Basic Cadet '23 ~Sapere Aude~

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  19. pooled18

    pooled18 Member

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    Kind of a specific question: I get a lot of bloody noses and I'm wondering what would be the right (least wrong, I guess) way to handle that if I was at attention for instance.
     
  20. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB 10-Year Member

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    @LuckyBlue27 Whaaaaaaaat, back when it was hard....

    And only one required semester of chemistry!! What is this nonsense o_O
     
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