Seeking Connections

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by USMA2025Cadet, May 7, 2019.

  1. USMA2025Cadet

    USMA2025Cadet New Member

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    I am currently a very dedicated Sophomore in High School with a dream to attend USMA, but overall I want to serve my country as an Officer in the Army while working in Intelligence and National Security. I was wondering what the best way would be to try and establish those strong connections I always hear about from some cadets on this forum. I hear about people continually emailing and calling their RC or FFR until they know them by name basis, and get offered a LOA or a high chance at acceptance because of these connections.

    I don't want to just talk to these officers and old grads only to get myself into West Point with a greater chance, but I also think that talking to them will give me a direct line to answer any questions I may have about the admissions process that I cannot find on here, or even just to discuss life in the military and at West Point (as they hold these prestigious positions for a reason). I would appreciate any and all feedback. :)
     
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  2. WP2023

    WP2023 Member

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    The way I underwent a process similar to what you are describing is basically this:
    I bet you know at least a few veterans in your life. Maybe friends of your parents or your friends parents or maybe even relatives of yours. Ask them about their service. I'm sure they'd love to talk to you about what branch they served in, their MOS, unit, war stories, etc. Through this try to get a better sense of what branch you want to serve in. This is just to make sure that West Point is the right place for you and to help you gain a better understanding of the military in general. Again, I'm sure they'd be happy to help. In terms of old grads/officers/current cadets, if you know someone from your school or through sports or something that is going to the academy, you can talk to them. Again, all these things are not to help you get into West Point, they just help you learn more about the academy.
    For getting in contact with your FFR/RC, that doesn't matter at all until your junior year really. Keep in mind your FFR is a volunteer so they do not have time to constantly be emailing/calling you. Your RC probably manages a couple thousand applicants per year, so you shouldn't be bugging him/her either. The reason people say continually contacting their admissions officers helped them get in is because it demonstrated that they have a legitimate interest in attending the academy. There are other ways you can show that that would be much more respectful, i.e. being on top of your paperwork/application, responding in a timely matter if they contact you, asking informed questions that cannot easily be obtained from other official sources, etc. I only emailed my FFR to give them major updates and the only times I emailed my RC was once for a question and another time after my RC emailed me first.
    Also, there will be admissions events in your area that are presented by your RC typically. Face to face interaction at these events would be a much better option than emailing or calling in terms of actually trying to help your file. There are also Cadets who volunteer to do CPRC, which means they will talk to Cadet Candidates or prospective candidates on school breaks. I'm sure you can ask your FFR to put you in touch with one of them.
    TL;DR Don't bug your RC and FFR. It's better to contact them only when you need to. If you want to talk military stuff, find someone you know and/or a cadet.

    Best wishes with your application,
    WP2023
     
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  3. Cookiemom

    Cookiemom Member

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    When you get that first meeting with your FFR, be prepared, bring a resume, dress for an interview. Know her/his name. My DS dressed in dress pants, jacket and tie. FFR commented that her first impression was very favorable. This was heard by her next appt who was dressed in shorts and tee shirt.
    She also mentioned she was meeting a candidate who e mailed her and addressed her by first nsme. Not a good choice.
    Meet FFR to impress. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
    FFR told my DS at the end of thst first meeting that she felt very confident in his chance for WP.
    He is just finishing yuk year.
    In my opinion do not bring a parent. We drove our son but stayed in the car.
    Good luck!
     
  4. user501

    user501 Member

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    I'm currently a junior applying, and I have been in contact with my state field force for a while now. I first emailed my FFR at the start of junior year. My experience is that the field force and usma admissions are busy with the incoming class before you up until around late january of your junior year when that class basically completes applications. Near the start I was emailing my FFR around once every 2-3 weeks just to ask questions about the admissions process. I think I was emailing too much, and I might have been annoying, so I toned it down to like an email every 4-5 weeks. I think I still might be annoying them though.
     
  5. Ironclad22

    Ironclad22 Member

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    Spend your time & energy improving yourself in the classroom, on the ACT/SAT, physically, and through leadership and service.
     
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  6. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    Pro tip - If your FFR/BGO is military, address them by their rank and use Sir/Ma'am when you respond to them.
    Again, first impressions are important.
     
  7. northernerr

    northernerr Member

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    Huge emphasis on FFR!!! Depending on where you live, some are better than others but get to know them regardless. They are such a valuable resources. I'm currently a junior applying to USMA and my FFR is spectacular. She calls me before I take the ACT/SAT to wish me good luck, before my USMA visit day, and more. First time I met with her in person it was supposed to be an hour long meeting. It ended up being 4. Take advantage of that resource provided to you. The other service academies don't do nearly as good a job (I know Navy doesn't even have them) with FFR.

    Best of luck.