Should I be looking to apply to all service academies?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by che527, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. che527

    che527 Member

    Jul 31, 2016
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    My first choice is the Naval Academy because I would want to go on a boat and travel the world through sea. Although, my BGO told me to consider applying to the rest of the academies. I'm starting to look into West Point and Air Force.

    Though many of the candidates who apply to these academies work hard and have a strong desire to do anything they can to be appointed, I feel like applying to more than one service academy will be double the amount of work for just one application.

    If I get a nomination for the Naval Academy would I need to get another one for West Point? For example, if one is set on going into the Navy because they would want to travel at sea instead of on land, how do they decide that? Isn't there decision for which military branch they want to go into set already?
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

    Jul 13, 2011
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    Yes it's more work to apply to other SAs, but they are very similiar applications and a lot of the same info can be used. Dodmerb and CFA only need be done once. If you want to go to sea that is great. Don't just apply to go to a SA if the service you want is clear. Explore the USCGA and USMMA as both are very sea based services. Apply for NROTC also.
    che527 likes this.
  3. osdad

    osdad 5-Year Member

    Feb 10, 2010
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    If it is your desire to become an officer in service to our country, then yes, by all means apply to all of the SA's. Even with a nom to USNA there's no guarantee that you'll earn an appointment (with a few exceptions: principal nom, LOA, 4.2 40 yd dash...) If it's your dream to see the world by boat...learn to sail. My DS has spent 4 years in the Navy and has never left VA.
    che527 likes this.
  4. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

    Feb 20, 2016
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    Lots of old threads on choosing what service based on what you want to do, or applying to multiple SA's because of the willingness to serve regardless. Only you can decide on your path.
  5. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

    Sep 29, 2015
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    I'm trying to helpful here, so don't take what I say personally.

    Honestly, your desire to "go on a boat and travel the world" sounds more like what an employee on a cruise ship would say.

    Let's be realistic here. If that is your motivation, then you will have a tough time during your BGO interview and nomination interview (if they grant them).

    Where is your desire to serve your country? Your aspiration to be a leader? The Naval Academy is so much more than getting ready to be on a boat.
    landlock, April75 and time2 like this.
  6. 5Day

    5Day Member

    Nov 18, 2015
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    My DS desire is to be a Naval Officer. He only applied to USNA and NROTC. If those didn't work out he would have gone to a school with a NROTC program and joined as a college programmer. He believed Navy was more important than attending a SA. Others will differ, attending a military school is more important than the military branch. For them apply to all the SA and military college and/or school with a corps of cadets as your plan A,B and C. Both work, it depends what you want from the next 4 years of school and many years after you graduate.

    Yes applying to all the SA is a lot of work. The entire college application process is a lot of work if you want to go to a high quality school. Don't take the easy path just because it is easy, you may regret it for a long time.
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 21, 2010
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    You do need to get a separate nomination to each academy. Some MOCs will only give a nomination to one. Some areas where they haven't even heard of a service academy, applicants can get a nomination to each. Aside from that I'm with Navy Hoops. Pick your service and find a way to commission in that via an Academy, ROTC program, or even OCS if it comes to that.
  8. brovol

    brovol Member

    May 26, 2015
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    If you are relatively young, like most applicants, want to serve in the armed forces as an officer, and have the ability and motivation to gain commision via one of the academies, but are not absolutely certain as to which branch would be best for you (and I don't know how anyone at that age could have so much insight into each branch, and foresight into his or her future that they would know which service would be best at this stage of there life), then apply to each academy.

    I also suggest you visit each school more than once. I disagree with those who say the school doesn't matter, and that you should decide strictly on the service. You will be at the school for four years, and it needs to be a good fit for you, or you may separate, and never commission into the service. The schools are all different.

    Each service has many options after graduation. Like any other college student you may change your mind as to what you want to do in the military. May even change majors. My son is at West Point, and is still contemplating options. Lots of them.

    Applying to multiple academies gives you a better chance at admission into one of them, and possibly more options. My son applied to USMA, USAFA, and USNA, and in the end had the option of any of them. If that's the case for you, then you will have to make a choice. But it's nice to be in that spot.
  9. coachkarl

    coachkarl Member

    Jan 8, 2016
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    As you are learning, there is no "one" answer.

    My son applied to the USNA and only the USNA. He didn't apply for NROTC, either. In his mind, it was a clear distinction - Navy officer via USNA or a civilian career path.
  10. madhttr

    madhttr Dad

    Aug 23, 2016
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    Do as much research as you can and be open to other alternatives. DD was interested in aviation, so applied to USAFA only. Probably should have, but didn't really consider that Navy and Army have aviation also (albeit helicopters in the Army). Didn't apply for ROTC scholarship, but ended up at a school that has AROTC. Absolutely loves it and can't imagine herself anywhere else now. Plan B or C may just end up being a better fit for you than Plan A.
    AROTC-dad likes this.
  11. RedDragon

    RedDragon Member

    Dec 31, 2013
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    Obviously no one answer fits all in this case...However, four years is a long time to spend at a place where you are unhappy. So I would be a proponent of applying to as many academies as possible and taking a good hard look into each one. Our son was set on going to the Coast Guard after his first visit....great school and tremendous mission. He did have the opportunity to visit all 5 and applied to three. He received appointments to all three and ended up choosing his original 3rd choice for the combination of the mission and the feel of the school. Again....only 1 data point....
  12. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

    Jun 9, 2015
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    My DS applied to USNA, USAFA and USMA. He got nominated to all three and was offered appointments to all three. In our district last year there were lots of applicants for USAFA and USNA but not near as many for West Point. We were told it was different the previous year. At the time of his interview before the nomination board his first choice was USAFA then USNA and then USMA (he wanted aero nautical engineering and USMA doesn't have that). However the board asked him that if he did not get his first choice would he likely accept an appointment to one of the others. His answer was one word..."absolutely". They seemed to like his resolve. Well he got nominated to all 3 and by Feb.had offers of appointment to all 3. He quickly eliminated West Point due to the aero nautical engineering thing and his desire to fly jets. We took him to visit both USAFA and USNA at Spring break. Both were very very impressive. I asked him to decide by April 1 so we could free up the spots at the other 2 academies for those who would be waiting. Somewhere in there he decided he wanted to be a midshipman. That is where he is today and he might deny that he ever put USAFA as his initial first choice.
    The moral of this long response is for some, applying to multiple academies can work out well. Its kinda a personal decision.
  13. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    Here's the deal . . . you have to choose eventually. For many, that choice comes during nomination time, when MOCs in competitive districts make you rank your SA preferences or, worse, make a single choice. (The exceptions to this are USCGA which doesn't do MOC noms and USMMA, which has a somewhat different process from the "big 3"). For others, it comes when you have more than one appointment. You can choose up front, as the process moves along, or at the end.

    You get zero brownie points simply for applying to multiple SAs. The individual SAs don't care (other than, maybe if you're a recruited athlete but only b/c they want to out-duel the other SA for your talents) and your BGO/MOC committee shouldn't care, provided you have some reasonable answer to the question of why you aren't applying to others -- which may never be asked, BTW. While many want to serve, some actually don't want to serve if it means attending [pick your SA] or serving in the [pick your service].

    So, if you have little to no interest in a particular SA or service, don't waste everyone's time, including your own, by applying. Conversely, if you're not sure about which SA/service interests you, it's fine to apply to more than one, or even all. But during the process, you need to start sorting out your preferences through visits, meetings with your BGO/ALO, research, etc.

    As for your question on noms, you need a nom to each SA (other than USCGA). In some states/congressional districts, you can get a nom to more than one SA (e.g., a nom for USNA and a nom for USAFA). In other places, you can't b/c there are so many applicants and so few noms so you will only get one nom to one SA, period. The MOC SA coordinators in your state/district should be able to provide some info on this. Also, MOC committees may ask if you'd be willing to accept an appointment to a SA other than your first/only choice (see above post). Mostly, they're doing that in order to give as many candidates as possible a nom to a SA they are willing to attend, not because they will be impressed if you're applying to multiple SAs as a fact in and of itself.
    ktnatalk likes this.

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