Theres no way...


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Nov 9, 2007
... I am getting into USAFA. I screwed my entire highschool career..... partly, I didn't know how bad I was doing until I found out my GPA was a 2.0 (go to private school were its a 3.0 out of 5.0) which means I am stupid to society, which sucks since all the people who get into the service academies get 4.0s. Im not stupid... im just not the book type. It doesnt come easy to me. Never has. I love flying.... I did some flight training. Had to stop becuase I dont have the money (got 26 hours) but thats what I want to do. I could love math... just never really been good at it. I love engineering... again, not too good at it. Got a 22 on the ACT (NOT competitive). 33 in the reading portion..... 20s and below in all the stuff id be interested in such as math and science.

Regardless... as a senior I have changed alot, and realize there is nowhere else I want to go. I don't care if people think im not smart enough, etc, etc... nothing is stopping me. If it was MY CHOICE, id go to USAFA. I love the discipline, the leadership, the integrity. I love everything about it. Rigid enviroment.... get stronger physically and mentally. I was going to join the AF anyway. Do the ROTC program and become a fighter pilot. That was already the plan.

Its not all negative... I do CAP where im a staff Sgt (and I love it). Done a spring encampment and am attending next year as a flight sgt.

Just got my first job and my boss is making me a shift manager when ive only been there for two months.

Don't really have any sports... YET. I used to play soccer. I have a blackbelt in Taekwondo. Oh... and i'm on the yearbook team (photog).

Anyway... I obviously have no chance of getting into USAFA for class of '13 because of my measly GPA and lack of sports BUT I am wondering what the next step to take is. I am willing to spend an extra year and apply AGAIN to get in. What do I need to do (besides get good grades)?

Once I graduate I will go to a community college, but I need to know... will I have a good chance of an appointment with that under my belt?

You know... finish up senior year well. Hit officer in the CAP cadet program. Get in a college soccer team... do a year of community college (with good grades). Will that be enough? What classes would I need to take?

I did email my liason officer and called and left a message for an admissions counselor at USAFA but havent got anything back from either of them. Wondering if there just going to not bother about someone with very low grades.

I admit it was my fault. Lack of interest. No motivation. Gave up. I did get interested junior year but wasnt bothered to do the work neccessary. Partly becuase I already felt behind and no one really believed in me (except for my mom).

Even my hs counselor thinks im a joke. When I told him I wanted to be a pilot he said... "even consider fixing planes?" (heck no... I want to fly them)

I assure everyone here that im not stupid. I am intelligent. A multitude of wise adults would all agree even when I like to disagree. Its just, like I said, studying and ace-ing test doesnt come easy to me. I'm hands on. Hence why I want to fly planes, military planes. I want to serve my country.

Anyway... someone tell me what to do. I really need help. There are no other places I want to go. The only other place id have to go is Embry-Riddle where i'd need to take out around $80,000+ loans by the time I had graduated.

And if it were required, i'd pay to go to USAFA. So no- its not about the free tuition.

Help! :help:

Oh... and I did apply for the summer seminar which I did not get into. Thats kinda when I gave up which WILL NOT happen again.
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Blaze there is a way it just won't be easy! If you really wish to pursue an appointment you will need to do some hard work. Find a Community College and take the classes you will need to improve academically!. Concentrate on Math, Chem, Physics, English, and History (Core Classes) work hard and get good grades. Ask for help were needed. Apply after a year or two of hard work. Continue with CAP, but don't carry that into the Academy.

Remember you can also apply as an enlisted member of the Air Force. I would highly recommend getting your Associates Degree first though. You will need to set yourself apart from your peers, and your Commander will have to recommend you, but it can be done.
Wouldnt it be too risky to enlist just so I can get in the academy?

What do you mean by not carrying CAP into the Academy?
Do you want to serve, or just fly? If you only want to fly, you can find other avenues for that, just as there are other avenues toward commissioning. When my husband was lecturing the boys in high school, his favorite one was the "don't make choices today that will limit your choices tomorrow" lecture. Unfortunately, you have found out the truth of that one the hard way. You may not have the same choices at this point as someone who made better choices earlier. However, you can still do AFROTC. Many great leaders come from academies; many do not. Greatness is found within; not on a campus. You need to be honest with yourself and see what options you have and then whole-heartedly pursue them. Best of luck to you.
I want fly in the AF. I know there are other avenues for that... AFROTC & OTS (like you said). Obviously my backup to the academy would be ROTC. The issue is: should I try to pursue an appointment or forget it all together and just put all my energy and focus into AFROTC? Is it even worth it now?

From what i've said, would I enjoy the academy experience or the ROTC experience?

I just don't see going to a university would work out for me. Just looking at all my options.

Thanks for the best of luck thing. I need it.

I guess you could say the ultimate goal is a fighter slot. What is the best thing I can do in the next year to achieve that?
Blaze I was just covering a couple of the other ways to get appointed. Not everyone is going to get in right from high school.

Enlisting in the AD Air Force, Air Guard, or Air Force Reserve provides a less traditional method of entry to the Academy. You enlist for a standard 4 or 6 year enlistment, and can apply for admission. Your Squadron Commander would make the recommendation for appointment. If you are accepted you may go to the Prep School first to make sure you can handle the Academics.

If you choose AFROTC you can attend a participating College or University. After you complete your first year or two the ROTC Commander may recommend you for an appointment.

My daughters doolie roommate was a prior enlisted (Senior Airman) who once selected completed a year at the Prep School. She struggled slightly last year, but is on her way now.

There is also a Current Cadet Squadron Commander who was prior enlisted in my last Squadron. She has done exceptionally well, and will probably be part of the Wing Leadership next semester.

My overall point is Not Everyone Gets In Out Of High School...if it is what you want don't give up.

As for CAP it is a great place to learn about the Air Force and gain valuable experiences, but sometimes CAP Cadets can display an attitude at the Academy that will draw unwanted attention from upperclassmen.

You are probably not going to want to read what I write, but here it goes.

Sit down and re-evaluate your true reason for joining the Air Force. You should never join because you want to fly. (IMHO) Too many things can happen to you that may not allow you to travel that path. For example:
1. Do not score high enough on the AFOQT --- won't be going into the UPT/UNT path --- if you don't test well, you might want to look at the test you are req. to take via ROTC and OTS ---this is something that is used as a determination factor.
2. Injure yourself and get medically dq'd.
3. Never get selected for a UPT slot --- pipeline is slowing down
4. Get selected for UPT and wash out
5. Make it through UPT, but get a heavy...will you still want it?

Once commissioned you will owe time back, whether you get to fly or not. We had a very serious conversation with our son and point blank asked him lets say you don't fly what would you want to do in the AF? He had an answer that was well thought out.

Finally, Bullet will tell you to be a successful officer you will step out of the cockput, otherwise you won't get promoted. Bullet retired last month with over 2400 fighter hours, but I can guarantee you that he spent 6 yrs, (3 assignments out of the cockpit). He was happy with that because for him it was about wearing theBLUE and not the BAG.

You will always be an officer first and a flyer second...that is why you are commissioned a Lt. and not a pilot.

Also while applying for the AFA you should apply for an AFROTC scholarship. There are full rides available, based on majors and grades. There are partial rides also, thus it would help with not owing 80K
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csBlaZe, have you started your application to the USAFA and been given candidate status?

Your ALO will be an excellent resource for answering your questions about your route to the Academy. You seem committed to your goal and willing to improve yourself - both are excellent personal attributes. Your ALO will contact you...they are busy people. It took two-three weeks for my son's ALO to contact him after my son sent that first email.

I see positives in your resume - your ACT score in reading is excellent. Have you scheduled an SAT? You may be one of those students who perform better on that test.

The black belt shows you are fit and the CAP participation shows leadership.

Focus on your academics this year and implement a plan to improve your total "package". After your application is complete you can continue to add significant accomplishments like improved test scores and CAP promotions.

After all, if you do not try you will never know. Keep working toward your dream. :thumb:
While it wouldnt be as crazy as achieving my fighter slot goal I would still enjoy serving in the USAF. That was a good question though. Believe it or not I don't really know the other jobs available to officers in the AF. I know i'd want to be "some type of engineer" if there are those kind of positions. Whilest I may be dissapointed I think I would still feel fulfilled after serving my alotted time and then move onto commercial aviation. I have thought about it. Problem is my goal is so high and exclusive that the only chance I will have at getting it will be taking such a risk. Its not all about me though. I still want to serve my country. I may be temporarily crushed if I didnt achieve a pilot slot but I know i'd get over it and know that whatever I am doing is for the greater good. Also, i'd rather build flight time in a heavy then spent many years as a flight instructor on a local airport (although some people are suited to that, I dont think I would be). I may choose to not be promoted if I can.... dont know how it works, but again, its something i'm willing to take if it means ahieving my dream. See... IMHO.... I think its all worth the risks you pointed it. Its DEF something I NEED to think about in-depthly so thanks for bringing it up.

I wish! No... i'm just an applicant. I have a 2.0GPA! Thats a C average. I don't even think they could make me a candidate if they wanted to becuase it probably conflicts with the "legal" requirements or something. I know the academy says it will never deviate from its core requirements of high grades, etc etc.

Seriously, all you guys are ridiculously helpful. I actually put this link up on a facebook group for USAFA 2013 hopefuls and I dont think any of them have taken advantage of it! If it wasnt for you guys I would have no idea what i'm doing.

Im going to start a thread in the ROTC section becuase I will need to do that like you all said.

The one thing I hate about life is how nothing is guaranteed. Flight slots, appointments, selection... blah, blah, blah. Its enough to drive me crazy. And you can only find out once your signed for your 9 year (or w/e it is) contract. Ahhh!
I still think talking to your ALO would help you sort out your options. You knowing how to contact your ALO made me think you were a candidate. :confused:

I admire your commitment. Keep it up! And be :cool:
As a prior I think I can give a little bit of insight into this.

When you are enlisted and apply for the academy it doesn't really matter what your highschool GPA was, your slot is mostly based on your abilities as a leader. I had a 2.9 GPA, I did do better with the college classes I took, but overall I was selected because of my commissionablity. I personnally am not going for a pilot slot but most of the other priors I know are. If you REALLY want to get into USAFA going enlisted may just be your ticket in, plus we get paid better while at the Prep school than our DE counterparts.

Right now at the Prep school us priors are doing better academically, overall, than the DE guys as well. The highest GPA belongs to a prior in my squad and I am tied for second with quite a few other priors. Honestly the enlisted life may be just what you need to help keep you motivatied and keep your grades up, it sure helped us.

AFROTC is also a very good option but it will be harder to get a pilot slot. You will NEED to work your butt off and get one of the best GPAs in your detachment. There is a Capt here at the Prep that tried that way and got slotted into being a chemist and hates his job. I spent quite a bit of time talking to him this weekend and he has regretted everyday not trying harder and getting that slot - moral of the story: make sure that you could be happy in another field AND HAVE A BACKUP YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO!!!
you might have to either enlist or go to community college for the grades, but don't forget about CAP! i, too am in CAP and i got my earhart in march of this year. try and get through the junior/senior NCO ranks and get that mitchell!!! remember, CAP has a program where nationals will nominate certain cadets to attend the academy preparatory school! if you can go to this, it will introduce you to academy life and improve your grades, even if you have to go in as class of 2014. i'll hopefully be going in class of 2013, and it would be nice to have a committed dude like you with me. also, be involved in CAP. i think you said you were a flight sergeant or something like that at an encampment. be sure to let them know you did that, because i served as cadet commander for nebraska wing encampment 2008, and truly all the work done is at the flight sergeant/flight commander position! you've done something commendable, be sure to notify the academy! don't give up!!! semper vigilens!
Blaze 3 important points made by the other posters.

As PIMA said consider your reasons for wanting to be in the Air Force. She is very right about flying not being your only reason to be an officer in the Air Force. I cannot tell you how many young Lt's I saw at FE Warren because they wanted to fly and ended up Missileers. You have to be ready to serve in whatever capacity the Air Force needs.

Bluesuiter makes an excellent case for why enlisting may be your best choice. I would tell you the Guard or Reserve may be the best enlistment. You can attend your local Community College and improve your grades. Beef up your Math and Science skills. You will get a nice little check each month for drills, and the Air Force will pay for your school.

Big Cox is right too, stay with CAP. It is great leadership experience and you will have the opportunity to experience a lot of cool things. O rides, Glider Flights, Encampments. My earlier recommendations was with regard to when you get to the Academy. You don't want to be that guy who "Thinks" he can march the squad, or show everyone else how things are done. My daughter was involved with CAP from her Sophmore year until she arrived at the Academy. She got HH60 helicopter rides, KC-135 flights, Glider flights, and many other wonderfull experiences. There was even a special picture recieving her appointment with a former Thunderbird. Stay in CAP.
This prospect of enlisting is freaking me out. I dont know anything about enlisted AF.... and won't I have to be enlisted a certain about of time? Someone needs to tell me how to go about this enlisting thingy.... I seriously don't know the first thing about it, becuase its a completely different process from going officer out of college.

CAP is awesome. I plan to continue that until I have enlisted, gone to a college, or w/e happens.
My eldest son was in CAP for years - from the time he was 12 or 13. He made his Mitchell and won a bunch of scholarships which he used for flight time to get this Private Pilot. Now, at 22, he is a senior member and flies for his adopted state's search and rescue. He is working now toward his helicopter wings. CAP can really take you a long way.

Don't freak out about enlistment either. I don't know how strongly you meant that statement, but I am concerned that it might show a lack of maturity? Don't freak out, just FIND OUT ABOUT IT. This may be your best shot! Let me know what you've learned when you have thoroughly reseached this option.
Blaze first contact your ALO and review your prospects. Ask him/her about enlistment. Do Not Contact an AF Recruiter until you are sure that is what you want to do! If you decide it is the right thing think about what kind of job you would like in the AF (Police, Computers, Firefighting, EOD, Aircraft Maint., Munitions, Hospital) if you can think of it they have it. Then get in touch with the recruiter.

Because you have expressed an interest in attending the Academy I would suggest the Guard or Reserve. You will have much greater flexability taking classes at a local Community College or University. They will still pay you to attend the school, and you will get a small idea what the Air Force is like.

If you choose AD you will have a full time job and it won't be school. You will have to set yourself apart from your peers and distinguish yourself for your superiors to consider recommending you for an appointment. School will still be there it just wont come first.

Most important talk with your ALO!
Also, just an idea. Since you are in CAP, talk with anyone there. The people within CAP will be a great source of info. Especially if you have retired members or current members of the AF that you can talk with freely. If CAP has any similarities to AFJROTC then it can be an awesome resource.
Just to add some encouragement and urge some patience as well!

The suggestions to contact your ALO are solid -- the ALOs are there to help you, not just interview you. Also, the suggestions about school and working on the SAT/ACTs are excellent as well -- it shows you are working on improving your academics. And, the suggestions about CAP are on target too. Based on my son's experience with his CAP squadron, go speak to your Squadron Senior Commander. If he/she is prior air force they can be a wealth of information and will be a great resource as well. And, when they realize how committed you are to get an appointment, I think you'll be more in line for leadership positions. Even an Element Leader is a leadership position that, if you go on to flight sergeant, flight leader etc, shows leadership progression. And, again, in my son's squadron, the senior commander knows all the local ALOs and writes his own letter of recommendation to Admissions as well.

So, start working on all the suggestions you've received above, and do SOMETHING TODAY that moves you toward your goals! Good luck.
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Don't freak out about enlistment either. I don't know how strongly you meant that statement, but I am concerned that it might show a lack of maturity? Don't freak out, just FIND OUT ABOUT IT. This may be your best shot! Let me know what you've learned when you have thoroughly reseached this option.

It was overly-dramatic. While its a shady area for me, it doesnt freak me out. I just don't know much about it.