To accept or not to accept

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by izyizy83686, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. izyizy83686

    izyizy83686 Member

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    I have been watching the forum for a while now, but never have posted before. I have seen on this forum that other candidates have been in this situation, but I would love some advice:

    I have received an appointment for West Point, but am waitlisted for USNA. I was very honest with West Point that they were my 2nd choice and that USNA is exactly what I wanted. Along with other reasons, I am going to turn down the appointment (haven't done it yet).

    I have never applied to a service academy before, yet I am already at a fairly good 4-year college. My plan is to stay there if I do not get in (they do not have NROTC so I will try to plan club volleyball as a supplement?) and reapply in the event I get denied. I say this to say I have a Plan B so turning down West Point would not leave me stranded.

    I guess I am just looking for validation and help that this can work out... I know this is risky, but I believe being wait listed is a good sign. If there is anyone that has been in this situation before, I would love to talk to them!
     
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  2. KellyF37FLA

    KellyF37FLA New Member

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    You are a very fortunate candidate. I would take West Point, embrace the sure thing! Good luck to you in all your endeavors!
     
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  3. PlanAhead

    PlanAhead Member

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    From all I've read on this forum, I think you should plan on NOT getting off the waitlist. It seems to be very rare that it happens that way. If you want to decline the WP appointment for other reasons (e.g. not because you think you'll be admitted to USNA), then that's another issue. Decline it if your heart isn't in going there, and mentally plan to continue at your 4-year college. If you get off the waitlist, great! If not, you can begin the application cycle again for next year and see where you end up.

    All this to say, make sure you're declining WP because you really don't want to go to WP, not because you think you'll be selected off USNA's waitlist.

    Congrats and good luck!
     
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  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Work out all the pros and cons, all the intangibles and tangibles, and make the best decision for you.

    My DH had a USMA appointment, was waitlisted for USNA, turned down USMA on the deadline, and received a USNA appointment about a week before I-Day - one of those real outliers. He was fully ready to execute a NROTC Plan B and re-apply. He had applied to USNA and USMA, and over the course of the process, realized his heart and mind were for Navy, by any path. This was back in the 20th C., but variations happen every year.

    This is an operational risk analysis situation. Only you know how much you are willing to risk and what feels right to you.
     
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  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I'm with PlanAhead. Follow your heart. If your heart is with Navy then turn down USMA and re-apply if necessary (and I assume it will be). You were waitlisted which says your we pretty darn close. If you focus on improving what you can over the next year I expect you'll have better luck when you re-apply. Just my two cents and I'm glad I'm not wrestling with this one! Good luck!
     
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  6. Usnavy2019

    Usnavy2019 5-Year Member

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    Think about what branch(es) you'd be happy in. If you'd be happy in only the USN/USMC, hedge your bets on Navy. If you'd think you'd be happy in the Army, strongly consider West Point. Explore the jobs that will be available upon graduation. If you'd be happy in all three of the branches above, pick the one that has the higher amount of interesting ones.

    Personal Example: I considered the AFA for a bit and decided not to apply due to the fact that I didn't think I would be happy with my life if I wasn't a pilot, Combat Systems Officer, or Air Battle Manager (pretty much the three communities that fly). So I wasn't going to risk not getting one of those slots as I didn't want to waste my own time or the Air Force's. On the contrary, I found that Navy and Coast Guard had jobs I'd be happy doing (mainly surface ships) if I did not get my chosen designator (Naval Flight Officer or Pilot for Navy, Pilot for Coast Guard). Do most people get the job they want upon graduation? Yes, if they are qualified. But there is always a chance you develop some medical condition, get seriously injured, or you don't meet the necessary academic/physical/military requirements for your desired job.
     
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  7. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Before turning down USMA, I would try to do an overnight, if you haven't already. It will give you a better perspective of what you are passing on. My kid is at West Point, so I am biased for sure, but I would tell you exactly the same thing if the situation were reversed. Passing on an Academy spot, any Academy, if your goal is to lead as an officer, might be something you regret for the rest of your life. Not saying it is the wrong choice, just saying make it with as much a full perspective as possible. The overnights at WP are very legitimate. Just a regular day in the life of a Cadet, and you experience it full scale. They don't happen on special visit weekends, but are normal days. If you have the chance; do it.
     
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  8. izyizy83686

    izyizy83686 Member

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    After going through the application process, like PlanAhead said, my heart just is not in it at West Point. I attended a dinner inviting candidates to meet alumni and other WP candidates and you could just see the way the talked about West Point is the way I talk about USNA. After that dinner, I realized I don't even think I could make it work there unless I was okay with being unhappy. I can't see myself in the Army... and that's after doing Army ROTC (non-contracted) to see if that was a fit as well.

    I am fully ready to try again for USNA. I think this is well worth the risk. I just wasn't sure what USNA admissions or BGOs would think of my choice being that their opinions are the ones that really dictate if I get an appointment or not.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    USNA has no insight into what happens with other SAs, except for the rare cases of certain recruited athletes. So, what you do with your WP appt won't in any way affect USNA's WL decision.

    I agree with the poster above that you should absolutely NOT count on being selected from the WL. In recent years, USNA has had very high yields (% of folks accepting their appts) so in some years no one comes off the WL. If it happens, great, but don't expect it or plan on it.

    Also agree that, if your heart isn't into attending WP you should absolutely not do it. A number of years ago, I corresponded with someone on these boards who really wanted USNA, didn't get in, and went to WP hoping he/she would "learn to love it." The person did extremely well there but didn't like it at all. Tried to reapply to USNA from WP -- even had glowing recs from the WP folks who recognized this is what the cadet really wanted. That doesn't work b/c the SAs have an unwritten policy of not "stealing" each other's students. After 2 years, the person at WP was torn b/t quitting WP, going to a civilian school and reapplying to USNA or sticking it out at WP. It was a very unhappy situation -- excelling while being miserable.

    I won't say more other than this is not the only such experience I've had with a "kid" going to a SA when his/her heart wasn't in it and I've yet to see it work out well. Any SA is hard enough if you're thrilled to be there. If your heart isn't in it, chances are that things won't get better. They might -- but more often they don't.
     
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  10. berserk87

    berserk87 Member

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    Another consideration is applying to transfer to another service branch after your 4 academy years are up. If you go to West Point, you can apply for a transfer to the Navy. I can't recall the name for this process, but it happens each year, with a very small percentage of graduates.
     
  11. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Cross commissioning?
     
  12. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    Do not go to West Point because you want to inter-service transfer to the Navy. You will be miserable and it might not work--and you will have to live with the consequences.
    There are many students who attend or have graduated from one service academy whose first choice was a different service academy.

    In summary, West Point is a great school with great opportunities but it is also a lot of walking through the woods with a rucksack on your back.
    If you are not interested in that or in many of the wonderful Army career opportunities, then just say, "No" and reapply to your first choice.
     
  13. izyizy83686

    izyizy83686 Member

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    Okay, I honestly did not know if that was just an ROTC thing or what. But that sorta put a bad taste in my mouth. I can't see myself being happy doing that.

    I just hope I am not making this choice more difficult than it needs to be, but I also know this decision can impact the rest of my life...
     
  14. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    If you are in ROTC and don't like that 'go to the field' thing--then it is a true piece of guidance for you.
    The second half of plebe summer is spent in the field, then every summer there is a field exercise of 2-3 weeks.
    Learning to patroling and land nav are essential Army leadership and leader evaluation skills and tools.

    You might be delighted or you could grin and bear it--with your eye on the prize--a commission and the chance to train and lead soldiers.
    The same study abroad and internship opportunities are available at USMA as at USNA.
    Not all Army jobs involve the field: cyber, Adjutant general, finance...and a few others are less field/more office...others are a mix.

    It is a hard choice...perhaps made harder if college tuition is an issue in your family. You have to follow your dreams but you also want to get a degree from a high quality institution that you can afford.
     
  15. 1337BeachedWhale1337

    1337BeachedWhale1337 Member

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    People that branch Adjutant General and finance usually have to branch detail(I believe last year 8 out of the 9 people that went finance had to branch detail). This means you spend your first 4 years in a combat arms(most commonly infantry). Given that the service requirement is 5 years, 4 years is a long time. Cyber is basically impossible to get unless you are a coding genius that does C3T.

    70% of the graduating class each year has to go into a combat arms branch, and many non-combat arms branches still spend most of their time out in the field. If you don't want to end up in the field, don't come to West Point unless you think you can graduate high enough that you can choose whatever branch you want.
     
  16. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    Actually Beached Whale...people get Cyber who are not coding geniuses and not CS majors. People get straight into AG and Finance without a branch detail.
    However, you are right...there is no guarantee of class rank or the needs of the Army so if you don't want to go to the field, don't go to West Point.
    However, if you don't want to go to sea, don't go to Annapolis. I would take the field any day.
     
  17. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    It is called Inter-Service Commissioning. One factor is that the other service must accept you and the Army must agree to release you.

    The data I have is from 2011, so I don't know if the opportunity is greater or less at this time. At that time it was limited to a maximum of 1% of the class and according to Army policy at that time: "The Army will not consider requests for inter-service commissioning for the duration of the Global War on Terrorism, unless there are exceptional circumstances."
     
  18. berserk87

    berserk87 Member

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    Yes - that's what I was looking for. As the war on terrorism will be over at about the same time as we win the war on drugs, you could expect this to be the 21st of Never - so it looks to be not an option.

    Thanks for the assist on this info.
     
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  19. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Heck 1% might be policy but never seen that many in 20+ years. If any are accepted it's usually less than a handful. Do not count on cross commissioning. I think you know the answer at this point.

    Some thoughts... great material for your essays and interview reapplication next year on this decision. Also see a Navy officer recruiter about post graduation options. There are programs like NUPOC that could really be a viable option for you that you can pursue now.
     
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  20. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    DO NOT, I repeat NOT count on cross-commissioning. I worked with a candidate a decade ago who really wanted USNA. Went there. While there the candidate (I will refer to the person as a "he" to make life simple) decided he wanted to be in the Army. He had a parent who was Army. Exchanged at WP as a 2/C and did exceptionally well. Wanted to go into a branch of the Army that for which an equivalent at Navy was impossible. Had a significant other in the USA (not sure if that was considered). Stood very high in his class. Put in all the paperwork. Had to select a Navy/USMC billet on service selection (then called) night. About a month before graduation, he was notified that he would be able to cross-commission. He was the only person that year who was permitted to do so -- the only one out of the entire class to cross-commission to any service.

    WP is a terrific place. However, as with every other SA, it's not for everyone, even someone committed to the military. Saying you don't want to attend is not a knock on the school. It's like people who don't want to be on the water -- USNA probably isn't the best place for them.
     
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