To improve chances...

Texas Dad

10-Year Member
Dec 12, 2006
My son is a candidate for the AF Academy class of 2011 and we are in the difficult stage of waiting to see if he makes the cut. He is a student at a private Christian school, the same school that the current Wing Commander, Hunter Grunden, graduated from. He has solid grades, scored 660 on his math and 690 on the verbal SAT's, earned district honors in football, and has already received a congressional nomination.

His liaision officer said that his chances are 50/50 because he is not pilot qualified (eyesight is not 20/20) and the pool for non-pilot candidates is tougher to get through. Because he works after school and his small school does not offer much in extra-curricualr activities, his opportunities to display leadership skills has been limited. In addition to church volunteer work, he is tutoring home-schooled students and is working with a local organization that raises money to fly overseas military personnel home commercially.

Any advice on what else can be done to improve his chances?

Has your son been on an Ac Year visit or did he attend Summer Seminar? Does he participate in Boy Scouts, Civil Air Patol, Sea Cadets etc.? The opportunities for leadership are available, but the time is short. Keep a couple of targets in mind. If the application is complete, nomination is awarded and the physical waived or approved your son has indeed made the 50/50 pool. The waiting is the hardest part.
My son didn't think seriously about the USAFA until late last spring and did not join CAP and was not a scout. He did apply for the summer seminar but applied hastily at the last minute and was not accepted. He did earn a spot, one of only 40 offered nationally, to attend the weeklong Society of American Military Engineers camp in California, where he worked on engineering and construction projects under supervision of the Navy. The camp, in addition to the engineering aspect, stressed leadership and teamwork skills.

Most of his outside time has been spent working several after school jobs and helping the church, building homes for the poor in Mexico for three summers, mentoring/tutoring middle schoolers during their midweek meetings, and assisting with vacation Bible school.
Your son and mine have a lot in common. Applied too late for summer seminar. Has similar SAT scores (710M, 650V). Attended small private Catholic high school. He has his nomination, file is complete and is also in the waiting period.

Going to a small school was the best thing for him because of all the opportunities. For example, his school is Class 1A and private and this means that his school only competes with other independent small schools as a result:

a) He makes varsity on virtually any sport he goes out for - except basketball.
b) Placed 5th in the state for track in the 1 mile run
c) State Champion in the 2 mile run.
d) State Tennis team champions.

These things all sound great on paper and they are, but he could not have done them all at a bigger school. If sports are a weakness, he should go out for a sport, and if he makes the varsity squad update his file. Ditto for 1 act plays, debate and student government. What is he doing over Christmas break... there could be a camp being offered - My son has some opportunites with Sea Cadets. Ask your Son's guidance counselor for more ideas. In short, time is running out, but a small school is the best place for him to be right now. My son is now old enough to give blood, so guess what? It's on his resume. Ditto for habit for humanity.
Not much I can add to what FoF said. You can always add a little punch to the resume & be sure to get the file updated. I just had to post here because I got the giggles over FoF's picture. If that isn't the best! What did you feed the baby there? Mudpies or easter chocolate. perhaps your baby has a five o'clock shadow? LOL Thats the most priceless thing I have seen in days. Sorry to highjack the thread but wow I love that dirty baby.
Dirty Baby


I think this is the best picture I will ever take. The uncropped photo is even better - check out the plastic pants.

This is my #2 son Henry, the soccer nut. Yes, he is eating dirt. It's loads of fun to embarrass him with this photo.
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I love im love im love im. Yep. That was probably a once in a lifetime moment caught on film. Mommy was probably busy with other things I'll bet.... Good job Dad! :thumb: