Transfering from Academy to Academy

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
Agree with @BDHuff09

The academies do have exchange programs where a cadet or mid can attend the other SA for a semester.

There have been cases where a SA grad can cross commission to another branch. (I know personally of one case where a USMA grad commissioned into USMC). However these are EXTREMELY rare and require MANY planets to come into alignment and must be approved at the Super's level. Do NOT count on this.
 

BDHuff09

5-Year Member
I go to the Boat School, not WP, so take that for what you will...

USNA tends to send 6-7 mids on semester exchange to USAFA and USMA, and 2-3 to USCGA, only during the fall. I would assume USMA sends similar numbers if not the same. It is fairly competitive as We don't want to send subpar people to represent USNA at other academies.

In regards to cross commissioning, AROTC-dad is right in that it is not something very common, but there are usually a few each year. I know 2017(at USNA) has one going into the Air Force, and 2016 had one commission into the Coast Guard. It seems to me (based on casual observation, not on hard facts) that there are more people trying to commission into the USN/USMC from other Academies than there are USNA midshipmen trying to commission into the Army/Air Force. I know that there were 7 USAFA cadets and at least one USMA cadet that were trying to commission into the Marine Corps for 2017. I don't know how many of them were actually selected. There are at least 4 USAFA and 1 USMA cadets that are trying to go USMC for the class of 2018 (They have to go to Leatherneck over the summer with USNA mids so this is how I know).

I can't speak specifically to the process because it wasn't something I explored, but it's definitely the sort of thing that you communicate to your chain of command early.

Another thought I would add is that if you are dead set on joining a particular service, then you should put all of your efforts into going into that service. If that means applying to USXA 2 or 3 times, or doing XROTC, or even OCS or enlisting if none of that works out, then so be it. I don't think its good form to go to USMA with the express intent of cross commissioning.
 

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
I did contact the person I know who cross commissioned from USMA to the Marine Corps. Here is his response: (He is still an active duty Marine officer).

"As for a commission other than the service that school is for, they really need to show a continued interest instead of just waking up one day and deciding it would be cool to be in a different service. The academies, and most large colleges, have officers from other services on their staffs. Anyone interested should track these officers down and introduce themselves. This not only helps the process, but the interested individual can get insight into the service from someone who is living it. As for myself, I had to sit in front of a board and defend why I wanted to join the Corps. The board then makes a recommendation along with a package that goes up to the Secretary of Defense office in the academy."
 
Last edited:

flieger83

Super Moderator
10-Year Member

catlover2

Member
its possible, my beast roommate applied to west while at the merchant marine academy and another upperclassmen I know from AFA.
*correction they didn't transfer, they had to do a full application still
 
Last edited:

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
Remember it's not a transfer either. They had to apply like everyone else and start over as a 4/C. Also question... did either or both of these Cadets start at one and immediately start at the other the next year? Or did they have gap time between the two?
 

catlover2

Member
Remember it's not a transfer either. They had to apply like everyone else and start over as a 4/C. Also question... did either or both of these Cadets start at one and immediately start at the other the next year? Or did they have gap time between the two?
Sorry I meant they applied to West Point not transferred while at their respective academy, and the USMMA cadet immediately started and the USAFA cadet had a gap year.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
I know you understand the nuances and differences... just wanted to ensure any lurkers out there understand it means multiple 4/C years! Interesting. Thanks for the info.
 

Casey

USMA 2015
5-Year Member
its possible, my beast roommate applied to west while at the merchant marine academy and another upperclassmen I know from AFA.
*correction they didn't transfer, they had to do a full application still
I knew someone who did a year at USMA before ending up doing four years at USNA. Its not an easy process...you definitely better be able to explain to your nomination source why they should trust you to go to another service academy after you didn't follow through on the first one, but its still possible
 

VelveteenR

Just gathering dust in the nursery...
5-Year Member
Our son told us that Air Force is trolling USMA for fighter pilot applicants. Seems there's a shortage. How in the world would AFA not have enough candidates within its own ranks?
 

Hurricane12

USNA 2012
5-Year Member
Our son told us that Air Force is trolling USMA for fighter pilot applicants. Seems there's a shortage. How in the world would AFA not have enough candidates within its own ranks?
Medical disqualifications, people who don't want a long commitment, people who aren't interested in flying (I'm guessing USAF has a "volunteer for duties involving flying" requirement like the sea services)....a whole bunch of reasons.
However, it's obviously not as simple as "sign here and have a guaranteed fighter spot," I'd imagine that's just cadet speak for a higher chance at flying fixed wing. I'm guessing there's a little more to the story.

Relevant to the cross-commissioning question...-2 commissioned USMC out of USMA, which I think I've talked about here before. Bottom line, he was fully prepared to commission Army and at the last second got confirmation he was going to be allowed to commission USMC. He found out about 3 weeks before graduation. Not something to bet on.
 

RedDragon

5-Year Member
Our son told us that Air Force is trolling USMA for fighter pilot applicants. Seems there's a shortage. How in the world would AFA not have enough candidates within its own ranks?
Not sure trolling is the correct term but I have heard that USAFA is having difficulty getting the number they need. Our son at USMA has met a few cadets who are actively seeking cross-commissioning. At USAFA there are many that don't want to fly and many that don't meet the "pilot qualified" criteria...eye issues for many. We have a cadet at USAFA as well who can attest to many being disqualified for various reasons.
 

parentalunit2

5-Year Member
No, seriously. How is the AF trolling at USMA? Thinking that it would be cool to cross-commission is one thing, but actively poaching from one SA by another SA? I don’t think so. I’d like to know by what means the AF is ‘trolling’, if anyone can provide insight.
 

VelveteenR

Just gathering dust in the nursery...
5-Year Member
Son says rep from AFA came to speak to the cadets at USMA about the shortage. There are many healthy students at other academies who might qualify physically for the potential to enter the flight program. My surprise was that there would be any need at all to scout beyond AFA's own ranks.
 

UHBlackhawk

Member
The shortage/surplus of pilots is difficult enough to predict in the civilian world. In the military, it can be even more difficult to predict as it is impacted by numerous factors such as civilian demands.
After Desert Storm the Navy initially found itself overstaffed pilots as some airframes were retired. It was so bad that some students graduating from flight school where given the option of leaving the Navy without a commitment.
Flash forward a few years to the mid '90's. The Navy found itself understaffed pilots while the Army was overstaffed pilots (the Army was in the process of retiring the UH-1 and the OH-58A/C). Army pilots straight out of flight school were given the option of doing an interservice transfer to the Navy and going back through flight school.
 
Top