Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by jojohn246, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. jojohn246

    jojohn246 Member

    Aug 23, 2015
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    Good evening! I have been very fortunate this past weekend to have been accepted to USMA, making that two appointments so far! However, although I am very grateful for this amazing opportunity, it leaves me with a rather tough question: USMA or USAFA? Both are great schools and both have awesome post-graduation prospects. I was hoping someone could give me some insight to the pros and cons of each academy. I am honestly unsure right now of what I want to do in the military, with both flying and ground combat interesting me. Any information you all can give me would be greatly appreciated!

    On another note, lets say that I were to accept an appointment to one of the academies, then decide that, for whatever reason, I wanted to go into another academy. Is that possible? I hope someone with experience or an academy representative can give me information about this. I don't think that I will be in that position, but having the information would not hurt. Thanks in advance!

    I posted this to the USMA forum as well.
  2. MWM2016

    MWM2016 Member

    Jan 7, 2015
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    I'm in a similar situation with USNA and USCGA appointments too! I too am finding it extremely difficult to decide!
    I'm calling my admissions representatives from each academy to speak to a graduate to learn more about the academy and the branch itself! I just spoke to USMA Northeast Regional Commander and a USAFA 2015 Graduate.
    Whilst I still have yet to contact USNA and USCGA, speaking with someone who went to each academy has definitely given me pros/cons!

    Good Luck with you decision!
  3. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA Alumnus 5-Year Member

    Mar 5, 2012
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    This is a very personal decision. Whatever list you make comparing the two Academies should include things that YOU find important. That being said I can really only speak for the USAFA side of things and generalities about the differences between the Academies.

    West Point has an easier freshman year but a more difficult and restrictive following three years. There will be more military training and less passes. USAFA has a more difficult freshman year but you enjoy more freedom as an upperclassmen. This afternoon I drove to a local climbing gym just to get away from the hustle and bustle. USAFA is generally regarded as the most difficult Academy when it comes to academics, but this doesn't mean that the other Academies are easy by any means.

    The cultures are different. Cadet cynicism is common among USAFA and you could be labeled negatively for trying to uphold others to simple standards. This is the most difficult thing about USAFA for me. Somehow we've slipped into a culture where if you want to be part of the "in" crowd then you need to chill out when it comes to "stupid rules" and "pointless requirements". Of course this is ridiculous and should not be the case for a military institution, but that seems to be the way it is. In reality the majority of cadets genuinely do uphold both themselves and their peers to the standards set by the officers and enlisted in charge. There just happens to be a small pool of cadets who stand out because of their attitude. From what I've heard the culture at USMA is quite the opposite. That is, if you are "lax" on standards then you could be labeled negatively. The "in" crowd are those who follow the rules no matter how pointless they may seem.

    Ultimately you should base you decision on your career goals after college. Worry less about the pros and cons of the Academies and more about the pro and cons of each service.
    goforspaatz likes this.
  4. scouthollins

    scouthollins Member

    Sep 8, 2015
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    I have received an appointment to USMA and also applied to the other academies. The way I have started looking at it is which military service gives you the most opportunities in career fields you would like and are either service offering a career that you would definitely not want to do and which service will fit your personality best. Don't make the decision based on which academy seems the coolest but which service will offer the best opportunities for you because the academy is only 4 years and service is 5+ years. Most of this advice was given to me by those who attend the academies currently, have graduated, or work there
    Next Generation likes this.
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother 5-Year Member Founding Member

    Oct 10, 2007
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    USCGA_2018 likes this.
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006 5-Year Member

    Nov 25, 2007
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    PM me if you'd like to talk about CGA.

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