USAFA vs. USNA

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by cmitchell39, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. cmitchell39

    cmitchell39 New Member

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    Hello, I am a senior in high school and have been offered an appointment to both USAFA and USNA. I am having a difficult time making a decision between the two and would like some insight as to which academy is best for me. As of now, I plan on becoming a pilot/naval aviator no matter which academy I go to, however, I don't doubt that this plan could change. For a long time I was set on USAFA, but I am now unsure because I feel like in the Air Force there isn't much else to be besides a pilot, therefore if I am unable to become a pilot or change my mind I will be screwed. On the contrary, I feel like the Navy (and Marine Corps) has a multitude of exciting things to be other than a naval aviator. It is for this reason that USNA has grabbed my attention recently. It would be greatly appreciated if y'all could provide some feedback, as well as any additional insight about life in the Air Force vs. life in the Navy, and more specifically, life as a pilot in the Air Force vs. life as a naval aviator in the Navy. Thanks!
     
  2. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

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  3. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Nah. You are onto something. Dig deep. Reckon with this:

     
  4. Nav21

    Nav21 Member

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    I'm making this same decision right now with nearly the same logic. The next few weeks is going to be a very thoughtful time for me.
     
  5. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Focus on their primary mission. Type of deployments, operations tempo, and even where the duty stations are. Best of luck!
     
  6. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    You say not much else in the AF interests you, but didn't tell us what kinds of things would. That might help us give better advice.
     
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  7. brovol

    brovol Member

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    My son was in a similar quandary a year ago, deciding between USMA, USAFA and USNA, and essentially ruled USAFA out early because he felt IF he couldn't fly jets he didn't like the options left in the AF. Ultimately, he decided on West Point, but now that he has more insight into things, and has talked to officers, visiting students from the other academies, and others, he thinks he was short sighted, and many of the career options he wants to do now we're also available in the AF. He bought into the "chair force" stuff too much. He is glad he picked USMA, but says his analysis was a bit immature then. He says he would have still ended up at USMA, which he loves, but thinks USAFA would have been a closer second choice.
     
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  8. DesertCaliMom

    DesertCaliMom Member

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    My son has talked to recent veterans from not just the academies but enlisted, too, and asked about joint operations and the role of each service and who was most prepared, who had the resources and who was on top of their game. He really listened and asked good and honest questions. He figured he would get slighted answers, but everyone was fair, except when it came to football ;)

    It boils down to what ktnatalk said - focus on the primary mission.
     
  9. yellowjacket

    yellowjacket Member

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    I am just now getting a chance to watch this. What a great video. Just the thing I needed for that little extra motivation!
     
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  10. bpu

    bpu 5-Year Member

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    If you are motivated by the boxing clip half way into this video but remember than Navy forfeited to West Point in boxing this year so as to avoid the midshipmen from getting hurt too badly in the boxing matches.
     
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  11. brovol

    brovol Member

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    To be fair though, USNA did ask that the two schools compete in a fashion show, a tap dancing contest, and tiddlywinks, but Army West Point refused, so each school has its strengths.
     
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  12. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Hahahaha... They say the internet is full of fake news!

     
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  13. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB 5-Year Member

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    I second raimus's question, there is A LOT to do in the AF but it's hard to help you if you don't give us at least some idea of what you want to do if you don't fly.
     
  14. lotsofbooks

    lotsofbooks 5-Year Member

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    My daughter is an AFA grad of about 8 years now as well as her husband. She is more in the management side I would say, her husband is a pilot. They are both very happy in their work. (maybe she is a little more than her husband) She has more flexibility for bases so they can go together to the bases that work for his airframe. (but that did sort of push them to get married younger I would say) She has had the opportunity to apply for many different jobs and positions. She didn't always get offered but she usually was a finalist which is also an honor. I would say her career interests have changed as new opportunities have come her way, and others maybe didn't turn out... Her bosses and former bosses have mentored her and helped her make good career decisions. Originally she wanted to be a foreign officer liaison (serving in foreign countries of her chosen strategic language) but her husband wouldn't be able to join her in that situation she realized. They have both been deployed at various times. They both have their masters, but they had to finish them online due to their work commitments. At her current base she works alongside of the different branches of the military, it's a large important base. She gave us a tour last year and she literally sits next to every different color of uniform in her office. Right now they are enjoying putting down a few roots, they have purchased their first house and are looking into some fixer investment properties. They enjoy having neighborhood friends as well as their pets. She said that soon they will be required to live on base as they move up in their career fields so they enjoy their current situation a lot... She said her deepest friendships are those from her academy days. She likes working with smart people (don't we all) and I think generally she is pretty happy in the AF. She was accepted to other academies but I have never heard any regret about her choice. I think the toughest has been losing some of their closest college friends to crashes or hostilities. I feel so bad for that aspect of their lives.

    She has had amazing experiences in all parts of the world and as a parent, I am sure proud of her. The military gives opportunity to folks from all different regions of our country, and family backgrounds also. She would have gone to college anyway, but she gets to interact daily with people who are first generation college grads which is really a great experience I think.. She enjoys the regional flavors of the US.

    In contrast, her younger sister who is graduating from our local university (with 3 STEM bachelors and a masters next year) , will also have a great career I'm sure, but her life experiences will be totally different. She is worried she'll be pressured to get plastic surgery so she can always appear young! (which seems very sad to me)
    The AF daughter can't talk about her work, but we can't understand much of what the other one does either. You used to hear that females had it tough in the military, but it seems even harder in tech as the frightening and sobering information for females is coming out ( like for Uber) The younger one's last software job meant going to an office where there wasn't another female there on many work days. There are more resident canines in the office than other women!. Many tech companies serve up 3 meals a day (like being on a cruise ship) and she feels the implication that it's preferred you do everything with your co workers. Time will tell as she tries different work environments. Even though the tech careers are great of course, I am thinking that the military experience develops you as a person and citizen and you can still have a private life.
     
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