- Jan 5, 2016
I hear you. I imagine that young man regretted using the word "whim," and in further posts it seemed that he had indeed done more research about the CG that his original post implied. It took me several hours to distance myself to be able to counsel him from my training rather than my emotions.Mascara_Mon, I can understand your frustrations. I think AlexT post sums it up. At the end of the day, the USCGA is a very small school, and the majority of their students MUST be part of some sports or arts program. That is why the CCEB is made up of both coaches and staff. When my DS attended AIM last summer, they specifically told him not to apply during EA, as although he had a high GPA and was in the top 11% of his class, since he was not currently active in any sports programs, he would not get an acceptance during the EA process. So in my DS case, he waited until RA to apply. The other frustration is a case in point from the aChipmunk "How does CGA compare to other engineering programs?" Where he applied on a whim, didn't know his AO, didn't attend AIM, and didn't make any efforts to appropriately think through the lifestyle adaptations of what it means to serve, however he received an appointment. The frustration here is not intended on aChipmunk at all, but the clear reality the CCEB cannot properly vet every candidate in a manner that allows them to understand and appropriately weigh the candidates overall character, skills, and school ranking / grades. Although I am happy for all of the Class of 2020 appointees, I cannot help but think that there are a percentage of rejected candidates that more appropriately align as a USCGA cadet and future leader, but the current process is inhibits the ability to properly vet them out.
I have hesitated to throw this out there, but IMHO, the nomination process (or some other arduous process) would greatly minimize people applying to the USCGA impulsively. The USCGA process "feels" more like a regular college process (with a physical fitness test thrown in for "fun"), so applicants perhaps don't realize the difference between going to a good engineering school and signing up for military service with educational and employment privileges and guarantees. At minimum, it would seem the interview should be mandatory rather than optional.
I know the current nomination system is fraught with frustrations and imperfections, but I know for our DD, it was a hugely beneficial experience. Even though her process did not lead to an appointment with the Navy, her research led her to discover the Coast Guard, which in so many ways is a wonderful fit. If being waitlisted does not yield an appointment for the class of 2020, she is definitely applying again next year.