10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jan 17, 2009
Hi everybody. This is really stressing me out so I hope someone can help.

Here's my dilemma. As of now I am almost certain that I will attend either USMA, USNA or USAFA (I have been accepted to all so that should be no issue). However, I am largely uncertain which one I will attend. Ever since I was a young child it has been my dream to go to West Point so right now USMA is very emotionally engrained in me. However, I realize that the other two offer incredible opportunities as well. Though it is my core desire to go to USMA I am worried that it may only be because I have wanted it for so long. Looking at the career opportunities I think that being a platoon leader in the army would be an amazing job. I also think being a jet pilot for the Navy, Marines or Air Force would be incredible as well. However, Because I have no way of actually experiencing which one fits me best I was hoping that you guys might be able to share your insights with me on the pros and cons of each career (infantry officer vs pilot) as well as any special differences between the academies themselves. For example, I know that at USNA I would have career opportunities to do both, but I want to choose the right Service Academy as well. I don't really have an interest in boats and I worry that much of my time may be wasted when it could have been spent learning things that would be relevant and make me a better officer.

I know that it all comes down to what I want most but thats the problem. I keep researching things but I'm really torn. Anyways, thanks in advance to anybody who can help me.
yes and the USAFA forum. they were answered from the USNA and USAFA points of view.

Bottom line - listen to your heart. Core desire? And you are second guessing?
As far as being a platoon leader goes - this is for a very short period in one's Army career, if you are thinking of a 20 year career.
If you decide to separate after your 5 years of AD are up then the experience of being a platoon leader are like no others you will receive in the civilian world as far as leadership and responsibility at a young age.

There are 16 branches of the Army to which you can commission. Each is different and offers different career opportunities. At USMA you will be given many many opportunites to learn about each branch. You will also be given ample opportunity to attend different schools such as Airborne, Air Assault, Sapper; in your summer training. These options are not available to USNA mids who want to go Marines.
From USMA you are not required to branch Infantry. In fact, it is very competitive. So don't think of it as infantry vs pilot.
If you want to learn about the different options and branches of the Army - go here:

If you don't have an interest in boats - you should rethink the Naval Academy. Much of your summer training will revolve around boats.
I just wanted to say thank you to everybody who has posted in all three forums (I posted in all three to get everyone’s viewpoint). You guys have been great and your advice has been really helpful. Also thank you for your support and congratulations.

To answer a questions asked: I received an LOA from each academy and was nominated to all of them as well.

If anyone else has any more suggestions, advice or information about life in the particular career fields, the academies or personal experiences feel free to post. I appreciate and value all of your guys’ suggestions very much and am eager to listen to anything you have to say.

Fantastic Duncan and congratulations again!

You definitely have to wait till you actually get the appointments before burning the bridges (ships) to the other SA's. Most kids dream of your situation and I'm sure you've dedicated yourself to excellence and this is the evidence!