USNA VS. USAFA

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by GONAVY3237, May 10, 2018.

  1. GONAVY3237

    GONAVY3237 Member

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    Hi Guys! A question- USNA or USAFA? My goal is to become a pilot, so I wonder which is best. Any insights?

    Thanks,
    GONAVY3237
     
  2. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    There are a whole lot of threads on the forum describing the differences between the Services, but the threshold questions is whether you want to a USN/USAF officer and serve in the military, or do you "want to be a pilot" . Keep in mind that there are no guarantees that either Service Academy will lead to flight training, so you need to pick the Service first, then work toward the goal of being a pilot. I've stated here before, there are a lot more opportunities and alternatives at Navy if you aren't a pilot.
     
  3. connorjp

    connorjp Member

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    Well, out of the 2017 graduates of USNA, 411 were chosen to become either pilots OR flight officers in either the Navy OR Marine Corps.
    https://www.usna.edu/NewsCenter/20...lass-of-2017-receives-service-assignments.php

    Out of the 2016 graduates of USAFA, 345 were chosen to become pilots.
    http://www.usafa.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/788557/graduating-class-of-2016-fact-sheet/

    I don’t know if those numbers affect your thinking, but regardless of if they do, you should also consider available majors, sports, campus location, life after, etc. Good luck!
     
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  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    ... and to add to @connorjp 's comments.... no one knows what each services need for pilots will be 4 years from now. It varies from year to year.

    Navy flies both fixed wing and rotary aircraft. AF almost exclusively fixed wing according to my understanding. You also need to look at the jobs available in each service as @Old Navy BGO strongly implies. Are there jobs in that service you would be willing to do if you don't get to become a pilot?

    Finally, look at the ROTC programs as a backup plan and apply there as well. You can still become a pilot out of the ROTC programs.
     
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  5. GONAVY3237

    GONAVY3237 Member

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    Thanks for you advice, will keep that in mind.
     
  6. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    Lots of things can happen along the way to becoming a pilot. Medical issues. Poor grades. Not doing well on the AQT/FAR (or whatever the flight screener is now called). Needs of the USN/USAF. And on and on. Thus, you should hope for the best but be prepared to do something else. Also, at least for USNA, you don't know your aviation platform until some time into flight school. Thus, you may want to fly jets but end up with helos. Or want helos and end up with C-130. Or want P-8s and end up with carrier-based aircraft. (Not suggesting any of these platforms is better/worse than the other -- but may be to some).
     
  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    Not to start a turf war however...the percentage of "pilot slots" were higher at USAFA than they were at USNA. The total "rated slots" were numerically higher at USNA however there were 200 more graduates in the USNA class of 2017 than in the USAFA class of 2016.

    The real thing here is not the numbers, it's what does the OP really want?

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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  8. USNA2021_Dad

    USNA2021_Dad Member

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    It's also worth noting the number of drone slots the USAFA pilots end up with compared to USNA where the superintendent proudly noted that all the Navy pilots went to actual aerial platforms.
     
  9. ihadthelastplebesummer

    ihadthelastplebesummer New Member

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    I went to both academies. From my understanding, you have to go rated at USAFA to become pilot, some get drafted into RPA. At USNA, you may get put in NFO due to needs of the Navy.

    Things to consider: college/service culture (both have very different cultures), types of aircraft, and 2nd/3rd choice jobs at each service if aviation doesn't work out.
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    That's kinda because of all the really serious "Drone" orbits run today...they're all USAF. The navy currently, as far as I know from an unclassified position, has no orbits that they control.

    MQ-9's and RQ-4's. And yes, I do know about the MQ-4C under development.

    But...with the X-47B in the development stage and one-day to be deployed, and the MQ-4C out there in development as well...I'd imagine it won't be too long before we see USNA graduates going to RPV/UAS/Drones.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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  11. USNA2021_Dad

    USNA2021_Dad Member

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    Never heard of anyone attending both academies...just curious how that happened and your thoughts on such? Or did you do the semester abroad at one or the other?
     
  12. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Possibly exchange semester?
     
  13. ihadthelastplebesummer

    ihadthelastplebesummer New Member

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    Yes, semester exchange. Definitely worth it. USNA mids get to do gliders/jump program at USAFA and USAFA cadets get to experience Army/Navy and YPs/sailing.
     
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  14. Juvat

    Juvat Member

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    Interestingly enough, USNA just raised the score requirements for the Aviation Selection Test Battery (ATSB) in order to compete for a pilot or NFO slot. Not sure yet what that means in terms of needs of the Navy for pilots/NFOs, but it is causing some angst among a bunch of Midshipmen who thought they had qualifying scores for pilot/NFO only to find out a few weeks ago that the minimums were raised and they were no longer qualified to compete (especially those 2/C Mids who will be making service selection choices in a couple of months). Lot's of re-tests going on the next couple of weeks. Not sure if USAF is going through a similar scenario but gotta wonder if this is simply a pipeline issue or a longer term "needs of the Navy" issue.
     
  15. Zeus

    Zeus Member

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    Neither. Just correlating they success rate at flight school. Mids with higher ATSB scores have better success. Hence the change.
     
  16. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    Actually, Juvat's question is the issue. Of course ATSB ( I think it was called AQT/FAR in the past) is supposed to be a predictor of aptitude , and hence success, but if prediction of success (ie. quality) is the only factor, then only those with perfect scores would be eligible for selection. Raising and lowering the bar serves as barrier to entry, making it easier to reduce the quantity of aviators in the pipeline. The question then becomes whether this adjustment of ATSB scores reflects a reaction to a short term backlog in the training pipeline, or is the Navy anticipating a lower demand in the long term ?
     
  17. Humey

    Humey Member

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    Air Force has more fixed wings than Navy. So you maybe a Navy Helicopter pilot. From a wesbite that I cant confirm is true or not, Navy has 2254 fixed wings while AF has 3550. Assuming these numbers are true, they dont seem like a lot or rather I thought they would have much more
     
  18. gonavy14

    gonavy14 Member

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    Not true. The air force also flies H-60s and H-53s.
     
  19. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    From the official service numbers reported on each branch's website:

    Air Force has:
    3584 Fixed Wing Aircraft
    1191 Fixed Wing Training Aircraft
    265 Rotor Wing Aircraft
    37 Rotor Wing Trainer Aircraft

    Air Force Total Aircraft: 5077

    Navy/Marine Corps:
    1330/401 Fixed Wing Aircraft - Total 1731
    331/65 Fixed Wing Trainer Aircraft - Total 396
    537/475 Rotor Wing Aircraft - Total 1012
    129/0 Rotor Wing Trainer Aircraft - Total 65

    Navy/Marine Corps Total Aircraft: 3204

    Stealth_81

    *edited for bad math.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  20. Tex232

    Tex232 Member

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    This. The other services have much more exciting non-flying career paths than the Air Force. Also, it gets progressively more difficult to get promoted in the Air Force if you are not a pilot than in the other services. Also, if you are ever caught up in a RIF in the Air Force, you may possibly be more likely to get the boot if you aren’t flying.
     
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