Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by Maplerock, Sep 4, 2017.
DD said USNA or nowhere. Thank God she got it. No Plan B C or D. First and only choice.
DS took a similar, no plan B, approach with USMA . Received LOA early on but had to navigate the medical waiver process. Luckily it worked out in the end. Wanted to go nowhere but WP since 4th grade.
Older son declined a WP appointment and attended a University with AROTC, his younger brother decided not to apply for an appointment and followed his older brother to AROTC at the same university. Both applied for the AROTC scholarships and received 4 yr's, neither had R&B paid by the school.
DD only wanted a service academy. Applied to other colleges/universities because counselors encouraged her to. Picked USMMA and couldn't be happier! Is now an EMT (through USMMA) and is set to go on her sea year next month!
Something I'd like to add to the discussion.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with having only 1 branch of the military in mind. Some people feel compelled; or are advised by their MOC or others to apply to ALL of the academies. If your whole intent is to "Serve"; or..... you simply care about the "Free Education" and are willing to serve in any branch, (Yes, there are those who's primary purpose of applying is for the education - and there's nothing wrong with this); then what branch of the military you apply to; either academy or ROTC is fine.
But there are some that only want one particular branch and that's the end of it. Nothing wrong with this either. As I mentioned in my previous post, my son had scholarships to a number of schools. He also was accepted to others. But when it came to the academy, it was air force or nothing. Matter of fact, he didn't even apply to ROTC. Again; it was air force academy or nothing. If he didn't get that, he would have taken one of the other scholarships and played that out. Maybe join ROTC at that school if available; or wait until he graduated with his degree and look into commissioning OTS/OCS.
The point is; each person is an individual. Some, it's the academy, any academy, and plan B is a civilian university. Believe it or not, some are the opposite. The academies aren't their first choice. A few hundred appointments get TURNED DOWN each year, because the applicant got their first choice civilian university. Some are a mix of the two. One academy or ROTC school and no other military. As long as the individual is following their passion, heart, goals, ambitions, it doesn't matter what the choices are.
Like Christcorps' DS, my DD was ONLY AF Academy or nothing, or should I say, 4-year university with partial tuition scholarship, but only 3 semesters left to complete her BS. No ROTC or thoughts of OTS. Money was not the determining factor.
I'm still not sure I understand, but she is definitely all in at USAFA and committed.
Where did DH and I go wrong or right ?
Our son had full ride to A&M. He received AoG sponsorship in April of Senior year in HS. We didn't know what it meant at the time, but he ended up going to Marion in Alabama for a year and then earning his appointment to USMA.
Even during Beast, he knew that was where he wanted to be. He loved WP and now is in BOLC. Not one regret about his opportunity at West Point was ever uttered or written to us.
Agree with Christcorp that the branch may be make/break. DS was going USCGA or bust as the Coast Guard's mission was what he wanted. Plan B was private school with no ROTC. Full appointment received just before he had interview as finalist for full ride scholarship. Immediately accepted appointment and notified Plan B to give someone else an opportunity to interview for full ride.
DD received a full NROTC plus money to cover room and board. She held onto it until CGA was solidified and finished her athletic season. Only applied to CGA and for the NROTC.
My Son won a 3 year AROTC Scholarship and one of the University's he applied to offered him a full ride his Freshman Year, which would equal a 4 year scholarship, but he said nope...He is currently a 4th Year/Rat and VMI. Thankfully VMI has a generous scholarship program and was able to give some help for his Freshman Year, because we are from out of State. The Army has told him if his grades are high enough at the end of the 1st Semester he might get converted to a 3.5 year scholarship. I am praying for that, but if not oh well. He is living his dream and going to his first school choice. The transformation that I have seen in him since Matriculation day on 8/19/17 is amazing. Thus far we do not regret choosing VMI and we are happy that he was accepted there. However I always urged our DS to have a backup plan, he applied to 5 University's, his top two was VMI and The Citadel....he was accepted at all 5. So you have to do what is best for your children and your pocketbook.
DS received academic scholarships to multiple colleges as well as a 4 year, any major AFROTC scholarship. One of the universities that had AFROTC gave him an academic scholarship and would have applied that to room and board with any surplus given to DS ( and it would even include off campus housing). Since he was 1 week away from the university admission deadline, he accepted the AFROTC scholarship and the admission to the university. A couple of days later his portal was updated with an appointment to USAFA. It didn't take much time for him to decide. He immediately accepted the appointment and couldn't be happier. After visiting friends at a local college he told us that he couldn't imagine being in a regular school ...he said it was just not the right atmosphere for him.
My son never took ROTC , USNA or any academy wasn't even on the radar until he and his dad went to a college expo together his Jr. year- I was out of town that weekend - DS applied to NASS & attended this past summer and we toured in July- USNA has been his #1 since- he received an LOA in early November and an official offer in early December.
My DS applied to USNA and two other colleges. The two colleges gave him full academic scholarships which he is now in the enviable position to turn down.
He had decided years ago that he wanted to go to USNA, so it has worked out wonderfully.
DS told us when he was 11 years old he was going to USNA. He still applied for, and was, awarded, a 4 Year NROTC scholarship. He was accepted to four of his five NROTC schools: Duke, Villanova, NC State and Norwich. When the appointment to USNA came he didn't hesitate to accept it. He is now a Plebe at USNA and thriving. He was humbled to be accepted to the other schools but it was always USNA first for him.
USAFA was my only choice 40 years ago. I had wanted to go there since I was in 5th grade. Luckily I was selected to attend . . . if I hadn't been, I'm not sure what my path would have been . . . I had no real back-up plan. My DS's first choice was also USAFA, although he came to his decision a little later than myself. He decided he wanted USAFA in 8th grade ... ;-) Even so, when the time came, I convinced him to go visit and apply to other schools. For USAFA, he did all the right things, had a great record and with the Presidential nomination was slated to receive an early appointment to USAFA, so it looked like his plan was coming together until the USAFA medical authority denied his medical waiver for an allergy to pistachios. He was crushed. (I think I may have been even more disappointed than he was. I felt like my Alma-mater, the school I loved, had let me down.) He very much wanted to serve, so he switched everything over to the Army (USMA and VMI via AROTC) since we had done research and had discovered the Army had given medical waivers for his allergy in the past. The visits to the other schools and the other applications sure came in handy. He earned a 4-year national AROTC scholarship to VMI and received the medical waiver. (He received a Congressional Nomination to West Point, we are in Northern Virginia which is a very competitive region, but did not receive an appointment. As it turns out, I think VMI is a better "fit" for him.) Other scholarships to other good schools came in as well (Purdue, Case Western, Texas A&M), but he wanted the challenge of VMI . . . he is doing well . . . he is where he was meant to be . . . now a "Second" or junior with plans to graduate and commission in May 2019.
I agree with Christcorp . . . pick which service you prefer to serve in first. If you see yourself serving in multiple arenas, that is fine. (For me, I knew Air Force was where I wanted to be. Navy would have been my second choice. For my DS, Air Force was first, but Army was always a close "second" and now it is primary and he is very happy with his choice. He had no interest in the Navy.) From there pick the appropriate SA or SMC/ROTC program . . . and if you prefer a "civilian" school, that is a fine route too.
I love your post! You have done an incredible job as dad and veteran. Your son will serve with great pride and honor for our country in the Army. Destiny has many ways to guide our paths. There’s no dead end. But many roads to seek your journey. Your DS found his and he will thrive and prosper. And most importantly be happy on his service and career. God bless and Happy New Year!
My story is much like my classmate, Falcon A...
I was an AF brat; lived in Europe and decided I wanted to fly the amazing F-100D Super Saber!! OH the dreams I had...my neighbor took me to his plane, sat me in it and put his helmet on me...he stood on the ladder and told me how the throttle worked, and how I was going to taxi his jet out of the bunker it was parked in and onto the ramp!! OMG!! ME!!! All of 7 years old: fighter pilot! So I did precisely what he said, hit the starter button, talked on the radio, moved the throttle when he said to...moved the stick to turn the jet...I was in heaven!! (Okay...I didn't know I was speaking to the crew chief driving the yuke that was towing the jet; I couldn't see below the nose.)
I asked him: "how do I get to be a Hun pilot?" He said, and it's as clear to day as it was in 1967: "Well, I went to a place called the air force academy, and a place called Willie, and a place called Luke." So I wrote a letter to the academy and told them I wanted to be an F-100D pilot and I had to go to "air force academy" and what should I do? I received a letter from some colonel about a month later...he was very polite, said he totally liked my plan, however I'd need to wait a few more years to finish school; but the academy would welcome my application in 1977! He even sent me a cool catalog! (Still on my bookshelf, a little ragged)
And so...the quest began. It hit a hiccup in 1978 when I was NOT offered an appointment (I was then a senior at Air Academy High School) but was offered the opportunity to attend Northwestern Prep...which led to the appointment!
And stunning more than 856 of my classmates, I graduated on 1 June 1983!
Sadly, my beloved and I weren't able to have children (so no DD/DS to continue the long blue line)...so we take care of other people's children; which is probably why I'm so passionate as an ALO and JROTC teacher: I love seeing their success!!
Outstanding! I love your post Flieger83.
My DD wants to serve her country and lead the men and women while doing it. It had been her dream since 8th grade, but she was in love with USNA and was doing everything to be a sailor. Until that summer of SLE when she fell in love with the Army. Not just USMA but THE ARMY!! However she still knew that she wanted to serve in wherever she was taken So she applied to all 3 major academies plus applied to local universities and was offered full ride scholarships. She decided that if she couldn't make it into an Academy she didn't want to go to a traditional college and felt there wouldn't be enough of a challenge, so she opted to enlist as her back up plan and prayed that she could get to OTS that way,.if needs be. After a bad experience with an Army recruiter, she knocked on the Navy recruiter door and signed on the dotted line....all while still praying that USMA , still her dream, would see her value. All she wanted was to be an officer somehow! As the BFE's came and went, so did her hopes. First USNA said no. Then USAFA. Finally it looked like USMA would say no thank you too, when suddenly they pulled out an AOG scholarship which she gladly accepted. Then the rare and unexpected happened! Less than 3 weeks later, her AOG scholarship was revoked and she was given a direct appointment to USMA. There was no looking back! She hit that accept button in her portal so fast the computer monitor spun! And then she hit R day full throttle, and never once...No matter how many hits she took and how grueling it was for her...Not once did she EVER think of quitting. She said: " It never crossed my mind! I was not giving up my spot when so many others wanted it just as badly as I did."
So nice that I was able to check this. I appreciate the insights.
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