What else should I be doing to get an appointment if my parents are opposed to me attending the CGA?

Lots of good advice here. I would just like to touch on two subjects. First concerning the PFE. The test consists of push-ups, sit-ups and 1.5 mile run, each worth 100 points for a total of 300 points. My recommendation is to focus on maxing the sit-ups and push-ups. Those are two exercises you can do anytime, anywhere, no matter the weather. If you can max both of those, you'll have 200 points going into the run. Cadets at CGA have a saying "max, max, relax" when taking their PFE...and yes, you will have to take, and pass, the PFE every semester at CGA.

As for your parents...I'm not sure whether a visit to CGA is at all feasible, but I highly recommend it. Let them walk the campus, visit Admissions staff, talk to current cadets and staff. I have found that many parents have changed their opinions of the Academy, and the Coast Guard, after their visit. They will find a safe, secure, and welcoming campus that any parent would feel comfortable having their child attend. They will meet cadets who are outstanding individuals, who have chosen CGA over other prestigious universities. They will find cadets who are children of high-ranking military members, U.S. Congress members, corporate executives, etc.. Many times parents are just not educated about service academies, and especially the Coast Guard Academy. Once they discover the mission, and the history, of the Coast Guard, I have found most parents embrace, and become some of the biggest supporters of the Coast Guard.

Good luck on your journey!
Thanks for your advice on the PFE. The running is the part that comes most easily to me anyway, as I ran cross-country way back in middle school. I'll continue to improve my upper body/core strength to max or get close to max on the sit ups and push ups.

As for my parents, I'll do my best to educate them about the Coast Guard Academy. If we can't visit it in person, I will definitely show them the website and some of the videos on it that I feel give a really good representation of the academy. It's just so hard to help them understand that this is what I feel is best for me!
Although not anywhere near the level of concern your parents have for you, my parents were initially hesitant about me going to a service academy (mostly safety concerns in the military). However, after they saw how consistently dedicated I was, how hard I worked, and how much I changed just through the application processes alone, they are now my biggest cheerleaders. Actions speak louder than words - your parents will notice how hard you are working towards this goal. Don't argue with them! Let them learn by your actions. If worse comes to worse your senior year, see if your CGA admission officer will talk with them.
Thank you. I will keep that in mind when talking to them and throughout the whole application process.
First of all, thanks a lot for your detailed response. As for your questions:

- One signature is slightly better, as only my mom is heavily opposed to me attending the academy, my dad less so. However my mom kind of "rules" the family, so if my dad were to sign off on this without her it would definitely be very divisive and I don't want to do that to my family, I'd rather do this amicably. If I were not able to gain consent from both by the time I needed it, I would probably just attend a civilian college for one year and apply after that, or maybe look into the CSPI program that the Coast Guard does. I may be able to convince them eventually, I had a talk with my mom last night about it.

- I plan to major in marine and environmental sciences, (affectionately called "Fish Kissers" at the Coast Guard Academy) as that is what I have been interested in for a while and aligns with my participation in the ocean sciences bowl team. I'll definitely try out for volleyball, it's a fun sport. As for leadership, I hold an elected position in the school government (Board of Appeals, as the sole representative from my class) which does not, in actually do a whole lot, but it might bolster my application. There is definitely a really good chance I will end up as editor in chief of the newspaper, as currently I am the only sophomore editor on a board of 16, and next year it is likely that I will become Managing Editor, from which it is the next step to Editor in Chief. It is also likely that I will become a captain of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl team, as I have participated in it at a fairly high level since freshman year. I am definitely planning on joining the National Honor Society. Right now, I have 114 logged community service hours with the school (we need 40 to graduate). I also forgot to mention in my original post that I play the trumpet in the top band at my rather musically proficient school, which would hopefully look good considering the amount of musical groups at the academy. I probably will not be able to have leadership in music though, as there are many talented musicians in my year and it would take a miracle to be elected co-president of the band my senior year.

- As for fitness, I am not above 200 on the PFE right now, but I know I need to be. Right now, I am hovering around 165, which definitely needs to go up. I'll take a look at the exercises you suggested, and start working them into my daily routine. Finding good places to run and train shouldn't be a problem, but it is a bit cold and icy at the moment.

- my parents' (really just my mom's) concerns:
1. worried about the government "owning" me
They won't "own" you. Yes, you will need to do things and you will have bosses and responsibilities, but this isn't unique to the military. I think the big difference is, if you obey a lawful order in the military, you could receive administrative or legal correction/punishment. In the private sector, if you don't do what you have to do, they could fire you.
2. thinking I'll just be learning how to kill people at a military academy
I spent nine years in the Coast Guard, four at the Coast Guard Academy and five as an officer. I learned how to shoot. I learned how to "compel compliance" aka, get a bad guy to do what you need them to do so they don't hurt you or someone else... but in my nine years I spent FAR FAR FAR more time trying to save people. That includes responding to possible down planes, possible people in the water, people who fall overboard from a cruise ship, and far exceeding all of these, thousands of migrants.
3. concerned about my safety at the academy, both after I graduate (saying that the U.S. has enemies and they'll all be trying to kill me) and thinking that the government will "test things" on me in the academy and while I serve.
You will be safe on the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. There is a police force on campus (called "P3") and there is a fence with spikes. Chase Hall (where the cadets live) is far more secure now that it was when I was a cadet, and I always felt save. We all lived in the same building. And when I got out I served a ship with guns and guards (felt pretty safe) and at a pretty locked-down Coast Guard Headquarters... and the current CGHQ is MUCH more secure than the one I worked in. Could people target Coast Guardsmen? Sure. They can also kill Americans in malls, at schools, in parades, etc. But in the Coast Guard you'll have training to protect yourself and others and you'll have security around. Finally, in my experience, nothing was tested on us (except changing the design for the running suits... but that's GOOD testing).
4. my parents are very anti-gun, so they are concerned about me using weapons in the military (I myself have rather different views from them, which creates other debates at home). I have mentioned what rtp9799 said above, in that the Coast Guard's primary mission is not fighting in wars, and that 6 out of 11 of their central missions are classified as non-homeland security.
You will learn how to shoot. You will likely be pepper sprayed. You will learn how to use pressure points and joints to get people to do things. That's training. In nine years I never shot someone. I never shot AT someone. I carried a gun in my personal time more than I carried one in the Coast Guard. Some people WILL carry often. They'll do boardings. They'll arrest people or issue tickets. As an officer, you'll see less of that. That doesn't mean it should scare you, but you just won't get your hands dirty as much. You will have homeland security missions, but as you can see in the news (or lack of news), that doesn't often involve using a firearm. You will have plenty of non-homeland security missions to keep you busy too.
5. Thinking that "this isn't best for me" and questioning my temperament to serve and saying that my brain isn't fully formed yet so I can't make this big of a decision (basically telling me I can't think for myself)
Your brain isn't fully formed or done growing, but this is a major decision for you, and in the end will affect your life. If you're a minor, your parents have a say, but it's important for them to know that you can make decisions too... especially like this. And, you have two years to decide if it's for you or not.... so that should make them a little more comfortable. Having said that, I think you should only go if you want to go.
6. Questioning my motives to go to the academy and serve in the military.
People will always question motives. Don't let it get to you. People will even question motives of cadets and midshipmen.... heck they'll question the motives of officers and enlisted members.
7. Thinking I am really smart and creative (I have a whole lot of hobbies, like playing other instruments besides the trumpet and woodworking) and that my talents would be wasted in the military, though I try to tell her that my talents would be best put to use serving the country.
You'll have MANY smart and creative classmates. You'll feel less smart. I'm a card-carrying member of Mensa and my classmates made me feel dumb (not that they were trying to). They can sing and dance and build things and write things... they can do so much. It's fun to see. I ONCE played trumpet... and now I play the banjo. The military is pretty structured... but that doesn't mean it's members are robots or carbon copies of their services. You'll still be a human. They will be PLENTY of opportunities to share your talents at the Coast Guard Academy.

My mom is very overprotective and has been my entire life, but she really doesn't seem understand that I should be allowed to make decisions concerning my future. I don't want to sound like a brat, trashing my parents on a public forum, and my parents have sacrificed a lot for me, but in this I really disagree with them.
Maybe she should talk to someone who has experienced the Coast Guard Academy and/or the Coast Guard? That might help her understand a little.

I'll continue with researching the academy, and thanks again for reading this.
Coast Guard doesn't "kill" anyone, if anything they save more lives and police water, less than 1% of the US military is combat arms. Don't let your parents discourage you. Do what you want, trust me you wont regret it. Keep high school grades up, its easy just budget time
Coast Guard doesn't "kill" anyone, if anything they save more lives and police water, less than 1% of the US military is combat arms. Don't let your parents discourage you. Do what you want, trust me you wont regret it. Keep high school grades up, its easy just budget time

Just to be clear, the Coast Guard doesn't typically kill anyone, however the guns aren't to make hugging more comfortable for all involved...
You can attend Boys State between your HS Junior and Senior year. It will improve your leadership score.
I'm a CGA grad who is past my 5 year commitment. Originally my parents (and their friends) were against me going to a SA. They got over it and now have CG stuff plastered all over their cars. :rolleyes:

I turned 18 prior to R Day so at first that's how they accepted me going there. Things they realized after the fact that made them love the decision:

* They didn't after worry about me partying during the week or skipping classes.

* I had a good job post graduation and wasn't going to move back in with them.

Another thing, not everyone in the CG carries guns. I've never qualified at the range and given my current career path am unlikely to do so. In fact not many officers do so past their first couple of years.

My parents earlier fears about the military have turned into fears that I'll move to Alaska and never come back. They do have a point with that one though...
It might be worth reading some of the cadet blog entries on the Academy website, if you haven't already. If possible, get your parents to read them as well (I realize this may not be realistic).

That said, as a parent of a cadet, and one whose wife had many of the same concerns that your mom has, please feel free to PM me.
It might be worth reading some of the cadet blog entries on the Academy website, if you haven't already. If possible, get your parents to read them as well (I realize this may not be realistic).

That said, as a parent of a cadet, and one whose wife had many of the same concerns that your mom has, please feel free to PM me.

I've read some of them, maybe I'll eventually get my parents to read them as well. Right now though, my parents are trying to avoid conversations about the CGA until I research and look at some civilian schools, in the hopes that I'll give up this idea, which is not going to happen, unfortunately for them.
Listen to your parents and investigate civilian schools. At a minimum you may need a civilian school as your backup plan since all of the SA are competitive. Go through the process with an open mind. Who knows you may actually find a school that is better for you than CGA.
Hi all, first post here, and it is rather long out of necessity.

I am a current high school sophomore and am really determined to attend the USCGA. However, as the title suggests, my parents (or rather just one) are rather vehemently opposed to this (for rather illogical reasons), and not likely to sway their opinion any time soon. Convincing my parents to give consent for me to attend the academy would be a Herculean feat, as I have already tried most relevant arguments and one of my parent has rather audacious claims about the academy and the military in general that are not backed up with facts. I (clearly) don't come from a "military family" although my cousin attends the USAFA.I will not be 18 by R-day after my senior year of high school, so would not having one parent give consent for me to attend the academy preclude me from attending? Would this mean that I would have to apply after I turn 18 (i.e. having gone to a civilian college for one year)? I am very determined to serve my country, preferably as an officer, and the Coast Guard seems like the branch best suited to my interests.

Since I will definitely not have any parental support in my application process, I want to ask all of you what else I should be doing to secure an appointment. Academics are not really an issue for me, I attend a rather prestigious public high school in a wealthy suburban area (only one or so graduates of my high school go into the military each year). I have A- s or above in all my classes, a gpa of around 4.98, taking many honors and AP classes, and recently got a 1400 on the new PSAT. If I can keep this up, that seems about standard for an appointee.

As for my extracurriculars, I fence competitively (as my username suggests), play in an in-town basketball league in the winter, and I may try out for the volleyball team at my school if a varsity sport would help me get an appointment. Outside of sports, I'm an editor on the school newspaper and participate in two academic "bowl" competitions, one of which pertains to ocean sciences.

Physically, I am fit, although my current PFE would be lower than that of an incoming cadet. I have time to bring that up, but I would love to hear your recommendations as to what workouts I should be doing to physically prepare myself for the PFE and (hopefully) the academy.

I would also like to hear what you all think I should be doing with regards to letting the CGA "know who I am." Should I be making a Bears Den login now, or wait until junior year? Should I try to do Cadet for a Day or AIM (I'd have to pay for AIM myself, and if I needed parental consent, forget about it)? Should I contact my admissions officer with some of these questions or with information about myself?

Thank you guys for reading this long post, and I look forward to hearing your suggestions.
Hi BCFencing.
I was your mom in a sense. We are not a military family, but my son had always been interested in the military. When my other kids would turn on Sponge Bob, I would catch my son watching Practical to Tactical or some other program on the Military channel. But I never gave this much thought. My son (of course in my eyes) is amazing. He was raised in the church and participated in 5 international missions programs, volunteered in local missions, was a leader in his school. I thought for sure I was raising a missionary. I was encouraging med school so he could work with Doctors w/o Boarders. In grade 9 I read a text he sent to his brother expressing interest in the Air Force. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I literally had to sit down. In that moment I could see his future and it was nothing I would have chosen for him. I convinced myself that it was a passing phase. I was so wrong. He began discussing it with others, became laser focused and here we are today with an appointment to USAFA. I tell you all of this b/c I hope you can understand that your mother's emotions are based on the strongest most powerful love for you. Be gentle. Be mature. Don't give up your dream. My faith has brought me to a place of peace about my son's choice for his future. My son needed to be able to answer a lot of tough questions from me. I pray his faith is guiding him. If you want your mom to respect this choice, you need to be sure she sees you as an adult which means behaving NOT as a typical hs student. By all means investigate all options. My son applied to 10 schools and visited everyone. We visited the last two after the appointment came through. It was almost as if he was entertaining me b/c he promised to consider all options - but he had already obtained the dream. Your mom is right. Your brain, specifically the part that is responsible for good judgement, is not fully developed until your early 20s (maybe I'm on FB with your mom:). You need to show her that regardless, you are mature - you make good decisions. Gain her trust. But most of all - be gentle - after all she loves you more than you can possibly imagine.
Your parent's emotions may be based in love but they are also completely false. I really don't understand the idea of standing in your child's way when they have a goal like this. Someone mentioned in another thread, does she understand then when your 18 she doesn't get to control you anymore? It sounds like she's used to being "in charge" and this something completely out of her control. My advice to her would be to buckle up because once you turn 18 you can do what you want, does she want to have a great relationship with her adult child or cause estrangement?

You are a sophomore, I would keep plugging along. You said you have a cousin in USAFA, can their mom or dad talk to your parents about the experience? Luckily you have a couple more years to get them on board!

BTW as a pediatric nurse I get really itchy when people pull the "oh your brain isn't developed". I've met 14 year olds making end of life decisions for themselves, 16 year old mothers who are better parents then some 40 year old women, and then you have the mom who not only is 16 but making end of life decisions for her baby. I think it's offensive and a cop out when someone can't think of another reason to tell a teenager no about something.

Keep making good decisions, stay out of trouble, do some pushups, and take any leadership opportunities you can. Even if she completely blocks you, you can still use your excellent resume to get into plenty of prestigious 4 year universities.
I would say that your mother's concerns border on paranoid and that is in your best interest to get out of under her control ASAP.
Your father is enmeshed with her but if he is open to signing, I would do that and not be so concerned about causing a rift...You seem like a nice normal kid but your mother seems personality disordered and is trying to keep control/power over you. You can't use the same tactics that you would with a "normal" mom...You need to look out for yourself and gain independence. Otherwise it will be "We'll only pay for school near home" and "We won't pay for you to stay in a dorm". You may think I seem like I am overstating things but I have read many many stories of people on line with disordered parents and your parents fit the mold. Your Dad isn't saying anything because he doesn't want to fight your mother but that is his choice...it doesn't need to be yours.
Tell him that you respect his choice, but he needs to let you make yours because once you are 18 you will be making it anyway and he needs to let you be free. He needs to stand up for you even if he can't stand up for himself.

I am not saying that parents shouldn't guide their kids or make sure they really understand what they are getting into, but there is a point when you are going beyond that into toxicity.