What service academy

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by PeterK, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. PeterK

    PeterK Member

    Jan 13, 2014
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    Hello all,

    I have recently contacted my ALO and completed my summer seminar app for the USAFA. I am interested in a potential career as an officer that focuses on computer science and I had always believed that the Air Force was the best place for technology development and advancement. I had a friend mention that the USNA was also known for their technology program. This is where my question arises, which branch has the best opportunities for officers that are interested in tech. and CS?

    On a different note, if I am accepted to the USAFA SS and end up applying to multiple services academies, how does this affect admissions? Would it show a lower level of interest for attending another academies summer seminar program?
  2. AHS74

    AHS74 5-Year Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    One of the Air Force"s mission is cyber-warfare if that interests you.
  3. brooksla

    brooksla New Member

    Jan 27, 2014
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    Apply to all summer seminars for all academies that you can. The time to rank your choices will come when you apply for your nominations from the Members of Congress (MOC). I just saw a candidate who had USNA as his top choice throughout the majority of the process switch over and make USMA his top choice after the nomination interviews were held. The MOC's office emailed everyone asking if they are certain of their initial rankings (which is a great thing that they did!) He decided after a visit to both academies was completed that he preferred USMA after all. GO ARMY!!!!
    The bottom line is experience all that you can! It's very competitive to get into the summer seminars in the first place but I have known candidates that went to the summer seminar but didn't do well in their nomination interviews and didn't get the appointment over some candidates that didn't get accepted to the summer seminars. Also, get in shape, you will take your CFA at the Summer Seminars. Start preparing NOW for the nomination interviews. You can never start too early.
  4. thorgold

    thorgold Viking Bud

    Feb 11, 2013
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    If you're interested in Computer Science, you really couldn't do much better than USAFA. The technology program is one of the best in the nation, especially in regards to cyberwarfare training and development - our Cyber Team (think Drill Team, but with blaster worms instead of sabers) recently placed first, nationally, in ranked competition. The team is fairly open and you can join as a doolie; it's a time commitment, but not too much of a burden.

    The USNA is also a good school in terms of technology - I'd suppose it depends on exactly what technologies you're interested in, though from what it sounds like you'd probably be more interested in the computer-specific mission that the Air Force caters to. If you're looking for a degree in nuclear engineering, Annapolis is the only SA to offer it.

    As for Summer Seminar and applications: attending the summer program of any of the academies does give you a boost to your application to that academy. At the end of SS, your performance and overall experience are documented and can be referenced in the applications process proper - it doesn't give you a golden ticket to acceptance, but it does give you another piece of documentation showing your capabilities and interest in the SA. It's not a game changer, but it can help round out your profile (note: you can list attending another SA's seminar in your applications for each; since they're fairly selective programs, they're decent credentials to use).

    You can apply to as many of the SAs and SSes as you feel like completing the process for, but they don't overlap - no cross-referencing or comparisons. Applying for more than one does nothing more than add paperwork to your pile. Personally, I attended the USMA and USNA seminars and ended up attending USAFA, if that gives you a better picture of how varied your portfolio can be.

    Note that, as brooksla said, there is a conflict of interests when it comes time to get congressional nominations if you have more than one academy in your sights, due to the limited number of slots, and you'll have to rank your priorities (this doesn't mean you have to make a final decision at the time of nomination, but it simplifies the process if you have your choices in order).

    So, what to do? Apply. The seminars are a great experience, and I still talk with some of the friends I made last summer from all of the academies (yep, even Coast Guard).

    Hit me up if you have any more questions.

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