#1
Hey guys.

I just got offered an appointment to the United States Naval Academy.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'm physically prepared. I've been weightlifting for 7 months off and on instead of running and doing calisthenics. I've been assuming that I didn't get it, and have been working instead on accepting an Air Force ROTC scholarship to the University of Florida.

Thing is, I don't know which to take. With the Navy, everything is payed for, but I'd be sacrificing all of my free time and would lose out on a normal college experience and a lot of happiness, but gaining lifelong skills and friends (hopefully) in the process, as well as gaining a huge leg-up in terms of job placement afterwards. However, I just don't know if the Navy is right for me. I want to be a pilot. That's pretty much it. If something happens and I don't get a pilot slot with the Navy, I don't know what I'd do. I don't want to go on a ship or do anything else the Navy offers, except maybe Medical.

With the USAF on the other hand, I go to a school many of my friends are going to (not important), still get a decent education, get a normal college experience, have fun (hopefully), but will incur a LOT of debt upon graduation (my family qualifies for a Pell Grant, so we're not well off and they cannot support me). However, there are more pilot slots (generally) with the USAF, and if I wasn't selected for a pilot slot I could go into Missile and Space Command or as an Aerospace Engineer (my intended major).

I just don't know which is right for me. The final decision will be my own, but can anyone give me guidance over anything I've already presented? Any prevailing opinions of UF vs USNA?

Thank you.
#2
You need motivation to see what you really want to do. You seem a little confused to me tbh. Just don't overrate things, like associating college with 'happiness'.
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#3
Quote by laid-to-waste
You need motivation to see what you really want to do. You seem a little confused to me tbh. Just don't overrate things, like associating college with 'happiness'.



When I mean "happiness", I mean that I'm not sure which one will make me happy. One that at the end of the day I'll feel justified for choosing no matter what happens, because I know that in the end I will be happy.
#4
USNA will be the better choice in the long run, IMO. My dad was a West Point graduate and it seems as if all alumni from the Academies have a strong bond with each other in the workforce and you will have many more good, steady, well-paying jobs because of that when you get out.
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#5
I'm actually graduating from the Air Force Academy here in a few days. And yeah, you will lose out on some of the usual college experiences, but there are plenty of Academy only traditions to make up for it. The past 4 years have been really difficult, but insanely rewarding. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Now, somethings you can consider: there are, as you know, pilot slots in the Navy. But also, you can cross-commission and be an Air Force officer when you graduate from Annapolis. I can promise you that a degree from USNA will be better than pretty much any other college degree+ROTC. Like you said, the choice is yours. PM me if you have questions.
e-single
#6
Regardless of which route you choose it's going to take a lot of hard work to get a pilot slot. If you're willing to stay dedicated and work hard you could probably do either.
Couple of ideas:
USNA Prep school is also an option to see if it's right for you or not.
Force-shaping is a huge deal right now in the Air Force as well, just something to keep in mind.

-From an af academy guy.
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#8
Quote by arsenalstan
I'm actually graduating from the Air Force Academy here in a few days. And yeah, you will lose out on some of the usual college experiences, but there are plenty of Academy only traditions to make up for it. The past 4 years have been really difficult, but insanely rewarding. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Now, somethings you can consider: there are, as you know, pilot slots in the Navy. But also, you can cross-commission and be an Air Force officer when you graduate from Annapolis. I can promise you that a degree from USNA will be better than pretty much any other college degree+ROTC. Like you said, the choice is yours. PM me if you have questions.



I think what I'm really debating is whether the USAF or the USN is right for me, regardless of school choice. To be honest, I would rather have gone to the USAFA, but I didn't have an appointment. I just don't know if the prestige and opportunity presented by the USNA outweighs the possible job security offered by the USAF ROTC scholarship.


Quote by 1_wise_guy
Regardless of which route you choose it's going to take a lot of hard work to get a pilot slot. If you're willing to stay dedicated and work hard you could probably do either.
Couple of ideas:
USNA Prep school is also an option to see if it's right for you or not.
Force-shaping is a huge deal right now in the Air Force as well, just something to keep in mind.

-From an af academy guy.



How much will the force-shaping affect pilot slots, though? I would imagine that since we have a static supply of planes they couldn't cut down on pilots that significantly.
Last edited by revbill at May 19, 2011,
#9
I think force-shaping applies more to if you have to get re-classified. Say you did get a pilot slot. Back in the day, if you washed out, they would just re-classify you as something else. Now, if you wash out of your original training, or get in some kind of serious trouble, they'll just discharge you from the Air Force and make you foot the bill for your education.


EDIT: Maybe discharge you. Varies based on circumstances.
e-single
#10
I graduated a year ago and three of my friends that washed out of UPT are getting kicked out of the AF without the option of switching jobs. They were told they would also have to pay back the academy education, but all of them have fought it and the af has dropped it.
But the prep school is seriously worth a gander. All the af guys that went through ours have all had good experiences.
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#11
Quote by arsenalstan
I think force-shaping applies more to if you have to get re-classified. Say you did get a pilot slot. Back in the day, if you washed out, they would just re-classify you as something else. Now, if you wash out of your original training, or get in some kind of serious trouble, they'll just discharge you from the Air Force and make you foot the bill for your education.


EDIT: Maybe discharge you. Varies based on circumstances.



I can meet ROTC physical requirements no problem. The only problem I see physically is the USNA's Plebe Summer, etc. I do not plan on washing out, not do I think I will. Then again, see below.


Quote by 1_wise_guy
I graduated a year ago and three of my friends that washed out of UPT are getting kicked out of the AF without the option of switching jobs. They were told they would also have to pay back the academy education, but all of them have fought it and the af has dropped it.
But the prep school is seriously worth a gander. All the af guys that went through ours have all had good experiences.



Is UPT really that hard? I'm academically and physically prepared, but is there some other side i'm not considering?
Last edited by revbill at May 19, 2011,
#12
If it's anything like usafa's basic training you can get through it. Really anyone can if they just try and put some effort to it.

EDIT: Don't worry about UPT. If you study hard and don't get caught up in other stuff you'd make it. (I'm not pq though, so to be honest, i dont really know all the sides to it)
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Last edited by 1_wise_guy at May 19, 2011,
#13
Quote by 1_wise_guy
If it's anything like usafa's basic training you can get through it. Really anyone can if they just try and put some effort to it.



This. Motivation is often the biggest factor. If you can gut it out and stay motivated you'll be fine. For UPT, the problem is that some just aren't pilots. Its as simple as that. There's nothing wrong with it, it just is.
e-single
#14
If you're serious about a career in the military, go to the Academy. I have friends graduating there this year who loved it, and the best ground force commanders I know are graduates of West Point. The Academies are prestigious for a reason.

Why not challenge yourself? The physical requirements are a joke. You'll see that as you get in better shape.
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#15
Quote by Dreadnought
If you're serious about a career in the military, go to the Academy. I have friends graduating there this year who loved it, and the best ground force commanders I know are graduates of West Point. The Academies are prestigious for a reason.

Why not challenge yourself? The physical requirements are a joke. You'll see that as you get in better shape.



At this point, I'm down to debating the United States Navy verses the USAF. I'm trying to decide if the prestige and experience from the USNA outweighs the job security of the USAF (and by job security, I mean if I don't get a pilot slot then there are other jobs that I want available).
#16
Annapolis. ROTC pukes are always ROTC pukes.
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#17
Quote by Jackal58
Annapolis. ROTC pukes are always ROTC pukes.



Except in civilian jobs and prestige, though, does it really matter?
#18
Quote by revbill
Except in civilian jobs and prestige, though, does it really matter?


Does being more highly trained than someone else matter? Does enduring more toil, sweat, and ass-pain to emerge victorious than another matter? To some, it does.

But does it matter TO YOU
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#19
Quote by revbill
Except in civilian jobs and prestige, though, does it really matter?

Ya it's one of the very few times the school you attend matters. Plus in 30 years you'll be kicking yourself for not going to Annapolis.
How did you swing an appointment anyways?
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#20
Quote by Dreadnought
Does being more highly trained than someone else matter? Does enduring more toil, sweat, and ass-pain to emerge victorious than another matter? To some, it does.

But does it matter TO YOU



Had I been accepted to the USAFA, I would have gone there in a minute because I value a USAF pilot slot over a USN pilot slot because of pre-mentioned reasons. I just don't know if the potential for a career I don't want with the Navy is worth the extra prestige associated with the Academy.


Quote by Jackal58
Ya it's one of the very few times the school you attend matters. Plus in 30 years you'll be kicking yourself for not going to Annapolis.
How did you swing an appointment anyways?



There's no way to say this without sounding pretentious, but the same way I swung two full ROTC scholarships and many national awards. I'm not saying I'm not qualified, only that I'm not sure the Navy is worth the extra hassle.
Last edited by revbill at May 19, 2011,
#22
Quote by Dreadnought
^ what high school did you graduate from?



I haven't graduated yet. It's in Florida, though.
#23
Quote by revbill
I haven't graduated yet. It's in Florida, though.


Well right, that's why I ask lol. South Florida?
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#24
Quote by revbill
Had I been accepted to the USAFA, I would have gone there in a minute because I value a USAF pilot slot over a USN pilot slot because of pre-mentioned reasons. I just don't know if the potential for a career I don't want with the Navy is worth the extra prestige associated with the Academy.


There's no way to say this without sounding pretentious, but the same way I swung two full ROTC scholarships and many national awards. I'm not saying I'm not qualified, only that I'm not sure the Navy is worth the extra hassle.


You should choose whatever is most likely to give you what you really want.
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#25
Quote by Dreadnought
Well right, that's why I ask lol. South Florida?



Northwest.
#26
If you really want to go to the Air Force Academy, one of the guys above brought up a good point: check out the prep school. Talk to your ALO, or whoever you've been talking to about appointments, and if you get a spot at the prep school you will be more or less guaranteed a spot at USAFA if you survive that year at the p school. Is 5 years of college worth having an Academy degree AND being Air Force?
e-single
#27
Quote by arsenalstan
If you really want to go to the Air Force Academy, one of the guys above brought up a good point: check out the prep school. Talk to your ALO, or whoever you've been talking to about appointments, and if you get a spot at the prep school you will be more or less guaranteed a spot at USAFA if you survive that year at the p school. Is 5 years of college worth having an Academy degree AND being Air Force?



Sorry, but no, at least not to me. I'd see it as a failure on my part, no offense to anyone currently in it or who will go through it.
#28
Quote by revbill
Had I been accepted to the USAFA, I would have gone there in a minute because I value a USAF pilot slot over a USN pilot slot because of pre-mentioned reasons. I just don't know if the potential for a career I don't want with the Navy is worth the extra prestige associated with the Academy.


There's no way to say this without sounding pretentious, but the same way I swung two full ROTC scholarships and many national awards. I'm not saying I'm not qualified, only that I'm not sure the Navy is worth the extra hassle.

You're right. There's no way to say you've been accepted to West Point, Annapolis or USAFA on an internet forum without sounding pretentious. I've seen others on here though claim to have been accepted simply by applying. That's not how you get in. You're invited.
I can't be you. I can't make your decisions. All I can say is USNA>UofF. You can be 1 of 10,000 AF ROTC graduates in 4 years or you can be 1 of 355 USNA graduates in 4 years. You'll still be that in 50 years.
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#29
Quote by Jackal58
You're right. There's no way to say you've been accepted to West Point, Annapolis or USAFA on an internet forum without sounding pretentious. I've seen others on here though claim to have been accepted simply by applying. That's not how you get in. You're invited.
I can't be you. I can't make your decisions. All I can say is USNA>UofF. You can be 1 of 10,000 AF ROTC graduates in 4 years or you can be 1 of 355 USNA graduates in 4 years. You'll still be that in 50 years.



I know that the USNA is greater than UF...my only problem is the the Navy, not with the Academy. If I knew for certain I would get a pilot slot if I went to the Academy, I would go in a heartbeat. I just don't know what I would do if I don't get a pilot slot with the Navy, and that's the only reason why I still have UF on the table.
#30
Is slot availability based on merit or luck? Can you earn a slot?
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#31
Quote by revbill
I know that the USNA is greater than UF...my only problem is the the Navy, not with the Academy. If I knew for certain I would get a pilot slot if I went to the Academy, I would go in a heartbeat. I just don't know what I would do if I don't get a pilot slot with the Navy, and that's the only reason why I still have UF on the table.

You aren't guaranteed a pilot slot out of AFROTC either. After Annapolis you can go for either Navy or USMC pilot.
What you really want to do is go to West Point.
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#32
Quote by Jackal58
You aren't guaranteed a pilot slot out of AFROTC either. After Annapolis you can go for either Navy or USMC pilot.
What you really want to do is go to West Point.



I don't want to be commissioned into the Army. Just my feeling.

And I know, but with the USAF I have several other job opportunities that I could explore (Space and Missile Command or Aerospace Engineering, or another that I'm not going to mention because it's rather ridiculous) if I didn't receive a pilot slot.

With the Navy, I have no idea what I'd do if I wasn't a pilot. I don't want to end up on a ship.


Quote by Dreadnought
Is slot availability based on merit or luck? Can you earn a slot?


At the USNA, slots are usually decided on class rank (IE number 1 picks first, number 1000 picks the 1000th slot). I don't know how it works in ROTC, but I'm assuming it's along the same lines. I'm qualified now for flight, but if for some reason I'm not in the future or I don't make the cut for slot availability, I just want some job security, as mentioned immediately above.
#33
So if you work hard enough, you can get a slot. Since the only obstacle is yourself, you have no reason to not make an effort. Don't be a pussy. I'm not being a douche, I'm being serious. Know you can do it, and do it. Lesser men have done more.
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#34
Quote by Dreadnought
So if you work hard enough, you can get a slot. Since the only obstacle is yourself, you have no reason to not make an effort. Don't be a pussy. I'm not being a douche, I'm being serious. Know you can do it, and do it. Lesser men have done more.


If something unforeseen happens, though, such as damaged hearing/eyesight or some other medical malady, I'd lose the slot though. I'm just trying to cover all my bases so that my eventual military career won't be an unwanted one.
#35
Quote by revbill
If something unforeseen happens, though, such as damaged hearing/eyesight or some other medical malady, I'd lose the slot though. I'm just trying to cover all my bases so that my eventual military career won't be an unwanted one.


So you'd be settling. Like I said, don't be a pussy
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#36
Quote by Dreadnought
So you'd be settling. Like I said, don't be a pussy



I'd actually rather go to UF, personally. I just think it would make me happier. Maybe not in the long run, but in the short run. I just don't know.
#37
Quote by revbill
I don't want to be commissioned into the Army. Just my feeling.

And I know, but with the USAF I have several other job opportunities that I could explore (Space and Missile Command or Aerospace Engineering, or another that I'm not going to mention because it's rather ridiculous) if I didn't receive a pilot slot.

With the Navy, I have no idea what I'd do if I wasn't a pilot. I don't want to end up on a ship.


At the USNA, slots are usually decided on class rank (IE number 1 picks first, number 1000 picks the 1000th slot). I don't know how it works in ROTC, but I'm assuming it's along the same lines. I'm qualified now for flight, but if for some reason I'm not in the future or I don't make the cut for slot availability, I just want some job security, as mentioned immediately above.


this coming fall i will be a sophomore at my college and entering the AFROTC program, with aspirations to be a pilot.

so i've done a lot of research, and basically you take a few tests, and that mixed with your overall GPA, fitness score, and your commanders ranking creates an overall score out of 100. that score gets sent in with other information, and a board chooses who they want to accept to UPT. its not just the top however so many get chosen, you could get in with a worse score than someone else because you have another aspect they like. so pretty much you send in your score, and within a few months they let you know. hope i can help. do a quick google and you can get a better explanation. good luck!
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#38
Quote by tennisace
this coming fall i will be a sophomore at my college and entering the AFROTC program, with aspirations to be a pilot.

so i've done a lot of research, and basically you take a few tests, and that mixed with your overall GPA, fitness score, and your commanders ranking creates an overall score out of 100. that score gets sent in with other information, and a board chooses who they want to accept to UPT. its not just the top however so many get chosen, you could get in with a worse score than someone else because you have another aspect they like. so pretty much you send in your score, and within a few months they let you know. hope i can help. do a quick google and you can get a better explanation. good luck!



Thank you, I didn't know how it was decided until you explained it.
#39
Quote by revbill
I'd actually rather go to UF, personally. I just think it would make me happier. Maybe not in the long run, but in the short run. I just don't know.


Hey man, you don't have to sell the idea to me. You're the one who has to live with whatever you choose. I will tell you that long term satisfaction trumps short term satisfaction at every turn. I had my dream and was one of the tiny percentage to attain it. All I want is for you to do the same, whatever it is.
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