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West Point or Annapolis?

Sky RunnerSky Runner Posts: 16Registered User New Member
I've always had a liking for the military. I didn't really know it until last year, when I figured out I love anything in a uniform. This year I discovered my total love for the organization, strength, honor, and courage of the military. They are everything I want to be.

I am a sophmore in high school. I have an average GPA of about 4.3 (weighted) and 3.9 (unweighted). I take many Honors classes, and am taking my first AP class this year. I have done everything 'right' academically. I have been in marching band for two years. I joined NJROTC this year. I want to pursue a military career, or, as a parallel, political.

What I want to know are the advatages of West Point versus Annapolis. Which one is harder to get into, what are the requirments, which one will 'get me farther', what are the differences between them? I have scoured the internet for arguments for both and it usually comes down to what branch of the military you want.

Which branch of military doesn'tmatter to me much. When I was smaller, I wanted (very badly) to be a pilot... only to be told that I needed 20/20 vision for that, lol. My dad tells me the Navy eats better (I don't know if he's kidding or not) and that that's pretty much the only difference between the Army and the Navy. All help and advice recieved greatfully.
Post edited by Sky Runner on
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Replies to: West Point or Annapolis?

  • momoftwinsmomoftwins Posts: 2,668Registered User Senior Member
    Sky Runner,

    Thanks for your interest in pursuing a career in the military. And congratulations for already having a great high school record.

    You're very fortunate as you have time to make this decision. I'd like to suggest that you:
    1) keep up your grades
    2) NJROTC is a great activity. Look for a leadership role.
    3) if there is time in your schedule, consider participating in a sport
    4) if you have an opportunity to take the PSAT this year, it could be a good idea. You'll have another chance junior year and the practice will be good for you. The test scores are used to determine acceptance to summer programs at both academies.
    5) try visiting both academies - they will become more real to you
    6) look at Boys'/Girls' State and what would be necessary for you to participate in the summer after your junior year
    7) make yourself competitive for summer programs at both academies. These are 1-week programs which will give you a glimpse of cadet/mid life could be as well as an opportunity to meet other potential candidates.
    8) position yourself for Nattional Honor Society - if your school doesn't have a chapter, talk to a faculty member about starting one

    You should keep doing your research. Read what you can, talk to current cadets/mids as well as alumni, reach out to your MALO and B&G admissions reps, and consider applying to both. There are many very strong candidates who do not receive an appointment from their first choice academy, but receive an appointment from a different academy. They go on to have a great experience and career.

    The right decision will happen. You're smart to begin this process now, but you don't have to decide yet. Just remember it's not about the uniform or the food, but about service to your country.
  • Sky RunnerSky Runner Posts: 16Registered User New Member
    Thanks a ton, momoftwins. I'll be sure to look into all of what you suggested. What is MALO and B&G?
    And lol, I didn't mean to make it sound like food and uniforms were the deciding factor, I just mean to say giong into any branch of military is a plus for me, because the bottom line is that I want to serve my country, and that I don't have a favorite. :D
  • mom3boysmom3boys Posts: 771Registered User Member
    You can apply to both and decide after the appointments come out (like my son did). I've heard Navy eats better as a branch of the service, but if you will look through old threads on this forum, you will see West Point cadets eat much better than USNA mids!

    The decision you make will be based on what you want to do during your time of service. For my son, he ultimately decided he did not want to be on a boat for long stretches at a time, and he absolutely didn't want to be on a sub. He liked the ideas of flying helicopters, so he went USMA. He loved everything about WP after visiting it. You need to read everything on the academies and then start your visits. You will know when you make the right decision. Best of luck to you!
  • momoftwinsmomoftwins Posts: 2,668Registered User Senior Member
    Sky Runner,

    Both of these are local admissions reps, often volunteers
    MALO = Military Academy Liaison Officer
    B&G = Blue and Gold Officer

    I didn't mean to say that I thought you were focused on food and uniforms exclusively. Sometimes it is easy though to notice some of the superficial details and pay more attention to them than the really important points. It sounds like you're doing so much right. Just keep it up and let us know how you're doing.
  • Luigi59Luigi59 Posts: 1,155Registered User Senior Member
    Sky Runner wrote:
    ...because the bottom line is that I want to serve my country, and that I don't have a favorite.

    The missions of the Army and Navy (not to mention the uniforms and food ;) ) are so vastly different that it seems you should be open to exploring ALL military branches and not limit yourself to USNA or USMA.

    United States Air Force Academy
    United States Coast Guard Academy

    :cool:
  • GMRobertsonGMRobertson Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    A rather silly question which if you havent sorted out by now...... The question should be framed by asking yourself what your skillset is and how can you serve your country best and which may offer the best foundation for you to become an officer. The answer, if you are honest, may very well be ROTC or even enlist and then go to OCS. If the school itself is the sole criteria as to your interest in a SA - then you may not have really thought it out. Your objective should be to become a commisioned officer in the service of your country.
  • Sky RunnerSky Runner Posts: 16Registered User New Member
    To Luigi59:
    Ah, I see your point, although I meant no favorite between the Navy and Army. I don't have the 'skills' to be in airforce to do what I would want to do, and Coast Gaurd just does not appeal to me. Thank you for the links, though, they helped me rule those two out. :)

    And GMRobertson:
    Thanks for the input, I understand your point and brought it back to the forefront of my mind. My goal is to be a commisioned officer, and I don't want to lose track of that goal.
  • aglagesaglages Posts: 2,516Registered User Senior Member
    "I wanted (very badly) to be a pilot... only to be told that I needed 20/20 vision for that..."
    Isn't the requirement to have 20/20 "corrected" vision?

    "I don't have the 'skills' to be in airforce to do what I would want to do.."
    Which skills do you have that will help you in the Army or Navy but won't help you in the Air Force? Or is it you want to do a certain "job" in the Navy or Army that the Air Force doesn't offer?
  • Luigi59Luigi59 Posts: 1,155Registered User Senior Member
    Sky Runner wrote:
    To Luigi59:
    Ah, I see your point, although I meant no favorite between the Navy and Army. I don't have the 'skills' to be in airforce to do what I would want to do, and Coast Gaurd just does not appeal to me. Thank you for the links, though, they helped me rule those two out.

    I understand. The US Air Force and the US Coast Guard usually want their academy candidates to know how to correctly spell the names of their respective military branches, and I guess "Army" and "Navy" only being 4 letters each appeals to you. :D

    (relax, it's a joke).
  • Sky RunnerSky Runner Posts: 16Registered User New Member
    lol, It looks like I need to re-read what I write more often. (can't believe I did that XD )
  • jscam87jscam87 Posts: 44Registered User Junior Member
    The advice given has been great. I'd like to add a few points. Your high grades and positive attitude towards Service are going to make you eligible for all the Service Academies. That is a great compliment to you and puts you in a great place to have such desirable choices. I would say it is a fair guess that you don't have all the details about all the Academies (few students do, it takes time to do that research), so it could be well worth your time to reference them before you cross certain Academies off your list(s). Service Academy Admissions - Welcome is a website and a quick reference for all the Federal Service Academies. Navy still has the toughest standards for pilot vision, but you can be a Bombadier/ Navigator with less than 20/20. Air Force (good thing I spelled it right) will accept some pilots that are "correctable" to 20/20, so you may just want to read up to make sure you have all the facts. If you graduate from USMMA for instance, you can choose your service after graduation-including Coast Guard. I know you are cheering for Army and Navy (and as a USNA Grad, I think you show good taste), but a year ago you didn't feel that strongly. Next year you could have a new interest or interests. Enjoy your many options. Best of luck!
  • rotorhdrotorhd Posts: 48Registered User Junior Member
    Skyrunner - If you want to get a feel for what both Academies are about (USNA & USMA), I would highly recommend applying for Summer Seminar. Both USNA and USMA have multiple sessions so it's possible to schedule it so that you can attend both. The respective admissions depts have the detailed information.
  • AnnAnn Posts: 1,477Registered User Senior Member
    Skyrunner: I would also advise you to look at official Academy websites when looking for admissions information. While sites like the one mentioned above in post #12 can be helpful, be warned they are not always accurate.

    I clicked on the USMA link at that site and found this information:
    ".... From great leaders in politics like Colin Powell to successful business leaders like Kelly Perdew, USMA Class of 1989 and winner of the second season of "The Apprentice", West Point Grads are in the news."

    Well...among many others, Grant, Lee, Pershing, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Patton, Schwarzkopf and Petraeus graduated from West Point. However, Colin Powell graduated in 1958 at the top of his ROTC class - not from West Point.
    GoArmy.com > Army ROTC > Legacy and Value

    In my opinion you would be better off looking at the official USMA United States Military Academy at West Point and USNA websites United States Naval Academy - Home Page
  • Sky RunnerSky Runner Posts: 16Registered User New Member
    I'd like to thank everyone again, for all your wonderful advice and help. I have a new batch of questions ready. :)

    1st, the school that I attend is currently a 'D' school, this is on a scale of A-F. I go to a Florida school, and this is largely based off the FCAT. Would this largely affect theway they (either USMA or USNA) view me as a applicant?

    Considering that, my local Rotary Club is sponsering two students in my county for an exchange program to another country. Is it a good idea in general to go for it, or should I stay here at home? Does it look better if I am a transfer student?
  • studentsmomstudentsmom Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
    my son wants navy all the way. he awill apply for summer session and then the academy. If he applies to any other summer program I wonder if they will KNOW and he will be seen as less committed. He does not care about applying to others but if he does not get in a summer program with navy and does not go to any summer program then it may be harder to be accepted into the academy. Well if they dont take him for summer them maybe he wouldnt get in anyhow. CONFUSED
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