I'm curious to find out why so many people would like to recieve an appointment to the Naval Academy. It's a shame because all i see are parents talking about their kids going when it should be the kids talking about themselves going. "My son this" and "my daughter that". The desire has to start from within the person applying, not the parent. I want to go to the Naval Academy because i love the atmospehere. So i leave you with this question : Why do you want to go the Naval Academy?
I agree with you wholeheartedly AdmiralThomas. My mother hasn't made one phone call, and she's certainly not running this process. If I want to find something, I find it out myself, b/c it is my future and my life. I think it is good that there are parents who care about their childrens future, but in an application process as complicated and overwhelming as this one, it really should be their children who are foremost- the ones checking the admissions website, and making phone calls. I want to go to the Naval Academy b/c I want to serve for this country in some way, and I think that I have the intelligence and willpower to make a good officer. When I was at the Academy this summer for summer seminar, I was awestruck by the walls of Memorial Hall. When my squad leader asked us if we were willing to have our names on that wall I was overwhelmed with emotion and pride. Memorial Hall is the heart of the Academy. Of course the academics, the discipline, the athletics, the tradition, and the prestige are an important part of why I want to go, but I think that it is the desire to serve, and to do some good in this world is my main reason. Everyday there are people who are risking their lives to make sure that I am safe at home, and I believe that it is my duty as a physically capable person to give back and thank them by being one of them. I know that parts of it are going to suck, and that it is going to be hard, and that I'm going to have to work hard, and I've worked hard enough as it is on the application and all of the walls that they've put up in front of me that I keep having to break down, but its worth it to me. Even if I don't end up recieving an appointment, I still plan on serving, either via NROTC, or through a commissioning program I've been accepted to at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. I hope that everyone else on this site, students, and the children of the parents who are here want to go to the Academy for the right reasons. And I certainly hope that kids are putting in more effort to their application than their parents. Again, I think that parents hearts are in the right place, but your kids aren't going to have you anymore to do their work when they are there, and all should start realizing that from the start. Merry Christmas everyone! ~Meghan
I agree completely with both of you. I have done everything myself to appy for the academy, from the application to the follow-up phone calls. My parnets are supportive, but I am running this show. After all, it is my future. I want to go to the academy because I want to serve my country. Thats it. The Summer Seminar showed me that the atmospehere of the Naval Academy is good for me. But I want to be an Officer, I spent a week on the USS Ronald Reagan, the men and women on that ship were simply inspiring, down from the captain to the mess cooks. I want to be a part of that. I plan on getting there anyway I can. I may not get an appointment to the Naval Academy, but I will get to serve. I got an appointment to the United States Merchant Marine Academy on Christmas Eve, that was a great Christmas present. I very excited about this, I may prefer this over the Naval Academy because of its choice of majors. I'll be a naval officer and know everything about the ship that my F-18 will be landing on. It really is the best of both worlds. Parents let your kids do this, I think I have grown more in the last year because of this application process, doing it myself really confirmed that this is what I want. July of next year I'll be a plebe, and I'll know that I got myself this far and that this is what I really want.
I agree wholeheartedly with your posts that indicate the impetus must come from the applicant, not the parent.
I have been sharing my son's experience to help the current applicants understand and benefit from what he encountered.
The dream was his; the effort to achieve it came from him. I was there to put in my two cents only when asked "what do you think?". I was his sounding board, his travel agent (for CVW) and his postal employee (for the mounds of paperwork he sent to DoDMERB).
I did, however, insist that he come up with a viable plan B, and plan C, in case his dream would have to be postponed. I interjected my parental obligation and life experience only to make sure that if all did not go as he had hoped, that he would move forward, and if the Academy was still his goal, that he could pursue it at a later date.
I wish you all the best of luck on this emotional roller coaster, and hope you have benefitted from the experiences of those who have taken the ride before you. It is worth every bit of the effort and turmoil.
Hi All~As a parent on this site my motivation has been to learn all I can about the process. I have some reservations about the Academy and the military (as many parents feel now) and by reading and learning about them I am trying to understand the motivation so many feel. My son is so busy he doesn't have time to "chat" on the computer and I have learned a great deal that has supported him and all he is trying to accomplish. I / We have not made any calls to the Academy or done anything towards the actual admissions process other than to be a sounding board and mailman. It is his application and his process. I have been the travel agent and trip coordinator as we have had to visit other cities for interviews etc. It is helpful to talk with other parents and those that have been through this rollercoaster ride before so that we can help support our kids through this unique application! I have encouraged back-up plans as a realistic approach and it is outlined well on the AFA Web site.
I have really enjoyed talking with other candidates as they go through the process. Sometimes you can gain insight into your own child by talking with someone you don't know going through the same thing many miles away. I have had feedback that it has been helpful to understand how a parent feels going through this as well.
My greatest hope is that he will get to make the choice and that I / We can be there to support whatever decision about his future he chooses to make.
Merry Christmas and good luck to all!
As a mother of a candidate to a service academy, I can't possibly say it any more eloquently than the two parents before me have. It is our child's choice to go to the Academy. It is their drive and determination, love of country and a desire to serve that propels them. As parents who will soon be letting our children go, it's a difficult process. Yet we want what they want more than anything else in this world. No one besides another parent experiencing the same thing could possibly understand. Our desire to seek another's input has nothing to do with pushing our children. We are there to support them! Better understanding the process helps us feel as if we are doing our part in helping them achieve their goal and at the same time, helping ourselves by talking to those that have been accepted, or denied. I know that my son will be crushed if he does not receive an appointment so we have been working on a backup plan. Reading through these threads the past week has been comforting, as well as enlightening to me as a parent. My son carries a full schedule between school, a job, working on his application and spending an hour and a half after school as Group Commander for AFJROTC. I have never done anything other than mail something for him. When I share something with him I've read on this site, he's very interested and thanks me for it. To sum up, I believe each family will handle the process in their own way, whatever works best for them.
Location: So Cal-USC (2005) and West Point Parent (2009)
"My son is so busy he doesn't have time to "chat" on the computer and I have learned a great deal that has supported him and all he is trying to accomplish."
Exactly the point. The parent is the "XO" in this process. The most successful students usually have the support and involvement of the parents. The work and the desire always must be the student's---but the involvement and especially the education of the parent on this complicated and drawn out process is not only necessary, I see it is a parental obligation. There is too much mis-information, too many pitfalls in this process not to have another set of eyes watching over things. Our students are up to their eyeballs in school work, activities, college applications, essays, etc--we are there (as always) to keep an eye on things and help where we can.
Last edited by shogun; 12-26-2004 at 08:20 PM.
My friend and I were discussing the college application process the other day. She and I both tend to wax intellectual around each other, and she summed everything up quite nicely (yes, we're both US History buffs). Her mom (like mine) decided to try to get involved in the application process almost after everything was done. Rachel told her that "Mom, the colonists flourished under the British policy of salutary neglect. I've done the same thing!" Maybe I'm just a dork, but I was rolling on the floor laughing at that one.
marines4me, her comment made me laugh as well! As a parent, I've been involved with every interest my son has had in his life regarding his future dreams. I've been there supporting him and acting as his sounding board. ;> I'm pretty sure he doesn't consider me a dork so........
Research shows that successful students often have at least one or all of the following characteristics:
-highly educated mothers
-parents involved in their child's education
-or, at least one person who mentors them and believes that they can be successful
As many of the parents have already mentioned, our kids are personally motivated to attend service academies, have completed all of the application documents, participated in Summer Seminar, and interviewed with MOCs, but they are extremely BUSY too. In addition to sports and church, my daughter is taking five AP classes (seven classes total) and she works part-time. We live in California and after she returned from Summer Seminar in mid-June, she unpacked her suitcase, repacked it and flew back to Washington, D.C., 24 hours later for a congressional student seminar scholarship award she had received from a local MOC. For most families the college application process is a collaboration between student, parents, and high school counselor. Unfortunately, many high school counselors at large schools are overburdened. Though my daughter attends a large public high school, her academic magnet has its own wonderful counselor who helps students gain entrance to some of America's most elite institutions. Even so, some of the students have hired private counselors to help them with college applications. But application to a service academy is unique and many who have been through the process feel a sense of duty to share what they've learned with others. It's the American way and we all benefit from sharing. What is the parent's role if not to facilitate a child's education and development?
There is a major difference between orchestrating your child's future and supporting his/her aspiration.
I have followed this forum for some time, and most of the parents here are the "supporters" rather than the "orchestrators". They are networking and collaborating to find the most reliable information available in order to share with their candidate.
Some of the information is trivial (what to bring to CVW), but I can tell you that it is reassuring to a student to go into a new situation (alone) with the confidence of information on what to expect (at least in general).
Then the student can spend time on assessing their surroundings rather than being anxious about being unprepared.
Well im actually proud of your involvement in your child's life. I obviously mistanken in terms of parents forcing they're children to apply. The reason i brought it up is because i have seen a lot of it in my congressional district. All of you are great parents and keep up the good work.
My reasons for wanting to go to a service academy:
1) Serving the country. 9/11 showed me that America is not safe, and it first put the idea in my head of joining the military.
2) I think attending an academy is one of the best ways to prepare myself. I especially like the 'Honor' codes and concepts that are emphasized. The unique education, "moral, mental, and physical", made me want to attend an academy versus going through a [N]ROTC program at another school.
3) The cadets or midshipmen that I have met are disciplined and tough. The Academy is tough. I like that.
My parents have been very helpful in this process. Actually, if it wasn't for them, I would never even have opened an application. I didn't think it was even possible that I would be able to attend an academy. My dad encouraged me to at least open a SS applicaton. I now have LOA's to two academies and nominations! If it wasn't for their encouragement I would not be where I am now.
The only physical assistance my parents have given in this whole process is driving me around and reviewing my essays. The desire and will has come from me.
We seem to be on the same wavelength! Many have benefited from the information you have contributed as an articulate plebe parent. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes to you and your son. What does he like about being home over the holidays?