Is the Appointee Orientation Important?

<p>I’ve finally got accepted to USAFA! I’m really excited. However, I live far away from Colorado Springs, and have prior plans on the days of the appointee orientation. How important is it to attend. Is there essential information given at the orientation and nowhere else?</p>

<p>Any knowledge on the subject would be a great help!</p>

<p>from what i hear.. if you havent been out there yet, it's a great chance to go see the place and get a glimpse of the life... you can also get your boots there, and you'll have the chance to ask all the questions you have.. important or not? up to you, but it's a great opportunity.. there's another thread about this i think, it had alot of info</p>

<p>It is only important if you are undecided, and haven't yet visited the Academy. If you know it is where you want to go, it will provide an opportunity to meet your classmates, and hear about what you will be doing for the summer.</p>

<p>Check this out: <a href=""&gt;;/a>

<p>Also beware of freak snowstorms ;) Right redhead....we had a small blizzard. It was warm and sunny then cold and snowy.</p>

<p>will do potterfan1989</p>

<p>I'll be sure to bring lots of layers since i'm not used to cold weather, though i'm sure i'll have to get used to it eventually =).</p>

<p>We were told by someone last year (in admissions I believe) that the attrition rate was lowest among appointees who attended both summer seminar and orientation, and was highest in the cohort that didn't attend either. It's probably not a good idea to show up "cold turkey" on I-day.</p>

<p>We're going even though DS was there on a recruiting trip. Parents reluctant to send Junior off without our stamp of approval. Besides, we had some frequent flyer miles to use...</p>

<p>hey kalinator, where're you from? =)</p>

<p>FM - it's really the right thing to do particularly if you are not a military family. This is no ordinary college experience (make sure you run up to the Chapel wall on Monday for Noon Meal Formation to see one obvious difference), and orientation clearly helps everyone prepare for it. I considered it to be a small down payment on an appointment last year that was valued @ 387k.</p>

<p>Gasdoc-I agree with you 100%. Orientation is a must. When we went (4 years ago--has it been that long?) There was another young man from my son's high school also attending. As the first day went on I watched him become more and more uncomfortable as my son seemed to relax. That young man decided after orientation that the academy was not for him and turned his appoinment down. My son, on the other hand said "these guys aren't so different from me, this place is for me."<br>
For me it was reassuring to have the opportunity to meet and hear from the Supt. and others and see first hand how professional they all are. After 4 years we still feel that way. We are on our way to visit our son who is at his last spring training session with the Wings of Blue--what a ride it has been.!</p>

<p>well, i've heard a range of opinions on the appointee orientation now. And usafamom, I think you've been the most convincing. </p>

<p>My mom and I have decided to book a flight for the two of us to go to the first orientation. ^_^</p>

<p>Btw, in response to missmuff's question, I'm from Southern California, about as far west as you can get without hitting the ocean.</p>

<p>Gasdoc, that's how we looked at it too - a downpayment on a the kids' future. We're just bringing a bunch more of the family, so they can all see it, too.</p>

<p>Everyone here is bringing up some excellent points. While it is possible to apply; get an appointment; and go off to the academy without ever having been there first (Many will indeed do it), it isn't the best choice. Things to consider.</p>

<li>If the cadet and family haven't made it to the Air Force Academy at all yet, it is a very impressive and unique experience. It is well worth the trip.</li>
<li>Again; if you haven't been there yet, it's important 1 last time to see the environment and what you're getting into. You won't get the same experience of the Air Force and the academy like you would have had you gone on a traditional visit, but it's important to see what you're getting into and NOT just having the attitude that it's a "Free education". I would venture to "guess" that a large percentage of students who decide to leave the academy because it's "Just not for them", may not have had any real visits or experiences there prior to starting school. Still better to change your mind now than in August. Just in case there are still some reservations.</li>
<li>There's a lot of questions that you may not even know about that will be answered for you during orientation. Starting a bank account and getting boots ahead of time are just 2 of the many questions and pre-basic training things that you will be able to accomplish and ask about ahead of time.</li>
<li>As much as the student may believe that they can simply leave home and fly off to the Air Force academy, this is partly just them trying to be "Grown Up". Deep down inside, there is a lot of anxiety. Also, it's very important for the parent to be able to know first hand that their "Little Kid" will be in good hands and has a real future ahead of them.</li>
<li>If the student has never been there, there is going to be one real culture shock when they arrive for the first time. You're going to have upper class cadets and military people barking orders and instructions from MINUTE 1. Having been there ahead of time will give them a sense of familiarity while their brain is in "Oh my god" mode during that first few days.</li>
<li>If you can do like Fencermother is doing, and can bring younger brothers and sisters; you can get away from home/work/school for a few days as a family. That is very healthy. It also allows the others to see the academy in case they become interested in it later and it becomes impractical to visit when their time comes.</li>
<li>Look at the financial cost from a different perspective. If your student got accepted to the air force academy, then chances are good that had they not be accepted, their grades and such were good enough to have gotten them into many other fine schools. With the exception of a small amount of students here who pulled off "Full Rides" to other schools; including spending money; you no doubt would have had to pay quite a bit for your baby to go to college some place else. The price of going out to the Air Force Academy for orientation; even if just for the student and 1 parent; is a major savings compared to what you would have paid for even 1 semester of traditional college. It is indeed an investment. Yes, 2 of you could cost around $1000 for a 3-4 day weekend to come to orientation. What would it have cost you at another school?</li>

<p>Yes, you can send your son/daughter off to the academy in June and it be their very first time experiencing the academy and the military. It's been done by many before you. The only advantage to NOT going to orientation is the cost of the airfare and hotel you save for those few days. The advantages to going to orientation is a very long list. I only mentioned a few of them. Now, if you were fortunate enough to have attended the Summer Seminar, then you have indeed gotten many of the advantages. That will have been a full year ago by the time they go to basic training, but it is better than not having ever been there before. Same if you've already visited for other reasons. Also, if you are one of the 5% who are military brats and pretty much grew up knowing what you are getting into, then it wouldn't be as difficult not attending orientation. During summer seminar, you could almost see on the faces of those who were military brats that they were very familiar with the environment. Each person needs to judge for themselves. But for the person who has no military background and have never been to the academy, this is the one time you really should try and go. It will make June much easier and less stressful on the student and the parent.</p>

<p>We are bringing the family for a number of reasons, and they're all good. We WANT the other kids to see what the Academy is like so they can consider it, too. Plus, we want them to have some frame of reference when they talk to their brother as he lives out his dream. After all, they'll be siblings their whole lives! </p>

<p>For us, it is indeed a mini-vacation, but unlike all the others of the past 5 years, this one has nothing (or not much) to do with fencing! </p>

<p>And, we feel that it is definitely in our and our S's best interest for us to see the place, the people, the atmosphere, for ourselves. The money would indeed have gone directly into the coffers of some college, or we might have spent it taking the tour at some other "far away" U. We feel it is money well spent.</p>

<p>Getting a bit anxious as son has not received word yet on his appointment status. We know his file has been reviewed and he has not been declined, has two nominations, so he is atleast still in the running. I guess I'm worried that IF he gets an appointment we might not have time to plan the trip out there. Since we are in Singapore, this could be hard to pull off at the last minute. He did attend Summer Seminar, so he has some frame of reference.</p>

<p>Are hotels, rental cars and flights becoming a problem for the last orientation weekend?</p>

<p>My son is on the fence, but it is because he has not yet heard. He's not one to show his cards. And he will not make a declaration of his preference until he has an offer on the table. He's also received a complete 'full ride' at another school through ROTC that keeps throwing more and more his way. I don't envy his decision if indeed he needs to make one. However, he's having to make decisions on the civilian college offer and some of the ROTC offerings this next week.</p>

<p>It sounds as if one can attend the orientation before he accepts the appointment? </p>

<p>Just a mom with a bad case of nerves.....guess it's better me than him! He's enjoying spring break in Seoul while I try to keep busy so I don't worry so much.</p>

<p>Re: the ROTC. Most of them will require you to accept/reject by a specific date, but will still allow you to change your mind up until enrollment date, provided you have not had even one day at a S.A. or in some other military program. Read your documents carefully.</p>

<p>Yes, I can imagine that Singapore is far less "do-able" than SW PA to Colorado. Ouch! Are you planning to go to I-day or parents weekend, too?</p>

<p>We made hotel reservations last week with no problem. In fact, the nice reservations people at the hotel (called hotel directly, not through nat reserv. office) were incredibly accommodating. Best reservations process I've had in years. The man knew all about Orientation and in fact, the hotel room was $25 less during these weekends. Nice! He gave us all sorts of pointers and ideas about sights to see in addition to the Academy.</p>

<p>Thanks fencersmother. Yes, I'm not looking forward to a last minute ticket price Singapore to Colorado Springs. I'm hoping our frequent flyer miles will be available. But, IF he gets the appointment then I'll be happy to pay the cost!
Good to know that hotels are not a problem yet. Flights probably won't be too bad because we'd be coming in on Friday before to get him over jetlag.
Don't know yet about I-day, we'll be hopefully moving into our house in Texas that day! I think I would cancel that to see him walk into the academy. If we are so fortunate, we will attend parent's weekend.</p>

<p>I think I'll take the weekend to look over all those documents from ROTC... It's from the Army and they've also just offered him a Russian Immersion program for the entire summer. Will need to read everything very carefully! Son looked over everything earlier but I haven't.</p>

<p>Son has an opportunity to take a couple of fencing classes next month at school. Is fencing suitable for a lanky, long armed 6'4" guy who's used to taekwondo and volleyball?</p>

<p>Your son sounds like the perfect epeeist! Fencing is a great lifetime sport for all sorts of people. It's not quite like the old Errol Flynn movies though. I hope he enjoys it.</p>

<p>Just a suggestion, but if you have to choose between I-day and Parents weekend to see your son, go with Parents weekend. You will have way more time to see each other than with I-day where you say a brief goodbye and then they are whisked away into a swarm of cadre. Also, if your son needs anything to be brought to him after Beast, then that would be a perfect time.</p>