Reasons for going to West Point

I’ve been thinking about applying to go to West Point, and I wanted to make sure my motives for doing so are good. I was wondering what some of your motives were for going to West Point. What are you motives and did West Point live up to you’re expectations? I’m not expecting it to be easy at all, I just want to know if you think it’s worth it in the end.

If you want to pass the nominations panel, the only reason for attending any service academy is to become an officer in one of our armed forces. Anything else that bleeds out of your statements or application will not help you. Patriotism is assumed and military legacy in your family (if any) is irrelevant, so don’t focus on either of those.

Our son is a senior at West Point. He will meet his goal of commissioning as an Army officer in May. As for meeting expectations, like the 4,400 other cadets he lives with, he will tell you that West Point is a great place to be from but an often horrible place to be. The cadets refer to it (later affectionately) as The Gray Prison. Is it “worth it” in the end? If your goal is to commission as an Army officer, that’s what you will end up being so, by definition, it will be worth it.

There are many routes to a commission (SAs, ROTC, OCS), all land you in the same place. You do not get extra points or a faster promotion track because you graduated from an academy (that’s old data, no longer true), so choose the college experience you would most enjoy. Personally, we think our son had better college options (and he found the first two years of academics at WP a bit underwhelming), but he wanted to experience a military lifestyle 24x7. It’s sure been an eye-opener for all of us.

Right now, there is a “Cow” (junior) answering these kind of questions on the serviceacademyforums website that is moderated and contributed to by current and former military. You might want to lurk over there as well as this forum does not get a lot of traction and, of course, mine is only one opinion.

Good luck.

OP: Most important, however, is what are your motives for wanting to attend West Point ?