USAFA: Would you do it again?

So you want to be a Viper driver, mechanic, loader, avionics technician...? Here you will learn that you will need education, hard work and steadfast dedication.
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macchione

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Unread post01 Aug 2012, 00:10

I'm a junior in high school considering applying to the USAFA. Instead of asking you your opinion on whether or not I have the credentials to get in (I've seen that you get enough of those around here), I'm asking all of you current and former Cadets this instead: If you knew what you know now, and were thrown back in time, would you repeat your Academy experience, or choose a civilian school or AFROTC? If you would, why? If you wouldn't, why not?

Thanks guys! :D
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sirsapo

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Unread post01 Aug 2012, 23:37

I think the answer to that question will vary a lot depending on at what time in someones career (cadet or post-academy) you ask them. Going to school at USAFA can be really difficult and challenging, but other times you wouldn't even consider going somewhere else because of all the opportunities you have.

I would say if you want to fly, go to the Academy, because almost everyone in my class who wanted a pilot slot got one (even dudes in the bottom 10%). All signs point to it staying that way for a long time. When I was a cadet I got to fly to Germany, get some fighter incentive flights, skydive, scuba dive, and I got nearly 300 hours of free flying time out of it. On the flipside, I also spent countless nights staying up until 3AM to finish projects, and god knows how many 12 hour days functioning on 3 hours of sleep. It is very stressful, but very rewarding if you take advantage of all the opportunities presented to you. Would I voluntarily go back and relive my Academy days? Hell no! But I highly suggest if you have the opportunity, go to USAFA, because it was one of the best experiences I ever had.
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alexg

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Unread post30 Dec 2012, 05:37

I'm a Firstie (Senior) at USAFA right now - 7 semesters down, 1 to go. I can say without a doubt that its been the most brutal 3.5 years of my life - physically, mentally, emotionally. But then I haven't gotten to UPT yet. Or combat....
Anyway, I've had a blast and made the best friends. Sirsapo's right - I also got to do all that stuff and it's been awesome

If I wanted to be a pilot any less, I would have gone to a civilian school, had girls, and partied my a$$ off. But it's the only thing I've wanted since I was 4 years old, and I got my slot to UPT even being in the bottom 15% of the class (top 85%!). For that, I'd do it again.
It's really your call dude - what you want out of life vs how much work you're willing to put in, what you're willing to sacrifice/delay gratification for.
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jmartin9577

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Unread post01 Jan 2013, 07:17

@macchione Me too, I don't know if you have made your decision yet, but like alexg, this has been what I have always wanted. If it offers anything, the Academy has a Summer Seminar program that sounds amazing. I have sent my application in and am anxiously awaiting for February 15th to find out if I am chosen to attend. I encourage you to check it out at Academyadmissions.com. Deadline for applications is January 31, 2013. Best of luck to you as well.

@alexg Congratulations! As stated above, this is what I have wanted since I could see a jet. I am willing to give my utmost effort towards achieving my goal, like yourself. If you don't mind, and of course if you have time, would you be willing to share any information pertinent being accepted (grades, ACT/SAT, physical conditioning/weight training, what it is like???) Congratulations to you on your final semester 8).
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Delta

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Unread post01 May 2013, 03:51

Graduated from there nearly four years ago now so I've had a lot of time to reflect on it. It was the toughest four years of my life, but it helped make me who I am today. I didn't get a pilot slot (eye problems) but knowing what I know now, I'd do it again. It's an experience like no other. When you toss your hat, you can say you truly accomplished something.
USAFA Class of 2009 "HUB!"
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madsabre

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Unread post02 May 2013, 16:03

I graduated from the zoo many moons ago, flew the Viper, and am now, oddly enough, back here to retire. I gave up a 4 year ROTC scholarship to attend New Mexico Military Institute as prep for USAFA. I did this because ROTC was only giving 100 UPT slots a year nationwide. When I got to USAFA my attitude was IHTFP; no need to study, be an Aero major, or Wing/CC; just cruise through, graduate, and go to UPT. As luck would have it, the AF whittled down UPT slots in the early 90s and my top 80% of my class ranking landed me behind a desk for 3 years. It all worked out and I got to do some pretty awesome things in the Viper. Thinking back on it, would I do it over? Probably not. Reason is that, although flying is cool and flying fighters automatically makes you the idol of millions of people, it ends at some point. Your education, and more importantly, your course of study is what will put bread on the table when your flying days are done. Could have done that at the zoo, but why not do it at a normal school? Going to a real school makes you think for yourself rather than being catered to for 4 years then kicked to the curb only to discover you can't cook. Go wherever and do your best.
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deadseal

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Unread post06 May 2013, 03:54

Hell no!
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deadseal

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Unread post06 May 2013, 03:58

madsabre wrote:I graduated from the zoo many moons ago, flew the Viper, and am now, oddly enough, back here to retire. I gave up a 4 year ROTC scholarship to attend New Mexico Military Institute as prep for USAFA. I did this because ROTC was only giving 100 UPT slots a year nationwide. When I got to USAFA my attitude was IHTFP; no need to study, be an Aero major, or Wing/CC; just cruise through, graduate, and go to UPT. As luck would have it, the AF whittled down UPT slots in the early 90s and my top 80% of my class ranking landed me behind a desk for 3 years. It all worked out and I got to do some pretty awesome things in the Viper. Thinking back on it, would I do it over? Probably not. Reason is that, although flying is cool and flying fighters automatically makes you the idol of millions of people, it ends at some point. Your education, and more importantly, your course of study is what will put bread on the table when your flying days are done. Could have done that at the zoo, but why not do it at a normal school? Going to a real school makes you think for yourself rather than being catered to for 4 years then kicked to the curb only to discover you can't cook. Go wherever and do your best.


however i will say that if you really want to fly (as i did) than do whatever the **** gets you that pilot slot. wether it be 4 years at the academy or rotc...get er done! nothin like flying a fighter .....ever
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deadseal

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Unread post06 May 2013, 16:19

last post on this
interesting article

http://www.fighterpilotuniversity.com/w ... -retention

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