Military Prep School

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Military Prep School

Postby MP173 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:52 pm

Has anyone had experience with the U.S. Military Prep Schools? My son is being considered for USAF Prep School with the USAF Academy after one year.

Thanks,

Ed
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby EmergDoc » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:23 am

As I understand it the program is designed for those who really want to go to the academy but don't yet qualify due to low grades. I had a family member consider it, but went to a university with an ROTC program instead.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Jordana » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:40 am

If it is the prep school associated with the Air Force Academy, then it is likely he would be accepted if his grades are good enough. If he is being recruited for a team, then he would very likely be accepted He would still have to get a nomination. However, there are budget cuts and the service academies are accepting fewer students and cutting programs.
Do you have a specific question?
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby celia » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:29 am

The Air Force prep school is for kids who applied to USAFA but had weak HS grades or did not take all the challenging HS courses most of the USAFA students took in HS. They may need to take the SAT several times while there to improve their score. If they pass all their courses (not for college credit), they have very good chance for admission to the academy but are not required to go there. They get familiarity with the Air Force and how it works and by the end of the year know which direction they want to go. In addition, if they go to the academy later, they will not be "alone" as they will know other prep students. Three types of students are typically given the chance to go there: minorities, athletes, former military experience.

While there, they are enlisted (counts towards military retirement) and for some reason earn more money than the USAFA cadets do. (After all this is a finance forum.:D ) When they go on to the academy, they have a pay decrease. The pay rate for USAFA cadets is set by congress and a lot of it goes back to the academy in the form of withholdings to pay back the school for the various things they purchased early in the school year--books, uniforms, computers.

If your son really wants to be in the Air Force, he should accept the offer.

See United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby FoolishJumper » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:21 am

I'll start with saying I attended the air force academy. Like any ex-cadet, I know quite a few ex-USAFA preps, as quite a few cadets take that route. Second, USAFA prep isn't like other military prep schools. It serves one purpose, to prepare a people to go to the academy.

If he wants to attend the air force academy, then he should absolutely attend the prep school, as it is an excellent way to make that happen. If he just wants to be in the air force, then I'm a bit borderline, as it delays him a year. If he really wants to be a pilot (particularly if he isn't the best academically), then absolutely go to the prep school then the AFA, as odds from ROTC aren't that high but even the monkeys at the academy can get pilot slots. :D

It will also give him a big leg up on his fellow cadets if and when he goes to the big academy. He will already be up on balancing the rigors of military, academic, and athletic life that is the academy.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Dave76 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:00 am

The problem with these military academies is their highly structured (regimental) system. The cadets are doing so many other things that the time spent on academics is inadequate.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby NYBoglehead » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:47 am

Dave76 wrote:The problem with these military academies is their highly structured (regimental) system. The cadets are doing so many other things that the time spent on academics is inadequate.


Strongly disagree. These prep schools provide opportunities to get into highly selective service academies which are excellent academic institutions. While there are certainly non-academic components as a whole these schools provide a good education to attendees.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Dave76 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:31 am

NYBoglehead wrote:
Dave76 wrote:The problem with these military academies is their highly structured (regimental) system. The cadets are doing so many other things that the time spent on academics is inadequate.


Strongly disagree. These prep schools provide opportunities to get into highly selective service academies which are excellent academic institutions. While there are certainly non-academic components as a whole these schools provide a good education to attendees.


A student at a traditional university does not train to be a soldier. He therefore has more time to spend on academic work -- the sole reason for being there. West Point and the other military academies are highly selective, but it's hard to get a good education there.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby hand » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:53 am

Dave76 wrote:
NYBoglehead wrote:
Dave76 wrote:The problem with these military academies is their highly structured (regimental) system. The cadets are doing so many other things that the time spent on academics is inadequate.


Strongly disagree. These prep schools provide opportunities to get into highly selective service academies which are excellent academic institutions. While there are certainly non-academic components as a whole these schools provide a good education to attendees.


A student at a traditional university does not train to be a soldier. He therefore has more time to spend on academic work -- the sole reason for being there. West Point and the other military academies are highly selective, but it's hard to get a good education there.


A student at a traditional university does not train to be a soldier. He therefore has more time [to party, procrastinate, meet girls, get into trouble, drink heavily, not necessarily in that order!]
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby stan1 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:01 am

If you are talking specifically about "Academy Preparatory School" , this is an outstanding program if he wants to go to the Air Force Academy. It is by no means a remedial program as you have to keep in mind appointments to the academies are VERY competitive. Many athletes go through this track (it's how they are red shirted). My neighbor's son went through NAPS (Naval Academy Prep School). He felt it was a very good transition for him even though he had graduated near the top of his class from a competitive private high school. When he arrived at Annapolis after 1 year at NAPS he was given cadet leadership positions based on his success at NAPS and felt he was much better prepared academically than he otherwise would have been. I have known others who have gone through the NAPS program over the years, and they are all very happy they had that opportunity (and in retrospect all feel they did better at the academy because of the preparation at NAPS).

I would highly recommend this option to your son, and best of all it doesn't cost a cent. It will not damage his military career to go through this program.

Do NOT in any way confuse the USAF "Academy Prep School" or NAPS with other "prep schools".
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby MP173 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:14 am

Thanks for the replies. A little more info:

1. This came out of nowhere about a month ago. He was not seeking admission to USAFA, but was contacted by their athletic department.
2. He has several full scholarship offers from colleges/universities based on academic/athletic abilities. Let's face it, he is a good student, but not a great student...his GPA is 3.3 with college prep classes with 25 ACT. Those grades wouldnt get him into the academy, but athletics allows him to be considered.
3. The coaching staff has been in contact and has made a visit. They are "very interested".
4. We are not a military family. He has led a fairly disciplined life and a year ago expressed interest in "the military" during a father/son chat.
5. He understand fully this is NOT about athletics, but a life changing decision. It greatly intrigues him. He has never backed down from challenges and has worked to accomplish his goals.
6. I have considered a prep school as he has some "holes" academically. His English is somewhat weak. Math skills are very good (honors calculus). His biggest asset is his leadership abilities. From an early age, he "gets it".

My concerns as a parent are whether or not this will be a good fit for him. The year of Prep School sounds like allows him to "test drive" the program. The military academies offer a very high level of academics....can he handle it? The coaches say their entire group of seniors went thru the prep school program and will graduate.

The decision making is starting to weigh on him a little. As a parent, I am trying to help him see all sides of the decision.

Thanks for replies and please chime in with more, based on the above info.

Ed
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby NYBoglehead » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:27 am

Dave76 wrote:
NYBoglehead wrote:
Dave76 wrote:The problem with these military academies is their highly structured (regimental) system. The cadets are doing so many other things that the time spent on academics is inadequate.


Strongly disagree. These prep schools provide opportunities to get into highly selective service academies which are excellent academic institutions. While there are certainly non-academic components as a whole these schools provide a good education to attendees.


A student at a traditional university does not train to be a soldier. He therefore has more time to spend on academic work -- the sole reason for being there. West Point and the other military academies are highly selective, but it's hard to get a good education there.


Absurd statement on multiple levels. A full-time courseload at a traditional university is 15 credit hours in a semester. As in 3 hours per day. Very little of the remaining 21 hours in the day is spend studying (for the vast majority of students).

Students at service academies receive degrees outside of a military discipline. If anything they only offer majors that are likely to be useful in society, instead of the fluff majors. While plenty of time is spent training them to become military officers to suggest that they do not receive a good education is ridiculous.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby cheese_breath » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:58 am

NYBoglehead wrote:
Dave76 wrote:
NYBoglehead wrote:
Dave76 wrote:The problem with these military academies is their highly structured (regimental) system. The cadets are doing so many other things that the time spent on academics is inadequate.


Strongly disagree. These prep schools provide opportunities to get into highly selective service academies which are excellent academic institutions. While there are certainly non-academic components as a whole these schools provide a good education to attendees.


A student at a traditional university does not train to be a soldier. He therefore has more time to spend on academic work -- the sole reason for being there. West Point and the other military academies are highly selective, but it's hard to get a good education there.


Absurd statement on multiple levels. A full-time courseload at a traditional university is 15 credit hours in a semester. As in 3 hours per day. Very little of the remaining 21 hours in the day is spend studying (for the vast majority of students).

Students at service academies receive degrees outside of a military discipline. If anything they only offer majors that are likely to be useful in society, instead of the fluff majors. While plenty of time is spent training them to become military officers to suggest that they do not receive a good education is ridiculous.


+1

Even though my personal experiences in this area are very dated, I doubt much has changed relative to military vs. traditional college education quality. I attended the Coast Guard Academy for over two years before resigning. (I discovered not everyone is suited for a military career.) I found the quality of the education I received at the USCGA to be just as good, or better than, the liberal arts college where I finished my bachelor’s degree, the university where I obtained my master’s degree, and the university where I worked for ten years. Given the overall decline in traditional education quality over the subsequent years I find it hard to imagine the military academies to have declined even more.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Phillies2008 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:07 pm

I have experience with a military prep school. I attended the Naval Academy Prep School about 10 years ago and graduated from the Naval Academy about 5 years ago.

I was a recruited varsity baseball player with a similar high school GPA as your son. That extra year was crucial in my success at the academy both academically and athletically. Additionally, the bonds I made at prep school were stronger than any I made at the actual Naval Academy.

Assuming Air Force runs their prep school similarly to USNA, all you have to do is pass with a 2.0 to be accepted into Air Force. That is not to say that the prep school is full of lesser candidates, quite the contrary actually. The top 100 of any graduating service academy class is littered with prep schoolers. And anyone who suggests a service academy has lesser academic standards has been mislead or is quite ignorant of the facts. Service academies typically rank near the top of the nation's liberal arts colleges.

I cannot really speak to the specifcs of daily life at either Air Force Prep or Air Force but I can tell you going to Navy Prep was one of the best decisions of my life. And this is coming from a guy who just wanted to play Division 1 sports with no interest in the military when he was 18.

Go Navy!
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Dave76 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:07 pm

NYBoglehead wrote:
Dave76 wrote:
NYBoglehead wrote:
Dave76 wrote:The problem with these military academies is their highly structured (regimental) system. The cadets are doing so many other things that the time spent on academics is inadequate.


Strongly disagree. These prep schools provide opportunities to get into highly selective service academies which are excellent academic institutions. While there are certainly non-academic components as a whole these schools provide a good education to attendees.


A student at a traditional university does not train to be a soldier. He therefore has more time to spend on academic work -- the sole reason for being there. West Point and the other military academies are highly selective, but it's hard to get a good education there.


Very little of the remaining 21 hours in the day is spend studying (for the vast majority of students).



Indeed! Why do you think so many young minds are impoverished? Both parties -- the students and the academics -- are to blame.

[off topic comments removed by admin alex] In any case, when you've got PT and the other regimental stuff you've got to keep up on, you're not left with much time for anything else.

Do you honestly think the cadets are paid $800 per month just to 'hit' the books?
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby NYBoglehead » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:29 pm

^Dave, I'm slightly confused by this last post compared to your other posts on this thread. I was disagreeing with your statement about service academies not offering great education. I think that they offer better educations than do traditional universities.

I know full well about the PT/drilling/military components of the service academies, but I do not think that they take time away from the classroom or studying. Instead, they take time away from the beer drinking, video games, sunbathing on the quad, and other aimless meandering that takes place on college campuses.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Dave76 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:42 pm

NYBoglehead wrote:
I know full well about the PT/drilling/military components of the service academies, but I do not think that they take time away from the classroom or studying. Instead, they take time away from the beer drinking, video games, sunbathing on the quad, and other aimless meandering that takes place on college campuses.


You don't have adequate time for serious academic study when you're training to be a soldier. Ditto the party animals at the frat houses at State U and Private U. The instruction at the service academies isn't that great. My father, a college professor, sat in on a mathematics class at one of these academies and was not impressed. It was as if the they were aided with a cookbook. Nuts and bolts approach. However, the instructors at these academies are there primarily to serve the cadets, not to pursue their narrow research interests. That's the advantage the service academies have over a traditional research university.

No institution is perfect. Every type of institution has its pros and cons. The service academies are the best at what they do -- training young people to be officers in the armed forces. That's why foreign governments send some of their best young people here and Britain's Sandhurst.
Last edited by Dave76 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby NYBoglehead » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:59 pm

^I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. The service academies are not the equivalent of 4 years of boot camp or OCS, academics are a major component of the time spent there.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Phillies2008 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:09 pm

Dave76 wrote:
NYBoglehead wrote:
I know full well about the PT/drilling/military components of the service academies, but I do not think that they take time away from the classroom or studying. Instead, they take time away from the beer drinking, video games, sunbathing on the quad, and other aimless meandering that takes place on college campuses.


You don't have adequate time for serious academic study when you're training to be a soldier. Ditto the party animals at the frat houses at State U and Private U. The instruction at the service academies isn't that great. My father, a college professor, sat in on a mathematics class at one of these academies and was not impressed. It was as if the they were aided with a cookbook. Nuts and bolts approach. However, the instructors at these academies are there primarily to serve the cadets, not to pursue their narrow research interests. That's the advantage the service academies have over a traditional research university.

No institution is perfect. Every type of institution has its pros and cons. The service academies are the best at what they do -- training young people to be officers in the armed forces. That's why foreign governments send some of their best young people here and Britain's Sandhurst.


Well that would certainly make you an expert on all things military academy...

What class were you again?
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby cheese_breath » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:27 pm

Phillies2008 wrote:Well that would certainly make you an expert on all things military academy...

What class were you again?

+1

OUCH :D
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Dave76 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:52 pm

The Ivy League is where you go to live the 'life of the mind.' The service academy is where you go to live the military life.

I'm not going to post in this thread anymore. Alex Frakt is on my case and I don't want to get kicked off another web forum.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby NYBoglehead » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:06 pm

Dave76 wrote:The Ivy League is where you go to live the 'life of the mind.' The service academy is where you to live the military life.

I'm not going to post in this thread anymore. Alex Frakt is on my case and I don't want to get kicked off another web forum.


Dave,

I don't mean to pile on and I know you said you are not going to post anymore on this but you are absolutely killing me with this. Ivy League schools are great, although you can argue that the pedigree that comes from the Ivy League is more valuable than the education received there. The 99.5% of schools not in the Ivy League, to include the service academies, have produced their share of successful individuals. The "life of mind" is largely dependent on the individual.

The fact that you mentioned you don't want to get kicked off another web forum suggests that perhaps you shouldn't make bombastic blanket statements about things which you know little about. I didn't go to an Ivy League school, but I can deduct that from your closing sentence.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby cheese_breath » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:07 pm

Dave76 wrote:The Ivy League is where you go to live the 'life of the mind.' The service academy is where you to live the military life.
.

This little 'argument' started as a debate over the educational quality of military institutions vs. traditional colleges. The Ivy League isn't exactly what I would call traditional colleges.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby serge » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:51 pm

I'm a West Point prep grad and West Point grad.
It's been about 20 years since the prep school.
Damn, I'm getting old.

If your son has military aspirations it is a no brainer; go for it.
If your son has professional athletic aspirations it wouldn't be the best fit.
The academies require a service commitment upon graduation that is very hard to break.

The academy sponsored prep schools offer a significant advantage to the incoming plebe.
They have an already established group of friends.
They have an understanding of what to expect with plebe life.
They probably have a better academic foundation for classwork.

The previous poster who claimed the quality of education is inferior is [not well informed (original wording is a personal attack and was removed by admin alex)].
I'm obviously biased but that's my opinion supported by numerous publications and rankings throughout the years.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Military Prep School

Postby MP173 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:26 pm

Thanks for the comments. This has certainly been a spirited conversation.

My son realizes his athletic potential doesnt include professional sports (at least at this time). However, he does aspire to be the best athlete he can be and this is an opportunity at a high level. It is the career potential which intrigues him the most. He is looking ahead, far ahead in his life.

One thing that concerns me. He has always had an entrepranural spirit and while a hard worker, has never really had a job. He has earned a lot money and is motivated, but not in a structured environment. He has balanced academics of HS with considerable athletic committments plus seems to earn $$$ during the spring - fall seasons (yard work, etc).

Just received a call...they have offered him a scholarship to the prep school, so this is happening pretty quickly. Lots of things to consider.

Ed
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby celia » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:34 am

MP173, Remember that what is different in your son's case is that the military academies didn't even enter his mind until a month ago. This may be hard for both of you to process so fast.

Let him read this thread. Then I suggest that he and you go visit them during spring break if you haven't already been there. It will give him a better feel for the situation and possibly make it easier to compare to his other options.

BTW, All students at the preps and military academies are on full "scholarships" besides earning a paycheck. (If you pay federal taxes, you will be partially paying for someone to attend there whether he goes or not.)
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Phillies2008 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:30 am

If you are concerned about professional athletics, check out the name Chad Hall.

Army and Air Force are much more liberal with their early release programs for athletes than USNA.

But if the professional athlete dreams do not work out he will have a guaranteed job for at least five years when he graduates. A job that will pay him more than a large majority of his peers and give him invaluable experience.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Submariner1980 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:38 pm

I have to pipe in regarding the value of education at the academies. I didn't go to the Naval Academy, but I did go the OCS route and spent 7 years as a Submarine Officer (hence my forum name).

If your son is disciplined, has innate leadership qualities and "gets it" as you say, then attending a service academy while playing D1 athletics, followed by service as a military officer, would be a wonderful path. Disregard the ignorant statements of anybody who criticizes the quality of the academics. The academies routinely place in the top univerisities in the country, as mentioned before. Further, there is a disproportionately large ratio of military officers now in the civilian world that are in executive leadership positions, as compared to the rest of the population at large. This shows the value of the unique education, experience, and responsibility heaped on junior officers at a young age that has no match outside of the military.

As a bonus, Air Force bases have the best facilities - nicer gyms, golf courses, skeet ranges, etc. as compared to the Army or Navy.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby rocket » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:44 pm

Graduates from the US Military Academy (Army) have a very strong "good old boy" system. Academy graduates have a strong preference for selecting and promoting other Academy graduates. This gets very iritating to people who are better qualified but not selected because of favoritism for Academy graduates.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Dave_M » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:31 pm

MP173:

I 'interact' regularly with a fairly large number of AFA cadets, as well as graduates. I am constantly amazed by the quality of the young men and women I meet. As a former professor at a major state university, and then at an elite (but not Ivy) private university, the academic effort and achievement is truly impressive, and far superior to what I observed in my career.

Additionally, these folks have a self assurance and confidence that is really unique among people this age.

And they are for the most part pretty nice people.

I see them in an off campus, recreational setting (at my son's skydiving operation), but the qualities shine through. It is common to see a group of cadets working on homework, or a major project, while waiting on their flight.

There are several who did the prep school route, and they tell me (because I asked) that they felt no disadvantage, and felt it eased their adjustment to military structure.

If you (and/or your son) would like to meet a diverse group of current and former cadets, pm me and I can set something up if you are here on a weekend (we could probably arrange for you to jump out of a plane too :D )

One note; Celia suggested visiting over spring break, but I would discourage that, and suggest you come when school is in session so your son can visit classes, and see the campus in operation. Also, many of the cadets go home for spring break, so there will be fewer to speak to,

And a final note; the campus is one of the nicest anywhere, and you would get to come to Colorado for games and such, much nicer than a lot of college settings. As you can tell, I think if your son wants to go to the AF Academy, and is serious in his understanding of the nature of the commitment, he will get an excellent education here.

Again, pm me if you have any questions, or want to meet with some cadets.

Dave
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby cheese_breath » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:05 pm

rocket wrote:Graduates from the US Military Academy (Army) have a very strong "good old boy" system. Academy graduates have a strong preference for selecting and promoting other Academy graduates. This gets very iritating to people who are better qualified but not selected because of favoritism for Academy graduates.

That's no different than any other close knit group... college fraternities, fraternal organizations, fishng buddies, church members, etc. It's a fact of life so get used to it. Don't hide your light under a bushel. You need to 'get political' and make your accomplishments known within the organization. In most cases if your boss knows you are the clearcut better qualiified individual you will get the promotion, but its up to you to make him know it.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby serge » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:13 pm

serge wrote:I'm a West Point prep grad and West Point grad.
It's been about 20 years since the prep school.
Damn, I'm getting old.

If your son has military aspirations it is a no brainer; go for it.
If your son has professional athletic aspirations it wouldn't be the best fit.
The academies require a service commitment upon graduation that is very hard to break.

The academy sponsored prep schools offer a significant advantage to the incoming plebe.
They have an already established group of friends.
They have an understanding of what to expect with plebe life.
They probably have a better academic foundation for classwork.

The previous poster who claimed the quality of education is inferior is [not well informed (original wording is a personal attack and was removed by admin alex)].
I'm obviously biased but that's my opinion supported by numerous publications and rankings throughout the years.

Hope this helps.

Serge


Alex said it a bit better than me and more diplomatically.

Nothing else to add other than there are a lot worse options coming out of high school than a potential free ride to a great university.

Kid's just got to decide if the military life for the next 10 years is something he wants.
1 year of prep plus 4 years at the academy plus 5 years of mandatory service.

Good luck and please let us know what he decides.

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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Frugal Al » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:09 am

serge wrote:Kid's just got to decide if the military life for the next 10 years is something he wants.
1 year of prep plus 4 years at the academy plus 5 years of mandatory service.

+1 As someone who came close to going into a military career (eyeglasses killed my chances for pilot) I can't imagine someone considering a military academy who hadn't previously thought about even a short military career. Unless I'm missing something, this isn't just something you just decide to do.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby MP173 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:10 pm

It was an interesting weekend at the USAFA. We arrived Saturday and toured the facilities on Saturday afternoon/Sunday.

He has a spot in the Prep School and realizes the opportunity and the committment. I do believe it is coming down to whether or not he wishes to devote the next 10 years to the US Air Force. One does have the opportunity to opt out during of after the prep school year or the first two years of academy. The benefits of sticking with it are nothing short of incredible (in my eyes).

Hard work? Yes, but he has never backed down.
Academically challenging? Yes, but that is what the prep school is for.
Military culture? He has stated in the past he would like to enter the military, so I believe he can handle that. I believe it is hard for an 18 year old to have a concrete plan for more than a few hours, let alone for 10 years....that is what I believe the issue is now, but it should be resolved this week.

Thanks all to your contributions.

Ed
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby jayars35 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:53 pm

Five of my former students went to academies. Three to West Point and two to Annapolis. All five went to prep school first and all played football at their academy. They did well, well enough to graduate at least, and have no regrets about their career choice.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby MP173 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:25 am

Thanks for the info regarding your five students. He has a decision to make. It is a great opportunity and believe he will go in that direction.

Ed
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Dave76 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:07 pm

MP173 wrote: I believe it is hard for an 18 year old to have a concrete plan for more than a few hours, let alone for 10 years...

Ed


True. It's common for these young people to change majors four times in two years.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby cheese_breath » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:31 pm

Dave76 wrote:
MP173 wrote: I believe it is hard for an 18 year old to have a concrete plan for more than a few hours, let alone for 10 years...

Ed


True. It's common for these young people to change majors four times in two years.

Very true. But if he doesn't try it he might regret it the rest of his life. As Ed noted, he has the option of resigning in his 4th or 3rd class years if it doesn't work out. I was able to resign during my 2nd class year at the USCGA when I discovered I wasn't the right fit for a military career, but I don't regret the time I spent there. In fact I still have a deep affection for the Academy. After I left I changed majors a couple more times before I finally graduated from my liberal arts college. BTW, with the exception of a seamanship course all my credits transferred without any problem
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby EmergDoc » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:39 pm

I wouldn't worry about the quality of the academics at the academy. Everything I've seen and heard indicates it is quite rigorous. I'm confident that the time to complete the non-academic "military stuff" comes out of fun time, not academic time.

That said, I wouldn't go there because I wouldn't want to do "military stuff" instead of "fun stuff."

If you want to be an Air Force pilot as a career, go to the Academy. Otherwise, I'd go somewhere else.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby cheese_breath » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:00 pm

EmergDoc wrote:If you want to be an Air Force pilot as a career, go to the Academy. Otherwise, I'd go somewhere else.

There's a lot more career choices in the Air Force than just pilot.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby HighFive » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:17 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
EmergDoc wrote:If you want to be an Air Force pilot as a career, go to the Academy. Otherwise, I'd go somewhere else.

There's a lot more career choices in the Air Force than just pilot.


I think what EmergDoc is trying to say is that the academy is not worth it if you do not want to be a pilot. If you want to do something else in the AF, you can probably do it just as easy coming from another commissioning source, such as ROTC or OTS. In my class, we had over 50% of the grads become pilots. It is much easier to become a pilot from the academy than it is from ROTC or OTS.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby Bacchus01 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:21 pm

Those questioning the quality of academics at the acadamies are really, really uninformed. Pay no attention to that. Your son or daughter will get one of the best educations in the world at a service academy. The education is beyond the books as well.

What people don't understand is that while there is a military commitment, it is a limited commitment during the school year. Yes, you drill and such, but it's almost all on the weekends or over the summer.

I know from experience having attended in the 90's. I took 80 credits in my first 4 semesters there and was top 10%.

The typical day is unlike any other university in the country. What people fail to understand is that there is very little downtime and very little goofing off time. Hanging ou playing frisbee in the quad? No. A pickup game of beach volleyball? Not likely. Partying Thursday through Saturday night? Nope. Working part-time at the pizza shop or local bar? Nope. Heading out to the mall to get some new duds? Not happening.

You'd be amazed how much studying you can do on the weekends and in between classes and late at night.

The typical day is something like:
6AM rise
7AM formation, inspection, announcements and off to breakfast
7-8 breakfast
8-12 morning classes
12-1 formation, inspection, announcement and chow
1-4 afternoon classes
4-6 some kind of military, sports, or required intramural athletics - this is the time when most college kids are goofing off.
6-6:30 chow
6:30 - 1 AM study, study, study

6 AM - do it all over again

IF you are caught up on your classes, Saturday afternoon and Sunday until around 3PM are your only down time. I would say that I was able to get away about 25% of the time. I took a well above average course load, however. Most people take 15 credits/semester (required) while I was taking 20+.

It is very difficult and very rigorous. I attended Annapolis for 2 years and then a Top 5 public university for 2 years. I studied WAY more and worked MUCH harder at academics than I did at the public school. Classwork after leaving Annapolis seemed very easy relatively speaking.

As for the prep school. I have seen a lot of NAPS (Naval Academy Prep School) kids go a long way. Generally they are better able to handle the military and multi-tasking side, but I didn't think they were any better suited for the academics. The advantage was the additional service if you wanted to retire from the military. Personally I would not have gone this route. I had the grades, but had another issue that precluded me from getting in the first year so I chose a year of local college instead. It was by far better at getting me ready for the academic side. The prep schools, in my opinion, do not help in that regard.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby cheese_breath » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:28 pm

HighFive wrote:
cheese_breath wrote:
EmergDoc wrote:If you want to be an Air Force pilot as a career, go to the Academy. Otherwise, I'd go somewhere else.

There's a lot more career choices in the Air Force than just pilot.


I think what EmergDoc is trying to say is that the academy is not worth it if you do not want to be a pilot.

IMO for what it's worth, if you want a career serving your country in the military then it's worth it whether you beccome a pilot or not. It's not a matter of which is the easiest way to become an officer.
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby MP173 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:31 pm

My son will be attending the USAFA Prep School, subject to application and acceptance. He decided over the weekend.

I want to thank everyone for the advise and sharing their experiences.

Ed
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby stan1 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:00 pm

MP173 wrote:My son will be attending the USAFA Prep School, subject to application and acceptance. He decided over the weekend.

I want to thank everyone for the advise and sharing their experiences.

Ed


Great, I hope he will find it to be an incredible experience that will give him a solid footing for the rest of his life. Best wishes to him!
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Re: Military Prep School

Postby cheese_breath » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:11 am

stan1 wrote:
MP173 wrote:My son will be attending the USAFA Prep School, subject to application and acceptance. He decided over the weekend.

I want to thank everyone for the advise and sharing their experiences.

Ed


Great, I hope he will find it to be an incredible experience that will give him a solid footing for the rest of his life. Best wishes to him!

+1 Same here.
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