View Full Version : Anyone have experience with HS to Military Academy?

10-15-2016, 01:41 AM
My son (8th grade) is seriously thinking about applying to the Air Force Academy. His career interests have always leaned toward engineering, and his love toward space and physics. However, he's been running with a retired pilot for the last year, and now he has the flight-bug, too. I think it was only a matter of time, really, even without his running buddy's influence. His thinking is that the Academy would set him up really well for either engineering or flying career.

This isn't a decision to make junior or senior year, however, so we're looking into the requirements now. They lay them out pretty well on their website, but I was wondering if anyone here has experience applying to any of the military academies and could offer some guidance, words to the wise, etc.

10-15-2016, 09:40 AM
Back when I was a youngun, i was in Civil Air Patrol, and the cadet commander went on to Colorado Springs. I remember him saying how the whole leadership thing there was a boost, also to getting his congressional recommendation. (There were middle school kids in CAP with us high schoolers.)

Is he too young to volunteer / make points with your local representative? Is your rep a lifer, likely to still be the one in congress when your son is at academy application time?

Two of the other CAP kids I knew went on to be commercial pilots, so it seems a good program anyways. (And there wasnt any flying going on in our CAP program.)

Or maybe theres an Air Force JROTC?

Also if his friend is retired AF pilot, keep that friendship going, too. I remember it took multiple recommendation letters, and I imagine affidavits from officers carries a lot more weight than random civilians.

10-15-2016, 03:02 PM
We just heard about CAP at a local fly-in. Unfortunately, it meets at the same time as Boy Scouts. I was wondering about asking them how dedicated they were to that time slot, but my husband said he heard our town CAP was flailing. I will ask about it some more to get specifics. I was wondering if it was worth it to join one in Eugene (an hour away). I also forgot about the AF JROTC, so I will look into that, too.

His running-buddy isn't a retired AF pilot, unfortunately. I do have an old high school friend who is an active AF pilot, but we haven't kept in touch except via FB, unfortunately. But we have A LOT of retired people in our town (the population overall is around 8,000, but the public school class size is similar to my hometown of under 3,000 people, to give you an idea), so there has to be a few of them around. That is a great idea to try to seek them out and see if there is some relationship that can be built now.

I do think we have a senate lifer. We live pretty far from the capitol, but I will look into summer programs and other such things.

Thank you for great ideas!

10-15-2016, 03:29 PM
There is also a prep-program for students who want to get into the military academy. It is usually a gap program between graduating from high school and college. I knew someone who worked there and my impression is that quite a few students who complete the program get into the academy. Yes, it is a program that delays admission, but if this is what he really wants it is a pathway to get there. I think he would still need to cultivate the relationships and prepare himself with the goal of college to apply to the academy.

Here is their website. Prep School Program | Air Force Academy (http://www.academyadmissions.com/the-experience/prep-school/prep-school-program/)