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I'm not sure where to start. Is it too late?

T33

New Member
I'm so glad I've found a site where it has everything I need. But I was doing some searching and I just couldn't find the questions and answers that best fit my situation.

Well, I've only been in the Navy for about 18months. I'm an E-3. And I'm pretty certain this will be a career for me, I cannot see me doing anything else only because I've fell in love with this life. I've grown as a person because of the Navy and it has been suggested that I go the officer route. I would love the opportunity to become an officer, everything I've been involved in lately has been motivated by my desire to put in a package/application.

The only thing is I have no college and my ACT scores are too outdated. I signed up for the June ACT testing but there is no guarantee I'll have my test scores back before the deadline. Is there a way to submit a late package and if so, does that ruin my chances of selection? I know when submitting a package for the Naval Academy, you don't need any previous college to be accepted but is it one of those things where if you do have previous college your chances of acceptance are greater?

My high school GPA was around a 3.2. Yeah it's pretty low, I didn't take high school very seriously and I was hoping that that wouldn't hurt me now that I've got my head on straight and want to serve my country as an officer. I really would appreciate some pointers, suggestions/tips that would help me put together a pretty good package. The guy in charge of the officer commissioning program at my command didn't know very much seeing as he just took over it and is still learning. So a friend of mine told me about this site.

So much help is appreciated. Thanks.
 

Uncle Fester

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How old are you, and do you have any dependants? Those are hard-kill factors if you're outside the limits.

Remember that USNA isn't the only, or even necessarily the best, route to a commission. Have you looked into any others?
 

Uncle Fester

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No, I'm serious. I've talked to a lot of junior E's over the years who were interested in officer programs, and had in their heads that the only way you had a shot at career success as an officer was to be a Boat School grad.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

robav8r

D-FENS
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No, I'm serious. I've talked to a lot of junior E's over the years who were interested in officer programs, and had in their heads that the only way you had a shot at career success as an officer was to be a Boat School grad.
Oh I believe you. Just liked the observation :) Be interesting to know the wardroom makeup of the E's that were given that advice though. I do believe that part of the Officer package submission process and the candidates commissioning desires should be evaluated with that perspective in mind.
 

phrogpilot73

Well-Known Member
I agree with Fester, that if you really want to be an officer - you should look at/apply to EVERY program.

As for your HS GPA, you should be OK. Put it this way - I had a 1.96 GPA in HS, 1200 on the SATs, am a prior enlisted Marine - and graduated from the Naval Academy.

As for no prior college, when you apply as a prior enlisted guy to USNA - you're competing against other prior enlisted guys only. You're not competing against the entire mass of high schoolers that want to attend. There are 85 slots reserved for AD and 85 slots reserved for Reservists for every class that enters. Of the 170 total possible, my class had 105. They routinely go unfilled.

Here's the link on the USNA web page that addresses specific circumstances for priors: http://www.usna.edu/admissions/stactive.htm

I'll try and find the number to the fleet enlisted coordinator - he can be your best friend when it comes to getting into USNA.
 

Uncle Fester

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Oh I believe you. Just liked the observation :) Be interesting to know the wardroom makeup of the E's that were given that advice though. I do believe that part of the Officer package submission process and the candidates commissioning desires should be evaluated with that perspective in mind.
Eh, I think it's just part of the Annapolis Bullshit Energy Field. It's not really the school's fault; mostly I think it's just a pop-culture driven impression people with no military exposure have of how the military works. An AT3 I had working for me told me he wasn't going to bother applying to the academy because his family wasn't rich and didn't know any Senators, and he heard you had to know a senator to get in.
 

DanMa1156

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I'll say this as an Academy grad - I wouldn't recommend it for a prior-E unless you a) want to go there and/or b) want the name brand of the Academy by your name on a resume. By and large (definitely some exceptions), prior-E's have a harder time buying into the Academy lifestyle having seen what the fleet is like and become more bitter and jaded with their time there. More importantly, in my opinion, is that their time at USNA does NOT count towards retirement (and the rumor that when you hit 20 it = 24 for an Academy grad is also false), and your pay goes down a ton - you go from your enlisted pay to $100 a month as a plebe. Big difference in lifestyle for sure. If you're just looking to become an officer and don't care that you're an alumnus of the Academy, then don't go there.
 

phrogpilot73

Well-Known Member
I'll say this as an Academy grad - I wouldn't recommend it for a prior-E unless you a) want to go there and/or b) want the name brand of the Academy by your name on a resume. By and large (definitely some exceptions), prior-E's have a harder time buying into the Academy lifestyle having seen what the fleet is like and become more bitter and jaded with their time there. More importantly, in my opinion, is that their time at USNA does NOT count towards retirement (and the rumor that when you hit 20 it = 24 for an Academy grad is also false), and your pay goes down a ton - you go from your enlisted pay to $100 a month as a plebe. Big difference in lifestyle for sure. If you're just looking to become an officer and don't care that you're an alumnus of the Academy, then don't go there.
You forgot one reason - unless you go to a school with rigid discipline (USNA, USMA, Citadel, VMI, etc...) you know you won't go to class. That was what I fell into. I got sick of that place quickly (probably a lot more quickly than my classmates), but I realized that in the end it was worth it and worked my ass off anyway.

Oh, and you want some bullshit?? A guy in my squadron is a USNA grad, not prior enlisted. SOMEHOW his four years at the Academy are counted as reserve time in his Annual Retirement Credit Report. Mine are not. WTF?!?
 

Uncle Fester

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Clerical mistake in his favor. I can't think of another explanation. Certainly my four years by the Bay are explicitly not counted in my APR/ASOSH.
 

T33

New Member
How old are you, and do you have any dependants? Those are hard-kill factors if you're outside the limits.

Remember that USNA isn't the only, or even necessarily the best, route to a commission. Have you looked into any others?
I just turned 20 and I have no dependants. I am going to put in a STA-21 package also. I just wanted some clearification on the USNA option as well.
So from what I can gather from you alls conversation is that going to the Academy is just 4 years of propaganda? Is it worth it? I mean I've only been in for 1.5yrs will it be that different and unenjoyable?
 

T33

New Member
I agree with Fester, that if you really want to be an officer - you should look at/apply to EVERY program.

As for your HS GPA, you should be OK. Put it this way - I had a 1.96 GPA in HS, 1200 on the SATs, am a prior enlisted Marine - and graduated from the Naval Academy.

As for no prior college, when you apply as a prior enlisted guy to USNA - you're competing against other prior enlisted guys only. You're not competing against the entire mass of high schoolers that want to attend. There are 85 slots reserved for AD and 85 slots reserved for Reservists for every class that enters. Of the 170 total possible, my class had 105. They routinely go unfilled.

Here's the link on the USNA web page that addresses specific circumstances for priors: http://www.usna.edu/admissions/stactive.htm

I'll try and find the number to the fleet enlisted coordinator - he can be your best friend when it comes to getting into USNA.
How long did it take you to get accepted?
I know there isn't a set rules with how many times you have to apply to get accepted
but is there a round about number of times I would have to apply before I can get accepted?
I've heard of people applying 4 or 5 times for STA-21 before getting accepted.
I'm sure the Academdy theres a smaller number because of the age limit, but what are some things that will, not guaruntee per se, but "set me up" for a decent chance of acceptance?
 

phrogpilot73

Well-Known Member
How long did it take you to get accepted?
I know there isn't a set rules with how many times you have to apply to get accepted
but is there a round about number of times I would have to apply before I can get accepted?
I've heard of people applying 4 or 5 times for STA-21 before getting accepted.
I'm sure the Academdy theres a smaller number because of the age limit, but what are some things that will, not guaruntee per se, but "set me up" for a decent chance of acceptance?
I was unique in that my GPA was so bad. I applied 4 times to USNA. My first application (while I was still in high school) was laughed out of the admissions board, of that I'm certain. The laughter slowly subsided until they realized I was serious.

I had a lot of classmates that were prior enlisted, who didn't have a GPA as high as yours, that were accepted on their first try. For prior enlisted guys, they are looking at your military performance first, then your SAT/ACT, and your HS GPA is only icing on the cake. Hence why I could get in with a 1.96 GPA (I did have to go to a semester at a civilian college and get a better GPA).

I just turned 20 and I have no dependants. I am going to put in a STA-21 package also. I just wanted some clearification on the USNA option as well.
So from what I can gather from you alls conversation is that going to the Academy is just 4 years of propaganda? Is it worth it? I mean I've only been in for 1.5yrs will it be that different and unenjoyable?
I personally think it was worth it. Not because of the bennie of it being on my resume (and yes, it is a bennie), not because of the prestige - but for two reasons. My father is USNA '63, and I've always looked up to him. In one small way, I was able to follow in his footsteps. Also, because the friends I made there are still my friends to this day. Not that it won't happen in a civilian school, but because everyone goes into the military, the chances of you running into them again is very good. Again, had I gone to a civilian school, I probably wouldn't have graduated because I hated college and didn't go to class unless ordered.

If you do go as a prior (and this is what I told one of my crewchiefs who left the squadron to go to USNA), you have to realize it is NOTHING like the fleet. First, you'll get yelled at/shit on by someone who's younger than you/less life experience than you. It's important to realize that he is LEARNING how to lead, and if you play your part - you're helping him LEARN. Priors that don't realize that are the ones that get the "prior stink" on them.

Oh, and this may sound ridiculous - but generally STA-21 is more competitive than USNA. Why? Because so few actually think to apply to USNA... I would argue that most sailors know about STA-21, unless they've met a USNA grad, a good chunk of sailors don't even know USNA exists.
 
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