West Point

mcm.1019

Active member
My son is in the process of applying for admission to West Point. It's a lengthy process and certainly different than applying to college, and the acceptance rate is around 10%. I was curious if any members have gone to West Point or have had children go....the experience while there...end up making the military a career or leaving after the required commitment.
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
It was a terrific career choice. I survived and am enjoying full retirement now at 56. Highly recommended. You'll get used to it as a parent - I take it that you yourself were not in the military ?
 

mcm.1019

Active member
No, I was not in the military and don't have a ton of exposure to it (my sister was in the Air Force and my nephew just went through Marine boot camp). Mom is nervous about him pursuing this option and I'm 100% behind him. He's obviously a very smart kid and wouldn't have to pay much for college, but he's also not really sure what he wants to do with his life.
 

WarriorDee

Member
I have three sons, all are/were active duty Army. The eldest son, ran the West Point Circuit, received 2 MOC nominations and did not make it in, but received an Army ROTC 4 year National scholarship, he is a Captain and has been on active duty for 7 years now. Son # 2 enlisted after graduating from College, served as active duty enlisted for four years, left and now works in DC in the civilian contractor world. Son # 3 started the West Point process, but knew that he really wanted ROTC, joined the National Guard his Senior Year in High School, went to OSUT Infantry training the summer between his Freshman, Sophomore year in college. Did well there, did well in ROTC, where he was a contracted SMP cadet, graduated from college and is now an Active Duty Infantry 1LT.

A good resource for both you and your son would be the Service Academy Forums ( https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php )., here you can ask former cadets as well as current cadets about their journey into & life at the Academy. There are also quite a few parents on the forum to talk to. The Forum also has sections for the Public/Private Military Colleges as well as a ROTC forum.

If you have any questions on being a parent of a soldier or ROTC, feel free to ask.
 
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arizonawildcat

Well-known member
The only thing I have to say is that after your son has fulfilled his army commitment and would like to go into the private sector, about any employer would choose him over the other candidates. If your son has gone through West Point and then fulfilled his 4 years of service commitment (presumably ending up as a captain or even a major) any employer would think, if has a brain in his head, that this guy has the discipine and the energy to do any task I give him.
 

Purplemojo

Well-known member
To everyone posting with children in the military or contemplating it, you should be proud of your kids who went this route and of your own service for those who served. None of my kids have served, something I regret but, I cannot live their lives for them. I went to West Point myself (well for one day to visit the Land Warfare Museum). It is a special place and it graduates are special and seen as such in the civilian world. I worked with a grad who was the CEO of a major national bank and have met others during my own military service. I have friends whose children are in ROTC now, although one has recently left to serve in the OHNG while attending the University of Cincinnati. He felt that the National Guard was giving him a better deal, he was getting real hands on experience during his weekend drills and he believes getting enlisted experience will serve him well when he gets his commission.

Many paths to serve. West Point is a highly honorable and challenging way to do it. I would support his effort to receive his appointment and then consider ROTC if that does not work out. Being a commissioned officer, regardless as to the manner by which one received their commission, still helps in the private sector, more so being a West Point grad.
 

mcm.1019

Active member
Appreciate the input from everybody. As I said, I have no idea if he'll actually get accepted since the acceptance rate is around 10%. I had never even thought of ROTC as an alternative,, in the event that he doesn't get accepted.
 

fortfan

Active member
There are options if he isn't accepted. My son enlisted in the Air Force while a student at University of Toledo. After graduating, he went immediately to Officer Training School. Just recently got out of full time duty and is a reserve. In his service, he was deployed twice. Once to Afghanistan and once to Central African Republic as part on the UN. Tremendously proud of him. He is now working at WPAFB as a civilian doing pretty much the same thing he was doing as a Major in the AF, he just doesn't have to move, which is the main reason he got out. It was great for him when he was young, but he has 4 kids now and wanted to set down some roots and I am glad he decided to do that fairly close to family!
 

Purplemojo

Well-known member
Appreciate the input from everybody. As I said, I have no idea if he'll actually get accepted since the acceptance rate is around 10%. I had never even thought of ROTC as an alternative,, in the event that he doesn't get accepted.
Also consider National Guard. I know active duty looked down on NG before the GWOT, but it is the guard and reserve component that has done a lot of the heavy lifting. The young man I alluded to before, who left the ROTC to go guard, is getting his college paid for, with pocket money to boot, for his weekend drills and annual training. Things have cooled a bit over seas and so the likelihood of deployment is substantially less than it was. Mustangs (officers who were once enlisted) go one of two ways, they either want to impose on others the crap they had to deal with as enlisted, or they come from the point of view that they understand NCOs and enlisted and value their input in decision making and in maintenance of morale. In my experience the latter example make the best officers in the US military.

If things don't work out with the Point, suggest that he considers the Ohio Army National Guard.
 

Belly35

Active member
If I remember correctly you first have to be invited to apply?
I say that because my cousin, again if I remember he received a letter from West Point and also from the Ohio Governor with a congratulation of being invited to apply for West Point.
It does not really matter, what is important is his goals and the honorable pride to strive to go to West Point. You should be proud dad, the feeling is a wonderful thing.
 

ohiopup

Well-known member
The only thing I have to say is that after your son has fulfilled his army commitment and would like to go into the private sector, about any employer would choose him over the other candidates. If your son has gone through West Point and then fulfilled his 4 years of service commitment (presumably ending up as a captain or even a major) any employer would think, if has a brain in his head, that this guy has the discipine and the energy to do any task I give him.
6 years active
or
5 years active + 3 in the ready reserve

~~~

Grads may opt for duty in another service branch (USN, USAF, USCG, USMC)
but may require additional 'boot' camp training (especially true for USMC).

:>---

SF
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
It was a terrific career choice. I survived and am enjoying full retirement now at 56. Highly recommended. You'll get used to it as a parent - I take it that you yourself were not in the military ?
Welp, I let this thing hang out there for a day. I give credit to other posters for not cluttering up your thread. I have to come clean, though.

While I stand by the assessment that staying with a military career could be a terrific career choice if indeed your son is accepted, implying that I myself am retired military is a complete canard. I surely would have been court-martialled or dishonorably discharged had I attempted a career in the service.

Congrats to your boy
 

Zunardo

Well-known member
If I remember correctly you first have to be invited to apply?
I believe you have to have a letter of recommendation from a Congressman? As I understand it, you have to apply with them, and they will issue the letter if they're satisfied you meet the requirements. Not sure if they have a limit of how many letters they can issue each year, though.
 

ohiopup

Well-known member
I believe you have to have a letter of recommendation from a Congressman? As I understand it, you have to apply with them, and they will issue the letter if they're satisfied you meet the requirements. Not sure if they have a limit of how many letters they can issue each year, though.
Nomination thru elected members of congress (Senate and House)

=> 10 from each state, 5 of whom are nominated by each Senator from that state;
=> 5 from each congressional district, nominated by the Representative from the district;
=> 5 from the District of Columbia, nominated by the Delegate from the District of Columbia;
=> 4 from the U.S. Virgin Islands, nominated by the Delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands;
=> 5 from Puerto Rico, nominated by the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico;
=> 4 from Guam, nominated by the Delegate from Guam;
=> 3 from American Samoa, nominated by the Delegate from American Samoa;
=> 3 from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, nominated by the Delegate from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Also nominations may be made by..,
The POTUS (no limit) ~ usually children of career military members, KIA, MIA, or have a 100% service-connected active duty disability
The Vice President (5).

Other admissions...
Sons of Medal of Honor recipients
Sons of previous graduates
Generals/Admirals may nominate enlisted personnel of the related services.
The superintendents of the academies : limited to number of of available slots

Of course: admission standards apply in every case

:>---

SF
 
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Auggie

Well-known member
Know someone who went to the Citadel and made it up to fill bird colonel in the army. Very different than West Point, a lot of hazing and southern culture is a big part of the place but he said it was perfect for learning how to command soldiers.
 

eastside_purple

Well-known member
Nomination thru elected members of congress (Senate and House)

=> 10 from each state, 5 of whom are nominated by each Senator from that state;
=> 5 from each congressional district, nominated by the Representative from the district;
=> 5 from the District of Columbia, nominated by the Delegate from the District of Columbia;
=> 4 from the U.S. Virgin Islands, nominated by the Delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands;
=> 5 from Puerto Rico, nominated by the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico;
=> 4 from Guam, nominated by the Delegate from Guam;
=> 3 from American Samoa, nominated by the Delegate from American Samoa;
=> 3 from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, nominated by the Delegate from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Also nominations may be made by..,
The POTUS (no limit) ~ usually children of career military members, KIA, MIA, or have a 100% service-connected active duty disability
The Vice President (no limit).

Other admissions...
Sons of Medal of Honor recipients
Sons of previous graduates
Generals/Admirals may nominate enlisted personnel of the related services.
The superintendents of the academies : limited to number of of available slots

Of course: admission standards apply in every case

:>---

SF
10 from each state? Move to Wyoming for less competition.
 

Daddy

Active member
The most common attributes of service academy appointees are athletics, Eagle Scout / Gold Award, and participation in American Legion Boys State or Auxiliary Girls State programs. If your child is a junior in high school, have them talk to their principal or guidance counselor about participating in the program next year.

Good luck!
 

mcm.1019

Active member
Just thought I'd provide a quick update for those that took the time to answer my questions. So my son did get an interview with Jordan's "team" and that took place a few weeks ago. He was very happy with the interview and completely satisfied with his answers and conversations with the interview team. So regardless of what happens, he walked away believing he did his best. In the meantime, he received a letter from West Point inviting him for an overnight visit. I don't think that letter necessarily means much in terms of the interview, I'm guessing that maybe any candidates who got an interview might have received the same letter? So now it's a waiting game to see if he receives a nomination. And also time to focus on plan B.
 

eastside_purple

Well-known member
Just thought I'd provide a quick update for those that took the time to answer my questions. So my son did get an interview with Jordan's "team" and that took place a few weeks ago. He was very happy with the interview and completely satisfied with his answers and conversations with the interview team. So regardless of what happens, he walked away believing he did his best. In the meantime, he received a letter from West Point inviting him for an overnight visit. I don't think that letter necessarily means much in terms of the interview, I'm guessing that maybe any candidates who got an interview might have received the same letter? So now it's a waiting game to see if he receives a nomination. And also time to focus on plan B.
Good luck to him.
 
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