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  • Enlisted to West Point?

    I have heard that you can enlist in the National Guard and then receive a nomination to attend West Point I was wondering how you go about doing this. And is there a time requirement I would need to stay in the National Guard for before I could attend West Point?

  • #2
    Re: Enlisted to West Point?

    Kind of.

    There is no difference in your application to USMA & it is no easier to get in. Being in the guard is no different in your application than some other extracurricular activity. It's good, but it won't get you in if you don't have the grades or a lot of other stuff to go with it.

    The two ways of doing it from the guard is you can go with a 368 (conditional release from the guard contingent on your acceptance to USMA). That means you're discharged from the guard & enter USMA just like any other civilian. Or, you can remain obligated to your state so that after you finish you would come back to that state as an officer when you commission. That's a lot less common & more complicated. Generally you're just going to be released.

    Gist of that being, the guard can help build your resume, but it is NOT a shortcut.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Enlisted to West Point?

      I thought there were 85 slots at West Point devoted to enlisted members of the National Guard.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Enlisted to West Point?

        Originally posted by Dgreen92
        I thought there were 85 slots at West Point devoted to enlisted members of the National Guard.

        There are. The real advantage if you're selected for this program is you do not need to compete for a nomination from a Congressman or Senator. These appointments come from SEC Army.
        Last edited by SFC_Wilson; April 12th, 2011, 02:28 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Enlisted to West Point?

          ^There you go. Says 85 slots for Reserve & guard combined.

          I'll tell you right now I'm not an expert on getting soldiers from the guard to a service academy. I worked with a kid recently that went from air guard to AF Academy, and I've helped 18 kids get into service academies from the civilian side in 15 years, but I've never worked with anyone that went Army guard to any service academy.

          An academy regional recruiting officer is who you need to talk to for the best information. I'm just trying to tell you to be realistic about it. I don't want you to think the guard is a loop hole to get you in if you're not otherwise qualified. I do very much hope it works out for you though. If there's any way we can help, please let us know.
          Last edited by dnall; May 26th, 2009, 06:35 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Enlisted to West Point?

            Originally posted by 1160
            Dnall

            No offense to you, but you just was shown to be wrong again. Dont shoot off your opinion unless your absoloutely certain you are correct. If there is 85 dedcated slots for NG soldiers in USMA, then the Gurad is not just "another" extracuricula activity.
            First, whenever you start a sentence with "no offense to you" or "all due respect," you're about to be offensive and disrespectful. It's axiomatic.

            Second, right or wrong, all of these gentlemen are valuable resources and ought to be appreciated as such. More to the point, on issues like this one, there is rarely a clear-cut right or wrong answer. There's the regulation, of course; then there's tradition, varying state by state and unit by unit; and then there's how things actually work in the real world. Hearing different answers takes all of that into account.

            Third - he's not wrong. You just suffer from weak reading comprehension. His point is correct: National Guard service doesn't give you any guarantees - and of course it carries its own obligation. The fact that spaces are set aside for NG members is common sense; of course they have a quota. But that doesn't lower standards for Guard members.

            To the OP: my advice would just be to be careful. Your Guard commitment will be an actual obligation. I'm not a big fan of joining one thing as a stepping stone to another ... unless you're really okay if your plan doesn't work out. If you just want to serve, and don't mind a Guard enlistment if West Point doesn't happen ... great.

            If West Point is your entire goal ... I'd concentrate on that. Just my pair of pesos.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Enlisted to West Point?

              Dgreen-

              Reach for the stars, but have something soft to land on. West Point is one of the more competitive colleges to get in to; many more people do not get in than do get in. So do not join the National Guard unless you'd be happy with "just" being in the National Guard.

              To be a competitive applicant, you should have a GPA over 3.5, an SAT of over 1280, and be in the top 20% of your high school class (most colleges don't care about your rank against your peers but West Point does).

              You can still have a shot of getting in a little weaker in one of these areas than others, but unless you have a very strong application like the numbers above, do not expect being in the National Guard to make up for academic shortcomings.

              Best of luck with your application...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Enlisted to West Point?

                Soldiers must be recommended by their company (or higher) commanders. The Secretary of the Army
                annually is allocated 85 cadetships at West Point to be filled by RA soldiers and 85 cadetships to be filled by
                USAR and ARNG Soldiers.

                Check this out:

                Additionally, but not
                required, enlisted applicants with SAT scores > 1050 (older SAT) or > 1500 on new SAT, or ACT scores > 22, who
                graduated in the top 40% of their high school class, and have a GT score > 114 are encouraged to apply.


                It sounds to me as if they need applicants. 22 and 1050 are not high scores at all. top 40% that's certainly doable.

                I think kids who are thinking about joining the guard as a junior in high school need to look at this.(you have to have completed basic, so if you have already finished basic before you apply, I'm thinking your application will look better)

                I'm not saying it's easy, I'm saying as long as you are going to college anyway, you should compare your scores, and if you have these scores apply. The memo goes on to say they are filling slots at the USMA prep school for students who need some help with some of their qualifications. The prep school is 10 months of active duty. Big $$ for somebody fresh out of high school.

                If you were to get in the prep school and didn't make it, that's good to know you weren't cut out for that, you go back to the Guard and college, you haven't lost anything except for 10 months, you've gained 10 months of probably some of the best training in your life.

                This is very interesting.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Enlisted to West Point?

                  If you follow the link, it says 85 slots for RA & 85 for guard & reserve, meaning combined.

                  This application, just like the one for civilians (which is the same minus a form & letter of rec signed by your CO), is an open process. The recommended scores are pretty much the minimum qualifications. How much higher than that they need to be is based on the balance of the rest of your qualifications.

                  The only thing this does is give you a shot at a nomination, versus having to get a congressional nomination as a civilian. Congressional nominations are relatively easy to get. You just apply to the congressperson's office & they are looking for the same qualification criteria to ensure you are competitive, and they will nominate the two best candidates that apply to them for each academy.

                  The way to utilize this program is to apply as a civilian applicant out of high school just like everyone else. Then if you don't get in and still want to take a second shot before going on to civilian college, then that's where you enlist & apply for this.

                  In terms of your application being looked at by the admissions board, I would not rate a year of enlisted service as more or less than having been captain of the high school football team or four years of JROTC or winning the state science fair or volunteering as a youth leader at your church. The guard is a good thing for the resume, but it doesn't shortcut your way in past tens of thousands of actually qualified applicants.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Enlisted to West Point?

                    Originally posted by 49thadband
                    Additionally, but not
                    required, enlisted applicants with SAT scores > 1050 (older SAT) or > 1500 on new SAT, or ACT scores > 22, who
                    graduated in the top 40% of their high school class, and have a GT score > 114 are encouraged to apply.


                    It sounds to me as if they need applicants. 22 and 1050 are not high scores at all. top 40% that's certainly doable.
                    I'm with dnall on this one. Minimum qualifications mean absolutely nothing. The minimum qualification to get in to Berkeley and UCLA is a 3.0 GPA, but no one will get in with that.

                    Look up the average stats for acceptance at West Point and you'll find about 1280 on the old SAT, a 3.6/3.7 GPA, and top 20% of school. If you have anything less, you're looking at an uphill slog.

                    Join the Guard because you have a passion to serve in the Guard. Joining because you think you will get some back door in to West Point will make you unhappy and your unit unhappy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Enlisted to West Point?

                      "Congressional nominations are relatively easy to get."

                      This I did not know. I have only heard stories, but I was under the impression that the academies were extremely interested in people who were starters in varsity sports at the very least, and that they actually preferred captains of teams.

                      So if we're talking an average athlete who stopped playing sports after the
                      10th grade or so, who has top 20% class rank, who has 27ish, 1300ish scores, can get a nomination?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Enlisted to West Point?

                        Originally posted by notyetdead
                        Look up the average stats for acceptance at West Point and you'll find about 1280 on the old SAT, a 3.6/3.7 GPA, and top 20% of school. If you have anything less, you're looking at an uphill slog.
                        While I agree with the fact that someone should shoot to be above average, don't forget that AVERAGE means that all the datapoints are added together and the sum divided by the total number of datapoints.

                        If 1280 is average, then you have people above and below that number. Those numbers could be 1260, 1270, 1280, 1290, & 1300 or they could be 1100, 1210, 1320, 1380, & 1390. Both get you to 1280.

                        Are your chances better if you are over those averages? Sure. But if you meet the minimums, then they will consider you. Your competition might be tougher or easier, but it depends on who applies.

                        Don't second guess yourself out of trying. A majority of the people with high SAT scores might not score as well on the physical aptitude. Or they may not have been part of many other activities in High School. Or perhaps you have some other quality that is unique and is viewed as advantageous by the selection board. The list goes on and on. But the fact remains, you won't know until you follow the process.

                        As far as your initial question about Guard to West Point, the most important consideration has been reiterated several times. Join the Guard because you want to join the Guard. If you have reservations about the Guard, apply through the congressional process and see what happens.

                        Being part of the Guard as you apply can be a safety net or a choke collar, it all depends on who you are and how you view it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Enlisted to West Point?

                          Originally posted by GroundPounder42
                          While I agree with the fact that someone should shoot to be above average, don't forget that AVERAGE means that all the datapoints are added together and the sum divided by the total number of datapoints.
                          Absolutely. It's do-able, just "uphill" if you're below average. Not impossible.

                          The further you are from average, the less likely the odds. You're right that it's impossible to say what your chances are (especially without having a standard deviation from the average), but if you have a very average GPA and SAT and nothing setting their application apart, you should file West Point as a "reach" school, just like you would an Ivy or near-Ivy.

                          Everybody has a shot at getting in to Harvard too, but a guy like me shouldn't start saving up airfare anytime soon.
                          Originally posted by GroundPounder42
                          But if you meet the minimums, then they will consider you.
                          If your application is at the bare minimum, you need to have something truly stellar that sets you apart from other applicants. Having a Medal of Honor or written a critically approved book. Captain of the football team won't cut it.
                          Originally posted by GroundPounder42
                          A majority of the people with high SAT scores might not score as well on the physical aptitude. Or they may not have been part of many other activities in High School. Or perhaps you have some other quality that is unique and is viewed as advantageous by the selection board.
                          Every West Point acceptee I've known has had strong grades, strong SAT, great leadership and at least good physical shape. Maybe I'm missing the slob contingency, but I doubt many exist.

                          Like I said, reach for the stars. Getting in to West Point is a phenomenal accomplishment. But part of the reason it's such an accomplishment is that it's one of the most competitive schools to get in to. Have a strong app and go for it. If you have a weak app, sure, give it a shot, but do not do make any life-changing decisions based on getting in. Such as joining the National Guard to polish your app.

                          My hat is off to those applying to schools like West Point. The fact that you are even doing so shows a level of motivation I definitely didn't have when it was my time.
                          Last edited by notyetdead; May 27th, 2009, 02:15 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Enlisted to West Point?

                            Originally posted by notyetdead
                            Every West Point acceptee I've known has had strong grades, strong SAT, great leadership and at least good physical shape. Maybe I'm missing the slob contingency, but I doubt many exist.
                            My point was that other criteria come into play besides SAT scores and that each class's applicant base will have different averages. I am not implying there is a "slob contingency". But, as with SAT scores, there are people who will be the bottom of the range who will get accepted. No one knows what those averages will be until the class is selected.

                            My initial comment was:

                            A majority of the people with high SAT scores might not score as well on the physical aptitude. Or they may not have been part of many other activities in High School. Or perhaps you have some other quality that is unique and is viewed as advantageous by the selection board. The list goes on and on.
                            "Might" is not "will". This paragraph highlighted some other possible factors. A candidate might ace the SAT, but have abysmal physical aptitude scores. Would West Point choose that candidate over someone with a slightly lower than average SAT and above average physical aptitude scores?

                            I spotlighted SAT, but the same is true for each of the selection criteria. As mentioned, the Army is looking for the entire package. Brains, brawn, leadership, ethics, everything. But if enough candidates with everything can't be identified, they begin looking for those who are close, who can be molded.

                            Originally posted by notyetdead
                            Like I said, reach for the stars. Getting in to West Point is a phenomenal accomplishment.
                            Agreed. I should know. I didn't make the cut myself.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Enlisted to West Point?

                              Thank you for the responses. I have started my regular application to West Point but I feel my grades are at the minimum they should be. For instance I have a 3.3 GPA and I received a 1580 on my SAT's (all three sections). I have considered that I may not earn a spot at West Point. But if I do not attend West Point I hope that I could compete for an ROTC scholarship elsewhere with the National Guards help.
                              Last edited by Dgreen92; May 27th, 2009, 04:19 PM.

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