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Need Advise... Please

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    L3: Novice

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Ok guys, I am having trouble deciding between applying for an academy nomination from my Senators, Congressman, and Vice President between the Merchant Marine Academy and West Point.  Which do you think I should go for and why?



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    L3: Novice

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No idea buddy, hope you enjoy wherever you go. 



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So, as I said in game, my vote is with USMA. I think that either academy is a worthy pursuit, so it ultimately comes down to what kind of experience you want. 


From the USMA, you will get a commission. From the USMA, you will also get a security clearance (as all officers are required to have a SECRET clearance). This can help grease the skids for certain kinds of jobs in the civilian sector (should you ever leave the Army). I'm fairly sure that you don't get either a commission or clearance from the USMMA — I could be wrong on the clearance though. From the USMMA, you get certifications as a Deck hand or Engineer for powered ships.


When you're an officer, at some point you will be leading Soldiers. Most likely you'll first be a Platoon Leader, then move into an XO position (or staff at a higher HQ), then Company Commander. For many — myself included — Company Command is THE place to be. It's the most rewarding job, you are responsible for so much that it can be overwhelming. It's tough, but even having been out for 1.5 years now, in the civilian world I still draw upon the lessons I learned while in command.


Note: I did not go to the USMA. My commissioning source was through ROTC. I've known many USMA officers though, and most of them were excellent.


I can't speak as much about the Merchant Marines, so if someone else can shed some light on that, chime in.




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Best friend from high school went to West Point. Called me to pick him up at the airport before he even told his parents he dropped out. Said in the 4 weeks he was there, 2 cadets hung themselves over the pressure. The tear gas chamber training, firing 50 cal live rounds at the obstacle course, shoving him out of a helicopter because he hesitated repelling out of it..... but he said the constant yelling by instructors broke him. Now, he was all state linebacker and physically in top shape. Emotionally.... he had thin skin. Says he has no regrets about quitting.

Don't know much about MM.

Just thought I'd share in case it might be of use to you.