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Joining the military vs. military academy - June 13th 2010, 03:29 AM

When I was younger, I watched "The Guardian" and thought that the Coast Guard was awesome. Fast forward about 5 years: I still think the Coast Guard is amazing, and I deeply respect all the work they do.

Without getting too personal or political, I really feel like I'm being called to serve my country. I'll be a senior in high school this year so I'm looking at colleges. Obviously, the Coast Guard Academy has caught my eye.

First of all, I don't even know if I can get in. They have a 15% acceptance rate. I'll graduate with track, XC, and swimming competition. I compete in triathlons. I'm in the top 10% of my class. I'm very physically fit. I work as a lifeguard (I love it, and try to get as many hours as possible just because I love it so much). But, there's still that 15% acceptance rate.

Second, I don't know if I necessarily want to go the Coast Guard Academy route. I know I want to get some kind of college education, but not necessarily what the Academy offers. They have a marine biology program, which is somewhat close to what I'm interested in. But, I'd rather study biology from an "health science" or "human performance" perspective. I could easily get a BS in Biology or Sports Medicine from a university and then enroll in the Coast Guard. I don't know WHAT I want to do there- working as a medic, or researching human performance in rescue or treatment is definitely ideal. But, active duty doesn't sound so bad either. As a lifeguard (and I've done rescues), I have to say that I truly believe that I can help save lives.

So, does anyone have any info on what the Academy would be like? Life after the Academy? Enrolling in a university and then enlisting in the coast guard?
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Re: Joining the military vs. military academy - June 13th 2010, 06:48 PM

I do know that if you join the service they will help pay for the college education. If you join the reserves you could even do the training while still going to school.

Now I do not know you but that sounds like something you may wish to look into.
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Re: Joining the military vs. military academy - June 14th 2010, 03:08 AM

Okay, I'm going to apply to the Coast Guard Academy next year, no question about that. If I get in, then I'll re-evaluate what I REALLY want to do. If I don't get in, I'll attend a university, get my degrees, re-evaluate and then see if I want to join the coast guard.

Does anyone know about the process of joining the reserves?

And also, how do I tell my parents that I'm thinking of joining the coast guard? We've brought up military academies for my brother, but for me it's always been "private christian university" career. I don't know if my parents would support MY decision, especially with the coast guard because they've said it's extremely dangerous (and it is).
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