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Author Topic: Air Force Academy Interview - Uniform, or No Uniform?  (Read 3621 times)
TheSkyHornet
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« on: September 28, 2018, 08:23:08 PM »

I have a cadet who is applying to the Air Force Academy, and in so doing, has been selected by her U.S. Senator to have an interview with a review panel (consisting of prior service Air Force reviewers) to nominate her to the Academy.

Both of her parents are prior service Air Force enlisted. She wants to know if Class As would be appropriate --- mom says to wear Class As; dad says he sees it pretentious and recommends that she doesn't: "They know you're interested in the military. [Wearing a uniform] comes across as [trying to get] attention, but not good attention."

So, she asked me. And I said I wanted to get some additional opinions.

Her basis that, as a senior cadet officer, she is using Civil Air Patrol as her leadership development for preparation in pursuing military officership with her academic development through her time in private preparatory high school.

Looking for some suggestions for a 17-year-old who has wanted this more than anything in her life, and has worked extremely hard at it for all her teenage years, and is very excited now that she received that "moving on to the next phase" email...but wants to make the proper impression without 'screwing it up.'

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abdsp51
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2018, 08:57:20 PM »

No uniform.  If she has the selection from her senator then the Academy folks doing the interview know she's in CAP.
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jeders
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2018, 09:52:09 PM »

Definitely no uniform.
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MSG Mac
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2018, 10:07:02 PM »

I agree with No Uniform, but if she insists, have her talk to the AF Academy Liaison Officer in her area. 
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Michael P. McEleney
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PHall
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2018, 11:16:59 PM »

No uniform. They already know she's in CAP.
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OldGuy
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2018, 03:00:55 AM »

BTDT - No uniform. Period.
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EMT-83
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2018, 12:55:55 PM »

Specifically, how would the cadet be representing Civil Air Patrol during that interview?
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Mitchell 1969
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2018, 11:55:23 PM »

Other applicants will have other impressive things about themselves, but nobody wants them to walk into the interview wearing a football helmet, playing a trombone or pouring liquids back and forth from and to beakers.

The cadet isn't there to represent CAP, but to represent herself. She should look like herself.
 
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2018, 10:21:41 PM »

Thanks, guys. Really appreciate the feedback. I'll pass along the guidance.

And THIS is what I love about CAP Talk.  :clap:
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OldGuy
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2018, 01:03:42 AM »

See https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/nomination-interviews-what-to-expect.51823/ for more tips.

Good luck to your cadet.

(And congrats to you and your team - good job!)
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2018, 07:46:44 PM »

See https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/nomination-interviews-what-to-expect.51823/ for more tips.

Good luck to your cadet.

I did come across that. It's an interesting read.

For follow-up:
Dad talked to some pals of his from the USN Academy. They said wear the CAP uniform. So the Navy says "yes;" the Air Force suggests no. Interesting perspective.

Anyway, I did pass it along to her. She said "Who did you ask?" I explained the fine folks on CAP Talk. My end point was that whatever she chooses to wear, she needs to be prepared to explain her logic. If they ask her why she decided to wear her uniform, be prepared to defend it. If they ask why she chose not to wear her uniform, defend it. Whatever decision you make, you own.

But anyway, again, thanks for the help.

Quote
(And congrats to you and your team - good job!)

Psh. Ain't my doing.  ;D
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goblin
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« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2018, 11:10:04 PM »

I wore it for mine and got the nod for USAFA. Just a data point.


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Terry W.
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2018, 10:08:40 AM »

Other applicants will have other impressive things about themselves, but nobody wants them to walk into the interview wearing a football helmet, playing a trombone or pouring liquids back and forth from and to beakers.

The cadet isn't there to represent CAP, but to represent herself. She should look like herself.
 

I find that to be an interesting comment. Does the USAF recognize advance grade/ promotions for football or playing the trombone like they do service in CAP or earning the Mitchell Award? I would think that it would only benefit the Cadet to wear their dress uniform as it would display a higher level of professionalism. Along with representing the Civil Air Patrol, I would think the uniform would also represent the United States Air Force Auxiliary and the commitment to being part of the total force. I know with JROTC, we consistently have Cadets conduct interviews in uniform and the feedback we have received from all branches is that it is the way to go.
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Mitchell 1969
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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2018, 10:18:06 AM »

Other applicants will have other impressive things about themselves, but nobody wants them to walk into the interview wearing a football helmet, playing a trombone or pouring liquids back and forth from and to beakers.

The cadet isn't there to represent CAP, but to represent herself. She should look like herself.
 

I find that to be an interesting comment. Does the USAF recognize advance grade/ promotions for football or playing the trombone like they do service in CAP or earning the Mitchell Award? I would think that it would only benefit the Cadet to wear their dress uniform as it would display a higher level of professionalism. Along with representing the Civil Air Patrol, I would think the uniform would also represent the United States Air Force Auxiliary and the commitment to being part of the total force. I know with JROTC, we consistently have Cadets conduct interviews in uniform and the feedback we have received from all branches is that it is the way to go.


Or....”I’m applying for a free college education and a great career, but I’m going to wear this blue suit because I can stretch it into me actually representing CAP, even though CAP doesn’t know it.”

The easiest and best fix for this is for NHQ to adopt a policy. It should be either OK or not OK on a consistent basis and not left up to local unit commanders or CAPTALK ruminations mixed with opinions from Navy people.


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Bernard J. Wilson, Major, CAP

Mitchell 1969; Earhart 1971; Eaker 1973. Cadet Flying Encampment, License, 1970. IACE New Zealand 1971; IACE Korea 1973.

CAP has been bery, bery good to me.
TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2018, 02:52:16 PM »

Along with representing the Civil Air Patrol, I would think the uniform would also represent the United States Air Force Auxiliary and the commitment to being part of the total force.

Okay, on this one---

Let's be careful with the "USAF Aux" and "Total Force" thing here.

You're a part of the Aux when performing an Air Force-assigned mission. Your parking detail fundraiser and monthly Character Development classes, et al, are not Air Force Auxiliary missions.
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Brad
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« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2018, 10:53:55 PM »

When I went for my US Naval Academy interview with a Blue & Gold officer, I was specifically instructed to wear my JROTC uniform. Granted I was seeking nomination & appointment specifically through the JROTC route, but still.
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Brad Lee
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« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2018, 11:14:24 PM »

Ask the person you will be meeting with what the appropriate dress is.
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Mitchell 1969
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2018, 02:56:26 AM »

Ask the person you will be meeting with what the appropriate dress is.

What? Ask somebody outside CAP to decide what a CAP cadet should wear?


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Bernard J. Wilson, Major, CAP

Mitchell 1969; Earhart 1971; Eaker 1973. Cadet Flying Encampment, License, 1970. IACE New Zealand 1971; IACE Korea 1973.

CAP has been bery, bery good to me.
Eclipse
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2018, 03:29:02 AM »

Ask the person you will be meeting with what the appropriate dress is.

What? Ask somebody outside CAP to decide what a CAP cadet should wear?

No.

Ask someone inside the Air Force Academy what an applicant to the Air Force Academy should wear.
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OldGuy
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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2018, 04:43:23 AM »

Ask the person you will be meeting with what the appropriate dress is.
Great advice.

(Back when I did my interview I was a JROTC C/Capt. and a CAP C/LTC. On advice I wore a suit and tie. I got the appointment.)

This was when Jimmy Carter was CinC.
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Mitchell 1969
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« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2018, 05:10:57 AM »

Ask the person you will be meeting with what the appropriate dress is.

What? Ask somebody outside CAP to decide what a CAP cadet should wear?

No.

Ask someone inside the Air Force Academy what an applicant to the Air Force Academy should wear.

But their recommendation to wear somebody else’s uniform would be gauche.

As I said before - in my opinion, the best solution would be for CAP NHQ. to issue guidelines as to the appropriateness of when and where to be garbed in a CAP uniform. USAFA doesn’t get a vote on that.


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Bernard J. Wilson, Major, CAP

Mitchell 1969; Earhart 1971; Eaker 1973. Cadet Flying Encampment, License, 1970. IACE New Zealand 1971; IACE Korea 1973.

CAP has been bery, bery good to me.
Spam
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« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2018, 08:14:59 AM »

OP, here's my suggestions*:

1/ Wear a conservative dark suit. Wear it in such a manner, with such erect bearing and behavior and with such military grooming and presence, that it becomes painfully obvious that you are an outstanding candidate for military service. 

2/ Couple that with a well put together resume of your CAP service, carefully noting all activities and honors. If you must, consider enclosing a sharp color head and shoulders pic of you with ribbons/decorations as evidence (grin).

3/ Present yourself for the interview as if you were going before a board of review. Customs and courtesies: knock at the door frame/pause, stand until invited to be seated, meet their eyes, address the center chairman, etc. You should know the drill already. The uniform of the CAP is not the uniform you want to be wearing.

Good luck - let us know how it turns out, ok?

V/r
Spam


* My suggestions are based on working with over two dozen successful USMA/USNA/USAFA/USCGA applicants, plus my own experience years ago in wearing a suit for a Navy commissioning interview, where  was the only one in the hall of applicants (all in suits, btw, including prior service enlisted) who called them to order and to make a hole for the reviewing officers trying to pass (the officers paused and noted that, and mentioned it later and I ended up being asked out to lunch by them afterwards... lol).


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Eclipse
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« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2018, 02:16:38 PM »

Ask the person you will be meeting with what the appropriate dress is.

What? Ask somebody outside CAP to decide what a CAP cadet should wear?

No.

Ask someone inside the Air Force Academy what an applicant to the Air Force Academy should wear.

But their recommendation to wear somebody else’s uniform would be gauche.

As I said before - in my opinion, the best solution would be for CAP NHQ. to issue guidelines as to the appropriateness of when and where to be garbed in a CAP uniform. USAFA doesn’t get a vote on that.

Of course they do, both practically and philosophically, at least in regards to the negative.
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2018, 09:58:06 PM »

* My suggestions are based on working with over two dozen successful USMA/USNA/USAFA/USCGA applicants, plus my own experience years ago in wearing a suit for a Navy commissioning interview, where  was the only one in the hall of applicants (all in suits, btw, including prior service enlisted) who called them to order and to make a hole for the reviewing officers trying to pass (the officers paused and noted that, and mentioned it later and I ended up being asked out to lunch by them afterwards... lol).

Doesn't work that way anymore. Officer candidate interviews are done in the office like any other recruit. It really wasn't even an interview so much as answering the questionnaire. They were wearing civilian athletic clothing when I first went in, and their khakis or NWUs the other days (I think three sessions). Very informal. I asked what to wear ahead of time, to which I was told, "Whatever's comfortable; this isn't a review board." In fact, I never saw the review board. I shook the CDR's hand after swearing in, and that was about it.

But I get the point.
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  The Lobby  |  Topic: Air Force Academy Interview - Uniform, or No Uniform?
 


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