Which is better, USAFA or USNA? An unbiased observer weighs in

Having experience with both the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy, I often get asked which is better. Not a fair question and certainly not an easy one to answer. So I took a step behind the headlines and asked an unbiased source, the ChatGPT bot we’ve all been reading about. I simply asked, “which is better, the United States Air Force Academy or the United States Naval Academy?”

Despite all the controversy around some of the AI chatbot responses, I don’t think anyone will be surprised (or impressed) by ChatGPT’s answer to my question. Here it is:

It’s not appropriate to say that one academy is better than the other as both the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy have their unique strengths and advantages.

The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, offers a strong education in fields such as engineering, sciences, and technology. The academy also emphasizes physical fitness and leadership development.

On the other hand, the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, Maryland, focuses on developing students’ leadership skills, particularly in the context of naval operations. USNA offers a broad range of academic programs, including engineering, sciences, and humanities.

The choice between the two academies ultimately depends on the individual’s personal interests and career goals. If you’re interested in aviation and the Air Force, USAFA might be the better choice for you. If you have an interest in the Navy and maritime operations, USNA may be a better fit.

– ChatGPT

I’ve run a few other tests which I’ll share later but I thought it was a good first foray into the world of AI chatbots.

My favorite phrase in this one … It’s not appropriate to say that one academy is better than the other … are you kidding me? What else would academy parents talk about?

Most folks have a knee-jerk reaction when asked “which is better” or for a recommendation, whether it’s about restaurants, movies, books, or any other matter of things. What I’ve learned through years of journalism and a couple of decades in leadership positions is that the answer to such questions is usually best handled with another question.

Scroll through any Facebook group dedicated to any of the academies and you’ll run across a couple of “what’s the best restaurant” threads. The answer is always, “well, that depends,’ or “here’s my favorite (and why).” Vegans won’t like a steakhouse as much as I do and I really don’t care how well a chef prepares fish, chances are that menu isn’t going to make the top of my list.

And so it goes with the academies. Parents of kids at each academy are convinced their kid went to the best academy. And they are all correct. I continue to repeat it – your experience is the right experience … whichever academy you’re attached to, even if it’s multiple academies.

As for ChatGPT and its relatives, there’s still more to learn. Will it put folks like me or other writers out of commission? Only time will tell.

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