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WmHBonney
05-17-2010, 05:48
My son will be a freshman in college this fall and has been awarded an Army ROTC scholarship. Are there any ROTC grads here? Any tips? Would you do it again? Is the scholarship worth the commitment? (He has talked about serving in the military for the past several years so I suggested he try this route.)

LL6
05-25-2010, 17:46
I'll comment since no one has in a week.

I'm not a ROTC grad, but a friend of the family just graduated from the Citadel. He is going to be an Ordnance Officer and I think he is going to Ft Lee for school. His first duty assignment is supposed to be Ft Stewart.

The couple of times I have talked with him it brought up strong memories of when I was in. If I could do it all over again I would. The training and the experience the military brings are beyond what a typical civilian is exposed to.

So yeah it's worth it. :thumbsup:

The Wizard
06-11-2010, 11:39
I was an Army ROTC scholarship cadet from 1969 to 1973 at the University of Santa Clara. I signed the contact knowing then like now I would be heading to war (Nixon had other plans). Was it worth it? From my point of view YES. My only advice is that as with everything there is what you THINK it will be and then there is what is REALLY is.

MstrPara
06-29-2010, 05:20
Army ROTC grad, 1992.......still in.

I went in without a scholarship, but wound up with a 2 year in the end. Regardless of scholarship, once you contract, you'll be committed for some period of time......better to get school paid for up front!

Tips: If he's serious, he needs to get into shape and start competing for summer cycle school slots. Depending on his commissioned Branch, he may not get the opportunity again. Grades are also important........good GPA = Branch of choice. Average GPA (like mine) = needs of the Army!

And yes, I'd absolutely do it again! Best of luck to your son. Hope he enjoys the program!

CPT_CRUNCH
07-21-2010, 03:56
i'm a rotc grad... michigan state university, commissioned in 2002 and still serving!

i didn't get the scholarship up front but uncle sam kicked in later.

YES, i'd do it again! its a great way to get your commission and get that true college experience. as previously mentioned, tell him to get in shape ASAP. his battalion will have a pt program, but he'll should want to do more. also, if he's being offered a 4 year scholarship up front then his grades sound pretty good. he needs to keep that scholastic focus throughout college b/c (also previously mentioned) it will help him get his branch of choice.

MP Officer 815
07-29-2010, 23:03
I'm a brand new commissionee, into the USAR. I have mixed feelings about my experience. Part of it is my own fault, and I accept and acknowledge it. Part of it is also being mislead by my recruiter. I agree with whoever said that he should work on his PT and his grades. I contracted after I transferred from a community college, and my grades weren't that good, which is why I'm in the USAR and not Active component. GPA is 40% of your accessions ranking, and PT is maybe another 15%, between your MSIII year record APFTs and your LDAC APFT. LandNav is the last big thing. If you have good grades (3.5+), a 270+ APFT, can do NLN at Ft Lewis, and write a halfway decent OpOrder, you will be successful in ROTC. If you have a 3.0 GPA, 250 APFT, and suck at LandNav and OpOrds, well then you're in the middle of the pack and may get a branch you don't want or a non-Active component.
The last piece of wisdom goes with branching: There are NO bad branches in the Army. Some branches are a better fit for an individual than others, but one thing followup polling has found is that most officers and Soldiers enjoy their branch after they get to it, even if they wanted to be an IN officer and wound up in Transpo. MI, AV, IN, AR, FA, and EN are the most popular branches, but there is success to be found in others. If your son does decide to become a cadet, encourage him to look beyond those and examine something they might not ordinarily choose.

MstrPara
07-30-2010, 06:06
I'm a brand new commissionee, into the USAR. I have mixed feelings about my experience. Part of it is my own fault, and I accept and acknowledge it. Part of it is also being mislead by my recruiter. I agree with whoever said that he should work on his PT and his grades. I contracted after I transferred from a community college, and my grades weren't that good, which is why I'm in the USAR and not Active component. GPA is 40% of your accessions ranking, and PT is maybe another 15%, between your MSIII year record APFTs and your LDAC APFT. LandNav is the last big thing. If you have good grades (3.5+), a 270+ APFT, can do NLN at Ft Lewis, and write a halfway decent OpOrder, you will be successful in ROTC. If you have a 3.0 GPA, 250 APFT, and suck at LandNav and OpOrds, well then you're in the middle of the pack and may get a branch you don't want or a non-Active component.
The last piece of wisdom goes with branching: There are NO bad branches in the Army. Some branches are a better fit for an individual than others, but one thing followup polling has found is that most officers and Soldiers enjoy their branch after they get to it, even if they wanted to be an IN officer and wound up in Transpo. MI, AV, IN, AR, FA, and EN are the most popular branches, but there is success to be found in others. If your son does decide to become a cadet, encourage him to look beyond those and examine something they might not ordinarily choose.

All good advice, especially from a newly commissioned officer (things change over the years).

Regarding Branch 'choices', again I agree based on personal experience. I was a 'branch detailed' officer, due mainly to my crappy GPA :). I got to spend four incredibly rewarding years as an infantry officer in an airborne infantry BN. Absoultely loved it. Then I was dragged kicking and screaming into the Quartermaster Corps......the lowest speed branch in the Army (so I thought at the time). Transition for me was tough, seriously considered getting out, etc. Then I discovered that it wasn't what I'd thought. Work was challenging, rewarding, and kinda, dare I say this.......fun. I found "high speed" jobs in airborne and special operations units for the next decade, travelled the world, and met and worked with some great folks.

And the best part is......logistics is logistics, civilian or military. Makes for a very marketable resume when its time to hang it up!

MP Officer 815
07-30-2010, 10:30
Haha, I love that last part. Most of the "sexy" branches don't have civilian applications. Aviation, Engineers, and, to a lesser extent, MI, are really the only super popular branches with civilian equivalents. Say you get out after 4-6 years. Imagine the job interviews you'll get. "Ok, you served as an Army officer. Very impressive. What did you do there?"
"My last assignment was as an Infantry Company Commander. I was in charge of 120 Infantrymen."
"Really? What was a big accomplishment in that role?" "I lead my company as they captured a city in Afghanistan. We destroyed numerous enemy fixed positions and denied the enemy avenues of approach using deliberate and hasty ambushes."
"That's all well and good, but can you run a fax machine?"

But the Transpo guy is going to get out and start as a middle executive at FedEx or a major shipping firm.

We can't all be at the sharp end. Then we'd just be a spear with no shaft...

nothing
07-31-2010, 07:29
I graduated w/scholarship from University of Southern MS in 2004. At the time, like MP Officer, I had mixed feelings about it. I really didn't feel like I was trained and ready. I immediately went to IOBC and then caught up with my unit in Iraq, still feeling very unprepared for what I was about to do.

The good news is everything seemed to fall in place when I got my platoon. I realized that I really didn't know anything (this is a great revelation for a 2nd LT) and I had the best NCO's that you could ever ask for. They took care of me. Every mission I planned they were there helping me. After a while they let go of the reins and amazingly enough I didn't fall on my ass.

Getting branched can be a role of the dice. Even if you do everything right you might not get what you want since they don't want all the good cadets going to one branch. With that said he should really put some thought into his top 4 branches.

Looking back, I'm glad I went through ROTC. Utilizing the SMP program will give him some real experience and some extra cash. I really wouldn't change a thing.

MstrPara
08-02-2010, 01:14
Haha, I love that last part. Most of the "sexy" branches don't have civilian applications. Aviation, Engineers, and, to a lesser extent, MI, are really the only super popular branches with civilian equivalents. Say you get out after 4-6 years. Imagine the job interviews you'll get. "Ok, you served as an Army officer. Very impressive. What did you do there?"
"My last assignment was as an Infantry Company Commander. I was in charge of 120 Infantrymen."
"Really? What was a big accomplishment in that role?" "I lead my company as they captured a city in Afghanistan. We destroyed numerous enemy fixed positions and denied the enemy avenues of approach using deliberate and hasty ambushes."
"That's all well and good, but can you run a fax machine?"

But the Transpo guy is going to get out and start as a middle executive at FedEx or a major shipping firm.

We can't all be at the sharp end. Then we'd just be a spear with no shaft...

I'd argue that ALL branches have some type of civilian application, particularly if you have a lot of leadership and organizational experience. However, some of the softer branches, logistics / medical, etc are much easier to explain to a potential civilian company. If I can say that as a logistician, I was responsible for X # of warehouses, with X lines of stock valued at X $, there's no 'translation' required.....companies get that, same terminology. It gets a bit harder trying to translate the whole infantry company commander bit you mentioned above.

A LOT of former mil guys spend quite a bit of time adapting their resumes to read 'civilian' to be competitive.

nothing
08-02-2010, 19:29
I'd argue that ALL branches have some type of civilian application, particularly if you have a lot of leadership and organizational experience. However, some of the softer branches, logistics / medical, etc are much easier to explain to a potential civilian company. If I can say that as a logistician, I was responsible for X # of warehouses, with X lines of stock valued at X $, there's no 'translation' required.....companies get that, same terminology. It gets a bit harder trying to translate the whole infantry company commander bit you mentioned above.

A LOT of former mil guys spend quite a bit of time adapting their resumes to read 'civilian' to be competitive.

I think we're a jack of all trades, planning, logistics, human resources, security, engineering, bilateral negotiations, contracting, maintenance, financial and marital counseling, judge, jury, lawyer to name a few.