View Full Version : Question about Army ROTC
My son has just started ROTC in college. Here is my question: Assuming he goes the entire 4 years of college and completes the ROTC program, will he AUTOMATICALLY get a commission? Or do they just pick and choose from the ones who completed the program? In other words, if he were to graduate at the bottom of his class, would he still get a commission? (Hopefully, that won't happen!) Will he automatically get his choice if he wants to be active duty instead of reserves?
Kind of like the old joke:
Q: What do they call the guy who graduates at the bottom of his class in medical school?
Is ROTC the same way? Thanks, in advance.
If he completes all four years he will be commissioned upon graduation. By year 3 he must "contract" with ROTC to continue if he has not already done so. Years 1 and 2 can be completed without contracting and with no obligation to serve in the military.
If he wants to stay Reserve or National Guard he needs to get a Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (GRFD)contract and will have to participate in the Simultaneous Membership Program SMP program. This means he will drill with the National Guard or Reserves while participating in ROTC. If the unit gets activated he will not mobilize with them because completion of ROTC has priority.
He can be commissioned into the Reserves or National Guard if the Army decided it has too many Active Duty Commissions even if he wants active duty. It doesn't happen too often, but I have seen it happen to a couple of guys.
The Army will assign his branch although you do get to make up list of what you would like. Active Duty is hit and miss even if you do well. They do not want everyone that does well all in one branch. His major will have nothing to do with branch ie. being a chemistry major does not guarantee Chemical Corps (the fact that nobody wants Chemical Corps does ;) )
Even if he graduates bottom of the class he will probably be commissioned, as long as it isn't for silly stuff like AWOL, Felony, DUI etc. They will kick you out if you get a DUI so don't be stupid.
Lots of good info and lots of questions answered.
Thanks a lot!
He will be commissioned as long as he completes the program, unless there is some kind of disqualifying injury or illness.
Don't know if they still have it, but when I was in school they had the 'Simultaneous Participation Program', or SMP. Cadets could drill in a Reserve or Guard unit that accepted cadets, thus getting a little real world OJT in addition to the ROTC training. Cadets had no authority, but usually were slotted in vacant 2Lt positions, and treated like "sort-of Officers":supergrin: . It was especially helpful if you got into a unit that was the same as the branch you planned to request (Infantry, Armor, etc.) Our Col. was big on ROTC, and believed in throwing you to the wolves right off the bat. My 1st Sgt. was a WW2 combat vet (yes, he was still in the reserve!), and every bit as crusty as Lee Marvin in the Dirty Dozen.
Squaw Man Wolfer
My info is thirty years old, but probably still good.
Assuming your son meets requirements, he WILL be commissioned.
Whether he has the option or OBLIGATION to go active duty or not depends upon the supply and demand situation for second LTs four years hence. The military sees your son as a resource they have invested in, and if they donít activate him, they will certainly keep him on a list, at a minimum.
So we are talking crystal ball here.
Best guess, he will be required to do active service, but there are always a few ways out.
He can state preference as to branch, but this will be decided by a syphilitic drunken monkey throwing darts at a board. Sometimes they change out the monkey.
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