a future in the military?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by pepepence, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. pepepence

    pepepence New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I've done some research but still need advice on whether or not I should do ROTC in college. I currently am a senior at a private school in the northeast, I have a 3.0 GPA and scored a 27 on the ACT. Classes at my school are rigorous, this explains my B average. Throughout my high school career I have been 1 year advanced in math (currently taking calculus), finished all 4 years of a foreign language, and am now taking 1 AP class. I have also remained extremely athletic throughout my high school career. I have participated in a sport every single season; including 4 years of cross country, 2 years of swimming, and 2 years of track & field.

    My main interests are technology, and medicine. I think I would enjoy the discipline, and teamwork that the military promotes. At the colleges that I have applied to both AROTC and AFROTC are offered. Being involved with planes and technology is exciting to me but on the other hand being a doctor and helping people is something I would enjoy as well. It is possible to follow a medical field in both branches but I am not sure as to which one I should choose. Would it be better to try AFROTC and see if I like it? It would be the safer option (which would please my parents) and has both the technology and medical options.

    I need some help deciding what I should do and am hoping you guys can help me out. To anyone that reads this and replies, thank you very much!

    P.S I am not in need of a scholarship so that is not a deciding factor
     
  2. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    1. Every branch has its risks

    2. Statistically the army has more options if you go the medical route.

    You will have to decide pre-med or pre-engineering/technology pretty early on in your college career.

    If a scholarship is not a deciding factor I would say army just because of the medical route...but I am biased. Usually AFROTC/NROTC are the harder branches to receive scholarships in because of numbers and specific degree/major allocations.

    I am sure a lot of others will respond with their thoughts.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Another question you need to ask yourself is - do you want to serve 4 or more years. Maybe its how I read it, but liking the teamwork and discipline is a far cry from wanting to be an officer and serve your country. Perhaps to do, but it didn't come across to me. I don't mean to sound harsh, but there is a commitment on the other end.

    If you do wish to serve then Aglahad offerred some good food for thought.
     
  4. pepepence

    pepepence New Member

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    Thank you both for the quick replies! I do want to serve my country, and realize that there is a commitment that I would have to fulfill. Is it possible that if I do study pre-med in college that I won't become a doctor in the military? From other resources I got the feeling that although you can give a preference, the military could still send you to a more combat related position if they wanted. I feel like I am being quite picky at the moment...
     
  5. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    It's very possible. Do you know how many freshman come into college wanting to be pre-med and end up communications the next semester (or slog through 4 years of a bio degree with a GPA not high enough to get into med school)? A LOT.

    For the army, you need to apply to get an ED (Education Delay) after you commission in order to go on to med school. These ED delays are often competitive. If you don't get into med school during an allotted time then you are re-branched into some other facet of the army whether it be logistics, admin or combat arms.

    It is a risk, but most decisions carry at least some risk. Military medicine and residencies are some of the finest in the nation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  6. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    A few things: Pre-med is not a major. Usually pre-med students major in Chemistry, Physics, Biochem, or some other natural sciences-heavy major. Pre-med is just a designator for those student who plan on going on to medical school.

    As per your second question: there is a chance that you may not go to Medical school. However, you do have somewhat of a say in your career choice and the magnitude of that "say" grows proportionally with your standing on the Order of Merit (OM) ranking. If you're high on the OM you'll probably get your first choice of career; if you're low you probably won't. And, actually, Infantry is a pretty desired branch so many people low on the OM who actually want it will not get it. They might end up transpo or chem officers (not that I'm bashing those branches though).
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I'll leave it to others to resins to the particulars. I just wanted to say you shouldn't feel your being too picky. You need to understand your options and odds, so ask away. Also there was a recent thread on this topic on one of these forums... You might want to search for it. It may have been on the USMA forum, so it might vary for ROTC.
     
  8. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I second the search feature. I feel as though I have replied to a few medical threads or at least seen a few during my time here. Good luck.
     
  9. pepepence

    pepepence New Member

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    If the medical field is extremely competitive that might not be my best bet. I had planned on studying business while in college and it seems like going after the medicine path will be a big load and that I can't do both.

    I'm starting to lean towards trying AFROTC in the future and seeing how it goes. Would it be possible to study business and an Air Force related major? That would seem easier than the medicine path + business.

    I'm glad that I've started to process this in my head before college, this is a lot to think about...
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am not positive of what you mean when you say an AF related major. There really is no AF related major, unless you are discussing maybe linguistics or engineering.

    Business would be a non-tech major. There are many jobs in the AF for business majors. Accounting, public relations, human resources, etc.

    I would suggest since scholarship is a non-player here, you take the time to investigate BOTH AROTC and AFROTC. The branches are sisters, but like family they are very different regarding their personalities and desires.

    AFROTC:
    1. SFT is a factor for commissioning.
    ~~~ Currently @55% attend. If you do not attend you do not pass GO and collect $200 dollars like Monopoly
    ~~~ You will be dis-enrolled regardless if you are on scholarship.

    2. Tech and Non-tech majors matter.

    3. You will go AD. There is no reservist or guard option.
    ~~~ The 4 yrs does not begin the day you commission, it begins the day you go AD.
    ~~~ If the career field (AFSC) has an additional pay back (UPT/CSO/ABM) it runs concurrent with the additional, but it won't start until you graduate from the school.
    ~ I.E. UPT is 10 yrs. You don't owe 4 + 10 yrs. However, if you start UPT 6 months after graduation, winged 12 months later, you owe actually 11 1/2 yrs (10 for being a pilot which occurred 18 months after your commissioning).

    Talk to AROTC and investigate. You have the time.

    Med-school is hard, but if your heart is truly in it, keep pushing forward. There are a lot of officers that in HS were not the best academically, but once they hit college it all clicked. Don't toss this away just quite yet because in 4 yrs from now, the Army and the AF will not care about HS gpa's and SATs. They are going to care about college gpa and GMAT.

    Investigate which branch you want. Just like siblings, there is no "better" one, they are both great, just different.
     
  11. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Agree!
    The branch you would prefer to serve in should probably be your first consideration. If you don't care which branch then figure out which one will give you the best opportunity to reach your goal. I would not be surprised if you learn that the army will give you a better opportunity but you need to do the research.
     
  12. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Med. school is pretty hard to get into. You're going to need UG GPA in excess of 3.5, with high MCAT scores, to even make it to the table. Your science GPA in the prerequisite courses needs to be equally high. DO programs (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) take scores that are a little lower, but you still need to be pretty high. I'm not saying that you won't get there, but I know far too many of my former high school and college classmates who started out wanting to be doctors. 15 years down the road, needless to say, most of them are not.

    If all you want to be is a physician, I would not do ROTC (especially if cost of college is no consideration). I would keep myself physically fit and bust my a$$ studying as an undergraduate. Then, as it came time to apply to med. schools and if I still had the desire, I'd apply for USUHS or HPSP. One of the mods (kp2001)is a Navy doctor and USMMA grad, so ask him for specific questions. He seems to be the resident expert on all things medical.

    Keep in mind other alternatives to MD/DO as well. I'd check out DDS/DMD as well as DPM programs. Obviously, teeth and feet would need to be respective interests, but it is good to consider options early.

    I would only do ROTC if you are 100% ok with serving as a line officer. If med school is what you want above all else, I think that participation in ROTC might be a distraction (which ultimately might not lead you to where you want to be).
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Edit, I forgot to say MCAT, placed GMAT in because he wants 2 different unique paths.

    In the military after ROTC you can apply for grad school, med school and law.

    You are 17, maybe 18, once in college and ROTC you may decide to take a completely different path.

    10,000% concur.

    Unless you are willing to do whatever they determine for your career field, you may want to re-think ROTC.

    Many kids at your age want to serve the country. That is very noble, but they get tunnel vision and believe the military is the only path without thinking of other options.

    There are many other ways to serve and make a difference in the world. You could work for the State Department as a linguist. You could work for the DOJ as an attorney. Homeland security in HR or Public Affairs. Etc., etc., etc.

    You should want to serve because you will be happy serving in any position the military determines.

    Right now the class of 12 are getting their assignments for non-rated. Rated got theirs about 2 weeks ago. Some cadets that wanted UPT got ABM or non-rated. Some of the non-rated that wanted Intel got SP.

    There was only one guarantee that every cadet for 12 got...you will serve in whatever position the AF decided for at least 4 yrs.

    You will be 26 on a good day when you can walk away even without a scholarship. 4 yrs as an SP when you wanted to be an A & F officer due to your business major in college is a long time.

    I am not implying or inferring you are unwilling to serve in any and every field. I am stating like sprog, if you are not willing to take what they give, even if it is the bad, maybe you should take this time and INVESTIGATE if you can have all of your dreams; serving the country and your career desires by taking a different path.

    You are very fortunate, the scholarship and cost of college are not factors. Your desire to serve our country is your factor. Take the time to ask yourself now would you only want to serve the country as an officer in the military? If that is your answer, you will do great in any ROTC program.
     

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