Active Duty

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Libertykid, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. Libertykid

    Libertykid Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    6
    I have won the 4 year AROTC scholarship and will attend the Ohio State University. After reading several articles and posts on this forum my question is how to get assigned on active duty. How competitive is it now?
     
  2. k2rider

    k2rider Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    213
    The readers digest version of how it currently works is.....the Army has a "formula" that they use to give you a "score" on the "scoreboard (that they call the OML = Order Merit List) and depending on where you place and how many people are needed for Active Duty the year you graduate, they dole out assignments to graduating/commissioning cadets.

    You get certain number of OML "points" awarded by your official APFT score, your GPA (major has a little to do with this as well), your test scores at the Summer training classes you will be sent to, your Commanding officers recommendation as well as any extra-credit type activities you partake in (volunteering at school events, Honor Guard, CULP, etc...). In the end, you will be given a "score" and if you are in the Top 10% of your class, you will pretty much be guaranteed an Active Duty slot in the Branch (Infantry, Armor, Transportation, Ordinance, etc...) of your choice.

    **BUT**, keep in mind that in todays era of political correctness and not wanting to hurt anybody feelings, there are necessary "quotas" that need filled so nothing is cut and dry. By the time you graduate, I'm sure it will be MUCH worse that it is now. An example of what I mean....the OML scores were based on a high score of 100. My son had an OML of 58 and received an Active Duty slot but was branched to his 9th choice of assignments. He has a roommate that had an OML score of 49 and wanted to go Active Duty but was forced into the Reserves. Another young lad in their unit had an OML score of 45 and not only did he get an Active Duty slot, he received his FIRST CHOICE of branch as well Infantry which after Aviation is probably the hardest branch to get into.
     
    Libertykid likes this.
  3. AJC

    AJC Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    283
    One note regarding OML.
    "Hard" majors (engineering, STEM) get a few extra OML points. Might note be worth it if your GPA surfers because you are not up to the major. But if STEM is in your plans it gives you a very light bonus.
    As k2rider noted OML is not as straight forward as you may think. Lots have been written on the topic, you should do a search for threads here on the forum.
     
    Libertykid likes this.
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    842
    There have been a lot of changes over the past couple years in regard to the OML. The GPA is now only worth 25%, but other items have been added to make the over all Academic section worth 55%. These items include a point scale for your ADM (Major) of 2 or 4 points. There are now 3 standardized tests that you take at CLC that make up about 16%, there is a Command Interest section (Things like public speaking, published articles and such) that adds points.

    In the past CLC (Which used to be called LDAC) was evaluated and made up a significant number of points for your OML. CLC is no longer an evaluated course and does not effect your OML. This point total has been moved to the PMS Evals which make up a large percentage of the new OML.

    The point is that it's much harder to anticipate where you will be on the OML simply based on your GPA and APFT, although being high in both those will give you a good base to work from. With the new system of Evals and standardized testing you really won't know where you stand until the final points are tallied.

    One more thing that will effect branching once you have learned whether or not you make Active Duty, the the new test that is designed to see what branches you are best suited for.

    One thing to remember through all of this, what is happening now, what systems they are using, they can all change and be different by the time you are ready to go through accessions and branching. The best thing you can do is do your best with what you can control and keep up with the changes as they happen so you can better prepare as you move forward.
     
    Thompson, Wilco, NorwichDad and 4 others like this.
  5. nofodad

    nofodad Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    191
    This. This. 1000X this. The first year and a half all DS was taught was how to perform well at LDAC, then poof! LDAC no longer exists...and it's all different. My DS was part of a Guinea pig year first ones to go through CLC. Get good grades, participate, workout and score well on the APFTs. Take advantage of the opportunities CULP etc. to build your OML, your cadre will help. Set AD as a goal work at it each semester if you want it it cam happen.
     
  6. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    312
    Congratulations on the scholarship. Although the OML is a nationwide competition, recognize that you are also competing within the battalion for summer training slots such as Airborne School and Air Assault School. You will also need battalion recommendation to go to CULP. So, like it or not, you are also striving for favorable opinion of your cadre within a large battalion.

    Set a goal of getting A's in your classes and a 300 score on the APFT. This means not cutting class, getting your schoolwork done, and probably working out on your own in addition to the morning PT. You will need to prioritize your precious time and make sacrifices, including leaving the Xbox home and partying only on weekends. Here's a timesaving tip my son discovered. Instead of going to the laundromat to wash and dry your clothes, just spray them with fabreze, lots of it. This technique will also save time you might otherwise spend on a girlfriend.
     
    Wilco, NorwichDad, nofodad and 2 others like this.
  7. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,405
    Likes Received:
    1,045
    @EDelahanty..no amount of fabreze can impede the odor of DS's goal keeper gear. Excellent point however, on the financial advantages of repelling the GF.
     
  8. Libertykid

    Libertykid Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    6
    Thanks everyone! So it appears I will be very busy and will allocate some funds for febreeze. Any specific advice though for getting into a competitive branch? I was told infantry would be very competitive.
     
    NorwichDad likes this.
  9. WorkforJesus

    WorkforJesus Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    15
    As a current MS1 who hopes to branch combat arms I can attempt to give you some specific advice. First of all I strongly suggest you tryout and compete with your battalion's Ranger Challenge Team. My experinces from the team have been very beneficial and you will learn a lot more soft skills than you would learn not doing RC. Secondly take full advantage of the LLABS (Leadership Labs). Read the FMs (Army Field Manuals, they can be found online) concerning the subject matter you will be covering in lab, this will help grow your knowledge base and will make you stand out from your peers. Finally I cant stress enough how important GPA is, in my short time in AROTC I have seen many great cadets struggle because of problems with grades.
     
    AROTC-dad and NorwichDad like this.
  10. nofodad

    nofodad Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    191
    The same advice applies for branching. It's not complicated, it's great to be prepared but don't over think it.
     
    NorwichDad and EDelahanty like this.
  11. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    312
    Great advice. I second the suggestion about Ranger Challenge. After a lackluster MS1 year, my son joined his battalion's Ranger Challenge Team. It made a big difference in his ROTC career and helped him achieve his goals for active duty and choice of branch.

    More great advice. You won't be asked to name and rank your branch preferences for three years. Just do your best in the meantime.
     
    AROTC-dad and NorwichDad like this.
  12. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,275
    Likes Received:
    212
    There are many great responses above. A common theme I have seen on this forum over and over again in the last 8 years is "control what you can control and do not worry about what you can't." Pretty good advice for life in general.

    Focus on what is immediately in front of you as a freshman in college:

    Work hard on grades and strengthening yourself physically.
    Be a part of everything and everyone around you(make a lot of friends).
    Understand that bad things happen at 2 in the morning.
    Be careful with social media.
    Everyone does not need to know exactly what you are thinking.
    Bad attitude is contagious.
    Get through the first semester first and foremost.
    Association with drugs or people that use them is bad.
    Drinking underage is a very big problem. Don't do it at all.
    DUIs and failed drug tests end ROTC careers.
    Be happy or do something else.
    Be kind, generous and giving.

    Usually those who follow the above, in the end, who want, will get active duty. Focus on today and you will take care of tomorrow.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
    Thompson, nofodad, EDelahanty and 3 others like this.
  13. Thompson

    Thompson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    43
    Control what you can, not what you can't.

    Go into ROTC with a VERY open mind. If you've done JROTC, etc in HS, don't think you know it all - cause you don't.

    ... I wouldn't focus to much on FM's your first year - you definitely don't want to be "that guy." If you are going to look at specific manuals - you'll want to know AR 670-1 (Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia) and ADP (start with ADP, then move onto ADRP) 6-22 (Army Leadership - this will be much more meaningful than a couple of manuals that talks about super Hooah tactical movements).

    You want to set yourself apart? Being a leader - but more importantly, understanding how/why/what makes a good leader - is what separates you from your peers; not how much tactical knowledge you know. That will be astronomically more important for your leadership development than learning about tactics. Don't worry about tactics, you'll learn it soon enough, and it's not some super complex thing either.

    But if you insist on looking at some of those super Hooah stuff, the Ranger Handbook is a very nice place to start. Do yourself a favor though - if you do pick up a copy, try to get a small "pocket" edition of it (and by small I mean like a 6x9" copy that can fit in your ACU cargo pocket. It can/will come in handy when you go on FTX/LDX's. I use it from time to time as a quick reference. (You'll thank me later)

    Oh and while we're on it, please take the time to understand the form CCF 104-R (academic plan) ... people ALWAYS struggle with that. Junior year, people still struggle with it.....

    Listen to what everyone else as additionally mentioned. Basically, as long as you go in with an accepting attitude and not a "no, I'm right, you're wrong" attitude, it's hard to go wrong.

    Best of luck.
     
    NorwichDad likes this.
  14. tibreaker

    tibreaker Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    12
    I actually heard that they were getting ready to ramp up commissioning rates again. Or that atleast they were with the air force. Anybody think there is any truth to this?
     
    NorwichDad likes this.
  15. Thompson

    Thompson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    767
    Likes Received:
    43
    Pro tip: control the things you can, not the things you can't.

    Increasing or decreasing the commissioning rate should have no effect on you. In fact, personally, I wouldn't even be worried or care for that matter if it does increase or decrease. Why? Because you can't control that rate. What you can control, is your ability to do the best you can to get an EA slot.
     
    NorwichDad likes this.
  16. Ghaz

    Ghaz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2014
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    6
    Despite what people try to tell you, you do not need to be the ultimate stud cadet of the universe in order to get Active Duty. If you have a good GPA and PT score the rest will come with it. I was freaked out about making AD and ended up WAY over the AD cutoff. It still was a good way into scaring me to maintain my good grades. Anyways, just make sure you keep up your motivation. I only did 2 years of ROTC but a lot of my peers who did the full 4 years were studs their first two years then dropped off year 3 when things mattered.
     
    Thompson and NorwichDad like this.
  17. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,275
    Likes Received:
    212
    This is so true, the point is you also have to enjoy the ride through college. Nothing crazy but have some fun too. It makes you well rounded.
     
    Ghaz likes this.
  18. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,275
    Likes Received:
    212
    Very true, it seems to be changing again. A good economy will create the need for more officers.
     

Share This Page