AD after graduation

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by cajuncarrier, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    Hi all,

    I've searched the threads for answers to my questions but found most to be dated. So I'm not sure if the responses would be the same today. I'm confident that you all would have an answer to my question. Sorry if it was answered recently. It was mentioned in another thread but exact details weren't given.

    Could someone please explain what is meant by commissioning AD or Reserves? I know the commitment requirements for someone who accepts a 4 yr AROTC scholarship. However, I was under the impression that the cadet got to chose whether to go AD or reserves upon graduation. But reading posts lately, I don't think that is the case.

    So bottom line: I would like to know if going AD or reserves is the cadet's choice and his placement to some degree or if the Army totally decides where to place him without his input?

    Also, besides good GPA, APFT, and LDAC scores, is there anything he would need to address to improve his chances of getting the assignment he would like?
     
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The cadet gets to choose Active Duty or Reserves/National Guard, the caveat is that the cadet needs to be above the cutoff for Active duty to be able to select AD. The cadet can always choose Reserves/National Guard, there is not cutoff line for them.

    The PMS Evaluation is an important part of the puzzel as well. Be involved in the Battalion, do the EC's like Ranger Challenge, Color Guard, be active in school and leadership positions, play intramural sports, and do your community service. This will all be part of the Battalion Eval.
     
  3. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    Just wanted to double check - by "cutoff", this is based upon OML correct? Just like branching assignment?
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Yes

    There are two lists that come out after LDAC. The first is the National OML, this is where they list all the cadets based on their OMS number. This is also where the determine the DMG's (Top 20%) Distinguished Military Graduates.

    Cadet Command then sets a number for available Active Duty slots. At this point they take all those that have requested Reserve/National Guard as well as GRFD off the National list, they remove the nursing allocations at this time as well.

    Those still on the list are the cadets that have requested AD, CC then takes the number of slots they have allocated starting at #1. These are the cadets that will get AD, those that are below the allocated number for AD will be placed in Reserves/National Guard.

    That magic cutoff number everyone talks about will change from year to year based on how many AD slots are available. CC does not just pick a number and everyone above gets AD and everyone below gets Reserve/NG, it is based on the number od AD slots available.
     
  5. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    And whether you are on scholarship, 2,3, or 4 yr does not matter.
     
  6. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    If I recall correctly, in the past couple of years somewhere between 15% and 20% of those who requested AD fell below the cutoff line and were forced into Reserves.

    What this should tell you is that if you have at least an average college GPA, and put for the effort, if you want AD, you will likely get it. If you max out the APFT, you can even have a poor GPA and still get high enough on the OML to get AD.

    Off topic, but there isn't any particular reason why serving your country in a Reserve capacity is any less honorable or any less of a sacrifice than AD is. Lots of students go into ROTC wanting Reserves. If Reserves weren't critical to the country's defense, then we wouldn't have Reserves.
     
  7. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    :thumb:

    There are full time positions in the reserves also. You usually have to have some time in to get them though.

    I have a nephew that joined the guard out of high school. Got sent to Iraq after 2 yrs, came home and took a position on a college ROTC staff, became a guard recruiter, is now the full time supply sergeant for his unit and getting ready to deploy again next May, this time to Afghanistan.

    His first 2 yrs and his first deployment is the only time he hasn't been full-time with the reserves.
     
  8. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Check it out...The contract (Part 1 paragraph 4 DA form 597-3) doesn't stipulate that you get to choose. The contract stipulates that you agree to serve when you graduate. Ultimately it's up to the Army. If next year there aren't enough people asking for AD then someone is going AD that may not want to go AD. Currently if you are in the top 10% of the national OML you control your fate, but that may not be the case in 3-4 years. File this one under "something that is not in your control" and take care of the things that are in your control (or pass this advice on to your Cadet).
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Great point.

    I should have worded my post differently.
     
  10. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    WOW!!! Knew you guys could clear that up for me.

    DS WANTS to go AD... I just wanted some advice on how to guide him to meet that challenge. I didn't realize that it might not be a possibility to go AD once he graduated. I understood that they could decide for you if they needed more AD officers, but I didn't realize that he could be given reserves when he really wanted AD. Interesting....
     
  11. Bravo

    Bravo Member

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    There's also the special Active Duty provision for graduates of Senior Military Colleges (SMCs), per Title 10 of the US Code, Section 2111a (e) and (f):

     
  12. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    DS will be AROTC at LSU. He is still considering applying to West Point as well.
     
  13. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Tell him to keep his GPA in the 3.5 area and have a 290 plus APFT and he will be fairly safe with todays standards of getting AD as long as he get at least a S at LDAC.

    Of course all of this could change down the road, nobody can tell what the needs will be 4 years from now, but working to stay in this range is a good idea.
     
  14. cajuncarrier

    cajuncarrier Member

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    Thanks.... I'll pass on the info. The rest is up to him...
     
  15. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    As it stands now it is getting harder and harder for each new MS class to get AD as the OML cut off gets higher and higher, but as Clarkson said it is really up to the Army.

    I was talking to a contractor at LDAC today who said his commissioning class of 2004 had people denied when trying to switch from AD to reserves which is a total 180 from the situation today. As I have said many many times on here, getting AD isn't really hard if you are around average but always have a plan B which means don't major in general studies and hope for the best....IMHO too much emphasis is placed in GPA especially with such a variety of school/major difficulty out there but try to stay above a 3.1 or 3.2.
     
  16. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    You point out the variables that make it difficult to predict what it takes to get the commissioning path of preference (the choice ultimately is Uncle Sam's as earlier mentioned).

    Yes, it is quite clear that the OML scores necessary to have the choice (when there are more cadets wanting AD than AD slots available) have been steadily rising.

    The number of cadets commissioning for AD hasn't shrunk significantly if at all during this time either.

    Which brings me to ask is it that we are getting higher scores because our cadets are truly more qualified OR because cadets are figuring out ways to raise their scores because they are gaming the system?

    There are certain parts of the OML score that for better or worse are fixed - Battalion rank comes to mind here - there is only 1 #1 cadet (unlike valdictorians in HS).

    Other parts are clearly through the effort of the cadet - PT scores (at least theoretically - I hope cadre don't count push ups generously to enhance their cadets' AD chances).

    Other parts, though I wonder if with the word out the AD is harder to get, are being engineered to make cadets look better. GPA and ECs come to mind here. Downgrade to the easier major. Move tougher classes to the Senior year. Take a 5 hour/wk job to check a box. Play an intramural sport to check another.

    I don't mean to disrespect the hard-working cadets here who have put in the hard work to be top quality candidates, but one has to wonder whether the scoring system is steering the effort that enhances the score.

    Heck, we spend a lot of time here advising cadets on how to enhance their chances of AD... Maybe my recollection is bad, but when I came here 4 years ago, there wasn't as much information being passed around about the OML scoring system to the incoming classes.

    That being said, as a cadet, you cannot ignore that the rules are out there and the competition is based upon those rules. Everyone plays the game. Some just watch the scoreboard more carefully.
     
  17. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I know you asked this question of Aglahad but forgive me my .02 cents.

    Here is my unsubstantiated take on this.

    Back in 2007 and prior the economy was purring along like a well tuned Mustang (Yep I like Mustangs). Our two wars were still going strong and deployments were a given. Recruitment, even ROTC was tough, even a scholarship was not enough to convince some. ROTC Battalions were giving out scholarships to qualified applicants with a pulse.

    I am in no way saying the graduates from these classes are sub par officers today.

    Starting in 2008 the economy started sounding more like an old rusty Studebaker, the stock market tanked taking a lot of college savings with it. The prospects for jobs in the civilian market started looking bleak. All of a sudden that Army ROTC Scholarship and a chance at employment right out of college started to look very attractive to a wider section of the population.

    If you were to comb this forum back 5 or 6 years and look at the stats of those that received scholarships, you would probably see that they were lower then the stats of those being awarded today.

    I believe the pool of applicants has grown a lot over the past 4 or 5 years, bringing along with it more applicants with higher stats.

    These new cadets over the past few years having those higher stats have, in my opinion raised the bar in ROTC, resulting in higher GPA's. These same students are probably a bit more driven as a whole, they get involved in their school. My son was a Student Body Senator last year, he did it because it was interesting to him and he wanted to be involved (Political Science Major). The fact that it helps on his OMS was just an added benefit, but not the reason he ran for the position.

    These higher stats for applicants were not just in their academics, with more applicants to choose from CC could now look harder at athletics, this I'm sure resulted in higher APFT scores. The Average APFT for my older sons MS1 class in 2008 was around a 240. The average APFT for my younger son's MS1 class was a 304.

    When CC has a larger pool to select from they can be pickier, choose applicants with better academics and better athletic ability.

    All of this I feel is one of the reasons that bottom number on the AD OML has been rising while the number of cadets selected for AD have stayed close to the same.

    Add to all this that the max number used to be 101.5, it is now 102.5 since they are giving up to 1 point for engineerning and some STEM majors. I am sure this has raised the numbers a bit as well.

    For this past years graduates, they were not doomed by the subjective APFT grading at LDAC since the tests are now done by the NCO's. APFT scores at LDAC saw a jump last year, adding points to the OMS across the board.

    Well there is my nickles worth of opinion. I don't think there is any more gaming the system now then there has been, I just think there is a higher overall caliber of cadet. Now, if the economy keeps getting stronger and job opportunities rise for new college graduates, then we could very well see those numbers start to fall again.

    EDIT: Just an added note, younger son did not pick Political Science for an easy major, I advised him to at least do a BS. This kid really loves Politics. Only High School Freshman I know that picked Nixon's Autobiography as his reading selection for his term paper, read every president's after Nixon as well. His favorite to date were the books on Jefferson and Adams. His goal, a Masters in Economics and Law School, we'll see.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  18. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    Clarkson - when you mentioned "control your fate", are you referring to a cadet's preference regarding AD vs Reserve/NG, or preference of branching?
     
  19. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    He means both. If you finish in the top 10% of the AD OML you are guaranteed your branch of choice. If your in the top 10% of the National OML then, for right now at least, you will have the option of either AD or Reserve.
     
  20. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    Thanks for the clarification!
     

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