AD vs. Reserve & Other Questions

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Jcc123, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    My son is planning on doing ROTC in college, but unfortunately decided too late to apply for a scholarship. The ROO at his school says he would have been competitive (3.9 GPA, 34 ACT, national-level athlete) for a 4-year scholarship, but now we're looking at what options are left for him.

    This fall will be his first year of college, but he will enter with 32 hours of credit from AP classes. Technically he will be a sophomore, but has registered for the MS1 and PT classes. Theoretically he should be able to graduate in 3 years. The ROO is telling him he will skip his MSII year, go to LTC next summer and be an MSIII his 2nd year....

    As of right now, my son's future plans include medical school. As someone who also began college premed and changed my mind, I understand that may or may not be the case for him later on.

    His ROO says he could apply now for a GRFD scholarship for fall and still get it, or he can some to campus and they will likely be able to award him a 2 or 3-year scholarship .

    My question is this - right now my son thinks the GRFD scholarship is his best option as he thinks he'd like to be a civilian Dr. and an officer in the Reserves. I feel he should keep his options open for a potential AD slot should his plans change over the next couple of years. He is, after all, 17.

    I have read a lot on this board about the "cut-off" for an AD slot. What if you're above the cut-off, not on a GRFD scholarship, but decide you want to commission in the guard/reserves? Is it possible to accept a regular scholarship and still request/receive a reserve commission? Or should he go with the GRFD and eliminate any chance of going AD if his career plans change?

    He meets with the ROO Tuesday to fill out some paperwork, and we'd kind of like to have a potential plan before then.

    Sorry this rambled a little bit - Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    You can accept a regular scholarship and still decide to swith to Reserves or National Guard.

    One thing to think about, if you compete for active duty you are not guarenteed your branch unless you are in the top 10% of the National AD OML. The National Guard and reserves can also have more options available.

    My son is a 3rd year cadet in ROTC, on of his classmates wanted to branch Aviation, one of the hardest branches to get. He knew he would not be in the top 10% and his chance of getting an AD Aviation slop was slim to none. He applied through the National Guard and received an Aviation slot and will become a pilot. He made the swith from AD to National Guard in his 3rd year.

    Pre Med is a difficult path to take, add into that the sometimes hectic ROTC requirements and it can challenging. College GPA is 40% of your AD OML standing. On the other hand, if you go National Guard from the start you will be required to drill one weekend a month which can be tough on an already busy schedule for pre med.

    Make sure you talk with the PMS and your son discusses his plans regarding pre med and medical school. There are optins when it comes to medical school and the Army and some requirements they can explain better.
     
  3. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    According the the PMS I spoke with yesterday, the difficulty in four years will be going Active Duty. Reserves is the catch-all. If you prefer reserves, his exact statement to us was "if you choose Reserves, you'll get it for sure". The PMS was referring to the Branching selections in in the Sr. year at college.
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    We have had that same discussions with my older son's PMS. As he put it there will be a lot of factors that will play into the amount of active duty slots available in the comming years.

    A lot will depend on the state of our economy and whether those cadets that commissioned last year will dive after 4 years to enter the civilian work force. A lot of officers decided to stay in the military during the economic turndown, those that did decide to stay will be comming up on their release dates over the next few years. If the economy turns around we will see a far greater number of these officers decide to leave creating more openings for junior officers to move up in rank. This could in turn require a higher number of AD commissions to meet the need.

    Of course we could still be in a slow economy which will mean fewer officers voluneering to leave, some may be the victim of a future RIFF, only time will tell.

    Add into all this the current affairs around the world, will we be completely out of Iraq or Afganistan?, to listen to the senior officers talk that situation is cloudy at best.

    The only thing our new cadets can do is pick a path they want and work hard to achieve it, the rest will be out of their control. Back in the 90's a large majority of cadets were sent to the reserves. They will know by the end of their sophomore year how they stand, if AD does not look good they will have time to plan for a civilian career.

    The new cadets that will start school this Fall will have their AD cutoff line drawn in about 3 yrs and 4 months from now. So hit the books and work out a lot, oh yeah and Run Run Run.
     
  5. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Could you clarify this line a little bit for me? Is he saying he wants to be a civilian doctor and say an infantryman in the Reserves or is it that he wants to be a civilian and reserve/guard doctor?

    Thanks! I may have some words of caution/advice/trepidation depending on the meaning of that.
     
  6. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Thanks for the insight, everyone.

    KP1000 to address your question - he's really not certain. There are no medical reserve/guard units near us, although there may be one near his med school if he doesn't get into the med school @ his undergrad. Since the unit locator has been removed from GoArmy.com, it's kind of hard to check potential units.

    Can you share your thoughts? He's so early in the thought process that everything is still on the table at this point.
     
  7. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    My thoughts are that the plan has a few issues that could be major roadblocks.

    The first is that going to medical school and being in the reserves/guard are almost mutually exclusive (unless you are doing one of the guard medical school programs - of which I know next to nothing unfortunately). The reason for this is that there simply is not enough time in the year to do drills and training. The first two years of medical school could be "doable" as they are almost 100% classroom work. Even that though would be tough as giving up a weekend of studying a regular basis wouldn't be ideal. The 3rd/4th yr of medical school would be nearly impossible to do any drills/training given that you are in the hospital at least six days a week and get maybe two weeks total of "vacation" time those years.

    2nd issue is after graduation from medical school. If you are trying to do the "civilian doctor and regular officer in the guard/reserves" it would be impossible to do any training/drills for at least 3 years while you completed your residency (up to 7yrs if you wanted to be a neurosurgeon). Then after you are a specialty trained doctor the issue would be activations. You cannot sustain a solo practice if you are activated and if you are in a group setting then you greatly hurt the group when you leave for extended times (decreased income, increased workload, etc).

    The way to make this work (or rather the most sane way) would be to skip the ROTC scholarship if finances allow it. This then gives you the most flexibility when applying to medical school. It opens up a few other programs such as the Guard one I mention above as well as one known as HSCP (you are an E6 for medical school gaining time towards retirement, etc and then superseded to O3 at graduation...this is very much an "unknown" program that you have to find the "right people" to get much info about. The HPSP (scholarship at civilian school) and USUHS (military medical school) are still options as well.

    By staying away from ROTC (since it appears only a 3yr option is available at this point anyway) you avoid any issues with the limited slots for medical school as well.

    Anyway, many moons are yet to pass before a decision is made, just some additional information to chew on.
     
  8. chickenleg0423

    chickenleg0423 New Member

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    Hi Jcleppe,

    I'll be going to UNCC on an ROTC scholarship this fall and I have a question.
    Could you elaborate on the AD OML list? What are the criteria? I tried looking it up but there seems to be some changes for 2011. Any info would be greatly appreciated!!!
     

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