Army Life?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by usa19988, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. usa19988

    usa19988 New Member

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    I'm starting my first year of ROTC, but I realized that I really don't know anything about how the army operates. Would you be able to answer some of my questions?

    1. If I commission, and I am lucky enough to get infantry somewhere, do I spend 2 years at that duty station and then am shipped off somewhere else randomly?
    2. Do I get any choice in where I am shipped afterwards? Does everyone leave the place where they spend their first 2 years?
    3. If I post adso, do those additional 3 years count toward the GI bill or not? I've heard that they do, but I was wondering if anyone could point me to a piece of actual information that said that.
     
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    1. You will most likely spend at least 3 years at your first Duty Station once you complete branch training.
    2. You can request, but it's no guarantee you will get where you want.....needs of the Army
    3. Yes, if you ADSO for either branch or post, it will count toward the GI Bill.
     
  3. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    By focusing your efforts towards doing well in school and AROTC over the next three years you can substantially improve your chances of getting (1) Active Duty and (2) your choice of branch. Active Duty/Reserves and branch assignments are announced in November. You can go to school on the MS4s in your battalion who get their choice. Luck is certainly a part of it but not as large as you might think.

    If your branch is Infantry, one thing is sure. After you report, you will spend the first 7 months to a year at Fort Benning. Columbus, Georgia is damn hot in the summer, but otherwise not altogether horrible for a second lieutenant.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
  4. Wilco

    Wilco Member

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    Just to clarify OP 3rd point, if you are AROTC scholarship your initial service obligation time does not count towards qualifying service time for Post-9/11 GI Bill. But active service time after initial obligation time does count. See 10 U.S.C. 2107(b).
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
  5. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Except in certain circumstances you'll remain at your first post until you go to the career course and most likely stay within the same brigade. If you're infantry you'll probably stay in the same battalion the entire time.

    Feel free to shoot more questions, my schedule is finally starting to slow down
     
  6. usa19988

    usa19988 New Member

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    Wow this is really helpful, thanks. I appreciate it.

    I'm sorry to be dim, @-Bull- , but the career course is ~4 years post-commissioning, right? So if I were to post ADSO (in infantry), and get it, I'd remain at my post for those ~4 years and then go to the career course, after which I would return to my battalion, presumably on the same post? I'm getting that from your statement that infantry stay in the same battalion the entire time.
     
  7. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    No...after the career course you will most likely be assigned to a different unit on a different post. Bottom line is in the Army you should expect to move every three to four years and change jobs every two years.

    If you are looking for stability or predictability you won't find it in the Army and certainly not in the infantry

    I really hope you are asking these question to you Cadre. What you will find is each one of the has a unique story to tell about where the lived and what they did. No two will be alike.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
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  8. usa19988

    usa19988 New Member

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    I'll definitely ask them as well, for their two cents, but as year one is barely underway, I felt a little awkward asking. I appreciate the help @clarksonarmy .

    Another Q: I ask about post ADSO because I would like to remain near my family above all else (I'm sure many others feel similarly). They are a ~25 min drive away from schofield barracks in HI- is it possible to post ADSO with only 1 choice, not two? The form I found online gives two slots for choices. If I didn't get near my family, I don't mind where I am posted.
     
  9. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    In my mind ADSOing for a post is not a good idea. I understand wanting to be close to family, but remember that you are still going to spend about 1/2 of your obligation not at that post you just traded years of service for. If your priority is to stay close to family perhaps the guard or reserves is a better option. I would also bet a ton of people ADSO for Hawaii, so it's going to be a long shot any way you slice it.

    With regard to asking questions of your cadre...they are there to teach you and answer your questions. I want my Cadets to be asking a lot of questions. It shows they are interested and serious about becoming Army Officers.
     
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  10. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Clarkson is spot on as usual with his advice. You also have to figure that with branching Infantry, you'll spend your first year at Benning for BOLC and the other courses they'll send you to. Then yes, the roughly 3 years between BOLC and going to the career course you will spend at your first duty station.
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    OP,
    Realize as well that when you include your IBOLC and then Ranger School/Airborne, plus your time at your first Duty station, you will getting to the end of you're initial service obligation. You will most likely need to extend your obligation to attend the Career Course.
     
  12. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    This too. A lot of guys I work with that are not planning on staying in will not attend the career course, unless their commitment is over 4 years. They just ride out their time at their first duty station and then get out.
     
  13. usa19988

    usa19988 New Member

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    Ok. I think I get why ADSO for post is not a good idea. Just to double check though - would I be able to ADSO for one post, not giving two choices (as the form has slots for)? I understand that I'd possibly be foolish taking an extra 3 years for ~3 years near the family, but I'd be an absolute idiot to take an extra 3 years for ~3 years at my second choice somewhere else in the continental US.

    And I think I read something else elsewhere - how much does your OML factor into the Army giving you what you'd like? I have heard that top 10% get 1 of their top 3 branches and 1 of their top 3 duty stations. But do the very best, better even than that, get full pick, or is it all "needs of the army"? I thought I'd read somewhere on this forum that 'the top cadet in the nation will get aviation in Hawaii if he requests it.' I know it's ridiculous to think about, but I've got to aim for something! If I were the top in the nation (or around there with my OML), could I even expect to get infantry at schofield if I picked it? Trying to wrap my head around how the army works in this respect.

    Also, does attending schools/courses carry a service obligation? If I went to ranger or career course, does that tack on more time to serve? Does that go after my ADSO, or at the same time? I'm not worried about extra service, just want to get a full grasp of the conditions.
     
  14. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Yea, ADSO'ing for a duty station is not really that wise except if there's a specific unit you want to go to or you really want that duty station and don't mind the commitment. You will spend a lot of time away from the post most likely, atleast I have from mine. A lot of Cadets think they know if they'll stay for 20 years and that changes. It changes a lot for LT's as well.
     
  15. inSANEmom

    inSANEmom Member

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    I want to respond to the "how long will I be stationed somewhere" part of your question. Now, full disclosure... my husband's first duty assignment out of ROTC was almost 25 years ago... and he was branched Aviation... but that said...

    1992-1993 Fort Rucker, AL (1 year)
    1993-1996 Fort Cambell, KY (Just short of 3 years)
    1996-1997 Fort Rucker, AL (1 year)
    1997-1998 Korea (1 Year)
    1998-2000 Fort Bragg (2 years)
    2000-2001 Bosnia (10 months)
    2001-2003 Monterrey, CA (2 years)
    2003-2006 Fort Rucker, AL (3 years)
    2006-2009 Fort Eustis, VA (3 years)
    2009-2010 Iraq (1 year)
    2010-2014 Redstone Arsenal, AL (4 years)
    2014 to Present MacDill AFB (Just short of 3 years at retirement in 2017)

    My point is... by the time he had 6 years in, we had just moved to our 5th duty station and we didn't start to "stabilize" somewhere until after the 10 year point. During his 25 year career, he will have PCSd or deployed 12 times. (Complete family moves totaled 10.)

    Is this the experience of every officer? Nope. Does it happen to a lot of officers? Yep. The bottom line is that you cannot expect an accurate answer to that question because it is highly subjective and variable from person to person, job to job, and location to location. Plus, the state of the world at the time has a huge effect on PCSing, deployments, etc. We had everything "all planned out" many (MANY) times... only to have the Army tell us something very different. Definitely make plans and try as much as possible to control your military destiny (because sometimes it does work out!) but just know that you will have to be very flexible and assume that nothing will go as you expected (and that's not always a bad thing!).
     
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