AROTC and OCS/PLC - Best chance for Active Duty?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by AROTC-dad, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    So DS is a freshman away at college at a large state university and is in the middle of his first week. He is participating in AROTC (non-scholarship). He then receives a call from a USMC recruiter (not local) asking him if he would be interested in participating in OCS (he didn't use the word PLC during the call according to DS). The recruiter said that he could still participate in AROTC and do OCS in the summer. (I presume the caller meant PLC as my understanding is OCS is post graduate only).

    So now DS is supposed to be getting a call from the local USMC OSO in the next week or so. DS is confused about whether it is prudent to pursue both paths and determine which gives him an AD contract.

    His main goal is to be an infantry officer/active duty. He leans towards the marines but there is no NROTC at his college, which is why he proceeded with AROTC. Money for college is a non-issue as he has academic scholarships plus we have funds set aside.

    Is it possible to do both AROTC during the year, and Marine OCS in the summers (and carry 19 units)? Is it ethical?

    Given the reductions in forces, which path truly gives him the best chance of AD?

    Advice is appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  2. rocatlin

    rocatlin Member

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    Unless something has changed, the various Marine Corps paths lead to active duty. I have heard that some are offered reserve (I met a reserve 2nd Lt), but that was the exception and not the rule.

    The OSO (Officer Selection Officer) would be able to give more details.
     
  3. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Agree with rocatlin as usual. Commissioning as a Marine Corps Officer leads to active duty. I have to believe the caller was referring to PLC and not OCS. Very different programs as you note.

    As I understand it, PLC has both "contracted" and "non-contracted" which I believe directly correlates to ROTC standings. PLC training in quantico is covered by two summer sessions of 6 weeks each, or one 10 week session. I don't know if it is universally true, but the PLC unit in our area had PT 3 times per week - same as ROTC. So I think doing both ARMY ROTC and Marine PLC could be too much given a 19 credit semester.

    The Army (as I understand it) allows for some manipulation of a cadet's chances of earning a particular MOS and AD if the cadet agrees to additional time requirements. Someone from the AROTC can share details on that. Marine Officers don't learn their MOS until late in their six-month TBS school year (after commissioning and graduation).

    I have to admit I am a little suspect by the unsolicited phone call and inquiry. There are a lot of permutations in your DS' scenario - its best to tread lightly until he finds out more details about both branches and the commissioning process.
     
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  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    As long as he completes all the requirements of PLC he will be guaranteed active duty on the USMC side. He would not know his MOS until about 1/2 way thru TBS.
     
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  5. nofodad

    nofodad Member

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    As a non contracted cadet is he willing to turn down a campus scholarship if offered? Along with the stipend and $ for books CULP etc? Keep in mind as other posters have mentioned it's not unusual for the plans of an 18-19 year old college student to "evolve" over time after exposure to military life. I think Thompson (I believe he's a rising MSIII) mentioned in a recent post that he entered college all gung ho for AD and now is considering reserves and beginning a civilian career. I think as long as he's upfront with all those concerned I don't think it's unethical.
     
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  6. Wilco

    Wilco Member

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    It has been a long time and things have no doubt changed, but I distinctly remember raising my hand and taking first oath before heading off to PLC Jr. If that part of PLC has not changed that would seem to be a problem if he wants to contract with AROTC as a rising junior, or earlier if scholarship.

    Again long time, but in my time PLC and OCS were reserve commissions with initial active duty. Depending on your performance in first 4 years determined if you were augmented to regular active, or left for the reserves, or got out. There were some outstanding candidates were augmented into active duty commissions.
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I think your DS will be OK exploring both until he is offered and accepts a contract with either service. He should talk to the OSO about skipping PT or determining the minimum number of PTs he must attend. Since PLC folks may be hours away from a recruiting station it seems to me like allowing folks to PT "on their own" is something they would already be addressing. I'm sure he will have to show up with the other poolees for Marine PFT on a periodic basis though.
     
  8. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Wilco: back in my (our?) day, Officers either had a "reserve" or a "regular" commission. Reserve commissions carried a service term (4 years for instance) while regular commissions were indefinite and had one had to request a resignation. As you noted, PLC and OCS came in with reserve commissions and ROTC/ USNA came in with regular commissions. This commission status had nothing to do with who was on active duty versus the reserves.

    I traded some posts with NavyHoops a while back and I believe EVERY Marine Officer begins with a "reserve" commission now.

    At least that is my understanding... I am sure someone will correct me if I have it all fouled up.
     
  9. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Kinnem can probably correct... But believe they still are all reserve and then they go before a career designation board (used to be called augmentation) at around the 3 year mark. Some years this number is high (95%ish) and others it is low (65% ish). Pilots are nearly automatic to pick this up. No way to know for your career group what that number will be. All you can do is your best and let the cards fall where they are.
     
  10. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    AROTC is somewhat similar. Everyone commissions with a reserve commission, but those going AD switch to a regular commission starting the day they go onto AD. My first oath was signed by the officer that swore me in on my commissioning day, the second by my battalion commander at BOLC.
     
  11. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Thanks everyone for the great gouge and advice...
    I will tell DS to stay focused on AROTC (and his studies) for now and wait until the OSO calls for more details. I emailed him this thread to help assure him that it is not a bad thing to have choices!

    The collective wisdom and experience of this forum just amazes me.
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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  13. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I don't see a problem with him participating in AROTC while looking into USMC options. He'll have to eventually choose one and this could allow him some exposure to each before making up his mind. There's also nothing wrong with signing on to PLC while still enrolled in the AROTC classes his first two years, as long as he isn't leading both sides on then burning a bridge at the last moment (I don't think that's the case). Making up his mind sooner rather than later might allow him to concentrate his efforts more, however.

    Also, if Army is something he does want to pursue, don't let the chance of not getting AD deter you. You control your position on the OML and if you want AD Infantry (or whatever branch) bad enough, a cadet can find a way to make that happen. Best of luck to him in whatever he chooses.
     
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  14. rocatlin

    rocatlin Member

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    http://www.mcrc.marines.mil/Portals/95/OP Documents/Mar 21 Files/MCRC Officer Commissioning Manual.pdf

    A quick skim of the first portions of chapter 3. Basic summary looks like once reporting to TBS, the commission is an active duty commission. It was a quick skim on my part, however, so I could have missed some fine print.

    Further skimming shows there is also an OCC Reserve program.

    In any event, the follow site is probably the best source of current information for the Marine Officer programs:

    http://www.mcrc.marines.mil/UnitHome/OfficerPrograms.aspx
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
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  15. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    You are correct on both accounts.

    Maybe I missed someone directly saying this - but at least on the Army side of the house (for ROTC), you have to COMPETE for active duty. And as Bull said, all that is based on, what used to be called the OML (Order of Merit List - USACC changed it over the summer ... still the same acronym, but different words). What makes up the OML (for now at least): GPA, ROTC standardized test, some grad school entrance exam, APFT, camp (LDAC --> CLC) evaluation, involvement with ROTC clubs, extracurricular activities, PMS evaluation ... and probably a few other minor things I forgot to mention.

    So basically, my point is - just because you pick a scholarship/contract, does not entitle you to an AD slot .... especially with the way things are going.

    Freshman year is a very interesting year, especially those wanting to join. Then you go throw in academics ... and just college life in general. Boy do things change haha. (Read: I'm getting old)

    Best of luck.
     
  16. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Rocatlin, you are correct. USMC you will go active duty unless specifically seeking a reserve commission through OCC.
     

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