AROTC battalion size- pros or cons?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Roxymom, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Roxymom

    Roxymom Member

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    One of the ROOs on DS's college list suggested there were benefits to being a part of a smaller battalion. I was wondering if their any pros or cons of battalion size?

    DS was awarded scholarship. The visit to his first choice is upcoming- ERAU. The previous comments were from recruiting officer at in state university.

    Thanks
     
  2. khergan

    khergan Member

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    A smaller ROTC Bn has some definite advantages.

    In a smaller class, it will be easier to stand out. You will form closer connections with cadre and the PMS will have a better opportunity to form an opinion of the cadet.

    Smaller battalions also usually have more opportunities to take important leadership positions, whereas it's possible to completely miss out on them in larger battalions just due to scarcity of positions versus sheer number of cadets.

    Building relationships with cadre is probably the best part though. The PMS comments and ranking are HUGE on OML points, and the better a cadet knows and can demonstrate leadership to their PMS, the better off they will be. In a huge school you might be just a face in the crowd and getting high on that PMS OML would be much harder.
     
  3. Roxymom

    Roxymom Member

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    Hadn't thought about those points. Makes sense. I think I should have used the the word cadre. The battalion could encompass multiple campuses or schools?
     
  4. gojack

    gojack ....

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    Yes, and they frequently do.
    Here in Cincinnati, Xavier University Battalion includes;
    Xavier, Miami of Ohio, Northern Kentucky University, Thomas Moore College and the College of Mount Saint Joseph.
     
  5. Roxymom

    Roxymom Member

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    AROTC cadre or battalion size

    Are there pros or cons then if a battalion is more spread out physically (including multiple colleges or campuses) vs a large battalion which I think what ERAU is; including one other local college?
     
  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Your son would be in good shape if he is at the host school, this is where he'll have the best opportunity to build the relationship with the cadre.

    Both of my sons went to the same university and AROTC program. The school is a smaller public, 10,000 or so undergrads. The battalion is smaller, around 50 to 60 cadets total khergan's comments regarding battalion size.

    One other benefit to a smaller battalion is participation if FTX training. In some larger battalions the MS! and sometimes the MS2's do not get very many opportunities during FTX training. At my son's battalion the MS1's are learning OPORDS and have an opportunity to be a Team Leader during FTX and STX, larger battalions may not have that luxury.

    When it comes to counseling, it's always nice when the PMS and MstSgt knows all the cadets names and have time to spend with each cadet.

    I'm sure the larger battalions have systems in place to handle the large numbers, our only experience have been with the smaller battalion.

    I would have to echo
     
  7. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    The only time I've seen where a smaller unit is an issue is during MS3 year during STX and patrolling. It's hard to simulate a squad size STX or platoon size patrol when you don't have enough people to fill a squad or platoon. This can hinder a little bit for training purposes, but instructors find ways to work around these issues.
     
  8. Roxymom

    Roxymom Member

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    FTX and STX? I couldn't find in abbreviation list.
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Field Training Exercise
    Situational Training Exercise

    FTX is usually done over a weekend, starting Friday, ending Sunday.

    STX are usually done as a Lab either during the week or one day over a weekend.
     
  10. Roxymom

    Roxymom Member

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    Thanks!
     
  11. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    STX and Patrolling are how cadets are evaluated by their cadre and the cadre at LDAC. Different types of lanes are Movement to Contact, Knockout a Bunker, Ambush, Raid, Recon, etc. It's hard to effectively practice being a squad leader, team leader, recorder, RTO if you don't have the number of people required for these size elements. Plus you have to account for the number of personnel needed for your aid and litter team, EPW, demo, COB/MOB, etc. If you only have 5 people in the class, you're already at half-strength for a typical squad. This creates challenges for cadre who try to make the training as realistic and beneficial as they can.
     
  12. Roxymom

    Roxymom Member

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    Thank you very much!
     
  13. ESLGuy

    ESLGuy Member

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    Smaller is almost always better. I keep seeing the term "DS," but I have no idea of what it means.

    Also, I'm currently in NJROTC, and we have a small company, so it is really easy to stand out and get leadership positions.
     
  14. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    DS= Dear Son

    JROTC is not ROTC. No where close. Smaller can have advantages, but I would not say "smaller is almost always better." A career isn't on the line in JROTC. I am much happier in a larger unit, where I am still top in my class, than I would be at a smaller school. Not knocking any smaller schools/units.
     
  15. ESLGuy

    ESLGuy Member

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    I was told it's completly different, but I was saying that it's easier to stick out in a smaller group vs. a larger one, because there are less people to compete with.
     
  16. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Sticking out may not neccesarily be a good thing, and sticking out in a larger unit could be a lot better or alot worse than in a smaller unit.

    Also, just because you stick out for certain reasons doesn't mean you're a top cadet overall.
     
  17. ESLGuy

    ESLGuy Member

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    I understand, but I believe my main point is valid. If you are competing with less people, then your stats may seem more impressive. Consider this extreme scenario: 2 freshmen in HS. One has a slightly higher grade than the other, but he still gets in the top 1%. I think this is more relevant to HS students, but still a valid point.
     
  18. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Which came first? The chicken or the egg? How many angels can stand on the head of a pin?

    Look, some people will thrive in a smaller unit and some in a larger unit. Just like some thrive at a smaller college and some at a larger. Some want to be the big fish in a small pond and others want to be one of several big fish in a larger pond. There isn't a better or worse. It's a 'what's better or worse for me?'
     
  19. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Then I guess it's a good thing we're discussing freshman in high school.
     
  20. Whiplash

    Whiplash New Member

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    When you are saying ERAU are you talking Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona? If so, I am currently enrolled at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Our two schools together make a battalion. However, we operate pretty separate from each other other than FTX and JFTX. Paperwork wise we run off the same Professor of Military Science who works out of the department at NAU. But we have our own cadre and they have their own cadre.

    As for if smaller is better, from what I have seen is its by far better. My class, MS200, we have about 30 cadets. I have a friend who goes to ASU and they have upwards of 70-80 in the same class evidently. Its nice being in a small group as its..

    1. Less competition for scholarships/contracting.
    2. More one on one experience with the cadre. All the cadre know my name and I can go to them with any problem or question.
    3. Easier training environment since you get to do everything. And I mean everything. I am only a sophomore and I've filled the role of 1sgt and CO before. And I have also run STX lanes. All of which you don't normally see until your junior year. If I want to go to FTX, well great, ill go. If I want to do Color guard, wonderful I am in. The only thing that has restrictions on entering is Ranger Challenge because well...its Ranger Challenge.
     

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