AROTC Scholarship decision!

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by kayla4695, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. kayla4695

    kayla4695 New Member

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    I just found out that I received a 3 year scholarship for Army ROTC, my academic discipline being Nursing. But it's at a school that I have hardly looked at. My parents are also worried that I would accept it and not like that college or that I'm doing it for the money and that I am too young to make a decision like this. I feel very strongly against this and I am sure this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Can anyone that went through the ROTC program share any advice or experience they've had in the program? Thanks!
     
  2. kcdale99

    kcdale99 Member

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    As a former Combat Medic/OR Technician (91B/D) I know that Nursing Corps officers are a bit different than many other branches. You aren't necessarily leading like say, and Infantry Officer. But you are still trying to become an officer in the United States Army and you really need to take charge of that now. You are an adult (or nearly so) and its time to communicate with your parents as an adult. Also understand that you are making decisions that will effect you for many years, so think them through. Your parents have years of experience and advice, but treat it as that... advice. Use their advice, but make your own decision. I know this isn't something that has generally been cultivated in your generation, but you are trying to take a road less traveled and you will need to walk on your own two feet.

    As a parents it has been hard to let go with our son... even more so because our daughter passed away a couple of years ago so we want to be extra protective. So I understand how your parents feel. But he is starting down a path that he wants to go the distance with. He isn't going to college on the Army's dime just for free school, he wants to be an officer and serve 20+ years. (Of course that may always change once he is in, we all know how it goes). He would go down this path whether or not the Army helped pay for it. He kind of had to tell us to back off some, and that he had to do this. He has to be his own person. He has met with the ROTC programs on his own, and taken his own initiative. He is not necessarily choosing the program we think he should, but he is choosing the program that he thinks is best for him. We have to respect that... and honestly we as parents feel a lot of pride as we see him starting to grow into the adult he is going to be. Especially when most of his peers have absolutely no focus on what they want to do.

    Ultimately it has to be your decision. Understand that it isn't easy, but it is rewarding. If it is what you want to do, ask your parents to respect that decision. On the plus side, with the 3yr AD you can try ROTC your freshman year, and if the program/school isn't for you, you can transfer schools and leave ROTC with no obligation.
     
  3. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    You will want to hear from Aglahad on things AROTC nursing, but as to the school choice and ROTC decision and dealing with parents not on the same page, here are some thoughts...

    1) I'm assuming here that they don't have a problem with your going into nursing. If there is a problem (they are worried about your not making it through the program because of high levels of washout), the best argument is that 100% of students who don't enroll in nursing don't get nursing degrees.

    2) Given that nursing is OK, and ROTC is an issue (i.e. they aren't wild about you going into the Army), the thoughts you want to stress are:
    a) While you will be trained as a soldier, your assignments will generally be out of harm's way, if their concern is about safety
    b) Yes, you will have to be stationed in places not necessarily close to home, but young folks like me do this all the time and it is a part of growing up. (in case the issue is separation)
    c) Army nursing is a great first job for the nursing profession (Aglahad can tell you more about this). ​

    3) If the school is the issue here are some thoughts...
    a) If it is distance from home, stress that students like me do this all the time and grow up just fine. (exude confidence in yourself!)
    b) If the issue is large impersonal school, stress that students like me do this all the time and grow up just fine. (exude confidence in yourself) - Are you seeing a pattern here?
    c) If it is a price issue, it is a bit more complicated, but understand that once you pay that first year, tuition increases are not your problem unlike other schools.
    d) If they think you are in over your head at this school, you will need some data from the school (this information can be found online using google) regarding how your GPA/test scores compare to your peers entering the school. You might also want to call the nursing school to get the specific statistics for the nursing school as well. If you stack up well (significantly above average), use that information to bolster your position. If you really are in the bottom 1/4 of the nursing class, I might consider having a frank conversation with an advisor before proceeding to commit to this program.​

    The most important thing is to maintain a sense of confidence and to present some facts (especially when talking ROTC/Army issues).

    I would also recommend contacting the ROO (recruiting operations officer) at the school where you received the scholarship and explain your situation. Generally, these folks are your friend in selling the program to your parents.

    Hope this addresses some of your concerns. Best of luck and keep asking questions.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Good advice above. One other thing you can emphasize is that you will not be enlisted, you will be an officer. Big difference. I know it should be obvious but I'm never convinced people always see the obvious. My wife was adverse to my son enlisting, which was his original plan. She laid down the law that he would go to college first and if he became a Marine it would be as an officer. He's now well along that path and frankly I don't think he would want it any other way at this point.
     
  5. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Solid advice right here. You get to take a test drive for the first year with zero obligation to the Army.


    Take the advice they gave you above and tell it right to your parents (because everything they said is golden). After that, it's your decision.
     
  6. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Goaliedad brings up some good points.

    I went through AROTC and did the nursing track.

    What specific questions about nursing or ROTC do you have? If you can compile them and post here or send me a PM I can do my best to answer them.

    KCdale99,

    You are correct in saying the Nursing Corps is obviously fundamentally different in many areas than say a line infantry leader, but nurses in the Army can hold command or sit in staff roles. The current Surgeon General of the Army is an RN. It is imperative that a young nursing cadet hones their nursing skills as well as their leadership attributes in today's Army.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  7. kcdale99

    kcdale99 Member

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    I agree 101% on this. I served during the early 90s... and we had a lot of nurses at the time joining with 0 experience at all. The army offered to pay off their student loans if they would spend a few years in the reserves. These nurses had no ROTC experience, and often waited up to two years to get into BOLC. A lot of the nurses at the time where ASNs, not BSNs. We had a nurse show up once for her first drill with her bar pinned sideways on her hat. These same nurses would eventually move into leadership positions in the unit... The hospital side of operations ran nice and smooth, but the 'Army' side of things where FUBAR. The whole unit from the top down was disfunctional... a doctor as a commander with no military experience at all, and most command and staff positions filled by Doctors/Nurses with no training or leadership experience. I am sure ROTC nurses are much, much better prepared for these kinds of situations... and I hope the Army has changed the way hospital commands work.
     

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