AROTC vs NROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Northerner, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Northerner

    Northerner Member

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    I apologize if this question has been asked before, but I need information and this site is one of the best places to obtain it. I need to give DS as much info as I can get so that he can make a well thought out decision. He has been awarded a scholarship to both - an AROTC scholarship to a great in-state school, and a NROTC scholarship to a great out-of-state school. Let's just say that he likes both schools equal, and the only other difference is one is for the Army and the other for the Navy. He wants to serve this country - so let's just say it doesn't matter if he goes Army or Navy. What I don't know, and he's trying to find out, is what are the major differences between the two ROTC scholarships, summer stuff, post college careers, etc... Anything that you all can tell me would be greatly appreciated....all information is welcomed because I simply do not know what the differences are. I have a pretty good feel about AROTC - college, summer, LDAC, branching, etc..but don't know how the Navy compares. Thank you very much in advance.
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Northerner,

    Deep breaths.

    Walk away from this site for a few hrs., and have a true heart to heart conversation with DS about active duty military life.

    He will owe on the very best day 4 yrs of his life to that branch. It is not college where he takes 18 credits (18 hrs of academics, + ROTC) and has summer, winter, and spring breaks off. It will be 7 days a week, 40+ hrs a week, 365 days a yr. They say here is your career field, there it is. They say go, he goes. They say move, he moves.

    It is honorable to want to serve in the military, but it is not realistic if they believe that many Navy career specialties exist in the Army, and vise a verse.

    What is his AD career goal? The answer lies there. Talk to him. Ask him, if he could get any dream military job, what would it be?
     
  3. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    PIMA is correct, the main issue for your son to think about is what he wants to do in the Service. If he can't see himself on a ship then the Navy is not a good choice. If his heart is set on flying Jets or serving on a Sub then the Army is out. If he wants a combat arms such as infantry, armor, artillery, and such he may have more options in the Army. It really comes down to what he wants to do.

    If your son has a 4 year AROTC scholarship then he could apply for CULP his first year and spend a month in one of many countries around the world the summer after his freshman year, he can apply again his sophomore year or try and get selected to other summer training. Of course there is LDAC, add on CTLT and it will take most of the summer after his junior year.

    There is one thing to think about. In AROTC the cadet is not guaranteed Active duty. A cadet can be forced Reserves if they are not high enough on the National OML. The number of cadets going Active Duty will most likely be getting smaller over the next few years. As long as he maintains a good GPA and a high APFT he will have a good chance at Active Duty. The Navy on the other hand requires Active Duty if you complete NROTC, you may not like what job you get but you at least are guaranteed Active Duty. In AROTC you also have the option to choose Reserves or National Guard instead of Active Duty, which many cadets do each year, many want to start their civilian careers right away while serving in the reserves, Navy does not have that option. AROTC cadets do not have to choose up front if they want the reserves, they can make that decision later, unless they took a Guaranteed Reserve Scholarship, which is not what your son has.

    I hope that has give you a little info, others will chim in I'm sure.
     
  4. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    From what I understand NROTC has a stricter policy and tier system for majors, so that could play a factor in post-military plans. AROTC you can major in underwater basket weaving and still get a commission. The flexibility is pretty nice and certain college choices in academics can really boost you above others in the OML ranking

    As Jcleppe said, a cadet who gets/wants to go reserves can pretty do it at any time BEFORE they are assessed on the OML. I was AD and decided to do reserves.

    My Junior year I did LDAC/CTLT for the army and while it drained my summer it turned out to be a pretty good experience.

    The army has a wide array of branches as does the navy. I tend to view the navy as a more technical/engineering branch while the army has a lot more versatility.

    Either way each choice will lead to a 2LT/Ensign commission and a chance to serve the country. There really is no bad decision.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I agree with all that was said but will add as few things. Don't know what your DS's major is but it can be difficult to change majors in NROTC and keep the scholarship. You can always move from a tier 3 to a tier 2 or 1 but the other way is hard. In any case you need permission.

    Navy is much more rigorous academically, even for marine option. I assume your son is Navy option since you didn't specify. In addition to Naval Science courses he'll need to take Calculus and Physics. He'll also have to take courses pertaining to National Security Policy and a cultural awareness (re third world) course. See the NROTC website for specifics. If he's marine option its a bit easier academically as the calc and physics are not required. However it is much more physically demanding and he'll be working out 5 days a week at least, 2 of which are on his own. My kid often works out twice a day.

    With NROTC scholarships he'll be on a 4-6 week "cruise" each summer and get paid for it, but it can make getting another summer job difficult. First cruise is CORTRAMID - one week surface, one week aviation, one week marines, and one week subs. Gives him a broad exposure. Remaining cruises differ by Navy vs Marine. For Marine itss Mountaun Warfare School and then OCS the next summer (rising senior). For Navy I think you get to request between aviation, surface and sub, but you may not get what you want.

    Another thing to consider is schools. If they're both host schools it doesn't matter. If one is an affiliate then the commute for classes and perhaps PT and Lab must be considered. Good luck in your decision.
     
  6. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    I regret sidetracking this very useful discussion, but let me give a word of advice to 4yr scholarhip winners for next fall.

    Eligibility for many summer opportunities, like CULP, Project GO, Science Research Internships require cadet to be contracted before even applying. Some of the application deadlines are relatively early.

    DS had two issues which delayed his official contracting date:

    1)He was one push-up short of passing his PFT first try. (Of course, it was the examiner's fault:rolleyes: for disallowing several of them.) He had to wait two months before taking it again.

    2)There was a minor issue with his DODMERB, which required retesting several times. Somehow the issue did not arise until after the he passed his PFT. Don't know if oversight was DS's or ROTC bureaucracy.

    In the end, all is well. Scholarship/stipend all came through, PFT score is excellent, and he has great summer ahead with a Project GO scholarship. The best part is we think (hope, pray) that he is a bit little wiser and more proactive.

    READ thoroughly every piece of ROTC/DODMERB correspondance.

    ARRIVE ready to pass the PFT on the first try. Have a competent person critique your push-up, pull-up and sit-up form.

    RESEARCH summer opportunities now. Cadre will not give you a checklist upon arrival of things you might like to do next summer. These opportunities are many, even for MS I's, but there isn't one central clearinghouse for them. Even determining what they are will take time and effort you will not be able to afford in the first semester of school.

    BOTTOMLINE. The scholarship award letter only marks the beginning of a new process which demands proaction and attention to detail.
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Cb7893 raises a good point. Navy also requires one to be contracted for summer cruises.
     
  8. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Wow. Truly awesome advice posted here. I'm not sure why I'm saying "wow", though, because the above posters are among the best.

    Sorry for wasting a post here (I usually don't post if the advice already provided is spot-on in my view), but I just wanted to express that.
     
  9. gojack

    gojack ....

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    ROTC just being a means to an end...

    Navy SWO; months at sea, tight quarters, officers mess, very highly structured...

    Army Infantry Officer; sleeping in tents, MRE's, mud, bugs, etc...

    What kind of job and life is desired?
     
  10. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Tents? More like wrap your poncho around your body and simply fall down in place in the dirt. :wink:
     
  11. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    OK, just a few differences that come to mind, AROTC vs. NROTC - Navy Option:

    -Active Duty Commitment, years: NROTC 5, AROTC 4
    -Type of High School Scholarship: AROTC some 4 Yr, mostly 3 Yr. Advanced Designee, NROTC only 4 year
    -Contract guarantees Active Duty: AROTC no... about 15% who wanted AD got Reserves last year... NROTC 100%
    - % of non-tech majors approved for scholarships: AROTC about 70% (guesstimate), NROTC 15%
    - # *host* colleges where scholarship can be used: Around 75 NROTC, around 270 AROTC
    -Stipend over 4 years: AROTC $16,000 or $13,000 AROTC 3 Yr. AD, NROTC 4 Yr. $13,000 (I think, I know it's less)
    -Book grant (actual cost irrelevant), 4 yrs: $4,800 AROTC, $3,600 NROTC
    -Freshman Orientation: AROTC... basically 4 hr. briefing, NROTC a full week of high stress testing and preparation
    -Mandatory College Classes: AROTC -none, NROTC a full year of Calculus and another full year of Calculus based Physics, even if you're a History major
    -Summer (paid) commitments: AROTC, LDAC after only Jr. Year. NROTC during all three summers
    -In-School year weekend training: AROTC 3 days FTX/semester, NROTC none
    -Career choices out of college: Army 16 Branches, Navy 3 communities: Air, Surface, Sub-surface
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Excellent summary. This should go in a sticky. Dunninla also raises a good point about the orientation. Not everyone makes it through the NROTC Orientation. Even kids on scholarship drip during orientation, as in they decide to leave the program. I can't imagine Mom and Dad's reaction. It's too bad because IMHO its a great program. But then so is AROTC and AFROTC. Let us know what your DS decides.
     
  13. Northerner

    Northerner Member

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    kinnem and dunninla, thanks for the info. I will pass it on to my son, and will let you know what he decides to do.
     
  14. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The length and type of AROTC Orientation varies by battalion.

    AROTC Summer training can include other options that do receive Pay

    The are usually at least one weekend AROTC FTX per semester. There can be other training that will require weekends, such as Ranger Challenge and Land Nav training, again depending on the battalion.
     

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