Best Degree

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by springhill, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. springhill

    springhill New Member

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    I was wondering what degree is best for college. I'm trying to choose a double major; I'm currently International Studies. I'm trying to be as well rounded as possible, perhaps a computer science double major. I need help in what the military wants most.
    Also, what are so pros and cons with Army ROTC vs AFROTC
    Thanks.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I can't address your second question, but you should be picking majors that YOU want. Forget about what Army and Air Force want. You will have a life after your service which presumably will depend, to a greater or lesser degree, on what you learned in college. By picking something YOU want you'll be much more likely to succeed in college and that plays a big role in the initial stages of your time in the military.
     
  3. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    You get a very small boost on the OML for having a STEM major in Army ROTC. I couldn't tell you what the Air Force does, but from some of the chatter I've read in this board it seems that the place a heavier emphasis on STEM than the Army does. But like Kinnem said, planning your education around the needs of of the service is silly if you have no intention of ever utilizing that skill.
     
  4. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    As the others have stated.. Choose what you want to do not what the Army or AF is interested in. DS thought he had to take Elec/computer Engineering for the sake of the military. He said he wanted to give it a try for himself but I believe if the military hadn't put emphasis on wanting ECE majors he probably would have chose differently to begin with. Needless to say second year of college he changed majors, has taken summer courses every year to make up the difference in the needed credits and had crappy grades in ECE which tanked his GPA. It's too much money and too much work to waste the effort on something that doesnt make you happy. The AF and the Army will train you their way in whatever field you choose, or they choose. Prove you can learn and be taught by getting good grades now with something you enjoy so your GPA doesn't become a dis qualifier later on. Then you could end up with a degree in something you don't like and no military option because your grades were poor. It happens.
     
  5. gojack

    gojack ....

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    ARMY (AF, I know nothing)

    AROTC and a double major is a stretch for most students, IMHO.

    The Army does not care* what your degree is in (mostly-a tiny bump for STEM) The training you need, they supply... From the point of view of how it would affect your ARMY career, a single major in something you get real good grades at is best.

    But your degree(s) should be targeted twards a separate (think backup plan/post military) career path.

    *If you want to go Army engineering, I think half those slots go to engineering degrees.

    FYI, for the truly undecided, economics majors test well on the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT etc.,

    If your thinking 20-30yr Army career, remember grad school is required for senior officers.
     
  6. Roughrider

    Roughrider Member

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    I did not know this. I learn something new every time I log in here.
     
  7. gojack

    gojack ....

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    Required maybe a little strong, but i don't think you go past LTC without a graduate degree, or a CMH:wink:
     
  8. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    A graduate degree isn't "required" to become a senior officer, but it's "highly" recommended. I've only met 1 LTC who had only a BS/BA. With all the free education afforded to service members, there isn't a reason for people to NOT have a graduate degree when they become senior officers.
     
  9. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    I believe with AF you have to have a masters to get rank of Major. It may not be a stiff requirement, but i heard it is near impossible to get promoted past Captain with out one.
     
  10. Freedom125

    Freedom125 Member

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    I don't think the major really matters. I mean you don't probably want to major in the arts or music. The major is targeted to post-military careers rather than military careers if I'm not mistaken.

    I am a Geography B.S. major with a minor in Chinese studies.
     
  11. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    ... you remind me of myself, not too long ago.

    Very briefly, some differences.
    Commissioning:
    Army - if you want active duty, you will have to compete for it; otherwise you will either being going Guard/Reserve
    AF - you automatically commission active duty - no competing

    Mandatory Summer Training:
    Army - LDAC, occurs between Jr & Sr year; all cadets attend - there is no selection/competition to attend --> every cadets attend.
    AF - SFT, occurs between Soph and Jr year; not all cadets attend - you have to be selected to attend --> catch: if not selected, you will most likely be disenrolled, and will not have the chance to be an officer - even via OTS.

    College Major:
    Army - does not matter; you can be an engineering major and branch infantry if you wanted.
    AF - does matter; if you major as an aerospace engineer - you will be an engineer in the AF

    Scholarship:
    Army - offers a lot of scholarships (and my guess would be the most out of the tri-service). Last year, 2461 scholarships were awarded. Also, 3 AND 4 year scholarships are offered.
    AF - Somewhere around 900 were awarded (would have to consult Pima for this info). All scholarships are 3 (Type II) and 4 years (Type I & III) ... also, scholarship is technically only guaranteed for 2 years due to SFT selection as mentioned above.

    Summer Training Opportunities (optional):
    Army - plethora of training: CULP/Project Go, CFT, CTCL, Airborne, Air Assault, Northern Warfare, Mtn Warfare, etc
    AF - none generally available for cadets; the little that are - go to AFA cadets

    Jobs:
    Army - MOS's --> no distinctions like AF mentioned below
    AF - AFSC --> rated (technical): such as pilot, ABM, RPA, CSO & nonrated (nontechnical): everything else

    Miscellaneous:
    AF - required to be extremely proficient at golf. 18 holes replaces PFT.

    There are a bunch of other little differences. If you have any additional questions feel free to ask; I went through this decision making process last year.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  12. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    Honestly, the major won't affect your military career or rate of promotion (Army). When I was a 2LT, the Chief of the Medical Service Corps (BG Baxter) had a Masters in Supply Chain Management. Feel free to major in art, music, etc. If you're practical, you will tailor your education for life outside the military. However, the unwritten rule (emphasis on unwritten) is the promotion board for LTC+ wants to see at least 1 masters degree in the civilian education slots on your ORB.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Some clearing up from Thompson's post regarding AF.

    Correction AF the major matters for scholarship selection, but not necessarily true for AF career. Certain majors that are considered critical manning will be locked into that career field, but not all of them. Currently, I believe in the tech side it is only EE, CE and physics. Major in aero, you can also be a pilot....if that was not true, basically almost every cadet at the AFA would be flying a desk. The AFA is lovingly called the little Engineering college in the Rockies.

    Type II is both 3 and 4 yr. If awarded a Type 7 (there is no Type 3), and want to attend an OOS or private college that costs more than IS tuition than the 4 yr Type 7 can be converted to a 3 yr Type 2. It is your choice to keep it as a 4 yr 7 or a 3 yr Type 2.

    AFROTC scholarship can only be used for tuition only. No option to use it for R &B. I.E. Let's assume you are awarded a Type 2 (18K), and the tuition is only 10K, you can't use the remaining 8K for R &B. The key wording stated is UP TO 18K. It is not a flat check for 18K.

    Scholarships are classified also as Tech and non-tech majors. 80% of all scholarships go to tech majors.

    Additionally for selection the biggest difference is AFROTC does not superscore the SAT/ACT. It is best sitting. The score you have will also be used for SFT selection board.

    Yes, there are @ 900, but statistically it is about the same % that are awarded for AROTC. AF is the smallest of the big 3. Sometimes you have to look at the percentage, not just the numbers. Overall it is about 16% awarded that are boarded. I think AROTC is very close to that number too.

    One thing to add about scholarships for AFROTC compared to AROTC.
    ~~~~ AFROTC scholarship is tied to the cadet, not the college. You can take it to any college that accepts the AFROTC scholarship. HQ AFROTC does not care if one det. has 0% on scholarship and another has 100% on scholarship.
    ~~~~ AROTC does care how many are on scholarship at each college. They set a limit for each det. This can be an issue for powerhouse ROTC units where they are highly demanded. You can find yourself with a scholarship, but no admittance (reach college) or no scholarship and admittance (match college). It will mean come late spring you will need to request a scholarship transfer.


    This reads as if the cadet must have a tech degree to get a rated slot, and non-tech majors get everything else. That is not the case. Our DS majored in non-tech (Govt) and he is currently at UPT.
    ~~~ The only real reason many pilots will major in tech is for a career option later on that requires them to have a degree in engineering. Test Pilot. You cannot go to TPS if you major in a non-tech degree.

    In the AF it is just called rated or non-rated. Your major does not necessarily place you on one specific path. @50% of the AF fliers are ROTC grads. Yet, 100% of them are not tech majors.

    The true thing that is a factor as a cadet regarding chances as a tech vs non tech majors for rated is your cgpa. On avg non-tech needs a 3.3/3.4 while a tech major needs a 3.0/3.1

    Overall for AFROTC if you carry the cgpa's I just listed you will have a very high chance of getting whatever career field you want. Fall under a 3.0 and you start risking it all.

    In the end, college is 5 days a week, 30 weeks a yr for 4 yrs. and where you want to go to for 4 yrs. AD any branch is 52 weeks, 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day, for at least 4 yrs anywhere THEY want you to go. Select a branch because you want to serve in that branch, not because of a scholarship.

    Thompson does have it correct when it comes to ADAF PT....it is 18 holes of golf and lifting beers at the 19th hole. The AF is known to be the corporate branch. A duty day for non-rated is typically 8-4. They are also known as the prima donna branch because they do not follow the premise that if the military wanted you to have a family they would have issued you one. They view the family as one of their biggest factors regarding retention. A happy family makes it more likely they will stay. That is one the reasons why they are known to have the best housing in the military.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  14. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    That's just the running joke. Wouldn't compare it to the Marines', they have their own seperate PTs, but our PT has the same rigor as Navy PT (we work out in the same area half the time). It is still challenging, we do ALOT of running, not that much fun when your on a campus where you practically have to walk up hill both ways to get to class :wink:, But it does the job. AFROTC is different in that, unlike Navy and i think Army who have mandatory PT 3 times a week all together, we run 4 regular PTs a week and you are only required to go to 2(either mornings or afternoons) and are expected to work out on your own. If your class schedule allows you to go to either time, you have to decide if you want to really push yourself to do extra PT or not. At my det we also have Special Tactics PT for those who are interested in being CROs or SpecOps or just want to get in better shape that meets 4 mornings a week, so 1st semester I was doing 3 PTs a week and 2nd semester I bumped it up to 4 and occasionally 5 PTs a week. It's all about how hard you want to push yourself, you can do the bare minimum, or you can push yourself to attend every PT you can. It's really up to you what kind of Cadet you want to be.

    This is very true. We did have a bunch of cool summer opportunities, but now the only ones left go to AFA cadets.

    We do, however, have the opportunity to use Project GO to travel to different countries to study a language or travel in country to a University with a language immersion program for the summer, every ROTC branch does.

    As for the OP's original question, you should really choose which major YOU really want. I will say though that the AF seems to be really fond of Endineering and Critical Foriegn Language majors right now (Arabic,Chinese,Korean,Swahili...there are a few others, but those are the big four right now). I know the AF recently put out 75 scholarships for students in the Pilot Chinese ROTC Flagship Program (Army put some out too, more than AF did, but idk the exact number as that part of the brief didn't pertain to me ). They offered me one if I dropped my STEM scholarship and only studied Chinese, but I decided to keep doing both. So I'd say the best way for you to simultaneously study something that would really benefit the AF and yet stay true to yourself and your post military dreams would be to major in something you really like and minor or double major if possible in a language...preferably a critical one if you have the aptitude for it. If you are really interested in engineering, that's fine, but by all means do NOT major in something your going to hate just for the sake of the AF or Army. If you do you'll probably end up doing poorly and it's hard to get picked up for SFT/Active Duty, let alone keep that STEM scholarship if your GPA sinks below 2.8.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  15. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    Sorry about that; wanted to make the general differences very blunt - didn't want get to detailed and get the poster all confused. ... probably shouldn't post when my mind just wants to go to sleep.

    For Army, the scholarship selection rate was actually around 25% this past year.

    Also regarding scholarships; as Pima mentioned the bulk (80%) of scholarships awarded go to tech majors.

    On the flipside, in the Army - major choice doesn't make as big of a difference. From what I've gathered, it seems a bit more focused on everything else than the college major itself.

    That is correct (at least my Bn); we have 3 mandatory Bn PT's everyweek. PT's are also all in the morning. And the off days you are expected to work out on your own at your convenience.

    And just like you mentioned SpecTac; Army has the Ranger Challenge Club (note: not the same as the Ranger Challenge Team - team is pulled from club members), who meets 5 times a week for PT + an LLAB on top of the Bn LLAB.

    Also, if you score ... something like a 290+ on the APFT, you are exempt from 1 day of PT (not sure if it's for the year or semester). AF does something similar, no?

    ** Correction from my previous post; CTCL - should be CTLT.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Forgot to address this:
    Masters is what is called masked until the O5 board. 15 yrs ago, yes you needed a Masters for O4, but currently it is O5.

    The reason many AF O3s get their masters at this point is because of TA. The time commitment (obligation) owed runs concurrent with your ADSO.

    Additionally, your job is not as time consuming as a Field grade officer (O4-O6). Kids are young if you are married, and you have more free time compared to later on.

    Plus, the AF can change their mind as quickly as they did when deciding to mask the Masters. Bullet made O4 in in 98, and it was not masked. The next board it was masked until the O5 board.
    ~~~ It is hard to get a Masters done in 12 months if they decide to unmask it again for an O4 board.

    Finally, another HUGE reason to get it done before O4 is for PME. When selected for O4, you have the ability to apply for in residence ACSC. Bullet did CGSC(Army equivalent of ACSC) they had only 60 AF officers at Leavenworth. Every single student there had 2 things in common.
    1. Masters completed
    2. ACSC in correspondence or seminar completed.

    Attending PME in residence, especially a sister PME speaks volumes to the AF O5 board. Only about 10% go in residence, out of that 10%, only about 10% go to a sister school.
    ~~~ Bullet went to Leavenworth, PCS'd to the Pentagon in June. His IPZ DP/P/DNP PRF was due in July. He thought because he was new to the office, and 2 others were up for O5 he would get a P. He got the only DP.

    Had he not gone to CGSC or ACSC, chances are he would have received a P. He got CGSC because he did his Masters as an O3 (5 yrs in AF). That square filled allowed him to do ACSC in correspondence as a newly minted O4.

    PME for the AF never ends. If you want to be promoted in the AF being pro-active regarding every educational aspect is the MUST. If you want to do 20 in the AF, every step you make should be plotting out the step after that.

    Bullet as a 111 WSO opted to jump out of perfectly good airplanes with the 82nd instead of going to Cannon AFB. He got his Masters there. That was pre-planned when he got the assignment because it allowed him to X train into the Strike Eagle, and stationed at Elmendorf. He parlayed this into his next assignment as an O4 select SJAFB, he did in correspondence ACSC at SJAFB. He had every square filled for ACSC board because he was proactive.
    ~~~ 82nd AB ALO
    ~~~ Masters
    ~~~ In correspondence ACSC.

    He always thought about how the next assignment would be a factor for the assignment after that. He didn't stop there. Many also thought he was crazy to go to the Pentagon. He did so because as a WSO (aka CSO now) he knew he needed to plan for his 2nd career. That Pentagon assignment opened doors for him when retirement became our future. He had 2 job offers before he retired.

    Had he listened to his AF friends that he was a fool for jumping out of perfectly good airplanes with the 82nd, our life would be different today. He always looked long term regarding his next step.

    The beauty of the military is if you think long term, not just short term, you can write your own ticket. It is not just Masters or PME, but also assignments.

    OBTW, Bullet will tell you his yr at Leavenworth was the best ever. The Army is not going to have an AF officer the DG out of the class. The AF will see them higher because they went to a sister school. In his 20 yrs of AF, this was our hardest yr. as a married couple.... he literally spent more time at home than at work. I think in the end he was able to schedule M and F off every week, and T-Th it was 8-12.

    Again, that one decision in 92 to jump altered his path for forever.
     
  17. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    I believe that the above does not apply to the AFA. EEs, CEs and physics majors are able to select (and receive) rated AFSCs....at least that was true for the last two commissioning classes (2012 & 2013).

    It should be mentioned that the AF has quite a few AFSCs (non-rated) that require an engineering degree.
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Our DS Maxxed the scores as a 100, fall freshmen semester. His det. said: you don't need to attend PT. IOTW exempt.

    As a 100 for spring semester his det. job was the PT flight instructor. He got a semester off, but in the end they gave him a leadership position. Maxing at his det., can force you into a leadership position.

    Thompson,

    I get you were trying not to confuse, but that one post would have scared the bee gee gee out of me as a non-tech parent with an AFROTC scholarship child that wanted to go rated. You were saying/implying if you are not tech you can't go rated.

    That is the farthest thing from the truth.

    For AFROTC it comes down to this:

    1. SFT selection
    ~~~~ Scholarship is masked. SFT board does not have a clue if you are scholarship or not.
    ~~~~ CGPA
    ~~~~ CoC rec./ranking....number 1, top 1%, 10%, top 1/3rd, mid, bottom
    ~~~~ PFA
    ~~~~ SAT/ACT/AFOQT

    2. Rated selection
    ~~~~ TBAS
    ~~~~ SFT ranking....yes, how you rank out at SFT is part of the score.
    ~~~~ CGPA
    ~~~~ PFA
    ~~~~ CoC

    It is an OML system just like the Army. Tech major, scholarship recipient is not part of their OML score.

    Your heart is in the right place, but just like AROTC selection; it is the branch's decision.

    25% is better than the AF selection rate. However, ask yourself, do you want to endure at least 8 yrs of your life for a scholarship chance...25% compared to 16/17%? (4 ROTC and 4 AD)

    I have the absolute utmost respect for the Army... Did 2 tours as a spouse.

    This should not be just about the scholarship chances, it should be career fields.

    Our DS could have gone AROTC, but he didn't want to ever be in a tank. He was okay being SP, PA in the AF.

    I get it. You are all in for Army. I respect it.
     
  19. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    Maybe at Pima's son's det you can be exempt, but not at mine...at least, not as an underclassman. My last PFA score was 1 point from max and no one's excused me from the 2 PTs per week requirement. I know a few ppl who max it regularly (GMC and POC) and they still have to go to PT too. This may be something that varies from det to det.
     

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