Cannot decide between NROTC - Marine Option and AROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Jwmiller6, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Jwmiller6

    Jwmiller6 Member

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    I am torn between whether I should go through an AROTC or NROTC - Marine Option progam. Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of the programs and life after I graduate (I plan to be career military and the goal is to be infantry in either branch)?

    Thank you!
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Infantry is tough to get in both services, but it's obviously doable. You'll need to have a high OML ranking in both to get it.

    I know we all think of Infantry as a land force but in the Marines it's also a sea force as part of an MEU. With the wars winding down and a change of emphasis to the Pacific this will once again become the predominant role for the Marines. I can't speak to how much time at sea, or odds of sea duty... just want you to keep in mind that in the Marines, Infantry can serve aboard ship.

    Marine PFT is in some ways more demanding than Army. Pull-ups vs push-ups (just different really). The run is what separates them. A max score Army PFT 2 mi run time is 13:00. A max score Marine PFT 3 mi run time is 18:00. So Marines run a mile further at a somewhat faster pace to get a max score. If you're a PT stud you'll love Marines. BTW No disparagement to Army is intended here. They're just different and I wanted to point out how.

    If you end up being interested in aviation, the Army is (only?) a rotary wing force... helos. Marines fly all types of aircraft, but fixed wing is primarily a tactical support force as opposed to a strategic strike force in the Navy and AF.

    Marine force is much smaller than the Army and there might be more "opportunites" in the Army as a result. Also, many more opportunities to get a ROTC scholarship, just by the numbers (which I don't know exactly). AROTC looks like its beginning to care what your major is. NROTC MO doesn't care. Many Marine Option MIDNs major in Criminal Justice (not that there is anything wrong with that, but it's not Engineering).

    Finally, and its probably neither here nor there, but the Army is it's own Service. The Marines are a department of the Navy, their sister service... the Men's Department! :biggrin:

    Edit: Oh yeah. Army says Hooah and Marines say Hoorah. If you have trouble with R's you might want to go Army.

    Hope this helps some. Semper Fi.
     
  3. khergan

    khergan Member

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    Take into account career opportunity too - the Army is a much larger force and as such has more assignments.

    You might look at the places you can go with each force, as that can have a major influence on whether you want to stay in or not.

    Also - Army Infantry has many sub-specializations that USMC does not, mostly because it's a larger, more diverse force. You can be light (airborne) infantry, mechanized infantry, stryker infantry, air assault infantry, or in Ranger battalion or Special Forces. That is a LOT of different flavors of infantry. I know USMC has mechanized vs. light but I'm pretty sure they don't have nearly as many options.

    The cool thing too about Army is that you do have a choice of what you go into as far as infantry. Most of the guys I know and my own personal background is with airborne infantry (light), and their culture is to run and walk everywhere. Conversely, many of the heavy guys do all tank/APC related stuff and don't walk around much at all.

    That being said, do your research on what appeals to you most. If amphibious assault and a marine environment appeal to you, USMC will probably be better. If you're more land-oriented, or want to specialize into airborne or helicopter assault, Army infantry will be more up your alley.
     
  4. Jwmiller6

    Jwmiller6 Member

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    If I went Army, the plan would be Infantry, then get my Ranger tab (get assigned to a Ranger Battalion, if possible), and later go to Green Beret. I understand that this is extremelly difficult, but I know I have the determination to make it.

    If I went Marines, the plan would be Infantry, possibly Force Recon later.

    I do not believe I will mind long deployments. I understand that I will most likely see combat in either one of these paths; I do not mind that (my opinion might change as I exerpeince it, haha). I do enjoy both mental and physical challenges. However, I do not believe I will enjoy being on a ship for 6+ months at a time. The end goal of this is to be as highly trained as possible, so that I may reach my full potential, and serve the nation to the best of my abilities. Based upon this, which should I choose?
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Didn't you answer your own question?
    A six month float as part of an MEU is always a strong possibility with Force Recon, at least according to what I have read.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Didn't you answer your own question?
    A six month float as part of an MEU is always a strong possibility with Force Recon, at least according to what I have read.
     
  7. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    jwmiller6: This may seem like splitting hairs, but in reality the two paths are very different. Even when comparing USMC infantry vs Army infantry you need to investigate and make decisions on the following aspects.

    Mission: Each branch has its own distinct mission (although the lines blur at times). Essentially Marines are amphibious and Army is land based. You WILL spend time on board NAvy ships.

    Size: The USMC Officer community is a fraction of the Army community. This translates into the availability of MOS and billet assignments. Might work for or against you in downsizing periods.

    Rank: In my day, the USMC had the slowest promotion rate. I assume it is the same now. As a small community, the higher you go in the USMC the more limited the opportunities become (see next bullet)

    Field vs Desk Assignments: Over a career, you should know that you will have assignments with an combat infantry units and others where you are recruiting, training or doing other non-combat related roles. It isn't all infantry all the time. Not sure about Army but Marines see less and less combat unit roles as they progress up the ladder.

    Location: Very few USMC bases as compared to Army bases. In general, you have two US based Divisions: Camp Pendleton, Ca or Camp Lejeune, NC. The Army has many more bases. Outside the U.S., you will find the Marines have essentially one other major base: Okinawa, Japan. The Army would be in Germany and other places.

    Transportation: I will probably get flamed for this but in my personal experience Marines hump a lot more than Army. To me it was the nature of the respective missions: Marines land on a beach and move inland - very limited transportation available. Army has different mission and much more transportation units to support them.

    Amenities: Marines pride themselves on making do with what they've got and won't hesitate to tell you its a lot less than the other services! My experience was that Army bases were so much nicer than USMC bases - from housing, available services, training facilities, etc. Having recently visited Camp Pendleton, I can tell you that things have greatly improved but I still have a sense that the USMC bases fall short of Army standards.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. khergan

    khergan Member

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    In response to the USMCgrunt post:


    The weight carried by infantrymen in the Army depends greatly on the type of unit you are in.

    Light infantry (airborne/air assault) usually have upwards of 100 to 120 pounds of gear on them. It's incredibly demanding. They do this because they do aerial insertion into an area and have to carry everything with them in case they don't receive backup. 30 to 50 mile ruck marches with over one hundred pounds in your ruck is not uncommon, especially in ranger school and elite infantry units.

    Mech infantry will be different - all your gear will be on the tank or APC that you're traveling in so the experience is unlike light infantry.

    It just depends where/how you do your infantry career, and a lot of that is dependent on your performance and what you want to do.

    One thing to note, however, is that ALL Infantry platoon leader 2LTs go to Ranger School. Don't worry about the ranger piece, because every single 2LT that goes infantry has the opportunity to go to the happy boys camp in the woods.
     
  9. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Khergan:

    Thanks for the response. I think you may have misunderstood me. I intended to point out that in my experience Marine units hump more often than Army units. Wasn't commenting on the amount of gear. In fact, without a doubt the American combat infantryman from any branch is weighed down by entirely too much gear. Lots of very interesting studies, articles, and commentary on this can be found on the internet. One of the recent articles I read was how many spare batteries are carried by a unit. Wow!

    Definitely a big difference between the Army's light and mechanized infantry as you point out. Saw it first hand while my USMC unit did some training at Fort Ord (dating myself as it was shut down in 1994).
     

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