Civil Air Patrol versus Naval JROTC

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Lax Mom, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. Lax Mom

    Lax Mom Member

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    My son is in Civil Air Patrol as a middle school student.
    We also have a Naval JROTC program he could join once he gets to high school.

    Do you have any opinion on which would constitute a stronger application to the USNA:
    7 years of CAP
    versus
    3 years of CAP and 4 years of NJROTC

    Apologies if this has been asked before.
     
  2. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Keep in mind that activities before high school do not count, so if he switches from CAP to JROTC, he will have 4 years of JROTC on his application, not 3 CAP +4 JROTC.

    If for some reason he isn't able to do both, and he enjoys CAP, he should stick with it. If he'd like to check out the Navy side of the house, he could certainly do that as well. The only possible advantage I see in JROTC is it's another potential nomination source.

    Either way, at your son's age, he should be doing activities that appeal to him, not what he feels will look better on an application. It works out in the end.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
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  3. Lax Mom

    Lax Mom Member

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    He is also heavily involved in lacrosse including travel. We are thinking that lacrosse, plus one or more extra curricular activities (e.g. debate team or something similar), plus academics, plus either CAP or JROTC would be a lot to fit into a high school schedule.

    Do many kids do both? We hadn't even considered that an option.

    I am new to this forum. Thx for the help!
     
  4. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    I was editing my post as you were replying, so it's a little longer now. I would not presume to speak for your family, but I think my son would have been able to do both, and he was a 3-season athlete in high school (cross country, swimming and track) and competed at a national level in a 4th sport outside of school. There was not much in the way of outside commitment in his JROTC unit, although he only did it one year. If the NROTC unit is a very active one, his experience might be different.
     
  5. Lax Mom

    Lax Mom Member

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    Thanks very much for the advice. I think my son would really enjoy either CAP or JROTC. They both do a significant amount of activities outside of school, and I am thinking he may be better off fully devoting himself to one or the other.

    So you really don't think NJROTC would be more highly regarded? I might think they would like a kid who had some knowledge of the Navy before he got there, particularly since we are not a military family.
     
  6. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    I can't say whether or not it's highly regarded (I suspect not too terribly high, to be honest), but I know that it doesn't really confer much of an advantage to a cadet beyond the first couple of weeks of ROTC - it's more of a citizenship program than a military one, if that makes sense. Your son should do whichever he prefers, and his preferences could certainly change over time as well. At 12-13, my son was dead set on the USNA. He commissions in May as an Army Infantry officer. Keeping all options open and taking the time to learn as much as possible about all the different potential avenues to commission is much more important than Army vs Navy vs AF at your son's age.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  7. MaximusFL

    MaximusFL Member

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    As my experience in JROTC, it is almost all during school. It's just another period and then people can choose the teams that go along with JROTC. I know several cadets doing both JROTC and CAP and are athletes. My advice might be different than others but middle school do what is fun. Freshman year do what is fun and find something you can maintain


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  8. Lax Mom

    Lax Mom Member

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    Thanks for the info. That gives us a different perspective on the situation!
     
  9. Usnavy2019

    Usnavy2019 Member

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    One thing to also consider is that if the NJROTC unit is an honor unit, then the unit has the ability to nominate its participants to USMA, USNA, and USAFA. If they are able to nominate, that gives your DS an extra chance to get an appointment, which in the ever so complicated and nerve-racking game of numbers, could pay dividends. It only takes one slate for your DS to get in, but the more times you are on a slate, the better chance your DS has.
     
  10. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

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    It most certainly is important that your youngster does what is most interesting to him/her. One aspect that hasn't been presented from my quick scan of the postings is the aspect of leadership. Given your son's tenure in CAP I would suspect he should be prime for assuming one of the leading positions in his unit. I would consider that aspect before making any rash moves in his activities. Best wishes to him.
     
  11. Lax Mom

    Lax Mom Member

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    Thank you! I appreciate the advice and good wishes.
     
  12. sarahhhee

    sarahhhee Member

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    I do swimming, AFJROTC, and CAP all at the same time with my AP courses. I feel that this is a way to learn how to better my time and management skills; this may also help prepare for the academy as the load does not get lighter.
     
  13. Lax Mom

    Lax Mom Member

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    Thanks for writing this. My son is now considering doing the same thing.
     
  14. TheSavage44

    TheSavage44 Member

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    If he's big on Lacrosse, you may want to check out USNA'S Lacrosse Camp. It's held every summer and is a very solid program. As for the CAP vs NJROTC, let him make the choice. I doubt one would be more beneficial than the other, but unlike the reply I read earlier, his time in the CAP does count even before high school.
     
  15. ctkttww

    ctkttww Member

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    Adding to and affirming this, my DS has accepted an appointment to USNA for the class of 2019. His experience as a Squadron First Sergeant in CAP gave him great leadership experience. It was one of the things he talked about in his MOC interviews. He was asked specifically about times where his leadership helped other people. He was able to talk about mentoring younger CAP cadets and helping them promote, his leadership style, etc. I think that being able to speak about this was a prime reason for my son receiving our Senator's Principle Nomination. CAP has been a great experience for my son. Stick with it. My son has gotten to do some really cool stuff because of CAP, I mean, how many high school kids get to fly in a KC135 re-fueler as it re-fuels a Stealth Bomber? :)
     
  16. Lax Mom

    Lax Mom Member

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    Impresive! Thanks for the encouragement. I will pass this on to my son.
     
  17. Lax Mom

    Lax Mom Member

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    Thanks for this post. Last month we registered him for the Navy lacrosse camp, and he is looking forward to it not only for the lacrosse, but also for the experience of living at USNA for a few days. Glad to hear that it is a good camp!
     
  18. luv2fly

    luv2fly Member

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    Lax Mom, does your son want to learn how to fly?
     
  19. Lax Mom

    Lax Mom Member

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    Yes, he is interested in learning to fly. This is one of the appeals of CAP. I don't know if being a Navy pilot would be a good fit for him or if he would even be able to become one, but that is an option he may pursue.
     
  20. TheSavage44

    TheSavage44 Member

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    If he may not want to be a pilot, he could always pursue the NFO track ;-)
     

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