Close the SA's

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by osdad, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. osdad

    osdad Member

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    And idea for discussion:

    Close the SA's and grow all officers through ROTC programs and have them spend a year at a SA to hone their leadership/military skills?

    A quick look at the numbers says that we could totally close 4 of 5 SA's.

    Doing so would probably also lead to more and better communication between the services as these officers advance - having been classmates with peers now serving in other branches.

    Yes I know this would face tremendous opposition from all sides but if all things are on the table then some out of the box thinking is needed.

    (Do I get extra points for using two wornout expressions in one sentence? :biggrin: )
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    First, I think Greg Gutfeld has banned both of those phrases! :biggrin:

    Fair idea. But I doubt even the "final year at an SA" would be needed. Seems like whatever would be derived from that could be addressed by other schools like USMC TBS. OTOH, it will never fly and I'm not convinced we're ill served by the current system.

    Do you have a figure on cost savings?
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Plus then I would be able to talk like an old time "when i was your age, we had colleges that were military schools."
     
  4. Seavoyager

    Seavoyager Member

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    There is no evidence over whether the quality of SA officers is better than ROTC officers, so closing the SAs and pushing everyone to ROTC would not affect the fleet in terms of officer quality.

    If you look at how some European countries train their officers, they keep traditional academics and military training completely separate. Students enrolled at their countries’ military academies generally do 2 full years of academics, spend their 3rd full year doing military training (physical, weapons, fleet training, navigation, etc.), then finish their final year of university before graduating and heading to the fleet. Others will have programs similar to OCS where aspiring officers undergo 30 weeks or so of training.

    Another idea to consider: For the U.S., it is required to have a college degree to become an officer. Most of Europe does not require this. I know several jet pilots for the royal navy where the only thing required of them was their completion of their A-levels (high school). Thats not to say the screening process isn't in-depth, but Europe tends to take a different approach to the U.S.

    The same approach holds true for medicine as well. In Europe, you can graduate secondary school and attend medical school right away. The U.S. requires you to get an [expensive] undergrad degree first. There are pros and cons to both systems. I’m just trying to encourage the “out of the box thinking”.
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I would only be in favor of following the "European model" for this, if some superpower is funding our security under a NATO or UN like framework where we can maintain small numbers while having our defense provided by someone else. :rolleyes:
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    What would you consider as a good evidence? Purely playing a devil's advocate, there was an Army study or independent research at CGSC or U.S. Army College that concluded that West Point graduates that starts to perform better starting field grade level. Also counting how many current Army 4 stars are West Point graduates might say that there is a difference.
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    There are statistics that say that it takes 2.5 ROTC/OCS folks vs. 1 SA person to produce a 20-year vet.
     
  8. pathnottaken

    pathnottaken Member

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    I am afraid that using promotion data and career data will not fully qualify as un-bias data. It is well know that where one goes to school as a tremendous impact on promotion and retention. Oh I am not just talking about the military. All people tend to favor those that they believe share something with them (college is one of the big ones). I work for a very large technically orriented corporation and to get hired out of college you have better gone to 1 ot 10 (YES ONLY 10) engineering schools.

    Thinking out of the box I like model for becoming an officer to be an enlisted first. Then slecting candidates to go to SA from those ranks.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    If not promotion or career data, than what do we use. The question was that there us no difference between SA and ROTC officers. I was playing a devil's advocate. The mention data might be biased, but its better than no data.

    If all officers have prior enlisted time, who us going to think outside of the box as their enlisted time will have big effects on their leadership style.
     
  10. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    One thing to consider when looking at the current 4 stars is that the commissioning process was a lot differnt when these current 4 stars became new 2LT's. Back then only SA grads were Regular Officers, ROTC commissions had to wait until CPT before applying for regular status. ROTC has grown a great deal in the later years, I think it will be more telling 10 years down the road when it comes to promotion rates between SA and ROTC.

    That being said I don't see the closure of the SA's anytime soon.

    Couldn't agree more with the Bold line in your quote.
     
  11. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Perhaps a different time, I knew when I got commissioned I was regular status (I thought ROTC distinguished grads got regular status) but it didn't have any effect on my career. My understanding was that in theory regular status gave some protection in case of RIF, otherwise not much else.
     
  12. nigel

    nigel Member

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    Which one should stay open?

    Nicole
     
  13. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    You are correct- when I graduated from VMI I was a DMG and had an RA Commission vs a USAR Commission. Upside- I got paid from graduation day forward, Drawback- I was required to report immediately to Ft Benning though my IOBC class didn't start for over a month, while guys who didn't have a regular commission had a report date that coincided with the start of the class. Fortunately my dad pointed out that I could always go into "the hole" for leave so I still got some leave before showing up to Ft Benning while my classmates who reported right away performed critical tasks like judging yards for the post "yard of the month" competition, and helping setup for the post 4th of July ceremonies. ( Not sure the Army got its money's worth as some of the yards those guys rewarded were pretty questionable- one classmate made it a point to reward lawn statuary ie... garden gnomes etc..:eek:) As far as the RIF protection of an RA- that was the theory but I don't know that it ever really worked out that way.

    I think that the biggest threat to the ongoing existence of the SA's is their retention rate on AD past the initial obligation. I don't know what it is now, but a couple of years ago, the retention rate beyond 5 years was down below 40%. I know that the AOG was pretty concerned and sponsored a couple of white papers looking at that trend. That should really be a concern - I think that the Army has been pretty well served by West Point for the last 200 years, but those Cadets are pretty expensive and if a pretty significant majority of them are leaving the serivice as quickly as they can for more lucrative professions, then it will be increasingly difficult to justify maintaining USMA.
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I would guess USCGA, because there is no Coast Guard ROTC.
     
  15. osdad

    osdad Member

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    It would have to be one of the big three as you'd need to host about 3500-4000 officers. (Sorry LITS - CGA is out.) Then you'd have to be able to train for each service - so AFA is out as there's no water anywhere near. That leaves West Point and Annap. (Here's an idea: they could decide it on the football field - winner stays open. :shake: ) But there's arguments to be made for each.

    If I were leading the selection team, rule #1 would be any person who utters "tradition" or "historical significance" is sent packing.

    They'd probably spend more time arguing this question than they would the original one. So as Jcleepe said - not happening anytime soon.
     
  16. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    It doesn't just need to be near water. It needs to be near salt water! That leaves only one option. But of course we're talking about the Feds who spend money like it's water. So they would probably just build a new academy or find a way to bring salt water to Colorado.
     
  17. JMS

    JMS Member

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    clear evidence that the 'old boys network' functions.
     
  18. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Must have missed the issue point as I don't feel like I am a part of any "network."

    I personally have not seen any senior officers show favoritism towards West Point grads. One my units had a high percentage of West Point grads. But with force distribution of ratings, some grads didn't and couldn't get high ratings.
     
  19. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Innovative idea, but doesn't it start to get close the "purple force" notion that so many have a strong reactions too?
     
  20. Seavoyager

    Seavoyager Member

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    Bruno makes a great point. I think it applies to various communities in the military but one navy community in particular (Surface Warfare) is renowned for horrible retention rates, and no amount of money will be able to fix this!

    I guess if someone has technically spent the past 10 or so years (1 yr prep school, 4 yr SA, 5 yr initial commitment) in the military, and they are in a community which they don't like, then they are probably looking for a change.
     

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