Contemplating Transferring to Marine Option NROTC

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by LWS95, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. LWS95

    LWS95 Member

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    I know it's early in the semester and obviously I need to give it more time, but I have begun seriously considering attempting to transfer to a Marine Option NROTC program. So far the Academy has not proven to be at all what I expected. I came expecting a challenge. I thought Plebe Summer would be tough, I actually got out of shape over the summer. The actual responsibility placed on me is very little. No decision is left to us to make, we simply just remain on autopilot going through the same motions daily. We are treated like infants. I have just grown angry and frustrated over this. On another note, I only want to go Marine Corps. No disrespect to anyone, but the Navy is just not where I want to end up. I feel like going through the Academy to go Marine Corps is not the best of choices. The training is limited and leatherneck is only a shadow of what OCS is truly like from what I hear. I am simply seeking the insight of those who experienced this so that it may help me to guide my final decision.
     
  2. JMS

    JMS Member

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    Well, all I can think to say is... 'its early in the semester and you need to give it more time.'
    I imagine the start of the academic semester will change things up a bit and will likely provide some of the challenges you have not found yet. Plus, if you are doing well, then perhaps you are able to help others that are struggling.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Well, an NROTC MIDN during freshman fall semester is treated the same way regardless of option. In some units some MIDN might be getting leadership positions in the spring of freshman year as squad leaders etc. Some will wait until sophomore year to begin getting those opportunities. I certainly can't say I'm familiar with the academy, but I would expect in this respect things might be similar. Might you not just need to wait it out? Try talking to some upper class guys who plan on going Marines. I suspect there is training opportunities you simply aren't seeing or are aware of yet. I've never yet seen the occupation/avocation where you didn't first need to pay your dues.
     
  4. COmom

    COmom Member

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    Agree with Kinnem--DH and DD went NROTC (not Marines though), DS is currently a youngster. DD didn't get leadership positions until she was a sophomore.

    DS would agree with you, LWS95. He also left PS in worse shape than when he began and was frustrated with many things about plebe year. His cynicism meter was topped out by year's end. However, now that he is back and in his 2nd year, things are looking much different and he's currently one of 3 youngsters in his company who lead Plebe PT a couple of times a week--a position he applied for last year.

    I can't help you with Leatherneck, etc, but Hurricane 12 is an awesome resource on that end. FYI, I do know that NROTC Marine option do a summer training after their Junior year--maybe Leatherneck as well? DD's BF at the time went--pretty tough several weeks.

    Have you posted on the NROTC site? At a briefing this summer regarding ROTC, a current NROTC Captain reported that ROTC scholarships are presently extremely competitive--sequester and downsizing are impacting how many applicants are accepted.

    Good luck!
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    The stats on NROTC scholarship winners (GPA, SAT, etc) have always been a bit higher than the same stats (on average of course) for the Academy. It's always been tougher in that sense, regardless of the sequester.

    Regarding Leatherneck: Again I can't speak with any certainty here but it's definitely shorter and only because you've already had a whole bunch of the training that regular OCS attendees go through. It's also much shorter for NROTC MIDN. I wouldn't make the assumption though, that its easier for either group than it is for straight OCS attendees.

    I second the idea of using Hurricane12 as a resource. I'd reach out to her via PM through these forums. I'm sure she can give you a lot of insight.
     
  6. osdad

    osdad Member

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    What makes you think NROTC even w/ Marine option would be any "tougher" than the NA? I suspect that it would be a less so - how many hours a week does a NROTC Mid spend doing military type activities versus a Mid at NA? Is it boring? Is it redundant? Is it difficult to see how it relates to being a warrior? Is it down-right silly? Most probably most would say yes to all of those -then they'd add: welcome to the military.

    Have you talked to any of the MC Gunny's or Officers on the Yard?

    My 1/C went to Leatherneck this past June. It was not summer camp. Was it BUDS? No. But I doubt it was all that much different than TBS. Hurricane can enlighten us. The point is to give prospective Marine Corps officers a chance to evaluate the MC and, just as importantly, to be evaluated by the MC. My 1/C was very impressed by the leadership displayed (amongst other things) - so much so that MC AV was #1 on the service selection list just submitted.

    So PS was not as tough as you were expecting. Good for you that you came in prepared. My 1/C was a Detailer and reported that they were extremely restricted on what they could and (more importantly) could not do this year.

    Hang in there. Get involved in a club that interests you. Challenge yourself to be at the top of the OOM. Try something - a sport perhaps - that you've never done.

    Most importantly, think it through. Do not make any decisions without consulting trusted advisers.
     
  7. mjm

    mjm Member

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    Have you considered trying crew or cross country . From what I understand the cross country coach at Naval makes those guys run a lot of miles ! Those are two sports that will most certainly challenge you phsyically . They are endurance sports and will get you in the best shape of your life!:thumb:
     
  8. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    LWS95: I appreciate your frustration but want to warn that there is no automatic switch from the USNA to a NROTC scholarship. You would be giving up a "sure" thing and taking a big risk to make the move you are contemplating.

    The reality is that no matter the path, every Marine Officer goes to The Basic School (a six month course in Quantico, VA). Everything beforehand is a process of education and assessment but everyone ends up in the same place and measured under the same standards.

    There are definate benefits to graduating from the USNA including immediate active duty status and a strong and active alumni/ fraternity bond (which can help both in and out of the service).

    No one commissioning program is better than another. Each has its place, purpose and outputs. But all roads lead to TBS.

    Good luck.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Why? Are you saying you rather not serve in other branches at all? If so you need to think about what you are willing to sacrifice for our country as this discussion is about your personal needs.
     
  10. GoSox

    GoSox Member

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    I'm taking a little time out from the pennant race to respond to this. I'm an '08 USNA grad on AD as a USMC officer and have deployed multiple times. I am not saying I have any great wisdom for you but here it goes. I am going to be blunt (which is generally seen as a USMC virtue).

    First, the posters talking about trading a bird in the hand for two in the bush are right. Knowing some of the folks who are involved in reviewing packages for NROTC, and just putting myself in their positions, I would think your chances of getting a slot are not great. Due to budget constraints and the drawdown of forces, every officer accession program EXCEPT USNA is getting cut. The slots are scarcer than ever before, and you would be seen as a risk --if you didn't like the culture of the Naval Academy, who is to say you would later on like the culture of the Marines or the work of being a young officer? Much of it is unglamorous -- counseling your guys on credit card debt and marital issues. I can venture to say that some would use the "Q" word -- quitter. Nobody says this about a good young enlisted Marine who gives USNA a try and decides he prefers AD life over the rules and regs on the Yard plus the academic grind, but they look at direct admits differently from somebody who has already proved he/she is a good enlisted Marine. Bottom line: if you leave USNA you will have a hard time getting a spot in any USMC officer accession program, most of all NROTC with a scholarship. Not saying it is impossible, but you should be realistic -- most likely you are significantly lessening your chances of achieving your end goal, to be a Marine officer.

    Second, whoa there, it's early! Everyone I knew, at least, goes through some level of disillusionment with USNA. The summer training is not physically that hard; there are some low performing mids; some of the rules and regs don't seem to make any sense; it's hard to live in a regimented society (literally) where you voluntarily give up most of your freedom of choice for a while. Challenge YOURSELF. Work to excel academically. Join some organizations -- in community service oriented organizations, for example, a savvy plebe who is willing to work hard can get a taste of responsibility. Join the Semper Fi society. Work on your maturity -- being willing to spend a while at the bottom of an organization is part of that. If you were an enlisted Marine, you'd still have a month left of boot camp and not be able to refer to yourself in the first person. Work on helping those around you -- that's a sign of real leadership even without marks of rank. Some people just can't stand it -- they aren't cut from a cloth that allows them to mold themselves to the institution -- and I had some great, wild, fun friends who said "thanks but no thanks" to USNA. But none of them are USMC officers now, either -- what you are complaining about goes along with life in the military, so don't kid yourself that once you're in the AD USMC all the things irritating you now will be gone.

    Don't knock Leatherneck until you've done it. It's different from OCS or PLC because it is shorter and to a certain extent you've already gone through the what the Brits call the "shock of capture" (when you first join the military from civilian life). But it is challenging for where you are at the time, and there's lots of great Marines to watch in action. Leatherneck is not where the real training happens -- that takes place at TBS and, if you choose that route and the Corps chooses you, the Infantry Officer Course. I don't care where you came from, the IOC will wring you out. The idea that you are getting some sort of watered down USMC experience because your pre-TBS experience is USNA and Leatherneck is baloney.

    Lastly, I don't blame you for wanting USMC and not Navy -- very different service, culture. However, if you (1) stay fit; (2) stay out of honor and major conduct trouble; and (3) go into Leatherneck with a great attitude and a willingness to learn and start at the bottom; you will get USMC in Service Selection. I would argue that every single one of those things is within your own control -- the people who didn't get Marines controlled their own destiny, and made a choice or choices along the line that put Marines out of their path.

    Good luck. It really does get better.
     
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    LWS95,

    I am an Academy grad who went Marine Ground out of USNA. I served my time, then made a decision to leave the USMC. I had multiple deployments overseas.

    Like above, I will be blunt... If you think NROTC is going to be harder, think again. They are different, not harder, easier, worse or better, just different. USNA is a 24/7 environment, ROTC is not, unless you are looking at an SMC. If you are looking at an SMC for your ROTC, I think you will find your experience similar to USNA. Leatherneck is not OCS, it is not meant to be. Leatherneck's mission is to expose you to the USMC lifestyle, training, environment and to evaluate you. Essentially at the end of Leatherneck the Marines will evaluate all the Midshipmen and will know who they do or do not want. Our class had a much smaller percentage go Marine Corps than the current classes. We had 350 Midshipmen sign up for Leatherneck for 175ish Marine Ground spots. Guess what? They ran us hard 6 days a week and made Leatherneck tough. In fact I found Leatherneck a heck of a lot easier than TBS. They wanted natural attrition to reduce the numbers. In the end we had about 40 Mids who put USMC down as their #1 pick and didn't get it... this included 2 prior enlisted Marines they chose not to take.

    The fact you do not go to OCS is not going to hurt you at TBS in any way. Actually I found Academy grads were more comfortable with TBS than any other commissioning source. We lived there, were familiar with a lot of the training and training areas, and were used to living a regimented lifestyle. TBS is only 6 months of your time though. Academically it isn't that hard, physically it had its moment, but nothing that was impossible.

    Did you max your PRT at Navy? Have you tried the USMC PFT? Score a 300? You have a 4.0? Have you joined a team or club? If you haven't done these things then you have things to strive for. It is early in the school year, things are going to shake out still on training, academics, etc. Join the Semper Fi club. The one thing that I believe you will get at USNA compared to an ROTC program is exposure.... exposure to a lot more officers and enlisted then you would get at a regular university, the ethics and character development programs really make you think (not saying you won't at a normal university, but you won't get officers and enlisted joining your debates every class period). USNA is what you make of it. I think nearly every grad on this site will say that. If you want to push yourself, find opportunities to do it. Learning to follow is an important aspect of leadership. Right now you are probably learning what type of leader you don't want to be, more than what kind you do. That is important also.

    It is early, hang in there push yourself. If you do what you need to do, you will get Marine Corps out of USNA. When you do your gray hull, ask for an amphib, learn how it operates, the importance of the Navy in amphib ops, hopefully you will have Marines on board and can spend some time with them.
     
  12. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    A few thoughts . . .

    Most, if not all, military accession programs start with being a follower. As a general rule, you are a better leader if you first understand how to be a good follower. So, you're not going to be running the Academy as a plebe. Period. Just like Ensigns aren't commanding destroyers, 2nd LTs aren't leading battalions, etc. It's a progression . . . give it time. It will be time well spent.

    You're in week 2 or 3 of Ac Year. Any grad will tell you that PS isn't all that tough. It's not really supposed to be. Ac Yr presents the real challenge. If, at the end of the first 4 weeks, you have As in all your courses, you've maxed your fitness test, you have all of your rates and chow calls down cold every single time, and you're involved in a couple of ECAs, . . . then you may need more challenges. And, I'm sure USNA can find some for you.

    And if you max out plebe year, then major in Engineering, minor in a humanity (language, history, etc.), participate in a club or varsity sport so you're on the road a lot, and take on a leadership position in an ECA or within the brigade as a 3/c or 2/c. Come back and tell us how easy it is.

    If you want to to be more involved with the USMC, check with one or more of the USMC officers stationed at USNA about how to do so. Join Semper Fi, etc. There are lots of opportunities -- go out and find them!
     
  13. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    I agree with what others have said. More specifically on responsibility....yes, you really are only responsible for yourself at this point. If you want a challenge and want to demonstrate some leadership skills, figure a way out to get your company plebe class to practically have almost perfect PRTs, have QPRs close to 4.0, perfect professional quiz scores, etc. After plebe summer, teamwork isn't emphasized as much as it should be (IMO). I'd highly suggest you make it a point to help others if you find that there isn't enough challenge for yourself. I suspect you will not find this (these) task(s) easy.
     
  14. 18 Delta

    18 Delta Member

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    ???????
     
  15. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Edit... Sorry Leatherneck was harder than TBS. Mixed that up in my message. Actually the "harassment" package was the worst part of TBS. But USNA had prepared us well for all that. I think they spent more time worrying about if we had khakis and collared shirts on with a belt, than anything else.
     
  16. sandnnw

    sandnnw Member

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    Bartlett (2004). Commandants of the Marine Corps. p. 213.

    Be patient Plebe...there will come a time when the "hill" needs to be taken. As a USNA Marine officer, you'll be better prepared to argue & defend the "why" as opposed to the "how."

    Pull aside a few of your fellow plebes wearing more of the fruit salad on their chest, buy them a cup of coffee and you'll get a better story than we can provide here.

    Good luck, I know you'll make the right decision.
     
  17. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Leatherneck is an evaluation process for MC, like tryouts for football. They see something they like and they may keep an eye on you. Just like your fours years at USNA it is an evaluation process for any selected path. It is my understanding that Marine permanent party at USNA evaluate each Mid MC applicant when they decide to go Marine. They forward their recommendations to the selection board. Semper Fidelis.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  18. Apgallozzi

    Apgallozzi Member

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    You have to make it challenging for your self. Take on more responsibility and work harder if it's too easy for you then. Trust me, you don't realize the magnitude of what you'd be giving up by leaving here.
     

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