Continual self-improvement

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Ligustinus, May 15, 2014.

  1. Ligustinus

    Ligustinus Ligustinus

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    So, as I enter this new stage of pursuit in becoming an Army officer I was wondering if anyone knew of any other blogs, forums, websites, or groups that can provide some outside help to me in ROTC. I've already discovered a couple like warcouncil.org, and the Maneuver self study program, but are there any more out there? Also any tips on how to use Maneuver self study program to get the most out of it, or other sources outside of the army, or even other sources inside the Army on how to become a better all around leader. Thanks for your time and consideration on my path to receiving an ROTC scholarship, and in helping me with this question!
     
  2. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    Read the Service Academy Forums, looking especially for inspiration on leadership and education. Make a google doc, and paste into it the especially sage words of advice that you would like to refer back to later. Give each entry a headline, and use the Google doc's feature of indexing so you can more easily find the relevant entries when you need them. Probably a good idea to note who it was giving the advice in case you want to quote them some day.

    The indexing feature is a "lab" that you have to manually add to the document, but it's worth the trouble!
     
  3. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    Actually, I think the lab might be called "Table of Contents," not "indexing."
     
  4. runslikeajohndeere

    runslikeajohndeere Member

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    Use your cadre to utmost ability; they understand the ropes and will respect your willingness to learn. IMHO their field experience will do more supplementing than text. Nevertheless I often refer to texts so you're embracing "good thinking". DS often cites his cadre and sees the variety of perspectives from their varied duties over their military tenure.
     
  5. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    I can see that you are very HOOAH about ROTC, nothing wrong with it - I was just like you when I came in. I just want you to be aware of something when you start up in the fall.

    I get that you want to know anything and everything there is to know about the Army/ROTC. I'm not saying it's bad - it's actually good. You'll be ahead of your peers ... and it means less reading to do once you commission. Just be careful of the image that you create of yourself by your peers. Don't be "that guy" who always has to correct someone when they are wrong or who loves to gloat about all the gee-whiz stuff they know. There's nothing a cadet hates more, than "that guy". And definitely don't show up with the attitude of "this is how we did it in JROTC (etc.)"

    ... but if you really insist; here are some sources that I've used my MS1 year: Army Leadership and ADP 6-22 (which is apparently where the information was drawn from in your self study program).

    You'll be fine, with or without all of this stuff. Just show up with an open mind and be ready to learn (even though you may have already learned it).
     
  6. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    PT, PT, and more PT. And then there's your GPA

    DS is finishing his MS III year of AROTC.

    The most frequent warning he received before showing up for day one was to be fully prepared physically. He was basically in good shape, but he was shocked at how many cadets showed up out of shape.

    When he had his first PT test, the MS IV who counted his push-ups did not count several of them due to poor form. DS failed the test. He then had to wait one month for the retake, thereby delaying his scholarship, stipend, etc.

    Apropos to Thompson's post, passing the PT first time is a good way to stay under the radar.

    DS would advise to learn the proper form for push-ups and sit-ups and make them a part of what ever work out regime you now use. That regime should also include running for time in the 2 mile. If you do not have a regular workout regime, then start one.

    One last thing, also to Thompson's point...You will learn everything you need as part of the ROTC program. Your adjustment to college life and maintaining a GPA will be much more important than being a few chapters ahead in your MS classes. If your are in Engineering, your time studying may be better spent making sure your can pass Calculus and Physics.

    Your forethought is good and you'll probably do very well. Best of luck!

    p.s. Did I mention that DS really loves ROTC?
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Ah the wisdom gained in a mere single year! Good post Thompson! :thumb:
     
  8. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    The above posts are great. I agree with the fact that they will teach you what you need to know. If you could learn everything ahead of time some of the program would be boring to you.

    The biggest thing DS has learned this year is time management and learning to block out a time slot every evening for studying and homework. He never had to in high school. Don't forget your regular classes and activities. They are just as important and make you a well rounded cadet.

    A gung ho cadet that can max his APFT but only has a 2.0 gpa isn't going to impress his commanders.
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    This is probably some of the best advice you could get going into your first year.

    I have had two sons in AROTC, one graduated in 2012 and the younger just finished his MS3 year. I agree with what was said above.

    Don't worry about trying to get a big jump on your MS class, as it was advised, get in shape for your first APFT, once your at school concentrate on academics, and I couldn't agree more with being involved in both ROTC and your school.

    Neither of my sons did more then just get into shape before the first day of school, it is really best if you start ROTC as a blank canvas, don't worry the lines and color will be added soon enough leading to a fine portrait of a new 2LT at the time of your graduation.
     
  10. Ligustinus

    Ligustinus Ligustinus

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    To pay it forward: Thanks for the tip of using Google Docs, I already started by adding what a lot of you guys have said on this post!

    To Thompson: I'm actually kinda worried about coming off as this guy. I just really enjoy learning about the stuff I'm interested and so I like to soak up as much information as I can. I try not to show it off though.

    I've been working on my push ups and sit ups. I'm a runner by trade and so I'm not worried about my two mile, I just ran an 11:01 at my region track meet which I was pleased about because it was a huge PR. So I'm planning on focusing largely on my upper body and push up form this summer. Thanks for your guys's help and information!
     
  11. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Great advice thus far!

    I will be honest: not sure if you are joining ROTC at college or still in HS but considering applying for a scholarship. Either way the advice is good.

    Get in shape, learn the proper form and workout often.

    Rather than concentrate on tactics, warfighting, etc I would recommend you consider extracurricular reading on leadership. There are good military and civilian books on the subject. Far more important than tactics at this point.

    If I were to recommend a subject to learn before joining a ROTC unit, I suppose it would be helpful to know military customs and courtesies including ranks, chain of command, etc.

    Good luck!
     
  12. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I believe he is starting his MS1 year in the Fall.
     
  13. Ligustinus

    Ligustinus Ligustinus

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    Sorry for the confusion, I was meaning to thank you guys for the help I received on my path to my scholarship. I was lucky enough to be awarded a 4-year scholarship to my number one school, which I will be attending this fall as an MS 1.
    USMCGRUNT do you have any titles on leadership that you especially recommend? I have a list of leadership/military books I want to read and I'm always adding titles.
     
  14. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    There have been many book lists on this forum. Here is one but if you use the search function you will find other recommendations: http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=35115&highlight=Leadership+books

    The USMC Commandant publishes a required reading list for all Marines every year. Here is the 2014 list: http://guides.grc.usmcu.edu/usmcreadinglist

    This is the Commandant's required list for Midshipmen: http://guides.grc.usmcu.edu/content.php?pid=408059&sid=3340394

    Have fun!
     
  15. Ligustinus

    Ligustinus Ligustinus

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    Thanks USMCGRUNT, Some of those titles I haven't heard of yet, thanks for the help. Hopefully when I get some extra money I can invest in some portable knowledge.
     
  16. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    Oh my gosh, really? I said something helpful?! I'm so happy to know that! Thanks, Ligustinus!
     
  17. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Physical fitness and school are your priorities.

    Everything else will come in time and maturity.

    Good luck

    Company Command: The Bottom Line is a book I enjoy if you really want something to read. It's focus is on being a company commander but it has good points for PLs or anyone in leadership positions.
     
  18. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Really Great posts here, I may add three things.

    1) Be yourself. Don't ever be something your are not because the people that count can usually see through you. It also the easiest path to take.

    2) Always be active to help others which is the foundation for leadership. It is also personnally rewarding.

    3) Build your network. College, ROTC, Army Schools, Assignments, LDAC will be opportunites to build friendships and connections that will surprisingly help you in the future.
     
  19. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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  20. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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