Cuts and Active Duty

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Hoffy600, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Hoffy600

    Hoffy600 Member

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    So I've been reading the previous thread about AROTC for the past few days and its really worrying me. Seems like slipping grades, a remedial APFT, or other things can end your scholarship right there. Whether or not all this talk (that is frightening to a scholarship recipient like me) is true, I want to know:

    If AROTC is really looking to cut back the number of commissioned officers that go active duty, would NROTC be a better option? I'm not going to go into this again because I don't want to be repetitive, but I can see myself in the Army or Navy. If the Navy has not been hit as hard by budget cuts (perhaps only because NROTC is just smaller and commissions less officers than AROTC) then would that mean I have a better chance becoming an ensign with a Navy 4-year scholarship than a 4-year Army scholarship?

    It seems like Navy has been less impacted on the ROTC side of things (just my impression). If the previous post (titled: downsizing AROTC) is really on-the-mark, then wouldn't becoming a midshipmen give me a better chance of a military career?

    Thanks for any and *all* feedback.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I'm not sure how to answer that, and I suppose I won't. I'll perhaps give some perspective.

    Don't pay attention to whats happening to the ROTC units, pay attention instead to what is happening to the various services themselves. Both Army and Navy are being cut. What's important, at least shorter term, is how big the manpower cuts are as that will determine the number of officers needed. In fact look at the percentages (I don't actually know what the percentages are, but in terms of absolute numbers Army is hit harder).

    Longer term you might need to look beyond the manpower cuts to other things. For example, if the Navy continues to shrink in terms of spending on ships so that the number of ships decreases, then you can see more manpower cuts coming down the road. Also look within the service. For example I've seen numbers on the cuts to the Marines but haven't seen any manpower numbers for the fleet. It possible that within the Navy you are better off as a Navy option than a Marine option (I honestly don't know the answer to this).

    Finally, you might look to the hotspots and strategic situations around the globe. Let's consider Iran. I personally can't forsee us ever sending in large forces if it came to that. Instead it would be naval/airpower and perhaps some amphibious incursions. Ditto China. [ed: I'm only an armchair general, and not even on TV]. OTOH, you never know what's going to come across the horizon unexpectedly. Who forseaw the first Gulf War? No one I know. In fact who foresaw the second Gulf War prior to Sept 11 2001?

    Don't think I helped you answer your problem but hopefully I gave you a way to think about it? I'm sure others have their own thoughts they'll be willing to share.

    Back to your underlying concern. If you get a scholarship, and you perform as you should (always striving to be ABOVE expectations - and succeeding in that) you will be fine in either the Army or the Navy. The situations you've been reading about are no different than they have ever been except its a bit more stringent now. The days of laxity are over.
     
  3. Hoffy600

    Hoffy600 Member

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    Thanks Kinnem. I guess as long as I continue to hold myself to the standards that got me the scholarships in the first place, I'll be fine.

    Interesting that you brought up the reduction of the actual fleet size; how this will affect manpower. On the other hand I merely meant that I *believed* that Navy you only got active duty: whereas w/ AROTC as a result of the personnel cuts there are a lot more Reserve handouts happening. W/ NROTC, I heard that the most recent graduating class got time in the IRR untill thier training pipelines were open.
    Thx again,

    Hfy600
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    One thing to understand about the military and ROTC is this is cyclical, it happened in the 70's after Vietnam, it happened in the 90's after the Gulf and it is happening now.

    It is not only about the drawdown in size, but also because of the economy. Each branch has long term strategic plan of how many (%) will do 4 and the door (ROTC) and 5 and dive (SA), on top of those who will leave mid-career (10 yrs) and those who will retire at 20 yrs and a day. When the unemployment rate is high, retention rate is high, and that is on of the issues we are facing now. Their manpower numbers are over their needs, which means they must cut. Each branch has their specific numbers they must meet, and each branch will address it differently..it is not apples to apples.

    That being stated, 5 yrs later after the 92 draw dow, because the economy was growing, and they had fewer ROTC cadets/mids the rates change regarding the amount they kept compared to the amount they released. That is where you are now, you are asking as a HS sr what will happen 5 yrs from now for FY2016/17. FY budgets run 10/01-09/30 for current yrs...right now it is FY11/12

    If the Army is your 1st choice, don't go Navy because you believe it will be easier or may save you, go because it offers you the best chance for your 1st and 2nd and 3rd career options. Remember even when numbers are good there is no guarantee you will get your dream. The guarantee is you owe 4 yrs of your life, and they own you.

    I also would like to remind you that each branch has a min gpa for ROTC scholarships, and they can vary a lot from 2.0 to 2.8 when it comes to keeping the scholarship. Not only that, but NROTC offers 85% to STEM majors, and you can't just decide after 1st semester that you will transfer over to non-tech. You need their approval to do this as a scholarship recipient.

    You need to ask yourself as a scholarship recipient, what will I do if I lose it, can I afford to stay at the college. Both A/NROTC scholarships are tied to the college, and it is great that you can attend that college, but not so great if it is the major reason you can attend. Talk to your folks now about the OMG what if I do loose the scholarship after my freshman yr, can we afford me to stay or will I need to transfer to a lower cost college?

    Kids and parents are so excited to see the acceptance and scholarship that typically they take it for granted that 4 yrs are paid for a school and never address the what if issue. What if you play ultimate frisbee with friends from the dorm, get injured and now are medically DQ to serve? Granted low chances of that happening, but low is not 0, even 1 in a 1000 means, 1 on scholarship in your yr group will have this occur. How will you stay there if you can't afford it? Look at many posters on this forum, where cadets/mids ranging from fresh to sr now have financial burdens because of things they believed when they were awarded would never be an issue or factor in their life.

    Emotionally, getting cut hurts alot, but it is something you will get over. Getting dis-enrolled and being forced to leave the college of your dreams because you didn't have a back up plan on how to pay for it, saying goodbye to your military career, your college and your friends would be hard for a person that is 50 with a life experience, let alone a 19 yo for their 1st life experience.

    If you want the Army, and really want it, you will be commissioned; the reason why is simple...you want it. If that means you will tell your friends on Thursday night I can't go to the BB game of Duke vs UNCCH because I have a mid-term tomorrow, you will tell them that. If it means that you run every Sunday morning in rain, snow or heat to get a better PFT score you will do it.

    Success in the military, even in a downturn is not just about the branch cutting, it is also about your drive and determination to prove to them why they should invest in you over someone else. Yes, they have control, but not 100%, you also have control over your ROTC career. The amount you put in, or lack there of, will be a factor.

    I am not trying to antagonize, I am just asking you look into your heart, and ask yourself, if you had 3 secs to choose which branch you must dedicate at least 8 yrs (4 college, 4 after) what would be your answer? Trust me we did this with DS, literally counted, 3,2, 1.

    From there we played devil's advocate for his choice and asked him to defend it. Gave him every hard question. Once he had to defend his position, he understood that he made his choice for himself and was able to move forward with confidence.

    Here's my devil's advocate questions for you:
    1. Crystal ball 4 yrs from now the Army will guarantee your dream career, but the Navy won't, do you want to be in the Navy?
    ~~~Are you ready to sit in a sandbox for 6 months? Are you ready to live on a boat?
    ~~~ These are opposite spectrums, and yes, I get it you want either Army or Navy and would be happy with either, but JMPO, your avatar is aviation and the thing they have in common are helos.

    2. Neither will give you choice 1, which branch will make you happier with choice 2?
    ~~~ Sandbox, Korea, or water? Just giving the worst. I believe in hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

    3. What is the min cgpa for NROTC compared to AROTC, and NROTC is 85% STEM, you did not state you are an NROTC scholarship recipient. From what I understand NROTC is a meld of both AROTC and AFROTC...AROTC is college tied, AFROTC is STEM tied.
    ~~~If you are not scholarship for NROTC you must be by the end of your sophomore yr, just like AFROTC. Can be wrong, and I openly admit it, but if that is true, and your intention is non-STEM, have you looked into what you need to make this cut as far as it goes with the cgpa? AROTC scholarship min is 2.0, AFROTC is 2.8, that is a huge range.


    Long post I know, but my goal was to get you from tunnel vision to a bigger picture and look deep into what you want for your future.

    Best of luck, and from my family thank you for stepping up to the plate to defend this country so our children can live striving for their dreams without sacrificing their personal lives.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    In the past, all Navy went Active Duty. One never knows about the future and this could change.

    To address a couple things in Pima's excellent post:

    1. I believe minimum GPA for Navy option is 2.5, Marine Option is 2.0. You'll go on mandatory study hours around 2.8 but I expect this varies somewhat with the school. Of course what's encouraged is GPAs around 3.25 or better.

    2. You don't need to have a scholarship to participate past sophmore year, you need Advanced Standing (which is what I expect Pima meant). There is a difference. Scholarship pays for tuition, books, fees and a monthly stipend. Advanced standing just yields the monthly stipend. This is a minor point as the needs of the Navy will drive it ultimately, but you can put several midshipmen on stipend for the cost of a scholarship. To achieve advanced standing you must be nominated by your PNS and selected by the Naval Service Training Command Advanced Standing board.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  6. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Hoffy600 --

    What a great choice you have between accepting NROTC or Army ROTC scholarships!

    I assume you've already researched this, but in case not, here are some very important differences, aside from the obvious tent-on-sand-gun-in-hand vs. hotel-on-water-computer-in-hand considerations:

    1. 5 yr. Active Duty Service Obligation Navy vs. 4 yr. ADSO Army
    2. 16 Branches to chooose from out of Army, basically 3 Service Communities (Aviation, SWO, Subs) out of Navy. (e.g. Military Intlligence is possible right out of school for Army, not so for Navy)
    3. Navy has a huge fixed wing component, Army almost none... almost all rotary
    4. Navy ROTC must take a year of Calculus, and a year of Calculus based Physics in college, regardless of Major (does not apply to Marine Option or Nurse Option). If you're Tier I or II, you'd have to take those classes anyway because all BS students do, but if you're a BA student (Tier III), having to take those can be quite a burden and a possible drain to the GPA!
    5. Navy until now is 100% Active Duty so long as you make it through to commission. In contrast, about 20% of Army cadets last year who wanted Active Duty were forced Reserves/Guard because of a lower standing on the OML. In the future, it is predicted 40% will be forced Reserves/Guard who wanted AD.
    6. Navy has 4-6 week paid summer commitments each of the three summers (Cortramid, 2nd Class Cruise, 1st Class Cruise). Army has only one 4.5 week paid summer commitment after Jr. Year (LDAC). In other words with Army you might need to/get to find a summer job after each of your Freshman and sophomore years in college.
    7. Small financial differences: Army stipend is $16,000 over four years, Navy is I think $13,000. Army pays $4,800 books over four years, Navy $3,000 I think.
    8. Scholarship shape differences: Army has a lot of 3 Yr. Advanced Designee scholarships (usually to expensive Private schools), which are effectively 75% scholarships. Navy until now only has full 4 yr. scholarships. This can be a HUGE difference in out-of-pocket expense.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    A couple additions to Dunninla's post.

    From your picture you seem to be interested if Aviation.

    The in service time commitment for Aviation Active Duty is longer then the standard commitment. I am not sure how long the Navy requires, someone should be able to tell you. The Army requires 6 years after initial Flight Training, add in the time you have to wait between commissioning and starting Flight School you easily be looking at 8 years AD. Army Flight school is long, around 19 months plus.

    As far as summer obligations, You can apply for CULP your MS1 year if you are contracted, if selected it is a 4 week commitment the summer after your freshman year. You can also apply for CULP your sophomore year. There is also the opportunity to attend a summer training course such as Airborne School, Air Assult, Mountain Warfare, and others. That would be a summer commitment of up to 3 weeks plus during the summer after your sophomore year. A large number of cadets attend a CTLT either after or before LDAC during the summer after their Junior year, this would add 3 weeks to the 4 weeks that you would spend at LDAC. If you are on the high side of your battalion OML there is the possibilty you could be busy all three summers of the first three years of college.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Navy AD requirement after completion of flight school
    - fixed wing: 8 years
    - other: 6 years

    Which makes me wonder (only for curiosity), is the Osprey considered fixed wing? or rotary? Sems like you could make a case for each but I would guess at rotary.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The bold is important.

    After completion = winging = 1 yr after commissioning before that 8 yr contracts kicks in.

    So in essence for class of 17, you are not let loose as a flier in 2025, but 26 on the best day.

    We have yet to acknowledge you may not go to UPT until 6 months after you graduate, making it 2018, and 2027.

    Think about it 2027

    Think about it 15 yrs.
     
  10. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Is my math wrong, wouldn't that be a 9 maybe 10 years depending on when you go to UPT, or are you counting the 4 years of ROTC as well, making it a total of 13 to 14 years including college.
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Makes me think of "Animal House" when Bluto said "Did we just take it when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?".

    Forget it. She was on a roll! :biggrin:
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Jcleppe I am placing ROTC in the equation.

    Graduate May 2016.

    UPT class begins March 2017
    UPT graduation Mar 2018.

    The clock for fliers does not start until Mar 2018.

    Add 8 yrs with no delay for UPT and winging and we are at 2026 on a good day. Or for the HS sr class is 2012 it still equals 14 yrs?

    Does it really matter?

    My point was and is you are 17, can you say to me at 17, that at 24 your goals will be the same? No offense, but when you were 10 did you have the same career goal as you do as a 17 yr old?


    Kinnem. Jcleppe's DS will commission this spring with a rated slot, he entered 08 if he wings in 13. a good day, he now will be stuck until 2021...entered 2008, applied 2007...OMG...14 yrs if he doesn't go casual...15/16 yrs for a candidate poster if they do. If your child was in an SA, would you not count those yrs?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  13. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I'm pretty sure I posted earlier that the Army is the same, 6 year commitment follows Flight School. Considering the length of Army Flight School, 19 Months plus, and an average report date of 2 to 3 months after graduation, his total Commitment could easily end up being 8 years. The 4 years of college would have happened with or without ROTC. But your right the total including ROTC/College would be 12 years.

    Didn't mean to ruffle any feathers, was just wondering if the time you stated was including College time. Thanks for the clarification, it could make some jaws drop if the time frame you laid out didn't include College.
     

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