DOD budget

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by warrior21, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. warrior21

    warrior21 Member

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    Does anyone know what the effect of Panetta's proposed defense budget will be on ROTC programs? I would hope, nay, pray, that current scholarship winners would not be affected but what about future programs? Will there be less scholarships offered>
     
  2. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    The President's budget will be released soon after the "State of the Union" address in a few weeks. During the press conference last week, there were several statements "Check out the forthcoming details in the budget." Give it a few weeks and you will have your answer.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The issue is not just about budget, but the fact is only a few days ago Panetta and Obama stated they will be reducing manpower size, and for some branches it will be @15%. When they need less, they will offer less scholarships it just makes fiscal sense.
     
  4. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    One thing to remember, the DOD budget is already getting cut. I am no budget specialist, but I do know that a huge portion of the costs of Iraq and Afgan are off-budget items. Total defense spending has been falling for years as the US presence has drawn down.

    The big picture is that certain parts of the US military will be smaller. If we're not fighting two simultaneous land wars, the manpower needs of the various branches will change.

    I have no idea what they will do with ROTC, but there will continue to be a demand for Officers. The numbers will probably drop, but the SA's and ROTC still give the branches the best method for proactively acquiring the skill sets they need.

    I can tell you how my son approaches the issue of defense cuts, ROTC cuts, etc. There is nothing he can do about it; just as there is nothing he can do about the survival of a particular weapon system or military base. He can do something about his studies, his PFT and his MS. That's what he's being paid for.

    What I do is forward him articles about the current DOD budget debate and evolution of US military priorities. There have been a number excellent, non-partisan articles, this past week in the Wall street Journal. (WSJ.com)The takeaway is that the military's mission was changing anyway, before the first talk of cuts. The cuts will not be proportional, e.g. the Army will probably need more linguists but fewer tanks.

    Prior to Sep 11, the military was effectively transitioning into a lighter, faster, smarter, and more adaptable force. A devastating attack on the US and two simultaneous land wars sidetracked that process. We're going back to that. Since then, the world has changed almost everywhere. In 2001, drones carried nothing more than cameras. When the Twin towers were hit, China was the world's 7th largest economy. Now it is ranked #2. The US military will be as important to our relationship with China as the State Dept. Maybe you noticed that the US Marines will be opening a new base in Australia.

    Forget the politicians for a minute and just concentrate on the performance of the men and women in uniform. One minute, the Iranians are threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz, the Navy's response to which was to go pound sand. The next minute, sailors from the USS Kidd free Iranian fisherman, held hostage by Somali pirates. The safeties were off, but no shots were fired. The presence of an Urdu speaker on board the Kidd was as important as the guns. Hugs and smiles all around. The Iranians were all wearing USS Kidd baseball caps for the world press.

    For every Bin Laden operation there are a hundred others which are consequential to US national security or prestige, either in their success or their potential failure. All my son knows is that he wants to be a part of whatever the mission may be.

    My suggestion is to remember why you signed up. If it was to serve, then concentrate on those things you are being paid to do. Stay informed. Let the military speak for itself through its actions.
     
  5. mdrob214

    mdrob214 Member

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    22 years ago when the DoD started a reduction in force at the end of the cold war I was in the same position. Were there impacts to the current scholarships? Yes, in that fewer waivers for "oops" on GPA were granted and competition for a regular commision was tougher because the number of slots available were fewer. The services have known this was coming and if you look at the past 2-3 years they have already started to reduce the inflow into the training pipeline. cb7893 is correct, all you can do it take care of the things you control. In the "up or out" world of the military as a profession 90% of the "cuts" occur becuase the individual self-selected by NOT completing some part of the expected career path or by doing something they were not supposed to.

    Things will continue to get tighter, for example there may be fewer scholarships or the service won't allow you to change your major or fewer AF Cadets will go to SFT. It is not, however, the end of the world. Many of us on this board have been around to see this cycle one or more times in our careers either with a major RIF or smaller "force shaping" actions. Just take care of what you control.
     
  6. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I agree the military is reshaping for a balancing act with China: This is more of a Navy/Air Force play than an Army play. Cybersecurity will be huge, so computer science will be a major in high demand. This is a long-term trend and can be disrupted if there is game-changing internal political strife within PRC. The flashpoints around the world will continue to be "distractions" in the long-term trend.

    In terms of planning, my advice would be to follow a major that you can see yourself pursuing in civilian life (don't sign up for computer science, simply because you believe this will help in a military career). Do things that you can control.

    And sign up to be an officer because of the incredible management and leadership it provides, not because there is tuition money attached to it. Management and leadership experience will benefit you your entire career and will translate into greater economic benefits down the road (much more than any scholarship can provide).

    As for the "two land wars" issue, this arose because the military had to be prepared to deal with simultaneous conflicts in Europe and in Korea. Given that times have changed, what I don't know is whether simultaneous conflicts with China and Korea counts as "one" or "two" land battles.

    So . . . if I were going down this path again, my main question would be: "How can I best improve my chances for an Active Duty slot as an officer?" Doing well in the things you can control (GPA, PT, etc.) is a good starting point.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The fact is we can sugar coat it, or we can be honest. I prefer honesty.

    Scholarships will exist, but the competition will probably be much tougher because economically we are not at what it was like in 2006/07. Unemployment is higher and the stock market has yet to pass the 13K marker, plus parents don't have equity in their homes to take loans out to pay for college. That leaves people who would have never thought of going this path now applying if it means:
    ~ College paid
    ~ Job upon graduation

    You will also see them now looking harder, and not turning a blind's eye to things like mdrob214 stated.

    Every branch will bear a burden financially with these cuts, but they are over 10 yrs., and some branches will be hit harder and differently than others.

    Don't worry about the budget so much, worry more about your resume. Is it competitive, do you have weaknesses in it? Take this spring yr as a jr to close the weaknesses and improve your strengths.

    Like I said there will be scholarships, the question now lies at your feet regarding how much you have done to be a viable candidate for a scholarship.

    EC's ---NHS, Sports, BSA, JROTC, leadership?
    PFA --- Max it, practice, practice, practice
    GPA --- Unless you have a 4.0 out of 4.0, study your arse off and pull a 4.0 the end of this semester if you are a jr.

    If you are a soph, study also, but make sure as a jr you have the most rigorous course load that you can have, and during the summer be smart...buy books for the subjects jr yr and teach yourself instead of playing X-box until 1 a.m. If you do that at least when you enter you will academically have a stronger foundation, and hopefully that will translate into higher grades.

    Also, if you are a soph, and don't want to do that, buy an SAT book because as a jr. you will take the PSAT, if you score high enough (95%) you will be NMSF, and that is also a good EC.

    Good luck. Again, don't worry about what may or may not happen, just move forward to be the best...scholarships will not disappear, they may dissipate, but that is not the same.
     

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