Enlisting Instead of ROTC?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Jd563, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Jd563

    Jd563 New Member

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    Hello,
    I've read many forums that have said going ROTC is well worth it as opposed to enlisting. My situation is a bit unique. Its been my lifelong dream to join the Navy. I applied for the NROTC Scholarship but did not get it. I applied for the AFROTC as a backup but did get that one. My issue is my heart is just not with doing AFROTC. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely grateful to the Air Force for the opportunity and I do realize that many others would love to be in my position but I think that's the issue. I would love to enlist in the Navy right now and then pursue a commission as soon as I am eligible but who the heck gives up a 4 year AFROTC Scholarship? I just feel like I would let a lot of people down if I did so. College orientation is coming up so maybe my perspective will change. Logically it makes sense to give AFROTC a try but I do not want to be behind if I don't like it. I would do the NROTC college program but college finances would be an issue. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.
    Many Thanks
     
  2. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    What do you want to do in the Navy?
     
  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Another option... Go give AFROTC a try. If it isn't the right fit then resign before you start your sophomore year and explore enlisting or joining an NROTC program. If you go in with a positive attitude, open mind and give it your all, the at the end of the day you know what is right for you.
     
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  4. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    I agree with NavyHoops. You have nothing to loose and you might like it. Also keep in mind the AF ROTC scholarship is 2+2. Meaning if you do well in the first 2 years you get invited back for the other 2 if not you will get voted off the island.
     
  5. brovol

    brovol Member

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    I never fully understand why people get so hardcore about one service over another. I understand having a favorite, but most branches of service have the same or similar jobs and opportunities, and none of those are guaranteed regardless. The one thing all of them provide through ROTC though is the opportunity to lead men and women as an officer.

    I guess if your only desire is to be on a ship, well Navy is the only option (or Coast Guard), but otherwise, lots of great career options in each branch.

    If you want to lead and serve, then be a bit more open minded. It isn't about the color of the uniform. They all serve the red, white and blue.
     
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  6. nofodad

    nofodad Member

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    Our DS was all Navy gungho, then USNA and NROTC both said no thank you and he "tried" AROTC. He commissioned last month. You might surprise yourself. I don't know much about the military, but I do know there is a big difference between being enlisted and being an officer, and it never hurts to have that degree.
     
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  7. AlphaAlphaSigma

    AlphaAlphaSigma Member

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    Your situation isn't unique at all. Been down that road. I'm still gung ho about the Navy that I root them to beat Air Force and will talk very highly about the Navy. Life's full of regrets. Considered enlistment if I was to not get selected to go to Field Training. Got selected so I never pulled the trigger. Do I regret not enlisting? Not really but I do dream about wearing those dress whites very now and then. The grass is greener on the other side. Whatever path you take you will think what if you went the other way. Everyone says to give it a try and I agree. Enlisting will still be there a year or two later. You have one year to give the scholarship a go and see how AFROTC is with no repercussions. I came into AFROTC thinking if its not right I'll jump ship and enlist but the friends I have made in ROTC kept me in.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree with everyone else. Try it for a year. The enlisted world is very different than officer from jobs to salary to housing. Thus, the question in my opinion you need to ask yourself, for at least 4 yrs. in a field they assign you to, are you not going to be thinking about the other path and asking what if I went that way?

    18 is young and you never realize how deep those family roots are until you leave. Going to college is not 24/7 365 days a year. If you want to come home for a weekend than you don't need permission (except for the folks) to go home. Whatever college you choose to attend is your decision. In the military life if they say you will be assigned in Timbucktoo even though you never asked to go to Timbucktoo, you are going to Timbucktoo.

    Finally. commissioning another route is not as easy from the enlisted side. You will still need that college degree. If you try to obtain it while you are AD it is not going to be a cake walk.
    1. As an enlisted member, money is going to be tight. Paying for college even with Tuition Assistance (they pay 75%, you owe 25%) is not going to be cheap. There are colleges like UMD, Embry Riddle, Webster, etc. have satellite colleges on base.
    2. Physically it would be hard to carry a full course load. You will work 8-4, take classes 6-10 4 or 5 days a week. So where will you find time to study, let alone relax? Even so I am not sure you could have enough credits to graduate within 4 yrs. Let's say it will be 5 years.
    ~ That means you have to re-up for another tour to finish your degree.
    3. You would than have to apply for the OCS route, which is a board. I don't know about the Navy, but the AF only does these boards twice a year.
    ~ Assume you finish up your degree in 5 yrs., but you will not meet the board due to timeframe until 6 months after you complete your degree. Get picked up 1st shot out, but it takes 6 mos to send you to OCS. You are at 6 years. Do OCS (3 months) and go to your career field school.

    I am not saying it is not doable, nor am I saying that you should take the AFROTC scholarship. What I am saying is think long and hard about that path of enlisting.

    If you were my child I would recommend trying AFROTC, but while you do it start researching on campus academic scholarships. AFROTC only pays for tuition, thus if you do well academically in your major there maybe some scholarships at your college for only your major. Dept. advisors can help you there. If you decide to leave AFROTC and join NROTC, but now have found different scholarships than you can stay on track to graduate, and hopefully commission within 4 yrs.
     
  9. 2018mom

    2018mom Parent

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    My older son was in a similar situation. He wanted to enlist as a Marine right out of high school. In fact, he swore in his senior year for early enlistment and was all set to go to boot camp upon graduation despite all of my reservations and strong encouragements to go to college and seek a commission. Well, his recruiter of all people, must have seen something in him and put him forward for a NROTC MO 4 year scholarship which he got. My husband and I convinced him that it was an opportunity that he couldn't turn down. So he took the scholarship, attended a SMC for 4 years and graduated. However, along the way, he made some mistakes and his scholarship was pulled his senior year. He ended up enlisting in the Army to pay off his scholarship and because he really wanted to serve. I have questioned myself a hundred times about the advice we gave him. If he had enlisted out of high school, he might be in college now - a lot more mature and ready to accept the responsibilities of school and duty. He tells me he feels more comfortable as enlisted and that he can lead from within. I am very proud of him but think my "mom knows better" wasn't necessarily better for him. It is hard to know at 18 what is absolutely best for you, but look at the end goal and decide the best way to get there. The knee jerk, easy route isn't always the best way, but sometimes the ONLY way to go is to follow your own path and learn from your own mistakes. No one else can promise you what is right or wrong for you.
     
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  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Interesting. I am surprised that they did not slap him with the scholarship bill as a senior. For AFROTC, if they pull your scholarship and do not commission you, unless it is health reasons (failed to exit DoDMERB) or they were trying to cut numbers of commissioning, they would slap you with the bill and not offer enlistment, let alone x-service enlistment.
    ~ There are several threads here about being handed the bill as a scholarship recipient after their junior year. Every year there is usually 1 or 2 threads regarding this issue. Gojira's is old, but people still pull it up. Her DS was disenrolled 6 weeks prior to commissioning (NROTC) and handed a bill for $143K. No offer to enlist, just a bill. Took it up to Sec Nav with a military attorney to fight for enlistment. They said NOPE, here is your bill. The plus side was they decided he could repay it over 10 years. If that is a plus side.

    I am not disagreeing with 2018. I am just saying that I think they were very fortunate to be given the option from the Navy to enlist in the Army, and vise a verse. The Army had to be willing to take them in. I think attending an SMC might have come into play.

    JMPO the reason I think they shy away from this option (enlistment to pay off scholarship) is because it tends to not create good morale.
     
  11. 2018mom

    2018mom Parent

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    Yes, he was fortunate. His bill was about $24,000.00. If he wasn't so determined to serve, I probably would have recommended that he take it as lesson learned, move on and pay off the debt as you would any other school loan. I have been wanting to post that the excitement of receiving a scholarship or an appointment is just the beginning and with the honor of the scholarship/appointment, comes a lot of responsibility. The recipients are held to a higher standard and they are expected to make grades, stay out of trouble and do a lot of extra training and programs that their friends and most other "normal" college students are not expected to do. When I read about all the hard work and angst scholarship recipients go thru to get the scholarship, I can not relate, as his NROTC scholarship was really thrust at him. I don't think he appreciated what he was being given and may have made better choices if he had worked harder to get it. I think he sees what he has lost now. Now that he is on active duty, he runs in to officers who graduated from the same SMC as he did and he has had to explain why he didn't commission. I'm not sure what his long term path will be but at almost 23, it will be up to him to figure out. He still has a degree from a great university and he is serving in the military. He will either stay in the military or leave in a few years and be debt free (at least for college loans).
     
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  12. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    To OP, most of the posters here are current or former officers. As one of the few former enlisted posters I will tell you they you will likely prefer being an officer over enlisted 7 days a week and twice on Sunday. Life is much different being an officer. Especially in the Marine Corps.
     
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  13. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    I have been following the thread with interest. OP: you have gotten some good perspective and opinions.

    I would like to comment on the following:
    This is never a good reason to do (or not do) anything. Given the demands of a military life (enlisted or officer), motivation fueled by a concern for letting down others will not carry you too far.
     
  14. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    To be fair Sheriff, you have to admit you probably knew enlisted Marines who would have never wanted to be an Officer.
     
  15. Sled

    Sled Member

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    I know someone who quit and they are currently holding her accountable to the 2yr enlistment you swear to if you don't commission. The certain person has been trying to get out of it and only pay back the bill.
     
  16. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    USMC grunt... no sir, we all wanted to be officers!
     
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