Is a commission as an officer GUARANTEED?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by nickolai77, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. nickolai77

    nickolai77 Member

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    ROTC is very attractive when advertised as being commissioned as an officer after 4 years. However, is this commissioning guaranteed? If not, how many cadets get commissioned as officers approximately? Also, if you are on scholarship and are not selected to be commissioned as an officer, do you serve as an enlisted member of the Army? Thank you.
     
  2. CadetMom777

    CadetMom777 Member

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    Technically, the only ROTC cadets guaranteed active duty are those who go to the Academies or a Senior Military College. For the rest, it is possible that you would only serve in the reserves for your 8 year commitment. You would not be expected to serve as enlisted if it is the Army that cannot accommodate your service as a commissioned officer due to budget cuts or force reduction. Now, if you have a 4 year scholarship and back out of it after your freshman year, that's another story.
     
  3. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Service Academy cadets aren't ROTC. They are "active duty"-ish. (Speaking for Army ROTC)ROTC cadets are required to go to something called LDAC (Leader Development and Assesment Course) where they are assessed and scored. Score high enough and you're on your way to commision. Don't and its another story.

    Not the best answer, but it's late and I'm tired.
     
  4. nickolai77

    nickolai77 Member

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    Interesting. Does anybody know exactly what happens if you do not pass the leadership course and are on scholarship? Also, is it common not to be selected for commissioning for ROTC? Thanks.
     
  5. BobMcMahon

    BobMcMahon Member

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    Anything is possible....

    I'm a former enlisted Marine whose son will be pursuing a Marine Officer commission while going to Norwich University in Vermont.

    Lot's of things can happen during your ROTC (any branch - Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine) that could disqualify you from getting a commission. Some of them could be a result of the realizing the military is not for you, could be grades, could be something physical, could do something stupid while at the school - hazing, striking someone, whole host of things - pregnancy! etc...

    The "cut" from the program comes from the several areas though while you are attending ROTC classes and while attending OCS in your Junior year. If you are found not to be performing as a qualified leader in ROTC, your cadre of training officers and non-comms are going to be counseling you about a different career track way before you arrive at OCS. They are the ones who are training you before sending you to join their particular branch of service and these people are good at selecting people who should NOT become officers.

    Likewise, once you get to OCS the stress level gets bumped up a bit to more of that Drill Instructor stuff we've all seen in movies. While in ROTC the cadre do not engage in that behavior because their role is to assess from a different perspective - can the candidate do the basics? Adhere to a regimented program? Wear their uniform properly? Follow basic instruction and display a military bearing and perform military courtesies?

    Your commitment comes with the satisfactory completion of OCS. This where the rubber meets the road. Yes, you will have to "commit" by your Junior year to what your military obligations are, but by that time also you will have a.) figured out if this is something you genuinely WANT to do and b.) the ROTC cadre would have figured out if you "pack the gear" to warrant being advanced to OCS - physically, mentally, emotionally, and as a leader.

    Yes, getting a ROTC scholarship is a great and worthy thing. But you have yet to be tested as to your commitment to a military life-style. A commission is NOT guaranteed; it's largely up to you.
     
  6. CadetMom777

    CadetMom777 Member

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    Thanks, Bull. I guess I misread his question as asking if he would get active duty. People that go to the Academy are "guaranteed" active duty. Senior Military College cadets are "guaranteed" active duty. Although many of the remaining ROTC cadets will get active duty, they are not "guaranteed" active duty.

    I also think there is a lot of confusion for people between the concept of "active duty" and "commissioning". You can be commissioned as an officer in the armed forces, but not serve actively in that capacity and go to the "weekend warrior" reserves instead. Losing your ability to commission is a different topic answered well by BobMcMahon above.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  7. The OC Josh

    The OC Josh Member

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    I think I remember hearing somewhere that 4 Year scholarship cadets have to go active duty.

    I think a PMS told me this last year, but I could be mistaken.
     
  8. awhin3

    awhin3 Member

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    From the Army website -

    Army ROTC students who receive an Army ROTC scholarship or enter the Army ROTC Advanced Course must agree to complete an eight-year period of service with the Army.

    * You can serve full time in the Army for three years (four years for scholarship winners), with the balance in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR).
    * Selected Cadets may choose to serve part time in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career.

    So that does make it sound like they WANT you to go active duty if your on a scholarship.
     
  9. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I am quite sure you really didn't mean this to be disrespecful to all the National Guard and Reserve soldiers who have been fighting our two wars for the past 7 years.
    Fact is - many many Guard and Reserve soldiers have been deployed multiple times. I would not call one a "weekend warrior" to his/her face.

    In ARMY ROTC - a Commission in the Guard or Reserves is still a Commission. Many ROTC cadets choose to go Guard or Reserves and in fact, there are special scholarships for those who will commit to do so. Currently there is a serious shortage of Reserves and Guard officers.

    In the Army, merit is everything. Early in the senior year, all cadets are ranked. You need to rank high enough in order to get Active Duty. But, they don't reserve the Guard or Reserves for idiots. There have been times - back during force reduction that it was extremely difficult to get Active duty, but not recently. Who knows in 4 or 5 or 6 years what the force will look like and what the Army's needs are?


    I did read in one article on the Air Force current RIF where they are planning on reducing the service obligation of rotc and afa cadets.
    If you graduate during a time when they simply do not need you then they can put you on IRR for your 8 year commitment.

    If you are on scholarship or contracted (beyond your one year *grace* period) to ROTC and you fail to perform and separated or choose to separate from the program you may have to pay back your obligated time as an enlisted soldier.
     
  10. MissouriDad

    MissouriDad Member

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    NROTC is actually increasing their active duty requirements for the incoming class. (Entering freshman Fall 2010 / graduating Class of 2014):

    Navy Option midshipmen (does not include Nurses or Marines) starting their freshman year of college in the Fall of 2010 or later will be required to serve a minimum of five years of active military service. Additional requirements may be required for specific job assignments.
     
  11. CadetMom777

    CadetMom777 Member

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    Absolutely not! I was a reservist myself and we called each other "Weekend Warriors" to our own faces! It was just a military nickname for people that served one weekend a month. Our unit was called up during the first Gulf War, but was inactivated before we actually had to go.
     
  12. TomV

    TomV Member

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    As mentioned previously, ROTC cadets seeking commission will attend LDAC at Ft. Lewis Washington summer before their senior year. This is where all ROTC cadets compete for ranking in the national OML. This is/was also known as Warrior Forge.

    The following numbers are from a Powerpoint presentation I pulled off of the "old" Cadet Command website back in 2007. I think the numbers represent the 2006 ROTC commissions. Some of the criteria may be different now but should serve to give a general idea of how the process is managed.

    OML is determined by the following:
    40% Academic - Pretty much based on college GPA.
    45% Leadership - This includes your performance at LDAC and the evaluation given by your PMS.
    15% Physical - Based on APFT scores and varsity/intramural/club team participation.

    The presentation mentioned above indicated a breakdown on commissioning as follows:
    Total qualified to commission - 3838
    Total Active Duty (AD) slots - 2303
    Total Reserve Forces requests - 1049
    Educational Delay - 99
    Army Nurse - 152 (Looks like these all went AD as well.)
    Total AD requests - 2538

    So, based on these numbers there were 235 who requested AD but were assigned Reserve.

    The selection of branch is also dependent on OML as the needs of the Army dictates how many officer slots are available in each branch for any given year.

    Again, this is from 2007 so things may have changed.
     

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