Is this a bad choice?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by KyleMullins45, May 19, 2016.

  1. KyleMullins45

    KyleMullins45 Member

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    I am currently a sophomore in college at Ohio State, going in to my junior year. I am a 4 year ROTC scholarship winner and am actively involved in my Battalion's operations. I applied to USMA out of high school and was rejected, but the desire to attend never faded. I now feel like it is time to make a choice or I may regret it. Is it asinine to apply as a Junior in college and become a freshman on what should be the beginning of my senior year? or has it been done? Could I work towards a masters degree? Am I an idiot for doing this? and will the army even allow it?
     
  2. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    Its been done before. One of my teammates did two years at another school before coming to USMA and is completely happy with the decision (she graduates in a couple days here). There are pros and cons for each route. Pro - you can get access to some very neat training and research opportunities that you may not have had a shot at your current university. Con - regardless of how many credits you have, you will start as a plebe and you will go through the entire four year program at USMA. You will be able to validate courses based on prior completed classes so you don't have to repeat classes you've taken, but you won't get credits to transfer over like you would at a normal university and have to take classes in place of the validated ones.

    At the end of the day, the point of the Academy or ROTC is to earn a commission and serve as an Officer in the Army at graduation. I wouldn't trade my USMA experience for anything because of the opportunities I was able to take advantage of, but my end state is the same at the end of the day as my ROTC counterparts that I'm down here at flight school with. I wouldn't say don't do it; again USMA is awesome and a special, unique experience all in itself that is very worthwhile, but if your goal is to be an Officer, you're setting yourself to do that already. If you're on scholarship and you won't have debt on graduation, keeping with ROTC may be a way to go.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    One other pro/con. As a USMA graduate you would be guaranteed active duty, as a ROTC Ohio State grad you would not. Whether this is important or not depends on what you think your chances are of getting active duty where you are. Since you are considering re-applying, I would expect your chances of active duty are very high.

    EDIT: BTW, personally I wouldn't do it. 6 years of college would have been too much for me.
     
  4. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    There is also an age restriction: Be at least 17 but not older than 22 on July 1 of the year they enter West Point.

    Where are you age-wise?
     
  5. Delilah

    Delilah Member

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    I am a senior in AROTC a semester away from graduating and commissioning. I regretted not going to West Point so much I applied this fall and got in. Like I literally have 9 hours left and I would receive my gold bar. I like to live life without regrets. I didn't want to meet someone and them tell me they went to West Point and me beat myself up about not going. It's not for everyone, so you need to figure out if this is really what you want to do.
     
  6. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    I know a lot of people who regret coming here from ROTC. It's up to you but realize it comes with a lot of doubts once you get here. Do what you think is right.
     
  7. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    You're 9 hours away from a commission....and you want to do you're 4 years all over again? Why?

    Have you visited for an extended period? I was curious about the AFA too for while...then i did some training there. I go to a very well know university, top engineering school, love the campus and people so i was already happy where i was. Visiting satisfied all my curiosities and made me absolutely certain I that I wouldn't have wanted to go there.
     
  8. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    Try this. Ask yourself what you want to be doing in 3 years. Do you want to be in school or do you want to be an army officer doing whatever it is that army officers do?

    I will also point out this - there is a large drop-out/separation rate at WP. You are not guaranteed finishing. So in my mind, you do risk not becoming an officer - and presume that that is your primary goal.

    That said, there are others at WP who left ROTC to attend WP. You would not be the only one.
     
  9. EndangeredQuake

    EndangeredQuake Member

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    Does anyone know if we go to college for a year and validate enough tests at west point that you can double major?

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  10. mike6

    mike6 Member

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    After graduating highschool I enlisted in the reserves and ended up spending about 2 years on active duty JUST training. I did one semester of college in a 5 month off period - and now I must attend the prep school. That puts ~4 years between highschool graduation and arrival at USMA (assuming I make it through USMAPS).

    What I'm trying to say is this: if you really want to go, it's not too late. Think of your first two years as prep for USMA.
     
  11. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    This reminds me of a thread of a kid discussing that SA is not for him as he wanted to accomplish certain things by certain age.

    What are your goals? If you have certain goals with timeline (i.e. make million by age 30, be married by 25, have 2 kids by 30, retire by 50, and et), I would argue that it's meaningless. Are you a better 2LT because you earn your commission at age 22 vs age 24?

    Your goal is becoming an Army officer. However, if you want to do something special in your life, go to West Point.

    I don't know if you going to West Point will allow you to get out your ROTC scholarship commitment, so check on that first.
     
  12. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I am wondering the same thing.
     
  13. Capri120

    Capri120 Member

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    KM45, as the previous posters have said, YOU have to make up your mind what YOU really want in life over the next many years.

    I knew two men when I went through AF OTS that had 16 - 20 years enlisted service, turned down promotions to CMSgt, just to attend OTS and become officers. They went from being "on top" in the rank structure (yes, even officers look up to true Chiefs), to the bottom of the totem pole as 2 Lts. Each one of these men did it for different reasons, but had no regrets.
     
  14. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    Yes you can double major. You don't even need to validate classes. Just know, even without double majoring, you will average 17-23 credit hours per semester. You can possibly STAP some classes in the summer to get ahead. Also depends on major(s). My DS is a double major, Int'l History & Foreign Language.
     
  15. jebdad

    jebdad Member

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    I admire you. I was raised in a family where it was ingrained in me to hurry up and get to work (i.e. figure out your major, study and get a job). That's great advice, but I spent a lot of those years with my head down not appreciating the forest through the trees. You have your whole life for a career be it military or civilian. I think the WP experience is unique beyond measure. Not everyone loves it, but if you are confident you will embrace it and erase any regrets you would have had, go for it. Best of Luck!!
     
  16. Ontario

    Ontario New Member

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  17. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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  18. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    But the thing is, it delays your commissioning by 3 yrs in the OP's case and 4 yrs in Delilah's case. That's 4 years you miss actually leading as an officer. 4 years of missed paychecks. 4 more years of taking the same classes again just to get a degree you've already almost earned. That also means the last 4 years of school you or your parents or the government just paid for are a waste of your time and everyone's money.

    Yeah yeah lessons learned blah blah blah. I can get it if you've only done 1 year or even 2 yrs at another school. But seriously what advantage is there to going to West Point now and taking 8 years to get your bachelor's before entering big Army vs spending those 4 yrs learning your job, leading soldiers, getting those great experiences, getting paid and promoted (and then in turn being able to pay back student loans/etc), traveling, and just overall getting real world experience.

    You can't tell me that 4 yrs at USMA is equivalent to 4 yrs in the army doing your job.
     
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  19. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    This is a poor way of thinking about it.

    Neither of these two will "miss" time leading as an officer. They'll still be a platoon leader, they'll still be able to serve for 20 years or more (performance depending, obviously). No time will be missed. If anything, they'll fare better being slightly older.

    It's hard to take a post with "blah blah blah" as serious advice. Education is never wasted, and the OP said he was a 4-year scholarship winner. He or his folks are out comparatively little money. Details matter.

    OP, follow your heart. If you didn't know...the Army ain't going anywhere. We'll be here in 4 years. And being a part of the USMA graduate rolls pays a lifetime dividend. I'm a big OSU fan but there's no comparison in terms of lifelong benefits of a degree.
     
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  20. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    How is it a poor way of thinking about it? It's just a different way of thinking about it.

    I disagree with the idea that no time will be or has been wasted. Yes they can still do all that, but it's still 4 years later. I see this in the same light as someone who almost completes a 4 year degree and then changes their major to one where virtually none of the credits apply to the new curriculum. And I know someone who's done that. Guy spent 7 yrs in school and only came out with 1 bachelors degree b/c he decided his senior year he really didn't want to have a job in architecture and switched to something els that took 3 years to finish. Could have just finished the degree and gone back for a masters in what he really wanted to do or done another full bachelors. Especially considering just how much money college costs. Yeah the OP says they have a 4 yr scholarship, but that only pays for either tuition or room&board. They pay less than others but it's still a lot of money either out of pocket or loans. Even if you have a scholarship and live for free at home, most ppl still have to take out loans or work to pay for general living expenses. Comparatively little money is still money. Graduating with $15000 of debt is comparatively little, but it's still a sizable amount of money.

    If you are a semester or two away from graduating, why start all over again? This is why I said "lessons learned blah blah" because I assume that'll be the argument for going to west point. That's all well and good, but it hardly seems comparable to 4 years of actual work experience. Other universities have strong alumni networks, and there's the possibility of going to a well known college for grad school if their undergrad U's don't have the prestige they're looking for. The OP asked for advise about the decision and so far most of the answers have been very "no probs, great decision, it'll be worth it, live with no regrets" kind of thing. A different perspective is completely warranted. They could very well go to west point and regret it, that's a chance they're taking. If they do and decide to quit, it's highly doubtful that they could just go back to ROTC for a commission and I wonder how an OTS application would look after going through and not completing 2 different commissioning programs. It's a big gamble, even more so than for cadets that start out there with no or little to no previous college experience. Not taking that into consideration would be a mistake.
     
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