Junior military college vs ROTC

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by thelastpatriot1, May 21, 2013.

  1. thelastpatriot1

    thelastpatriot1 Member

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    I was just wondering what are the advantages and disadvantaged of going to a jmc than a 4 year ROTC college? I also have a few additional questions about jmc life.

    1.) Do you rank up faster if you go to a jmc?
    2.) What do you do for fun at JMC? Do you have any time for fun activities or is it mostly work?

    3.) Do you get a automatic edge over ROTC canidants.
    4.) I'm in the process of trying to decide what's best for me and I'm going to be honest, while I think it would be a good idea to go to a jmc I really don't know if I would like it. I know I can handle getting up early and having to march, wear a uniform and do pt everyday. I never fully experienced though being in a strict military environment... I think it would vr fun though to do extra military and combat exercises than normal ROTC.
    5.) Based on question 4 is going to a JMC a can't miss opportunity and going to a 4 year ROTC would disadvantage me or is it all the same in the end.

    6.) I talked to my local ng recruiter and he said unless your going to west point or are going to do your 8 years and out eventually though the benefits of going to a JMC(at least in terms of pay and rank advancement would even out once you start getting to higher ranks.) Would you believe this to be true.
    7.) And here's my last question have their been a lot of generals who went to a normal 4 year university or do most come through the special military colleges like west point vmi and such. Also is this true for the higher ranks for officers?

    Basically I'm doing these questions cause I'm trying to soul search some, while I think going to a jmc would be awesome I'm just scared that if I went there I could end up hating it and I would rather not go to a place I hate for 2 years unless the advantages of going to such a place heavily outweighs doing a 4 year rotc program at a university.



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  2. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I might get flamed for this but I have had nothing but bad experiences with ECP cadets/LTs (mostly maturity and knowledge issues). I also know many of my peers/superiors who feels the same.

    Personally, I feel the traditional 4 year ROTC path at a university or SMC is the best route. You have a little more age and maturity under your belt before you pin on that gold bar and you also get the full college experience.

    JMC is not the same thing as SMC.

    Maybe somebody has had great ECP experiences but we had just had our two attached ECP LTs fail their PT tests this morning...sooo. LDAC and CTLT had many interesting incidents with them as well.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  3. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    I promise if I commissioned after just next year I would be the worst 2LT ever......LT's don't know anything anyway, imagine after an accelerated commissioning program... :eek:
     
  4. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Heard few general officers saying that they were the worst 2LTs ever . . . .

    If you believe LTs don't know anything, what do we have them? Have some faith in yourself and training you will receive.

    A quick story, I was a mech platoon leader. During a training exercise, during morning stand to, still dark, my platoon was ordered to move out to point X. Per SOP, my wingman should have moved out first. He didn't move, silence on the radio. I knew he was ready as his vehicle was running, I could see him on the top of the vehicle, he was on the radio a few minutes before. So I took the lead. I suspected my wingman, a great NCO, was weak on navigating during dark. I was a LT that did know how to use the GPS.
     
  5. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    I promise that last bit was just some over exaggerated humor, but that's a good story.....I do think some people take the "dumb LT" stigma too far oftentimes, it makes O-1's seem unimportant, which Ive seen some cadets read a very wrong way....
     
  6. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    I think it's a unfair to assume that ALL early commission LT's are worthless. I would think you may have run across some officers that went thru the program and you didn't even know it.

    My DS is going early commission as he feels he has the drive and abilities to do it. Also he feels it will be challenging, which he thrives upon. According to what i read here, he might as well quit now because all those that early commission are incompetent.

    It's not an accelerated course in the sense that you skip things. You simply go to LTC the summer before your freshman year then take your MSIII classes your freshman yr and MSIV classes your sophomore year. He will be in guard at the time also. So his jr and sr yr he will be a 2nd LT in the national quard getting experience there.

    Not for everyone I would agree, it's up to the individuals, but not a total waste either. If it was useless and nobody good came out of the program, I don't think the Army would still have it place.
     
  7. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I am not saying they are worthless but I and many of my peers noticed a large maturity gap that made them stand out. I myself hate generalizations but I have had a few issues with ECPs from various JMCs. Many of my buddies in the NG also work with them and didn't have many good things to say.

    If I remember correctly the ECP program was created in the late 60's and flourished into the 80s in order to meet the Army's demand for 2LTs. Justifiably, I could see why the Army implemented this program. However, in this day and age what is the point? Part of me thinks its just a reason to keep JMCs still in business...

    I don't think ALL ECPs are incompetent but from the experiences of others as well as myself I have my doubts sometimes about their readiness to lead. We all know LTs are meant to be in learning roles and are at the bottom rung of experience but when peoples already think a 22-24 year old is inexperienced what do they think of a fresh 20 year old?

    I have not met many ECPs on AD, it seems most I know stayed (or were forced) in the reserve component.

    Edit: My posts are an attack on your sons aptitude but I wish the posters here could see and experience my runs ins with ECPs as a cadet and as an LT. I really just don't understand the purpose of the program today. Could someone enlighten me?
     
  8. thelastpatriot1

    thelastpatriot1 Member

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    Maybe so you can get bragging rights and extra pay while finishing your last 2 years of college?

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  9. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    As I said, you may have met them and didn't know they were ECP, in the same manner that you may have been involved with officers that were Military Academy and didn't know that. If I am not mistaken, and I could be, there are only about 250 or less ECP commissioned every year, so I would say the odds of running into very many of them in active duty is slim.

    I cannot tell you the purpose of the program other than the Army has a certain number of ECP's that it wants, (according to what I have been told). I am sure some people take it to become an officer sooner and stay in the reserves or guard. I am sure some pursue it to be challenged and feel they can learn more that way, as is my DS's case.

    You also have to take into consideration that some ECP's are ARMY ROTC ECP Scholarship recipients and therefore are in Guard while going to MJC and follow up school, thereby they have 4 years of guard duty (two as a 2nd LT) a 2 years of ROTC (MSIII and MSIV years) before going active duty if they choose to.

    Non-scholarship ecp candidates do not participate in Guard until they commission. Those I could very easily see being inexperienced.

    As for lastpatriots comments, I'm sure some do it for the money for school, just as some attend the Military Academy for the prestige and education, not just to serve in the Army.
     
  10. khergan

    khergan Member

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    I'll echo Aglahad on this one and say that the ECP program is somewhat troublesome. Take into account this is just my opinion, but I'm very much under the impression that the 2-year route is not beneficial for these guys/gals:

    1) They get channeled into the military academy environment, where they are strictly supervised, then quickly get commissioned and dumped out the door into an environment that's just the opposite.

    2) This leads in many cases to young 2LTs who don't have guidance or supervision, and who tend to drift or lose focus. Often, they are treated like lesser officers because they don't have degrees and aren't branch-qualified by other 2LTs and officers in the USAR or ARNG where they work during their pursuit of a 4 year degree.

    3) IMHO, it's the lack of continuity that leads to bad officers coming from ECP. USMA guys are stuck for four years, and they don't have a choice but live the tough mil academy life. ROTC guys have to be functional college students, pay bills, tuition and be self-motivated and competitive. ECP guys get half and half, and don't seem to excel at either paradigm.

    Of the 12-odd ECP guys that have gone to my commissioning school, a sizeable percentage dropped out entirely. Some just slacked on PT and became fat or out of shape, others bombed school, quit college or went AWOL. We had a kid who commissioned and then got a 0.0 GPA for the next year and refused to pick up the phone. The overall average GPA for the rest hovers between 2.0 (bare minimum) and about 3.0. Only one has accessed active duty, with the rest being nowhere even close to competitive on the AD OML.

    Point being, again in my personal opinion, ECP is only a situation which will benefit the most motivated and self-driven cadets. Otherwise, it doesn't seem to hold any advantage over traditional ROTC or USMA. The rest of the time, it churns out immature and underprepared 2LTs who aren't taken seriously and often lack the mentorship required to help them succeed.
     
  11. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    being retired I am unclear on the current rules, as far as I know ECPs can only get commissioned into the National Guard, AD and Reserve requires a Bachelors Degree. Further I think there is a stipulation that JMC grads who commission into the NG have to acquire a Bachelors within 5 years. Perhaps someone familiar with the current system can confirm what the rules are.
     
  12. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Anyone going to a JMC and participating in the ECP must either attend LTC or BCT if they enlist prior to the start of their first year.

    During the summer after their freshman year they will attend LDAC.

    Upon completion of the 2 year school they will commission into NG or the Reserves, they will drill with these units while they move directly onto completing their 4 year degree. Most of the JMC's have a relationship with a 4 year university to help make the transition.

    The cadet can compete for Active Duty when the complete their 4 year degree or choose to stay in the NG or Reserve.
     
  13. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Last time I checked it was 3 years but you would be surprised how many can't finish the degree, drop out of school, fail the APFT or just simply disappear. I am not even joking.

    They CAN compete for AD but it is not the same as a standard ROTC OML and as a result very few go AD. Most do go NG/USAR. Even with my ROTC unit (which is supposed to be the home station/unit for ECP LTs in the AO) and reserve units I usually only hear groans/sighs when ECP is mentioned but as always there are exceptions.
     
  14. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    National MJC Scholarship recipients actually join National Guard at the start of their freshman year, so they drilll for 2 years prior to commissioning after their sophomore year. Campus based scholarships and non-scholarship ECP cadets do not.

    They then have 3 more years to complete their bachelor degree, at which time they can compete for active duty.

    It is my understanding that it is the same OML that traditional ROTC cadets compete on (for the MJC scholarship recipients anyway, ROTC scholarship trumps National Guard in priority). Their LDAC score is just older and they have different paperwork to fill out as they progress thru their education.

    We have spoken to a couple of ECP that have gone active duty that have very similar stats to traditional ROTC cadets that go active duty. It is still GPA, LDAC, and APFT.

    The big difference, a traditional ROTC Cadet (non-scholarship) can quit after their first 2 yrs, a ECP cadet is commissioned after their first 2 years (which are their MSIII and MSIV years).

    I know the guard units around DS's school have a good relationship with the program. As previously posted, there are exceptions to everything and everybody.

    And thankfully we live in a country where everyone can voice their opinions and hopefully be respected for them.
     
  15. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    interesting, thanks for providing the correct info. I wonder what the rules were back in the 70s when I enrolled at The Citadel, I might have been tempted to go to a JMC to get commissioned quicker and then look at transferring; the one downside in hindsight is that back in my day very few cadets were in the NG or Reserve, the school actively discouraged it and hassled anyone trying to get leave to attend drills.
     
  16. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    Before 1966, a prospective officer in the United States Army could only gain an ROTC commission after being awarded a baccalaureate degree. To meet the manpower requirements of the Vietnam War, Congress approved a measure that allowed cadets at Military junior colleges who had completed all requirements of the ROTC Advanced Course to be commissioned as second lieutenants and called to active duty at the conclusion of their sophomore year.

    In the mid-1970s, the elimination of the draft and the anti-military backlash caused by Vietnam led to officer recruiting problems, especially in the reserves. To address these concerns, the ECP was revised in 1978. Cadets from four-year schools who had successfully completed Advanced Camp and Military Science IV, but who had not yet earned their four-year degree could also be commissioned, provided they were slotted against a valid lieutenant vacancy.

    Throughout the 1980s, the Early Commissioning Program played a major role in officer production. In some years, ECP officers constituted over 60 percent of all ROTC second lieutenants. The program is a major financial incentive for students who could receive their commissions early and serve as officers while still attending college. In 1984, the California Guard received 95 percent (74 of 78) of its ROTC lieutenants from the ECP program. The Army Reserve had a similar experience.

    In 1991, the downsizing of the Army reduced officer production requirements, leading to the reduction of the Early Commission Program to the Military junior colleges affiliated with the Army ROTC program. However, with the United States’ involvement in continuing military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of ECP slots is again being increased.

    WIKIPEDIA:smile:
     
  17. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Just curious, is your son vying for AD? If so I am just wondering why he didn't pursue the traditional ROTC. Not judging his decision or anything because everyone has their own rationale. While some ECP cadets do eventually go AD it is not near the amount of the 4-year route and with the draw down I expect it to be even less. I remember seeing a slide deck somewhere with the actual numbers but my guess its on some share drive that was wiped a long time ago. Point being the number I did see was not all that high when compared to regular ROTC.

    Taken from NMMI FAQ:

    "As an Early Commissioning Program (ECP) participant, you will be commissioned at graduation and will be required to serve with the National Guard or Army Reserve until you finish your bachelor's degree. Once that is complete, you will have to request through Human Resources Command (HRC) to be allowed to compete for the Active Component at accessions. If
    that is approved you will be assessed with your peers for that year group. Historically, ECP Cadets have always been allowed to do this but with the Army set to lose funding in the coming years, there is a chance that ECP Cadets will be required to serve with an ARNG or USAR unit based on the need of the units where they are."

    If you want to essentially guarantee AD go to a SMC .

    http://www.nmmi.edu/rotc/documents/NMMIArmyROTCECPHandbookSY2012-2013.pdf

    Now it's a lot easier for HRC to keep a 2LT guard/reserves when they are already in the reserve component system and in a unit which is not the case with a freshly accessed 4 year guy coming out of ROTC.

    One gimp of ECP is the fact that many ( but not all units) won't give you real PL time. As an non-branch qualified LT they can put you in a PL slot but it might not be viewed real PL/XO time when verging on CPT after you finish BOLC and get ready to assess. It doesn't look good when compared to new AD CPTs going for company command time. I know this first hand from being a non-branch qualified LT waiting for BOLC in a reserve unit. You get all the suck jobs. You are non-deployable so if they have a branch qualified LT guess who is getting the leadership slot? Not the ECP LT. As a poster mentioned in the thread (an officer recruiter no less) you are essentially halted at 1LT/1LT (P) because you have no real PL time and AD is going to need to pull a slot away from an up and coming 2LT (with more time left on his contract) to give it to you. General PL time is around a year and having around 3 years TIS when BOLC/college are done might be an advantage with pay it is not an advantage with career progression. Because of this hitch in the generally smooth system of junior officer progression it accounts as one of the reasons why ECP funnels most of it's LTs to the reserves.

    Here is a thread on the NG forums about the pros/cons about ECP:

    http://www.nationalguard.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-17361.html


    As I said above if I was an ECP 2LT and I really wanted AD I would go to a SMC. The atmosphere is similar and you are essentially (unless your PMS hates you) AD when you graduate. I think it is a pretty lucrative program if a cadet wants to go guard/reserves but I still see no advantage if the cadet wants to go AD.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  18. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    DS did apply for AROTC Scholarships. He was offered a 3 yr to an instate school. The MJC he will be attending is 3 hrs away and also in-state. He was offered the National MJC scholarship and when combined with the scholarships offered by the school he has everything paid for, he will then have the Ike Skelton scholarship to pay for his follow up 2 yrs at an in-state school.
    He also had a 2+2 scholarship offered to him that would have covered 2 yrs at the MJC plus 2 years at a follow up school. Would have been traditional ROTC.

    Part of the reason he chose ECP is that:
    A) he felt he would not be challenged during his MSI and MSII yrs and would be bored after 2 yrs. He likes to be challenged, generally the more he is tasked the better he does. He is also mature, always has been. He's been working and has had jobs since he was 14 1/2 yrs old.

    B) the 2+2 scholarship limited the school he could attend after the MJC and really didn't like that school.

    C) DS graduated from a small high school (256 total students). Going to a school with 20,000 students could be a little overwhelming. Could he have done it, I think so, but he felt more comfortable going to a small college. It will also give him the chance to compete in athletics and other activities that he probably would not get at larger schools.

    D) Money...he didn't want to be in debt after college.

    As of now he would like to go AD, but that could change by the time he graduates. This way he at least will know what the National Guard is like. The Guard units thru this part of the state are largely engineering units which is what he would like to branch and from everyone we have talked to have no problem with ECP Lt's, they are given the same roles as other 2nd Lt's coming in.

    Another thing that keeps getting overlooked is that being a national MJC scholarship recipient (and I've said this before) is that ROTC trumps the National Guard. The guard cannot refuse him active duty if he wants to try for it. The ARMY will not refuse him the chance of trying for it because he is in the Guard. He is an ROTC cadet first. Yes we have this in writing.

    This may happen to an ECP LT that is not a scholarship recipient, don't know as it doesn't pertain to DS.

    Here's the part that most people seem to not understand. ECP cadets take the same classes and same training as traditional ROTC cadets, it's just that their MSI and MSII classes are in the form of LTC at Fort Knox and is condensed into 28 days instead of taking 2 yrs with a summer of in btwn. They then do their MSIII and MSIV classes. Then assume pl roles in their guard unit (unless you have guard units where you live that are biased). The PMS's at the new 2nd LT's follow up school are also urged to put them in leadership roles within that ROTC unit. (that part is missed by alot).

    The recent grauates from this college that have wanted to go AD have not had a problem as long as they had the scores, just like traditional ROTC cadets. Maybe the failure of the ECP's you have experienced is due in part to the program they come from and that program not preparing them properly.

    A large part of his success or failure will be up to him, as it would be no matter which path he takes. I do agree that some kids might look at this as the golden egg and not take everything into consideration. We, because DS wanted some outside input kicked this around for months, visited schools, talked to people, did research and even accepted other scholarships before settling on the ECP.

    Let's look at this also, would you rather be AD being led by someone that is only AD because they went to a SMC, or led by someone that has worked their way thru and earned the right to be AD. I'm sure there are plenty of SMC graduates that are no better than cadets that come from MJC's and go on to active duty.

    There are people that will be successful no matter which path they take or what opportunities that are given them. Those are the people that I would want to follow.
     
  19. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Challenged? There ar eplenty of ways to get challenged your first two years within ROTC and especially if you chose a major that has some actual difficulty.

    Look, I understand ROTC trumps guard but if you read the FAQ link I listed from NMMI you have to be released by HRC to pursue AD which is not the same as traditional ROTC. Trust me, I have talked to scores of ECP cadets who want AD but also realize their decision made it more difficult because of this. It is NOT the same odds as traditional ROTC no matter how you spin it. I have been around this game as a cadet and recruiter for 5+ years now.

    Say he wants guard Engineer branch, ok that's fine. But did you also know that the Army now slots only engineering majors into roughly 50% of 2LT slots. If he is not an engineering major his guard unit will not be able to guarantee him the same branch on active duty especially as an unbranched qualified LT. Obviously guard and AD branching are completely different in this respect.

    LTC does not make up for 2 years of maturity and time in the program. It's the Army's way of catching people up to make numbers but in MOST cases it just does not translate directly to an equal final product.

    Who told you they fill PL roles? Un-branched LTs can't even attend AT so why would a commander put a LT in a PL role who can't lead the mission during their yearly training. It just doesnt make sense unless they have no one else available. Guard will always talk the sweet talk but reality isn't always as kosher.

    Yeah, when I was a GBR guess who was tasked with following up with ECP lieutenants? I was, and I can tell you a lot of PMS's are not as hands on as you describe. Most just care they pass their APFT and maintain a passing GPA that's it. I have been around numerous PMS and very very few have hands on contact with a guard unit and certainly do not know TDA/MTOE of that unit to be able to push un-branched, green LTs right into leadership positions. Hell even on AD you are lucky to get a PL right away with some branches.

    Maybe your son will have a stellar situation with an awesome and vigilant PMS who takes time from manning his own program to vouch for these LTs or maybe he won't give them the time of day. Who knows, there are too many variables.

    I hope the situation works out well for you both, I really do, but not everything in the Army translates like the brochures.
     
  20. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I apologize for grammar and spelling as I was on my mobile device while typing the previous response.
     

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