Life after Army ROTC graduation

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by jacobs, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. jacobs

    jacobs New Member

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    I recieved an Army ROTC scholarship to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University but I am hesitant to accept it because of the options after graduation. I want to be Special Forces but I can't "tryout" until I'm a first lieutenant (we graduate as second lieutenants), and I read somewhere that you can only be a SF Officer for 2-3 years?, but not sure. And is there such thing as an Amry combat diver, or is it just the Combat Diver Qualification Course for SF's (not an actual job?)? What should I do after college (branch wise, ex: infantry, engineer...etc) to become a SF Officer ASAP?
     
  2. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Calm down, you haven't even stepped foot in college yet and you are already chomping at the bit to get into SF. SF is NCO driven any ways from what I have heard. If you really want SF, drop your scholarship and enlist as an 18x. Now if you want to be an officer then you will have to wait until 1LT (P) like everyone else. Infantry or one of the combat arms would be the best branch to prepare you for SF selection, but SFAS doesn't want a cherry LT you need to be a competent semi-experienced officer before they will take you. Do you even know what officers do? It sounds like enlisted is more your thing.

    Yes there are regular army diver's it's an enlisted (12D) MOS.

    To clarify if you are not 100% on becoming an officer because you can't get what you want immediately then drop the scholarship and let someone else give it a shot. Four years is a long time and you might not even want to go SF by the end. You are narrowing your "options" way to much with this tunnel vision goal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    +1 to aglahad's post.
     
  4. jacobs

    jacobs New Member

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    If I "step foot in college" with the ROTC scholarship then I just diverted from many other options I could potentially have. So these questions I'm asking are for me to know exactly what I'm getting myself into. It wouldn't be a good idea to accept the scholarship and be broadsided with regard to life after college. Thanks for the help.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You're not obligated until you step into college with the scholarship on the first day of your SOPHOMORE year. You've got plenty of time to try things on for size. The freshman first year is on them.
     
  6. jacobs

    jacobs New Member

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    Yeah I know that. It's jut that my other opportunities could be at other colleges and switching colleges is something that I don't want to do.
     
  7. khergan

    khergan Member

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    I would advise googling Army branches and taking a look at them. There are 16 basic branches, one of which you will be placed in.

    Look at Guard/Reserve versus active. There are a lot of different potential jobs and lifestyles that you can pursue in the Army.


    However, given that, you should be looking at what YOU can offer them, rather than the other way around. Recognize that getting Active Duty, let alone Infantry or another competitive branch will be challenging and require you to do your best and perform well. You're putting the cart before the horse if you start asking about SF and other huge "what ifs" this early in the game. Do your research, find what branches interest you, and the probability of getting them. Most of this data is available either from searching this forum or the internet.

    Lastly, I'd say do a comparision of ROTC + Scholarship versus your other options. What would you rather do? Are you willing to devote 3+ years to the military, even if you don't get the job that you want? These are all questions you will figure out, but first you should talk to the cadre and cadets and get a feel for the program and whether you want to participate.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    +1 to khergan.

    Jacobs, maybe its just me, or I'm not in the right frame of mind tonight, but it seems to be all about you. Now, you do need to make sure you're doing what you want, but if you think you will only be happy playing a particular role in the military then I would suggest you follow your other options at other schools. Even if you get what you want in the military (eventually, after you earn it and spend the time to earn it - being one of the select few in the military to make the cut) you'll only do it for a short time. If you spend any time in the military you will do many different things including a lot of time sitting at a desk, playing with pencils and papers, or if you're lucky, computer keyboards. This is true as an officer even if you get to Special Forces and you'll spend a lot of time doing it while in Special Forces. The military will try to groom you for a larger role involving combined forces, etc. They won't leave you in the same role for a long period of time (at one time at least).

    If you want to be an operator, enlist. If you want to serve, try ROTC. If neither appeals, try something else. Here's an example of the type of attitude thats' expected in ROTC:
    There, I said it. Sometimes it takes a 2x4. True with my own DS as well. Please take this in the constructive spirit in which its meant. Anyway, you need to give all this some serious thought. I don't think you're even close to being where you need to be to sign on the dotted line for enlisted or ROTC yet. But I guess since you're asking you recognize that. Keep exploring, keep thinking.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  9. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Nice post Kinnem + 1, eloquent and to the point
     
  10. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    A few points...

    Special Forces is a branch. Once you are assessed, selected, graduate from the SFQC and the Alpha course, your branch is officially changed to Special Forces. It will remain Special Forces for the rest of your career, unless you screw up and they revoke your tab and beret.

    You will only be a Detachment Commander for about 2 years. Otherwise, you will be an XO, an assistant operations officer, or a company commander for the Headquarters Support Company. As a major, the options expand. You can command an SF company or go into a variety of jobs I won't waste time listing here, because you won't understand them.

    The answer to your combat diver question depends on what you think combat divers do. Every company in every SF battalion has at least one dive team, though which team it is depends on the Group. Their specialty is operations in and from the water. Granted, much of what they do is not something you can be told.

    The deeper question here is: what do you want to be, and why? Why do you think you want to be in Special Forces? What do you know about Special Forces? You need to examine what you want and why.

    SF teams are largely NCO driven, to a point. The Det Commander and Det Senior NCO ("Team Sergeant") have a special relationship. You will be responsible for a lot as an ODA commander. You are an instrument of American foreign policy and will speak with the authority of the American government in areas and situations where you will have no one to backstop you. It's a big responsibility. If your goal is to simply be the John Wayne character from the Green Berets movie, you're chasing something that's a much longer road.

    Army combat divers do exist in the regular force, and they are not just enlisted. Selected engineer officers will attend the Navy Salvage Diver course or the Combat Diver Qualification Course. However, it's an additional skill and not one you will use for your whole career.

    The 18X option is not a guarantee. USAREC usually ties an age requirement on the 18X contract. In the past, it has been as low as 20 and as high as 23. So if you really want to go straight to SF, you will need to occupy yourself for a few years.

    The overarching theme is that you need to decide what you want and why you want it. Then research from reputable sources. Not everyone knows about the things you want to know about (even on here), and you need to make sure you find sources who do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  11. jacobs

    jacobs New Member

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    Thank you scoutpilot. That was extremely helpful and will weigh on my decision. After Detachment Commander, are the positions you listed primarily desk jobs? And where are active green beret forces normally stationed? America, Europe, war zone (obviously)?
     
  12. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Some of the jobs are, some aren't. It depends.

    All due respect, look the locations up for yourself. Officers and SF NCOs are self-starters. A quick trip to Google will answer that for you.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    :worship::worship::worship::worship:

    I say this with kindness, so no flaming please...scout brings up a great point.

    We are here to assist, guide, and inform, but that is where it starts and ends, it is on you to get there as a self-starter..

    There is a difference between asking if it would be better to be assigned to one post over another as an O1 for career progression, compared to asking where you could be stationed.

    What bothers me jacobs is this from you:
    I will take kinnem's post further, it happens alot, much more than you might not want to imagine. The statement that you will serve at the luxury of the Army is not a joke. It is reality.

    I am going to take a guess that scoutpilot entered USMA wanting to fly. He fought for that slot and earned it over 4 yrs of proving himself. I am also going to guess that 100% of his peers that went to UPT, did not graduate, but they were on the hook for commitment time owed. They were broadsided within 6-9, 12 months after graduating college because now the Army gave them a new career field after they washed out of UPT.

    It wouldn't be a good idea to accept the scholarship and be broadsided with regard to life after college if you don't understand the bust rate.

    You want a certain career field for accepting the scholarship, what is your plan B, C and D if they don't offer it? You don't know when you must commit that 3 yrs later you will get that field, all you know is you will be commissioned and owe yrs of your life.

    One question I would ask scout is what is the commitment owed for this career field choice? It can be important if you think you owe 4 yrs and it is actually 7 after completing their training, and the training takes 6 mos., you had to wait 4 mos to report. That means you actually owe close to 8 yrs or until you are 30, not the 4 yrs or 26, as they are telling you right now.

    That is something a google search won't answer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  14. jacobs

    jacobs New Member

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    I think my questions are fine for this site. After all, I'm not asking for someone to rate my academics. If you know the answer then tell me, if you don't, then say that. Hours online trying to find the answer from unreliable an possibly outdated sources isn't worth it when compared to a simple answer on here. I've researched plenty yet the answers still evade me.

    And don't tell me whether you think I'm ready as you do not know me one bit based on questions. Not to mention, the Army believes I'm capable and I don't think they would offer me a scholarship if they didn't think me suitable
     
  15. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    To my knowledge no one who regularly posts here is in a active or NG SF group so everything you will be hearing is second hand info. By asking where SF groups are located you are indirectly telling me that you didn't search very hard. I can tell you off the top of my head 1st group is at Ft Lewis, 10th at Carson etc etc. A quick google search could have told you that as well. As to what a SF officer does from day to day, google is still your friend as is a search on here. If you want the day to day life of an operator I am sure there plenty of books or resources on the net. In my 5 seconds of google on the topic I found a few. Sorry, but I guarantee you aren't the only 17/18 year old to ask about SF on here. I know, that must seem like a surprise. Your arbitrary and vague questions seem immature to me to be honest, but hey maybe I am wrong.

    Getting a scholarship doesn't mean your capable, getting a commission does. Considering the good 30-40% attrition rate I saw from my class over FOUR years I can tell you nothing is guaranteed.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    jacobs,

    I was not intending to rile you.

    I was trying to illustrate the differences regarding questions.

    As for my post I was not trying to offend, I was trying to enlighten you what will occur over the next 4-5 yrs.

    I will say again, we are here to assist and guide. Flaming posters as a defense will enlighten people, and IMPO not a positive way,

    I get it, we don't know your stats or your personally. Now, please understand our position is we, as posters saw hearts break when it came to career fields when they were MSIVs..

    OBYW the Army believes in you based on paper, not real life as a contracted cadet.

    Remember that come Sept.
     
  17. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    You may feel your questions are just fine for this site, the difference is the answers may not be what your looking for.

    There are many reliable sites you can get more information regarding SF.

    The answers for the questions you are asking are not always simple so don't expect them.

    As far as being blindsided after you graduate, your right, many cadets are blindsided by either their branch selection or duty station. There is a lot to ROTC, if you go into it with a narrow focus you have a better then average chance of being disappointed. Your 4 years away from selecting your branch, a lot can happen between now and then. To be guaranteed your branch you will need to be in the top 10%, that is not easy and some of it will be out of your control. You can keep a 3.8 GPA, have a 300 APFT, and still not get an E at LDAC, if you don't get that E, your not going to be in the top 10%, then it's up to the Army what branch you receive.

    Nobody knows what the Army will be like in 4 years, how many Active Duty slots will be available or even how the branching will play out.

    I think that has been the theme of the answers you have been getting. You need to make your first priority becoming an officer in the Army, branch selection needs to be second, if you don't have this attitude then again your setting yourself up for disappointment.

    I agree with Pima, don't think that the scholarship guarantees success. Of the three 4 year scholarship cadets that started with my son's class, only one remains.

    Your right, we don't know you, but from our experience, we know a lot of new cadets that have your attitude, some make it, some don't. The Army is giving you an opportunity, that's it, what you do with that opportunity is what will count.

    If you are locked into just one goal and will not be satisfied if you don't get that goal then I'll give you the answer your looking for. Don't take the scholarship, enlist and take your chances there, even though it's not a guarantee you will at least be able to enlist in the Infantry and get a better shot at applying to the SF.

    Infantry is the second hardes branch to get as an officer, if your not toward the top of the Active Duty OML, you won't get it. One thing to remember though, you do not need to be an Infantry Officer to apply to SF.
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    jacobs,

    I hope you take to heart what is really being stated on this site. You at 17 or 18 went to defensive against posters that didn't support you; In Your Honest Opinion.

    The fact is we are 100% behind you regarding support, and trying to inform you of reality for the next 4-5 yrs.

    Your choice...accept as mentors that are honest regarding chances, or blow us off as people who don't know you or your stats.

    Come Sept as an MSI, 10 will get you 20 if you take the latter, you will wish you didn't.

    Hindsight is 20/20.

    Your decision...attack posters to defend your position as a HS student or listen to those that have walked it already, including the dumb parents. Your choice.

    Again, we are here for you. no need to attack when we are trying to assist you regarding obtaining your desires. Academics is just one part of that equation. Remember the Army right now is judging you on paper only, you have yet to prove yourself as a cadet. Talk to us when you are an MSIII as a Mech eng. cadet and carrying a 2.9 cgpa. That is reality for many AROTC cadets.
     
  19. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    One more thing

    I would add to these excellent posts that these are knowledgeable folks. Some have been married to recently retired AD military personnel. Some have recently seen a child commission via ROTC and are watching a second child go through the program now. Others are currently in ROTC or have just commissioned. They know what it takes to succeed in ROTC and that is the first hurdle you will face if you decide to go that route. Folks here have given you an inkling of how difficult it is to get your desired branch. Its years of hard work academically and physically, along with the stress of ROTC leadership demands on top of that. I would take their advice to heart and carefully consider it. No one is saying you can't do it. All are concerned that perhaps your goals are too narrowly focused. Everyone here actually wishes you well but we also want you to enter this with your eyes wide open.

    As others have said, few if any people here can answer your questions about SF. For SF questions you will really need to go elsewhere for answers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Sums it up in a pretty box with a bow! Your option now...throw it away or save it.
     

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