Life in NROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by rpcooke98, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. rpcooke98

    rpcooke98 Member

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    Im looking for people on NROTC Marine Option Scholarship to pass on some information about life in the program. I received a scholarship and accepted it in December but have a few questions that I can't seem to find online. First off is regardinint vacations and breaks. Are NROTC mids supposed to stay on campus during breaks such as Christmas break, summer vacation, spring break, and thanksgiving break?
     
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  2. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    rp: just do a quick search on Marine Option and you will come across a bunch of posters with experience. I went through the program 30+ years ago but my DS graduated in May. He is currently at TBS. Look for kinnem, rocatalin, and a bunch of others on this forum. We will all be glad to assist.

    Regarding breaks: the NROTC unit follows the school calendar. Generally, school down = no activity. Most units have events that could create some need to stay at the start of a break for a day or two (such as picking up trash as a fundraiser after football games) or come back a day or two early for something. During the summer you will be sent home but will have a summer cruise each summer. Hope that helps. You will also be asked to help out with Freshman Orientation after your Freshman year. Otherwise your breaks are the same as all other students.
     
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  3. rpcooke98

    rpcooke98 Member

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    Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you, I'll read up some more in previous Marine Option posts. Appreciate it, hope you have a good one.
     
  4. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    At least 2 of the NROTC program I have investigated have a freshman orientation program that starts before school starts. It would make sense that it would be run by midshipman. So there could be a commitment to the program a week or 2 before school starts. I would suggest you look at the college's ROTC web sites for specific about each program. A call those ROTC programs would answer many of your questions. After you are accepted to the college and have your scholarship secured a visit to check out the schools along with a visit to the ROTC unit would be a good idea.
     
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  5. rpcooke98

    rpcooke98 Member

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    Still waiting to hear back from the school I was assigned to before I know where I'm going but thanks I'll do this once I know. Additionally, I have zero problem with any obligations over breaks and vacations as this is the path I want to do, I'm just curious to learn more about what I'll be doing in the future. Thanks again!
     
  6. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    The freshmen orientation is usually only a few days early (typically 3-5 depending on the school). My son moved into his freshmen dorm at the same time as kids who were going to work in the cafeterias and the marching band kids.

    DS's unit manages parking lots prior to football games for their fundraiser. It means they don't have to do any other fundraising during the year but it also means 4am reports to the units on game day Saturdays! Every unit has a different activity for fundraising.

    They also travel to at least one drill meet at another school each spring. But that takes place during school not during breaks. So you miss classes. Last year it was U of Colorado. This year they are going to Villanova.

    Congrats and good luck!
     
  7. rocatlin

    rocatlin Member

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    Check to see if the unit you're joining has a Facebook or webpage. My son's unit has a FB page -- complete with pictures taken unit's S5 (public affairs midshipman). It would give you a glimpse into that unit.

    I believe most units have a freshman orientation -- run by the AMOI (Assistant Marine Officer Instructor). At my son's unit, it was a week before classes start and lasted 4 or 5 days. Dorms were opened early. It happened to be the same week as sorority rush, so there were a few hundred girls on campus.

    As far as weekly unit life, each unit runs differently from what I've read. My son's unit wears peanut butters (service uniform) one day a week and unit polo with khakis. One day a week is "service specific" PT -- Marine Options, MECEPs, and special warfare Navy PT separately from the SWO mids. The other day is unit PT -- mostly company vs. company.

    One main struggle all ROTC mids have is balance. The unit expects you to keep good grades. It also expects you to be involved in "extra" unit things. During his freshman/4c year, by son was on the endurance team, rifle/pistol, and drill teams -- although he only competed with the endurance team. Every freshman was required to be on the drill team until official competition. All freshman mids all had mandatory tutoring and study hours. My son has cut back to only the rifle/pistol team this year. Having said that, there are other opportunities to be "voluntold" for special activities.

    It can be mentally taxing to see the "normal" college kids not have to worry about getting up at zero dark early to PT, then go to classes, do drill time, etc. You've heard the term "embrace the suck"...sometimes you'll just have to work through the mundane. Having said that, it does make one better at setting priorities, etc. Personally, I feel the "semi-regimented" routine is tougher than the fully regimented routine of the Academy. There are pluses of being integrated with students that aren't like you, however.

    If you have any specific questions, let us know.
     
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  8. Sampia

    Sampia Member

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    Speaking of being "voluntold", there have been times when my son has felt pressured to be there on days when others would be home for vacation or already for their summer or spring break. Such as a commissioning event for upperclassmen, or someone's retirement event. We live an hour from campus so there is usually no good reason for him to miss such events. If a MIDN needs a waiver due to a mandatory class interfering with drill, it may come to pass that if there are too many with waivers, you may have to give up your free Friday mornings to have a make up time for drill. "Embrace the suck" indeed. Some unhappy MIDN, for sure. (Mom snickering because Thursday night no longer starts the weekend)
     
  9. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    I enjoyed the frank comments above. Getting a taste of mandatory fun and unplanned voluntold experiences is a tiny taste of life in the Fleet and Corps. There will be no change and more of it once on active duty - and that's why it's called duty!

    One of the reasons SA mids and cadets have a professional edge at commissioning is their deeper experience of daily suck-embracing. These ROTC moments of military life are, in their way, just as important as classroom and formal training time, serving to accustom the mid to voicing a "cheery aye-aye" when these situations arise. It builds the bonds of common experience. Everyone in uniform, any service, any rank, any era, shares in the grumbling. I am sure Attila's Huns would nod their heads in shared understanding. There will be MANY opportunities for cheery aye-ayes in the years to come. Many.


    I believe ROTC is an excellent route to a commission, with enough military training to quickly come up to speed in the Fleet and Corps, but some grounding in living on their own in a way different than SA.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016

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