Lost and confused - trying to commission USN

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by MMACadet343, May 5, 2014.

  1. MMACadet343

    MMACadet343 4/c Matt J. Singleton

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    Hello!

    I'm a 4/c Marine Transportation Cadet at Massachusetts Maritime Academy and I want nothing more than to get into a Navy commissioning program, whether it be NROTC, SSOP, OCS, SEA21 etc. I'm proud of my school and it's history but I'm starting to realize that it might not be the best place to be for those hoping to enter the armed forces as commissioned Officers.

    The Regiment along with my demanding major and poor academic work ethic have taken a huge toll on my grades, I'm currently pulling a 2.28 GPA and have been rejected by my school's Strategic Sealift Officer Officer Program as well as the Merchant Marine Academy (twice). I believe that in order to not miss my chance to become an active duty Navy Officer, I need to change something fast. I'm working hard to pull up my grades but the damage is already done. So I don't know where I should go from here...

    If I were to enlist active duty or reserve (and go to college as a reservist), maybe that would help me get into NROTC or another commissioning program? Or should I transfer to whatever NROTC school I can get into? Maybe take a year off to go to community college and just establish a good GPA for myself?

    If I do transfer to a normal school and try for NROTC, would I need to have a tough major, or could I study what I'm interested in?

    Does anyone have any advice? Thanks so much.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    How will any type of move correct the real problem - your poor academic worth ethic? And won't your current cumulative GPA follow you wherever you go? IMHO you already know what you really need to do.
     
  3. MMACadet343

    MMACadet343 4/c Matt J. Singleton

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    Sir,

    Out of state tuition for MMA is well beyond what my family and I can afford, so I plan on moving to a school closer to home or one that is not so much of a financial burden.

    I'm doing my best to make up for what was essentially laziness in my first (and much of second) semester but at this point, I'm just looking for a path to commissioning that best suits my situation.
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    One thought might be to leave MMA and enroll at a college/university that is closer, less expensive, that has a NROTC program. Enroll as a freshman, don't transfer any of your credits from MMA and basically start over as a College Programmer in NROTC. Start your first year with a new attitude toward academics, keep your grades up and do well so you have the chance to enter Advanced Standing and be on the path for a commission.

    Realize that if you choose the NROTC path there will be some very hard classes in your future, you will need to really make studying a priority, there will be no room for any slip ups.
     
  5. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    Just curious, does NROTC not take into account all grades given at past universities when calculating a mid's GPA for boards/contracts/scholarships? GPAs don't transfer from school to school, but AFROTC requires transcripts from any past college you attended and will factor that into the GPA they have for you on record. They don't accept freshman forgiveness or grade replacement either. Does Army and/or Navy allow a cadet or mid to essentially get a "do over" if they transfer schools? If they don't then that 2.28 GPA will follow him to wherever he goes. Even if he doesn't get whatever college he attends to accept credits from MMA, ROTC will would still factor in the grades when considering him for a contract. Which means he couldn't go to this new school and just do ok, he'd really have to pull a high GPA to pull his ROTC GPA up high enough to be competitive for advanced standing. Might be something he'd want to clarify before transferring with the idea that the slate is wiped clean.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    If finances are the driving factor (which you mentioned not at all in your first post... why is that?) then I'm in agreement with Jcleppe. I can't speak to the issues that Non Ducor Duco raises but my suspicion is that you will not shake the GPA. If finances are not the real driving factor then you should look into these issues before you make a move, otherwise it may be pointless... at least in terms of achieving a commission.
     
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I admit I can't speak for the Navy. It used to be with AROTC that your GPA was taken from the last school you attended and commissioned from. I have read about cadets asking for their GPA's from previous schools be included because they were higher then their present school, not sure how that was resolved.

    Would it be possible to drop all of this semester classes now, thus removing them from the credit count that may follow him to the new school. This would mean he would only have the first semester grades to deal with, if he were to start over on a 4 year track at the new university, even that first semester's credits would now be added to a larger pool of credits where they would have a lesser impact. Just throwing out ideas.

    Non Ducor,
    Thanks for the info on AFROTC, I didn't realize how their system worked.
     
  8. FinFan

    FinFan Member

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    Matt,

    I would like to offer some advice. I would not quite give up on your Naval or Maritime dream just yet. But you will have to work your butt off to prove to everyone that you deserve another shot.

    If it is not financial feasible to stay at your current school, I would go back home and enroll at your local community college. I would start this summer! Take the general education classes that you will need in order to transfer to any four year school. Check with your school to see if they offer grade replacement. Some do, some don’t. Either way work hard to overcome those grades.

    If you can get your grades up to a point whereby you could transfer back to another Maritime academy. Texas A&M will take transfers with a 2.5. I also believe that this is the grade point average that you will need for the SSO program as well. Texas A&M offers instate tuition for all Cadets regardless of where you live. They offer enrollment for the Spring semester but you may need more time for grade repair. You will have to still live in the dorms, stand watch, and perform maintenance, etc, etc., etc. But if you can get some of the general education classes out of the way it will be easier.

    While SSO enrollment is not automatic, you should show the Cadre that you want this bad enough and show up for all PT training sessions. My son will commission soon through the SSO program and take a Naval Reserve Commission. He does not want active duty. The Coast Guard is also looking for Maritime cadets and have a special program which will pay for you to go to school as well. But you have to get those grades up!

    It looks like you will need a few more posts in order to respond to an instant message. But please do not hesitate to continue to ask for help. Believe it or not, you are not the first person to experience this.
     
  9. MMACadet343

    MMACadet343 4/c Matt J. Singleton

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    Would this mean completely leaving MMA off of my application?

    I'm going to look for some schools closer to home with NROTC units and I'm definitely ready to get in gear and work my butt off to get that commission. I wouldn't be opposed to avoiding putting my MMA grades on an application but there are a few extracurriculars I'd love to include.

    Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it
     
  10. MMACadet343

    MMACadet343 4/c Matt J. Singleton

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    Thanks very much for the advice! We have the SSO program here at MMA but it seems that the program isn't usually meant for those wishing to commission into the Active Duty side of the Navy so I am hoping to transfer to an NROTC school, although I can't really pick and chose at this point.

    I would be happy to continue with a major other than Marine Transportation as long as I can earn a Navy commission, so Texas A&M sounds like a great option that I'll definitely look into. Spending some time at community college to get my grades up sounds like a great idea too.

    I've been doing a ton of volunteering and I'm very involved with my school (currently starting a USCG training program for Cadets here) so the only places where my resume is lacking is grades and sports. Unfortunately for me, grades seem to be a big one!!

    Thank you so much for the advice everyone, its greatly appreciated.


    V/r
    4/c Singleton
     
  11. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    If you have post-high school college credit (which you do), you cannot enroll anywhere as a freshman. You'll be required to furnish transcripts from all of your undergraduate work, and ROTC will count your previous GPA when calculating your cumulative GPA.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would do some further research regarding the issue of grades.AFROTC and AROTC operate differently, but nobody has answered yet how NROTC operates.

    I.E. Retake a class that you got a C in, but this time you get an A. For AFROTC purposes your GPA would be 3.0, but as I read it for AROTC it would be 4.0 because they allow grade replacement.

    This ties into what JCC is saying. You will be required to furnish all transcripts.Just as AFROTC operates differently than AROTC for repeating classes, every college is different regarding transfers. Our DS2 is transferring this fall from his JC to a 4 yr. He actually will have 2 cgpas. His JC will be combined with the 4 year, and than he will have his 4 yr college cgpa. Both will be on his transcript for future employers to see. He has carried a 3.0+ for JC, so he knows he has to keep it up at the new school, otherwise employers will see a lower cgpa from the four year compared to his JC, and he will not be as competitive come graduation as his peers with the same overall cgpa. It will look like he slacked as a Jr/sr

    NROTC is like AFROTC in three ways.
    1. 85% of all scholarships go to the tech majors.
    2. There is the make or break year after sophomore year.
    ~~~ It is different, but in the end it is the same because you need to receive advance standing from them.
    3. You will go AD.

    Overall, this is JMPO, but to me NROTC is the most competitive ROTC program out of the three. AFROTC is the second most competitive from an academic perspective. No flaming for my opinion because the reason I feel this way is it comes down to supply and demand. AF and Navy combined are still smaller than Army, and than add into the fact that AROTC feeds into Guard and Reserves too, whereas the other two do not.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2014
  13. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    No, that's not what I meant.

    I was just wondering if you could drop your current classes, thus not completing this semester. You would still be required to include your first semester grades, but at least it would only be one semester. It may be too late to drop this semesters classes.

    You can't completely leave MMA of your application.
     
  14. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Not sure where you read this. The AROTC PMS takes the GPA off of the official school transcript... they don't compute anything manually. If the official school transcript removes the prior grade, fine. If it doesn't, then it doesn't. It's the Cumulative GPA shown on the Official Transcript that governs, not the PMS or Cadet Command.
     

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