Major and Commissioning

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by turtlerunnernc, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. turtlerunnernc

    turtlerunnernc Member

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    Not really sure where this belongs so, if here is wrong, I apologize. My son has plans to major in Mechanical Engineering. He plans to commission in to the Army. He is hoping for an AROTC scholarship.

    The dilemma is when we search MOS' on the Army website none of them that come up for engineering seem like he would actually be using his degree once in the Army. It seems all the engineers are civilian contractors.

    Has anyone here had a DS or DD, or themselves majored in Mechanical Engineering and commissioned upon graduation? Are you/they actually doing engineering work?

    He is open to changing to Civil Engineering, which seems he may actually get to use.

    I guess the big concern is when he transitions from military to civilian and has a degree in engineering but hasn't the experience of doing it for X number of years or his studies being obselete after 4-8:years in the Army.
     
  2. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    In the Army, he will not actually be using his engineering degree as a junior officer. It can give him preferential branching into the Engineering branch, but he'll find most of his fellow officers are not degreed engineers.

    While he may not frequently use the hard engineering knowledge learned in college, you can bet he'll use "soft" skills such as problems solving and project management, etc. If he stays beyond his initial commitment, there's always the opportunity to get a graduate degree, which, combined with several years of staff and command positions, would make him an attractive candidate for most mid-level positions outside the military.

    As a combat engineer officer, a degree in Civil Engineering would be closest to his area of expertise. If he's set on mechanical or other types of engineering as a career, the Navy or Air Force would probably be more appropriate. Best of luck to him!
     
  3. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Any Engineering that you will do as a Junior officer in the Army would be closer to civil engineering than any other type, though even there that is not really "engineering" as much as you are managing engineering assets engaged in earth displacement projects like improving (or destroying) roads, river crossing points, erecting bridges, or sometimes erecting simple walls/ buildings etc... An Engineer platoon leader and company commander's world is much more akin to being a project manager than any design engineering. As you get much further along in your career you could wind up in an acquisition or development kind of a job in Natick,or in a district job with the Army Corps of Engineers which again would be a Civil Engineering skill set more than any other type of engineering. I think that it is fair to say though that after a number of years in the Army- your actual engineering credentials will not be as current as if you had gone straight to work for VDOT designingsections of an overpass . You will, however, have had a lot of experience in the logistics and people management end of running a project.
     
  4. turtlerunnernc

    turtlerunnernc Member

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    So, if he is interested in the Corp of Engineers, he is better off in Civil Engineering than mechanical. In reading the MOS, It seems more what he is looking for than Combat Engineer or other listed.

    I'm confused though because all of the MOS' listed on the Army website officer is x- out, like you cannot be an officer for that job.

    I guess I am wondering what he would do for a job when he commissions after college with a Mechanical Engineering degree vs a Civil Engineering degree.
     
  5. turtlerunnernc

    turtlerunnernc Member

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    Ok, I found where these are all also officer positions. All I see description wise is when they are deployed. What do they do when they are not deployed?

    I'm sorry, I am just completely clueless in all this and want to understand and make sure DS knows what his options are as an Engineer.
     
  6. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    turtlerunnernc: if I may...

    There is probably no job in the military that is a direct translation of his schooling and the roles his fellow graduates will fill in their first assignments. However...

    What he will learn in the military will be a completely different skill set similar to those of a project manager. In other words, as a junior officer he will learn people management skills, project skills, time management under pressure, logistics, etc. Go back and read jcc123 and Bruno's posts. The skills he acquires as a junior military officer will far surpass those of his civilian peers in many different aspects (excluding pure engineering work). He will be on a fast track to management.

    In the bigger picture, a military veteran with engineering undergrad and 4-5 years of real world experience will bring an civilian organization a lot more experience that is directly translatable to their needs than the X's and O's of some engineering textbook problem.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
    turtlerunnernc likes this.
  7. turtlerunnernc

    turtlerunnernc Member

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    Thanks everyone. Maybe I am over thinking. First kid going to college, military stuff that is unfamiliar to me !! Just trying to wrap my brain around it all and make sure he knows what he is deciding.
     
  8. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    There is nothing wrong with asking questions, seeking understanding and providing guidance to your DS. He should also be seeking counsel. All good. If we haven't addressed your concerns, keep asking.
     
  9. turtlerunnernc

    turtlerunnernc Member

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    Thank you. He is also asking questions. He has sent some emails, and is making some calls tomorrow after school and before Drill practice.
     

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