Major Changes for the Army ROTC OML Model-Article

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by AscoreD, May 13, 2013.

  1. AscoreD

    AscoreD Member

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    http://www.army.mil/article/103207/

    Interesting article, I saw a comment on it and it looks as though it will affect those graduating in 2014 (we should already know about the OML model changes for the most part). Any thoughts?
     
  2. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I am not sure how the new model eliminates the "dead zone".

    As an example, let's say Infantry fills 50% of its allocation with the top 20% of the OML, and another 15% using ADSO up to about 28% of the OML. Now that 65% of the Infantry allocation has taken place, the remaining 35% MUST come from the bottom 50% of the OML. Therefore, the "Dead Zone" belongs to a cadet at the 29% of the OML up to the 49% of the OML, where Infantry is not a possibility.

    Have they eliminated the Dead Zone? I'm not clear from reading the article.

    It is true that a cadet might be tempted, using past year models who understands he/she is at about the 35% or 40% of the OML, to tank their MSIII year, including LDAC, just enough to reach, say the 55%, and be able then to get Infantry out of the "bottom half" of the OML. Without purposely dropping on the OML, this wouldn't have been possible.

    If CC has eliminated the Dead Zone, I say "well done". It is incumbent upon leaders to create a system that does not reward a cadet for purposely doing poorly because the system they created does not reward performance. If the Dead Zone is gone, then tanking will be gone too. If the Dead Zone has in fact been eliminated, the cadet referenced in the article would not have had a reason to remark to his LTC that he wished he has ranked him lower (into the bottom 50%). Finally, the probability of a cadet finishing LDAC in the "dead zone" is a disincentive for cadets to improve their OML position during their MSIII year. Before there was no incentive to improve, say 5 or 10%, and every incentive to tank. Now the incentive, if in fact the dead zone is gone, for a cadet to improve throughout MSIII year and LDAC.

    As to the other issue: moving some OMS points from LDAC and onto the campus. This is great for the cadet who has a rapport with the LTC or MAJ leading his Battalion. Not so great if a cadet senses favoritism from the LTC/Major because of any number of unlawful but common prejudices: Gender, Race, scholar/athlete balance, sexual preference, a cadet wanting the same branch the PMS came from, "gung ho-ness", etc. LDAC was a level playing field. If we think every LTC and MAJ heading up Battalions is free of prejudice, then we're living on Mars.

    On the positive side, .shifting points from LDAC to Battalion PMS will ensure that cadets give their best effort on campus, and not just slide through campus ROTC activities and place all their hopes on, and all their preparation for, LDAC (putting all their eggs in one basket, so to speak). This is particularly true of the PT scores given on campus. Both the MSIII Fall Semester PT score, and the Spring, matter a lot more than was the case last year. This in my opinion is good... it puts emphasis on PT for an entire school year prior to LDAC. No longer can a cadet blow off Fall PT score (because it had such a small score component), and only bust if for Spring PT and LDAC PT.

    Lastly, it appears that CC found that cadets were lacking in critical platoon leader skills because they were afraid to mess up at LDAC when these skills are assessed. I suppose then that the shift in emphasis at LDAC from scoring cadets, to teaching cadets skills, will result in better prepared 2LTs coming out of ROTC. The implication here is that some leadership skills are better delivered at LDAC vs. during campus Labs.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  3. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Sounds like a step forward.

    It looks like the Dead Zone is eliminated in the sense that they no longer will fill half the branch from the top of the OML and half from the bottom 50%.

    From what I read, after they fill the first 55% they will then go straight to the Branching Model for the final 45%, thus eliminating the Dead Zone. This will be, in my opinion. where CC will be able to look at each cadet and assign them a branch based on their overall performance, desire, and needs of the Army, rather then just a number, sounds like a lot more flexibiliy for branching decisions.

    As far as some cadets fearing any favoritism, this won't change once they become AD, this is something they will just have to learn to deal with. Spend very little time worring about the other cadets and only worry about what you can control.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  4. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Did I just read they are now factoring in gender and ethnicity into the equation?
     
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Yes you did.

    I decided not to touch that one with a 10 foot pole.
     
  6. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I like to stir the pot :wink:, but really I want to know how they are going to do that.
     
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    In reading the article again I focused on the part that stated that the cadets will not know their standing on the OML until after they receive their Branch selection.

    I wonder how this will effect the counseling by the PMS, I would imagine the PMS will know the cadet's standing, I hope so. Will the cadet know if they are in the top 10%, this will have a big effect on their choices if they are still gauranteed their first choice. Will the cadet still know their OMS number? Since the cadets will not know their standing they will have to rely soley on the PMS guidance in making their selections. The current Brancing Models will not really work now since the cadet will not know where they stand on the OML.

    It will be interesting to see how it all works if it goes into effect for the class of 2014 like they plan.
     
  8. cravius

    cravius Member

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    The new OML model does not take effect until next year.
     
  9. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    I guess I'll find out in the fall! Not too concerned because I want a low-demand branch. What's more concerning to me is whether or not this will change when we find out whether we got active or reserve force duty. If I remember right they released component assignments in, what, September?

    If that gets bumped to November, it puts December graduates like me in something of a bind. It's a little much to wait until ~30 days before graduation to find out if you need to find a job or not.

    e:
    FY14 is this LDAC/accessions cycle coming up.
     
  10. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Here is my read of it...

    1) They didn't say the they are changing the 50% from the upper half without ADSO, so that part won't change.

    2) The ADSO zone in the upper half will be reduced to 5% (from 15%) of the slots (hence the total of 55% from the upper half).

    3) From this perspective, more cadets who choose highly competitive branch orders (say IN, FA, MI) will end up in the dead zone (i.e. DABM). The dead zone is not dead!

    4) However, there is now life in the dead zone. It used to be in years past that you COULD NOT get any of your top 3 branch choices if you went DABM. Now your top 3 choices will be considered as part of the determination of whether you will get that branch.

    5) However, that life in the dead zone for those top 3 branches only exists for those individuals they deem useful in balancing out the demographics of that branch.

    6) They've always used race and gender as part of DABM. Now they won't automatically disqualify females in the dead zone from EN (supposing there is a shortage of females in engineering) if they had it at the top of their list.

    Basically, they want more folks in DABM so they can balance out the demographics in branches.

    When you look at the slide decks, it looks like the vast majority of cadets in the lower half feel obligated to ADSO to avoid DABM. I'm not seeing anything in there to indicate a change to this practice, so the dead zone is still alive and bigger than ever. The good news is that for some, the dead zone isn't as dead as you might think.
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, in the past they filled the first 50% of the branch from the top of the OML including the ADSO's, now they will be filling the first 55% of the branch from the top of the OML including ADSO's. Wasn't there always 50% of each branch left for the bottom 50% of the OML. From what I read they will now only have 45% left to branch after the the top of the OML gets their selections. Since it will now go straight to the Branch Model instead of starting at the 50% spot on the OML, the Dead Zone, as it were, will now include everyone that did not get their branch during the first round of selection, not just those between 30 and 50% on the OML. This seems to be good news for those that would have found themselves in the current Dead Zone, and bad news for those that would have fallen in the 50.1% to 60% of the OML, no longer will they be almost gauranteed of their first choice.

    This seems to be following some of the changes that West Point has gone through in regard to Branching.
     
  12. AscoreD

    AscoreD Member

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    The FY14 OML model had been released a little while ago, and now we are able to see those changes in context from this article as to why some of those changes happened.
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2UFy_vrSlkcREI0WXBKYlZoUjg/edit

    On a side note, it should be rather interesting to see what happens to those in the notorious "dead zone". This new model, though, does not fix the discrepancies between the "harder" majors and the "easier" majors which can be detrimental to those who are majoring in rocket science vs. those majoring in underwater basket weaving. This is a continuous battle that RTOC has faced and has yet to find an answer for unfortunately.
     
  13. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    It isn't difficult to fix that discrepancy. www.gradeinflation.com Research is published that shows that on average, across the country:

    Engineering: .3 average GPA below Liberal Arts
    Science/Math: .25 average GPA below Liberal Arts
    Social Science: .15 average GPA below Liberal Arts

    Not that difficult for Cadet Command to simply read the data and implement the normalization. +3 OMS points for Engineers, +2.5 OMS points for Science/Math, +.15 OMS points for Social Sciences.
     
  14. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Not to be nitpick but for the the lurkers out there FA along with ADA are usually the least picked combat arms/MFE branches (besides chemical which was added when branch groupings switched from combat arms to MFE). Replace FA with EN, AR, or AV and you would be good :thumb:

    The rest of your points I agree on!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  15. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Cadet Command has already made an allowence for STEM majors of 1 and .5 points to the OMS. I don't think there will be much of a shift in those points in the future. If they were to up the points given for STEM the next conversation would be that some schools are harder then others so adjustments should be made there as well.

    Those majoring in "Underwater Basket Weaving" do not automatically get higher GPAs.

    If CC started giving 3 extra points for STEM there could be a lot of cadets starting out in a STEM major just to get the points, only to find themselves failing terribly and having to switch majors. For those on scholarship that could cause a whole set of new issues.

    All in all the new system seems fair, CC will now have the opportunity to evaluate each cadet, majors may even become part of that new evaluation. Greater input from the Battalion will give a much better picture of each cadet.

    A cadet that excelled at LDAC, had great tactical marks on the Battalion level, but had a 3.2 GPA due to a hard STEM major would have found themselves in the Dead Zone with no chance of getting Infantry. Now CC can take all that into consideration and the cadet would now at least have a chance to get their branch.

    Of course cadets will now have to stress out a littl longer since they will not know where they stand on the OML until after they are branched.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  16. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Before this change, the upper half of the class got to fill 50% of the non-DABM reserved slots with an addition 15% of the non-DABM slots available for ADSO candidates above the 50th percentile. Now that is only 5% of the non-DABM slots are for ADSO in addition to the 50% not requiring ADSO for a total of 55% from the upper half of cadets.


    Let me give a mathematical example:

    Lets say X branch has 99 total slots and 10 of those used to be for DABM, leaving 89 slots to be allocated by pre-branching (the method we talk about typically).

    This makes 51 slots reserved for the upper half + another 13 available to upper half cadets using ADSO. If these are all spoken for, there are 31 slots available for lower half ADSO candidates under the old model.

    Given the new limit of 55% from the upper half including ADSO, does that mean now only 4 slots are available to the upper half ADSO candidates (in addition to the 41 not requiring ADSO) and now 40 slots are available for lower half ADSO candidates, including the 9 moved from upper half ADSO.

    This creates a larger dead zone, but with 40% of the total slots (including DABM) already dedicated to the lower half (as opposed to 31% in the old model). This should enhance the ability to offer DABM slots to upper half candidates given that they don't use the entire DABM pool to fix the balance between the 2 half (if they wanted that they would more likely shrink the total pre-branch to less than 50%).

    Just my thoughts.
     
  17. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    You are correct. I inadvertently crossed FA with AR. :redface:
     
  18. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    or, if CC would normalize Engineers with +3 OMS points, or STEM with 2.5 OMS points, the cadet wouldn't be in that unproductive position to begin with:thumbdown: You see that way the cadet you worry will declare a STEM major because of the extra points wouldn't, because he understands a 3.25 STEM + 2.5 OMS bonus wouldn't be any better in OMS than if he declared a humanities major and got the expected 3.5 GPA in humanities (again using the .025 National ave. spread b/w STEM and Humanities GPA.)

    Currently all branches of ROTC are encouraging ENG/STEM majors, yet penalize ENG/STEM students by not correcting for the national average spread between those majors and humanities. Seems like shooting yourself in the foot to me. If they'd normalize it properly -- by the national average deltas, not by the inadequate .5 and 1.0 amounts, more cadets would be willing to accept the lower expected GPA of a Geology major vs. an English major, knowing that Cadet Command would equalize them.

    There is just something wrongheaded about penalizing (again, using national averages) a student for picking a harder major, yet out of the other side of the mouth encouraging them to attempt those same expected lower GPA majors.

    Imagine a parent with two children. The parent values a science education more than a humanities education. That same parent announces he will award $100 each semester for each .1 GPA over 3.2. Now, being the intelligent child of such a parent, would YOU major in Physics, or Anthropology? Depends on whether you like money, I'd say. But if you're the parent, would you scratch your head wondering why both of your children do not seem to value a scientific education as much as you do? Would you rack your brain trying to figure out why they chose humanities majors? It's pretty simple... they figured out that humanities gets them the most money from their parent.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  19. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Or, the STEM major could just study and get that GPA on their own. The top three MS3 cadets at my son's school are STEM majors, 3.6 and higher. Of course the argument would now be that it's not from a top tier school. What happens with cadets like this that get a 3.7, they should now have a 4.O. The 1 and .5 points they give now seems adequate and balanced.
     
  20. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    No, that is not what I am saying. I am saying those three MS3 cadets (on average using national averages) would have 3.85 or higher GPA with a humanities major. And finish much higher in the OML. And have more control over their Branching, especially if top 10% of the AD OML with 3.85+ as a Humanities major, but not top 10% of the AD OML with 3.6+ STEM major.
     

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