Major Second Thoughts

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by djames, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. djames

    djames New Member

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    I received the Army and Navy ROTC scholarships, and chose to accept the AROTC scholarship, but now I am having major second thoughts... My brother will be going into his 4th year of college as a chemical engineering major (what I also want to do) and is currently in his second year interning for Chevron. I see what he is doing; the money he will be making, and I think to myself how I would also like to do that. Also, I do not want to go to college for more than 4 years, which I will likely have to do if I decide to stick with ROTC. And then finally, I want to have fun in college; I want to be able to party on weekends and enjoy my time away from school. I don't want to feel like every second of my life is being consumed during college. If I feel this way do you think I should decline my scholarship before it's too late? I've been trying to ask myself why I wanted to join the military in the first place, and I feel like it's only because I've told myself that I would my entire life. But now that I'm almost there, I'm scared that I just fell in love with the idea of joining the military, not actually doing it. Can anybody give me any advice please?
     
  2. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    When would it be too late? Unless something (else) has changed you have a year to decide whether the Army is "right" for you before you incur a military obligation. Don't let your fears or others decide for you. Give it a shot and decide for yourself after you have some more information/experience. Good luck!
     
  3. djames

    djames New Member

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    What if I would end up immediately disliking the ROTC program? Would I be able to drop out at any time during the year? Also, how would that affect the scholarship benefits I receive?
     
  4. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Yes - you can drop out anytime during the year. Usually your scholarship benefits are not paid until you are contracted (search this site or call your AROTC Battalion for details). In fairness....if you aren't going to at least TRY the program for a full semester perhaps you'd want to avoid taking the Army's money. I understand you have some concerns about whether military life is correct for you, and that's not too unusual....but if you are willing to accept the Army's largesse then at least give the program a reasonable effort. JMPO...
     
  5. djames

    djames New Member

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    I will think about it a little longer before I make my decision. Thanks for your help.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Agagles has given you great advice.

    I will add that many kids are like you when they are coming close to that day where reality is about to meet theory. Be it an SA, SMC, or ROTC scholarship recipient they are finally facing the daunting fact of what life will be like.

    That being said, some of your misconceptions make me chuckle.
    Huh? The AROTC scholarship is only good for 4 years. The program is 4 years. Yes, you can extend it to 5, but that usually occurs if the engineering program you are in requires 5 years to graduate as an engineer,
    ~ ROTC is a 1 credit class.

    Are you going to an SMC? Most colleges these days, unless they have a huge ROTC pool of students don't even offer ROTC dorms.
    ~ Are DS did not live in a ROTC dorm, his college (ACC) didn't even offer it. He lived on campus as a freshman with everyone else that was in the university's Scholar program. Heck, they didn't even guarantee on campus housing after their freshman year. He lived off campus with both ROTC and non-ROTC friends for his final two years.
    ~~ He got married in May, and his best man was not ROTC, another groomsmen was. After the wedding we all hung in our suite and ROFL regarding the stories of mischief they got into those 4 years.
    ~~~ His wife graduated from a SCC college. They dated 2 years long distance. He went to her college, she came to his, @every 4-6 weeks. His weekends for the most part were his weekends.

    OBTW...ROTC and your college will probably have the same level of acceptance regarding "having fun". All of my kids had to sign a zero tolerance underage drinking letter for admittance to their college.
    ~ Usually you get in trouble with the college first, and then it floats down to ROTC. Not the other way around, where ROTC finds out first and informs the college.
    ~~ In the bowels of this forum, there was an NROTC mid at PSU that was arrested during the upheaval of Sandusky. Cars were tipped. The mid lost his scholarship, and suspended. It was PSU that informed NROTC of his academic standing due to his arrest.

    Look the fact is you may or may not be making 65k out of the gate. Google BAH Ft. Dix. Between base pay, BAH, and BAS, plus tax benefits and health care you are over 65k a year.
    ~ I don't know where you live, but I doubt that if he is Louisiana or Texas, you'll pull the 65K out of the gate.

    I also don't know how much as an O1 you will be working in your career field like your brother. It is something to think long and hard about.

    That being said, it is also true that you may fall in love with the Army and hate CE. I know at our DDs college (SMC in VA) the engineering majors are told on day one...look left, look right 1 of you will not graduate as an engineer.
    ~ So many drop during finals week that the only building the registrar sets up a portable office is in the engineering building.
    ~~ Kids assume because they are good in Math and Science it translates into being happy in engineering. It doesn't. (Theory meeting Reality)

    I am not trying to be negative. It is the opposite. I am trying to remind you that you are young and your concerns/fears/questions are very common.

    Good luck.
     
  7. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Check it out...

    ROTC will not make you have to take 5 years of college. You can still graduate in 4.

    You can still "party" as long as you aren't doing any illegal drugs. Just don't get caught drinking while underage.

    You can join the guard or reserve when you graduate, and still make the big money. You'll pay back your scholarship 1 weekend a month, and two weeks in the summer. You don't have to go active duty.
     
  8. Seawings18

    Seawings18 Member

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    I think the 4+ years the OP is referring to is the extension engineering majors may elect to take so that they are not overwhelmed alongside ROTC requirements. I know the VTCC has a 5 year program like this for its cadets as does NROTC; I would assume AROTC would do the same.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    You might be not a normal millennal as you are thinking more than a week ahead.

    Kidding a side, a consideration should be what you want to accomplish before you die. Someone I know told me that his in-law, who was very successful, wanted to be buried in a veterans cemetary with his military rank CPL on his tombstone.

    Serving in the military is something special. Not everyone does it. Plenty of folks that don't serve in the military that have done great things for this country. Doing ROTC is more than about your college years.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    That's a trait of Generation X.... might need to review the generation traits again. :wink:
     
  11. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    DS will be an MSII this fall. He really likes AROTC. Yes you can still party and do all of the normal college stuff. DS did intermural water polo, skied a bunch, joined a frat and did rush, skeet shooting, attended football and BB games... and was able to maintain a 3.5 GPA. On top of all that he made some great lifelong friends, a couple of whom he will be rooming with this year. BONUS... he is not the typical broke college student. The money the Army provides comes in very handy. If and only if you are serious about keeping an open mind about the program then by all means give it your best shot for the first year. If however you feel you are not willing or able to do so then please forgo the scholarship and let someone who truly wants it use it.
     
  12. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    I'm not sure where you've heard these rumors ... but most of them are not true.

    Responses are in red.
    Going to add to what Sheriff said .... it's nice having a monthly non-taxable disposable income.

    Everyone who has already posted something has already given you some very good input.
     
  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Seems like doing the first year, at least, is a no brainer to me! Go for it! :thumb:
     
  14. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Exactly. AROTC already knows that x% of scholarship cadets will drop. Incidentally, so does the Academy. Whether that x is 10%, 20%, I don't know, as it will vary a lot by campus. It's expected and that is why the Army doesn't penalize a Scholarship cadet for dropping any time before day 1 of 2nd Year (MSII year). The Army doesn't want Officers who are not willingly serving but instead endure and commission only because they were unable to, or afraid of, repaying a year of Tuition/Fees/Stipend/Books... that officer would be bitter, angry, trapped and a lousy officer.
     
  15. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I guess my generational trait is making mistakes :shake:
     
  16. Frankie

    Frankie Member

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    The worst thing you could do is not try it at all and live for the rest of your life wondering "what could have been?"
     
  17. nofodad

    nofodad Member

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    We generally regret far more the things we don't do...rather than the things we do.
     
  18. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

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    Tombstone

    That reminds me of Lee Marvin. One of the Hollywood greats of the 1950s-1960s. Great character actor. Rich, famous, a celebrity. Won an Academy Award for Best Actor and was nominated for a couple more. None of that is mentioned on his tombstone, though.

    What is mentioned? The accomplishment he was most proud of.

    PFC - US MARINE CORPS - WORLD WAR TWO
     

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