Marines sideload scholarship

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Ribbe, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Ribbe

    Ribbe Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everyone I am a currently planning on attending a senior military college this fall and was wondering if anybody could answer some questions regarding side-load scholarships for NROTC MO, and commissioning in general into the USMC

    1. How often are side load scholarships awarded at senior military colleges for NROTC MO? do the majority of freshman/sophmores committed to pursing a commission that maintain their academic and physical eligibility offered one?

    2. Can you be in AROTC instead of NROTC MO as a CP while applying for the PLC? or would this be frowned upon by the OSO?

    Thank you to all replies ahead of time
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    NROTC MO sideload scholarships are national competitions, just like the 4 year high school scholarship. You must apply and the competition is pretty intense as you might imagine. My son earned one during his sophomore year although I believe the process has changed somewhat since then. Your MOI and AMOI will have some input and your leadership ability, military bearing, etc will be important factors beyond your academics and PFT scores.

    I don't see why you couldn't be in AROTC (not contracted) while pursuing a PLC contract. Not sure what the OSO will think, but I can't think of any legal reason why you couldn't do it. I do know folks who are college programmers in NROTC MO while pursuing a PLC contract. I would think that might be a better route if available.
     
  3. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    811
    We are starting to get a good number of former Marines on the Forum - I am sure we can help add some viewpoints to consider.

    For me, I am confused by your question. There are a number of routes towards a USMC commission including ROTC and PLC. My experience and understanding is that PLC participants do not interact with the ROTC units. It would seem you might first pursue the scholarship option via NROTC by applying for the side load scholarship. If that falls short, you have the option of applying for PLC.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    USMCGrunt is correct in that normally people pursuing a PLC contract do not interact with a NROTC unit. The folks I knew of who were college programmers were those who saw the writing on the wall in terms of obtaining an NROTC contract.
     
  5. USMCDad

    USMCDad Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    7
    Echo Kinnem's response that there is probably nothing legally prohibiting participating in AROTC (College Program) while pursuing Marine PLC, and I also have no idea what the OSO would think but I will share that were I the OSO, I'd find it....odd. Do you simply want to serve (which is noble) or do you want to be a Marine and leader of Marines? The challenges to earning a commission are many and I would recommend picking a path and committing to that rather than what I would see as "hedging my bets".

    I'll also share that it is common for NROTC MO (College Program) to begin discussing PLC with their OSO while still participating in the NROTC MO program. You'll want to have a good relationship with the NROTC Marine Officer Instructor (MOI) AND the OSO. It's not uncommon for College Programmers to compete for the 4-year National Scholarship as a college freshman...not be selected...pursue a side-load as a sophomore....not be selected and then leave NROTC MO to accept a PLC contract.

    Reminder that PLC isn't a given...it's competitive as well.

    I don't know all the details and know that Senior Military Colleges have special rules, but from what I have read, the language is rather Army specific. In other words, I don't know if the guarantee of a commission applies equally.

    I don't have data to support this, but my sense is that the number of side-loads has decreased in the last few years. I suspect (but again, no data) that that is partly due to the changes in the 4-year National program. Now, you basically have 2 chances (4 looks) at the 4-year scholarship (i.e. early board during Senior year of High School and again for the late board and then you can apply again during your Freshman year of college for two more looks). The MOI has significant input into that Freshman year application....

    Last, on the PLC/NROTC interaction. My personal experience (I was a product of MECEP - an enlisted to officer education/commissioning program) was that it is true that the PLC folks don't do the NROTC stuff (drill, classes, social events) but our PLC candidates came to Marine PT every morning with the NROTC MO candidates and went to our field exercises as well. The OSO and MOI had a close relationship and it was clear the PLC candidates were expected to take full advantage of the Marine oriented events...

    Twenty-something years later and my son is experiencing the same thing at a different university. The PLC candidates are encouraged to come to Marine PT and they go on every Field exercise with him and his fellow NROTC MO candidates, at least until they've completed OCS (or PLC juniors/senior or PLC combined/OCC).
     
    kinnem likes this.
  6. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    811
    Great post USMCDad.

    My NROTC unit (30+ years ago) had nothing to do with area PLC candidates but it was a different world back then. I can say that my son's NROTC unit does not mingle with PLC yet most of the guys all live together in the same complex. I would think the program interaction it is a direct correlation to the relationship between the MOI and the local OSO. I personally think the interaction would be good for all but that is just one man's opinion.

    Glad to see a MECEP posting here. Lots of activity on this forum from former Marines lately - good to see!
     
    kinnem likes this.
  7. Hlsng

    Hlsng Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    7
    Our son is also attending a SMC this fall with the hopes of earning an AD commission as an officer in the Marine Corps and while we hope he earns a side load scholarship we are equally concerned about his ability to get AD. We have heard conflicting information re: the chances of AD for SMC graduates. He was unsuccessful in his attempt at USNA and NROTC-MO but has not given up on his dream to serve. Should those at a SMC also pursue PLC while participating in NROTC-MO? We are not a military family and are unfamiliar with this process so we would appreciate any input.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    If one is already participating in NROTC MO and shooting for a sideload scholarship, then I would recommend continuing to pursue that path. If he doesn't get Advanced Standing then one can pursue PLC when that becomes apparent. On the other hand, if one determines the summer pay from PLC is necessary or helpful, the by all means pursue PLC.

    If your son commissions in the Marine Corps then Active Duty is the only option. All Marine and Navy officers go to Active Duty, unlike the Army.
     
    USMCGrunt and NavyHoops like this.
  9. USMCDad

    USMCDad Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    7
    Hlsng (and the OP),

    I went to a public land-grant school as is my son, so I'm not as familiar with the SMC. As I mentioned in the other post, from what I've read, the language leans Army....so I don't know how it applies to Navy, Air Force, Marines...

    This is set in Public Law: Title 10 of the US Code, Section 2111a
    Source

    It does go on to say they can't force you to accept a commission..

    My best recommendation is to reach out the SMC you're interested in and talk to someone there....
     
  10. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    811
    Yep! If you commission as a Marine Officer, you are going active duty.
     
  11. rocatlin

    rocatlin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    88
    Agree with USMCDad

    I know in my son's unit, the MOI and the OSO do have a good relationship. The OSO office is across the street from the campus. The PLC candidates participate in field exercises, PT, etc...although not necessarily every one. There is some logistics involved as far as getting the various PLC candidates together from the multiple universities they represent outside of the one that the NROTC unit is a part of.

    I believe there have been instances where College Program Marine Options do end up commissioning via PLC. They still have to compete for those slots -- which can be extremely slim based upon accession numbers.

    The mingling of PLC and the Marine Options does build a good camaraderie as well. Keep in mind that once they hit TBS, it really doesn't matter which path was followed -- all of the various candidates are sharpened and polished at TBS after they get commissioned.
     
    USMCDad likes this.

Share This Page