mind games

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by piper, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. piper

    piper Member

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    Liaison officer for academy applications (Navy and Air Force) is same person as did ROTC interview. He told son he is good bet for ROTC scholarship but detach commander wanted to know if he really wanted a service academy; and he'd have TWO WEEKS to accept the scholarship. If the academy was his first choice, they'd hold off on scholarship. What the heck? I hate this: we MIGHT offer you a scholarship but not if you MIGHT go to an academy. I thought you said yes to all offers as they came in. Most qualified, nominated academy applicants don't get an appointment, so what right do they have to put a kid in such an impossible place? I thought it was ok to unaccept ROTC scholarship upon securing a service academy appointment? Any advice?
     
  2. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Piper: How about some clarification?
    Which ROTC program is the "detach commander" reluctant to give your son a a scholarship? Detachment usually refers to Air Force.

    It sounds as though a different person did your son's interview...wouldn't THAT person be the one to recommend your son for a scholarship? This much influence/recommending on the local level sounds a lot more like Army ROTC than the other ROTC programs.

    What about the "full ride" at the civilian school that your son was told by "someone" that he was a "sure thing"? Is it a full ride and who told him that?
     
  3. piper

    piper Member

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    clarification: it's a commanders leadership scholarship and the school automatically gives room/board grant money, so combined it's a 4-year free ride. I understand this is a recruitment tool by detachment to lure people who are hoping for academy appointment, but still can't believe they expect an immediate commitment so early.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I have to agree, that doesn't sound like the AF program, especially since for the AF dets have no voice in selection.

    You do have the right to give up that scholarship if the SA offers an apptmt. However, with the cut throat selection due to higher applications, they maybe saying, be honest to us now.

    AFROTC is not as fluid as the AFA. They don't have back up lists, but they still have numbers they want to meet. The AFA can call up a candidate 2 days before I Day and offer them an appointment. AFROTC doesn't have a NWL. Thus, they maybe saying, we can't afford to leave spots open if you are using us as plan B.

    I understand the frustration, especially since the AFA mass mailing is still 3 months away, but you need to remove the emotion and see it from a fiscal standpoint.

    AFROTC and the AFA have 2 completely different boards. They do not talk to each other. When they give an apptmt or a scholarship they know a certain % will decline, and try to stay in those numbers.
     
  5. piper

    piper Member

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    Thanks Pima, that helps. But friends of mine were able to pocket an ROTC offer and wait for SA appointment. When the appointment came, nobody blamed them for returning scholarship. Now it seems that my 17 year old is being forced to gamble with the bird in hand...
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    AS I stated we are now 3 yrs out from this process and things change.

    I know our DS back in 08 got recruited by certain universities, but that was after he had the scholarship in hand, and to schools he never applied to.

    I would suggest YOUR DS contacting HIS ALO or Maxwell, because you need a definitive answer on this and nobody here can give that, except for Flieger (you can find him on the AFA site).

    This is his life, and he needs to take the initiative in this matter, otherwise it will appear that you care more than he does, and that is not an image you or him want to portray.
     
  7. 1993A10

    1993A10 Member

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    The letter we received from Maxwell said that the first AFROTC board would meet last week, and the resulting letters would go out December 27.
     
  8. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    IMHO - any commitment your son makes to AFROTC (before he even has a scholarship) is non-binding. Even if it were binding (which again I do not believe) the Air Force has been very clear about an appointee's "right" to walk away from AFROTC for an USAFA appointment.

    Once your son receives an AFROTC scholarship he can use it at any Detachment that satisfies the "Type" of scholarship that he has received. Is there some reason that your son wants to attend only this school or are there other schools that he might be interested in attending?
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    For those going through this process now, and I know some of you have golden tickets to the AFA, which to me means you are very competitive; have you had this scenario?

    Piper I am in no way saying that you are blustering, but I think it is important that other posters know of things like this. I just don't know of a hs sr who has been offered and AFROTC scholarship like this.

    In college is tracked and handled differently than hs., so maybe wires are being crossed here.

    I would also say that our DS took AFROTC over the AFA, and his det was very supportive. They even said if he changed his mind as a freshman they would put him up for an ROTC nom.

    I would be leery of a det that is playing so heavy handed. The AFROTC scholarship program is different than the NROTC or AROTC. They don't care if they have 100% on scholarship or 10% on scholarship, it has no impact on them.

    I think that is why people who are in the system are having troubles getting what you are saying.

    Caveat: The AF brings out different programs all the time and this may be their newest one, so again, the more info you can give the more we enlighten everyone and candidates for 16 regarding opportunities.
     
  10. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Your son is not being forced to gamble. Diplomacy is perhaps in order.
    Honestly, it's none of their business if he is also applying to the AFA or any other college. He can convey this without coming across as this offer is the 'backup'.
    He can convey enthusiasm without "commiting". As others have said - any commitment he makes is purely verbal and non-binding.
    They can't force him to pull his application and he should not.

    However, if he were my son - I would encourage him be enthusiastic and open-minded about this offer. I would tell hiim to refrain from discussing other options he may or may not have - AFA and other schools. If he is asked he can simply be non-commital and even 'blame' you. As in, my parents are telling me to keep all my applications open through the admissions cycle.
     
  11. DeskJockey

    DeskJockey Member

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    Ordinarily, AFROTC scholarships are awarded by a national board. They can be used at any school which offers the designated academic major. Also, it is understood that students can revoke their acceptance of an AFROTC scholarship if they decide to attend an academy or an Army or Navy ROTC program.

    The Commanders Leadership Scholarship (CLS) is awarded by the commander at a particular detachment. The advantage is that your son will bypass the national competition and get a scholarship right now; the disadvantage is that it is only good at that specific detachment. As with the national scholarships, your son is not bound by his acceptance; he can subsequently decline it if he gets into an academy.

    The purpose of the CLS is to give commanders a tool to recruit high caliber students for their individual detachments. Quite obviously, the commander wants to reserve his CLS for a student who intends to enroll at one of the detachment's schools. It is perfectly fair for the commander to ask your son what his plans are. The fact that your son is still considering the academies may or may not be a deal breaker. The commander may decide that he will only award the CLS to a student who is willing to make an exclusive commitment to his detachment. If that is the case, and your son is not willing to make that commitment right now, he can decline the CLS and wait and see if he gets a scholarship from the national board. On the other hand, if your son wants a sure thing, he can accept the CLS on the commander's terms. The two-week deadline is in the regs, so the detachment does not have the discretion to give your son more time to consider the offer.
     
  12. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I disagree. When I go for a job interview, I don't consider it 'fair' for my prospective employer to inquire about where else I have applied and interviewed.
    It is none of his business. He may want to know so he can 'sell' his program but to use this information to apply pressure or give an ultimatum is unethical. IMO.

    This is where some diplomacy comes in. You can't tell him it's none of his business - well you can but......
    If your son can honestly say he would accept this offer given to him at this point in time without knowing what might or might not come in the future - he is good and can accept. If something happens in the future that changes his mind; so be it.
     
  13. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    WoW! Thanks DeskJockey for the information about the CLS. While I am now better informed, I am ticked that none of the AFROTC Detachments offered this to my children. :wink:
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I wonder if that comes down to him and matching the school.

    No offense to anyone.

    Let's say your child is in parameters for VT as a safety safety(VA resident), but their true match is MIT. Would that be the reason this occurs?

    That would explain why others have not really heard of it. VT caliber is not the same as MIT.
     
  15. piper

    piper Member

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    and another thing...

    A complication for us is that the academy ALO did the ROTC interview, then discussed son with Detach. Comm. and passed along Detach. Comm. questions to us. What are son's plans? What difference does that make, until he has offers in writing, he has nothing. He applied to two SA's and ROTC. They know this. I know the Detach. Comm. wants to save time and energy and doesn't want to offer a scholarship to someone who is holding out for an academy appointment. I don't care. I care about my son being asked hypothetical questions about offers not yet made. Having the ALO privy to this exchange compromises son's ability to act as an independent decision maker. We don't know if taking the bird-in-hand would hurt his SA's bid.

    It's heavy handed, and it stinks. He is being offered a gamble. I think he will walk away from it and hope to hell there's another real offer down the road.
     
  16. skippy

    skippy New Member

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    I'm new to all this but appreciate you all sharing the details of your stories. This stuff can get real complicated. I'm learning a lot.

    Yeah internet!
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Has your son had a frank conversation with his ALO about his chances for the AFA?

    ALO's submit their recs for their candidates. Has he asked where do I rack and stack with the other candidates? Will I be your number 1 pick, or one of your top picks. In AF terms there is a difference when it comes to a board review.

    As for the hypotheticals, those questions are very common. I know when our DS interviewed for his nom yrs ago, one of the questions was "will you chose ROTC over the AFA or vise a verse?" Why?

    They are looking for a commitment from a big picture. Consider yourself fortunate that the ALO passed down the det commanders questions prior to the interview. That allowed you time to think about what your answer would be instead of being hit with it from a no notice aspect.

    This maybe hard to understand, but this will occur for as long as you are involved in the AF.

    Let's say he takes the AFROTC scholarship, in his jr yr at college, the det commander is going to ask for his career wish list. He is going to want to discuss why he should give him the rec for UPT over the other cadet. Your DS may say because I want to fly fighters, great so does every other cadet applying for the UPT board. What if you don't get fighters, but UAS? That is hypothetical and it does give insight to the cadets true desires when it comes to flying. Reason why, because some cadet may say, than I would rather be CSO because I can't see myself locked at a desk all day long.

    Now let's say he does go AFA, but decides he wants to apply for grad school (AFIT, Rhodes, Rand, MIT, etc) right after with a follow on for UPT. The hypothetical will be what if you don't get MIT?

    Later on his career he will have many times he will have to deal with selecting between 2 things where the answer matters. WIC or TPS or Thunderbirds. All of these have more candidates than slots. The wing king is going to have to whittle away who gets what, and knowing their true desires gives them a more informed opinion on who should get what.

    It stinks, and I know it does, but once you remove the emotional aspect, you will be able to start understanding their thought process. I would really suggest your DS contact the ALO. It seems like your ALO is on the ball and is trying to work hand and hand with him. I think your answer lies with the ALO regarding insight to his path.
     
  18. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I agree with you. This would piss me off. I think it is unethical and borders on bribery.
    Until he has an offer from the det he has nothing. I would have a very frank conversation with this guy. Get him to make it clear your son would have an offer .... but for his academy application. Take notes. Ask him to repeat your clear understanding over and over.
    Then take this information one step higher (or more).
    I would also have him call the AFA and have a conversation - you, him and his AFA admissions rep about this situation. See what they have to say.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The ALO's job is to be a liaison.

    I am confused here, because you aren't mad that they gave him the questions prior to the interview, but mad that they talked to the det.

    Our DS's ALO also did his ROTC interview along with his AFA. Actually his AFROTC interview consisted of DS, I am calling to tell you that since I have been working with you for the AFA, I don't feel I need to interview you for ROTC since I know all of the info anyway.

    Not everywhere do they have ALO's for ROTC and AFA, sometimes they do both.

    I would not call the AFA because they have absolutely nothing to do with AFROTC. It would come across as a tattling on the ALO. Instead, if you are very upset about the behavior of the ALO, contact the regional ALO. If you don't know how to do it. PM Flieger (on this site), and I am sure he can give you the regional.

    Again, to me it appears he was assisting your DS by allowing him to see the questions prior to the interview. If you knew that question (will you take AFA over AFROTC) was going to come down, than it was giving a hint that they were looking at that issue.

    In the end, if I have read the thread correctly, the fat lady has yet to even warm up her vocal chords because he has yet to meet an AFROTC board. If he is strong enough to get a full ride regarding this program, he should be definetely strong enough to get an AFROTC scholarship.

    Caveat: This also goes back to the tier school and if this was his safety of safeties. If the candidate has a 32 ACT/ 2200 SAT and a 3.75 uwgpa, but the incoming class has a 28 ACT/1850SAT and a 3.2 uwgpa he is someone they want and will recruit him. However, take those same stats and he is avg when it comes to the AFA.

    There is a bigger picture.

    Also, some universities "talk" to ROTC, some do not. It appears in this situation they "talk" and that could also be why they had a drop dead timeline. The university could be demanding a drop dead date and holding ROTC hostage. If the scholarship covers every penny, it actually could be a better choice than to take your chances on the AFROTC scholarship.

    It all has to do with stats, and where you rack and stack. You need to be brutally honest with yourselves and ask where you stack.

    If it was me, and our DS had a 31 ACT, 3.75 uwgpa with 10 APs, great CFA/PFA and strong ECs I would be on the fence. If it was anything lower, I'd have a long talk with the ALO on how he perceives the chances.

    Great ALO's keep in contact with the regionals at the AFA. Don't jump over their head and contact the regional. Have your DS contact the ALO and ask the ALO to contact the regional.

    As a parent you want to do everything to obtain their dream, but from the AF side this is about him now fighting for his dream. He needs to take the initiative in this situation.

    We are here for you and will listen 24/7 to your frustrations. We will be your support, and hopefully give you guidance. BUT this is his life, and he needs to be in charge of it when it comes to the AF.

    ***Also, remember the minute he turns 18, they will not discuss squat with you, so it is best he starts now.
     
  20. piper

    piper Member

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    I never intended to call anyone; it’s wrong to assume that opinions here result in parental action. My son’s scores and accomplishments speak to his initiative-–after all, that’s what got him noticed for a Commander’s Leadership Scholarship in the first place. I am on a forum with other parents/applicants to share frustrations and maybe learn about the process. I’m not about to mess with his relationship with ALO or anyone else with his future in his hands. Actually, I suggested he follow his ALO’s advice [what the hell else can he do?], which is to own up that a Service Academy remains his first choice, let this scholarship go and hope for an appointment. Thanks for your input, everyone.
     

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