My EA chances?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by pp171, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. pp171

    pp171 Member

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    Hello, this is my first post. I was reading some threads about EA so I would like to get everyone's opinion about it. First, I am a AS 200, and been in the program since my AS 100 year. My major is currently electrical engineering and I activated an express scholarship recently early in the Fall 2010 semester, slated to graduate in 2014 (5-years). These are my stats:

    -2.61 CGPA (Yeah its bad, I really did bad my 1st semester of college (2.1 GPA) but bounced back my spring semester to get the GPA required for scholarship activation. I had a mediocre Fall 2010 semester (2.8 GPA)

    -93.8 PFA Looking to improve to at least 95

    -AAS active now the finance officer for my squadron

    -The cadre really resect me and know me as a good person, I have a feeling that they really like me as a cadet

    -The POC training officers really like me as a leader in my flight, squadron and in the detachment

    -Very involved with the detachment (Combat dining in!!!!)

    -No conditional events on my record

    -Did well on my AFOQT

    -No idea about my commander rank, I think I will be in the middle.

    I know these are not the greatest stats in the world, but my O-6 did tell me 70% of all EA handed out are to tech majors. I do know a couple POC last year who had GPA lower than me that received EA, and they were civil engineers. The POC at my det gave me assurance that I have a great chance to get an EA this year, but with the force shaping deal we are going through, I'm just worried about my GPA, even though it has improved every semester. Also our det has some amazing cadets, talking many people with 3.3+ GPAs and 95+ PFA scores. They are all non tech though. At mid-term counseling my O-6 told me I was in battle with 20 other cadets for EAs. We have 38 cadets in our detachment.

    So my question to you is, how are my EA chances?
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You meant 38 C200's correct? Surely if 20 are in battle with you there are more than 18 other cadets in the rest of the det.

    If it is actually 38 C 200's, and you are in the top 50% than you should feel comfortable since for your det he has stated 70% went ly with gpas less than yours.

    If it is 20, than you should find out if you are in the top 10 or 15 of those cadets to feel more comfortable, because statistically the bottom 5 would not be going from that 70% marker.

    The problem is nobody, not even your commander can predict what everyone else looks like for the board. What ly's board looked like does not equate to it being identical this yr.

    Right now it is out of your control, so just hope for the best and enjoy your time at school.

    Work on that gpa because it will matter next yr when it comes to your AFSC board especially if you are applying for a pilot slot.
     
  3. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    One benefit you receive as a tech-major is (just learned it) the AFHQ will rank all the tech-majors and select first. Those who are not selected in the "tech board" then will be ranked with all the non-tech people and go from there. This is something our AS instructor told us.

    I am an AS 250 and competing for an EA this year as well. I constantly checked in with the O-4 about my performance and information. He told me yesterday that he just released 6 AS 200s. It was very hard and heart-breaking. One cadet he released was one with 100% on PFA and was always very loud during PT and did Honor Guard. He was a cross-towner and non-tech and had a GPA about 2.6. I was really surprised and felt sorry because there was no double he was going to be a good officer. He is very upright and involved in all kinds of services.

    Now I think tech majors really do have much greater chances against non-tech. Before I was kinda paranoid and obsessed with the numbers. Now I am just doing my part in the detachment and know for a fact that the result will follow along. My commander said in person that he'd give me a very good class ranking because he saw my effort and he saw the most improvement from me than anyone else in the det. Might be my starting point was low (I couldn't have passed PFA if I took it right after I entered ROTC), but his comments alone were worth my being in the program. And I am currently in the process of applying to ARMY OCS because I could get one BA this summer. By the way you are really lucky, I was verbally promised a scholarship but when I went in and checked after passing the PFA, the commander just received news in-college scholarships were frozen for the reminder of this school year.

    One thing I misunderstood was that there is not going to be a letter by your commander to the AFHQ. For some reason I thought each one of us AS 200s were going to get a LOR for our EA competition/selection. I was wrong. It's pure numbers in the system.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    They were not all non-tech because otherwise you would have stated they were all non-tech, but that is not what you stated. You only stated that 1 was a non-tech X towner. Not saying/implying anything else, but this all goes back to what I keep stressing... gpa matters!

    The other thing is that 6 of AS200 is a lot to release. Let's say they have 240 cadets, which would be considered as a huge det., 60 in each yr group, that is 10% they got rid of for the class of 13 mid yr. If numbers stay the same and 70% go out of those remaining 54, you are going to see @ about 15 C200 not getting SFT. Thus for the C200 class that entered in Sept. the real % that attend would be 39 out of those 60.

    That should have been no surprise, a 2.6 is very low; actually if he was released and on scholarship it probably had more to do with gpa than anything else, but def. as a non-tech with that type of gpa he was at risk. Also going X-town adds into the equation, since most of them are in and out, for cadets that are at the university they usually hang in the cadet lounge between classes, and do things like AAS, so there is more face time with the staff.


    Yes, but just like rated officers vs non-rated at a certain point the scales tip. I would not want anyone who is a tech major with a 2.5 gpa to believe that because of that major they will go before a 3.4 non-tech major.

    You will see in the ADAF that rated officers have a higher promotion rate than non-rated, yet not every rated will get promoted...I can give you a list that takes up every appendage I have regarding rated, and even AFA grads that got passed over for promotion. It only takes you so far when it comes to the scales to be technical. It should never be assumed that it is a safety net.

    They do get extra points, but it is still a WCS system and jobs in the det., AFOQT, PFT, det rank and gpa all matter. Please do not assume that techs are golden and safe, because they aren't. They get an edge, but when you go to FT you will see a lot of non-techs there.

    I say that because it really is important for non-techs not to give up hope, and for techs not to rest on their laurels.

    The LOR is for AFSC as a C300, but as you stated the CC still has impact because they rack and stack for class ranking.

    The CC by supporting you as a top candidate regarding your rank in the det actually impacts..

    The waters are getting muddy because this causes confusion. The thing to remember is the CC racks and stacks for EA, but for AFSC they actually write an LOR. Your AFROTC file will go to the board...this brings it back to the CC writing on your performance evaluation where you rack and stack...Top 10% is great, but number 1 candidate is a whole new ball of wax. Those sit downs have a dual fold purpose, 1 is to discuss your progression, and 1 is to acknowledge where you stand in AF terms. At the end of every semester the CC will tell you where you stand in ranking within the det.

    For AFSC, I believe the commanders rec accounts for 65% of the WCS when it comes to that board. I could be off, and will not swear by it, but it still is a lot of input.

    I can't remember the thread, but this was discussed back last spring. Actually our DS knew a cadet in the det that was told it was not going to happen. That is when the cadets started to see that force re-shaping was impacting ROTC, of course this came on the heels of the lowest number of cadets getting FT, plus one C400 getting released in Mar even with his AFSC due to his gpa (2.8). Start putting those 3 things together and you can see why these cadets were nervous.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  5. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    that is good advice!

    At the website www.gradeinflation.com , a paper is linked that shows GPA differences between Engineering, Math/Science, Social Sciences, and Humanities are discussed. http://www.gradeinflation.com/tcr2010grading.pdf
    The researcher behind the paper and website is an ex tenured Hydrology professor from Duke who left about five years ago.

    His data at the top of page 4 of the paper shows that on average, across the approx. 110 schools he's gathered data from,(starting from my an arbitrary 2.8 for Sciences for illustration purposes):

    2.8 Natural Sciences (I assume the pre-med weeding out is partly responsible for this)
    2.9 Engineering
    2.95 Social Sciences
    3.1 or 3.2 Humanities (the graph shows a 0.3 delta, while the text describes a 0.4 delta).

    The data also show a consistent rise in ave. GPA of 0.1 each decade, and an ave. GPA differential between Public and Private schools of 0.3 across the country.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    They give an edge for a reason, and let's be honest, Tech and specifically, Engineering is a high stress major, where it is common for them to maintain a high credit course load due to the major over the non-tech.

    It is difficult to carry 19/20/21 credits and do ROTC compared to carrying 15/16 credits, thus, they re-weight it for the tech field.

    This is absolutely no different in this than the scholarship process when you think about it. The HS student with a wgpa of 3.6 and 9 APs, will be viewed differently than the HS student with a wgpa of 3.9 and 3 APs. The rigor of your course curriculum is taken into the account.

    Now expand upon this, the gpa eventually will be the deciding factor when the scales balance for the tech vs non-tech. At some point they will say, we understand that they are tech, but they are not succeeding academically compared to the non-tech cadet. Just like in AD world, flying a fighter does not and will not guarantee you a promotion.

    Get used to it now, the AF views everyone from a big picture aspect. If all the AF wanted was fliers as officer, than there would never be non-rated officers. Or at least every rated officer would have 100% promotion and non-rated would be the back fill. That is not the system. In the AD world, you probably see @ 80-85% promotion compared to 65% for non-rated...you do not see 100% rated and 45% non-rated. It is what you do as an officer that matters...in other words it is their way of looking and considering the gpa of a tech vs non-tech.

    The system is the best WHOLE candidate gets the spot. I really want to stress that no AFROTC candidate who is a scholarship recipient with a tech major should ever feel that they can just cruise their way through college. That is a recipe for disaster, not only for AFROTC, but for AF AD, and the thing that will kill you at UPT.

    As a non-tech Mom, it probably appears as sour grapes, but let me clarify why it isn't.

    1. DS already went to FT last year.
    2. DS is the POC for the cadets that are applying for FT in his det.
    3. DS and us accepted the fact 3 yrs ago that it would always be an uphill battle regarding tech v non-tech. We have no bone in the fight. He accepted the fact yrs ago that he was closing doors like TPS by not going tech.
    4. I have been around here long enough, and a ROTC Mom long enough to see cadets who love the AF, but decide that tech is not their forte and than scramble through the system to get AFROTC to allow them to change their major as a scholarship recipient.
    5. The amount of AFROTC cadets (scholarship or not) that enter as a CS100 and get commissioned 4 yrs later are probably in the 60% range. Look at your det. Start doing the math...I bet if it isn't 60%, it is probably at least 70%.

    6. Most importantly it is your desire to serve in the AF that will be your motivating factor regardless of your field. The minute you get that your gpa matters regarding your commissioning is the minute you will buckle down and hit the books. That butter bar should always be your motivation, not FT or AFSC.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  7. pp171

    pp171 Member

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    Thanks everyone for the responses, they are really helpful. Pima, you are right about me just enjoying my semester. One POC I knew told me this, work hard on my grades, PFA, get involved in the Det, and then pray that it will all work out for me at the end. I don't want to be a tool to get a EA, I don't like being that way, and I know that doesn't work at FT if you want to get DG. But I still see 200s being tools and sucking up to the cadre for EA, even now at the beginning of the spring semester. But I have faith in my cadre that they will give me a fair evaluation and ranking. The air force is going to have some really great leaders coming down the pipeline for FY 2013 and 2014, I'm just praying I'm one of them.
     
  8. WJUW

    WJUW Member

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    Pima, out of the six released, I personally know 4 and one is a tech major (physics). I do not know for sure, but I agree with you on the GPA, it really matters! And my guess is those who were let go did not have above 3.1 GPA. It was a hard choice for the cadre to let them go especially some scored excellently on PFA. But that cadet I mentioned is now enlisting because his fund is running out. Also being a cross-towner proved to be costly financially.

    I talked to one POC yesterday, he was a 250 last year and said during his FTP year, about 6 cadets were dropped (I did not ask why), none were tech majors. And there is one AS 300 who is a sociology major who has 3.9 GPA and never really does extra in the det that got selected last year. All this reiterate the importance of GPA.

    Thanks for clarifying on the LOR. It's great going to your senior year knowing what kind of job you'll be getting in the AF. And I heard most people get their top 2 choices, that's awesome.

    And I am eager to know what happens in March with the EA results. No matter what, what I have learned and experienced in the ROTC will be something I'll always remember and be proud of. It opens a door for me to the military that I could not have dreamt of otherwise since I am indifferent as to which branch I want to serve. And the job I want to do exists in every branch.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Okay stop for a second and please understand what the term DG means or at least what it used to mean.

    You can be number 1 in he class and not get DG. DG stands for Distinguished Graduate. It is an overall % for the entire amount of cadets reporting. There could be a class with 2, and a class with 0. Just like everything else points matter and you will be scored with pts for FT.

    Next, it is important to get as high up as you can, but placing that bar of DG will stress you out and cause more issues. Aim to be in top 10,15, 25% because when you go as a C300 for your AFSC that record of your FT placement will follow. Again they go nationally for these boards.


    If you are top 15% as a non-tech competing with a 3.4 gpa, higher AFOQT, TCBM, PFT, and held jobs in the det, belonged to AAS or HG, against a tech that was 50% at FT with a 2.8 gpa, and no jobs or ECS, I don't care what you believe re: how being a tech gives you an edge. It is not enough to save you.

    That is how it is running with our DS's det. Obviously being a tech did not save that cadet. That is what I am trying to stress. Earlier posts have stated that they get an edge. They do, nobody will argue that fact, but anyone who has attended college or is in college knows that a 3.1 with 19+ credits, ROTC and belonging to a military fraternity while being a college kid is not an easy feat.

    Our DS is non-tech and he has never carried less than 17 credits. The time he carried 17, was also the time he interned 20 hrs a week on Capitol Hill for a Senator.

    WARNING! A cadet who had that belief in our DS's cadre got cut loose in March because he let his gpa slip thinking "I am good to go". NOTHING is ever guaranteed until you arrive at your 1st base and they say, Lt. Smith you need to do the following...

    Get a DUI while you are waiting to report and the fat lady is singing!

    For our DS's det that has been true for the last 6+ yrs ( he is a C300 now, so that means when he started he talked to C400 and C300's). Actually, for his Det., only 2 or 3 over the time he has been there are only 1 or 2 maybe 3 did not get their 1st choice, and all of them had a low gpa, with no ECS or det jobs...translation 1 per year.

    This goes back to why I stomp my foot and say to every candidate visit the det while you do the campus tour. ASK for the opportunity to talk to cadets at the det. ASK the important questions...i.e not numbers of UPT slots if you want that, but PERCENTAGE of CADETS. BIG DIFFERENCE

    There also some great things regarding dets...for example at our DS's det they have GMC night. Sometimes they play Crud, sometimes they play video games or watch movies, sometimes they just hang! If they have that do it...you would be amazed how 20 yrs later you are still in touch with those guys/gals!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  10. pp171

    pp171 Member

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    Pima, you said that the commander will look at the big picture for EAs and class rankings. Do you think someone who has a decent GPA (3.1) and a PFA score (95) and a mechanical engineer major will have a low commanders ranking because of run in with the law (multiple speeding/parking tickets, underage drinking). He doesn't have a lot of extra activities, but like you said, it a number game, and he has the numbers. But his civil involvement record is very full of history while in ROTC (he almost got kicked out), and I feel this might make his ranking low. He is a good person and he has cleaned up for his 200 year, but I feel like his past might come and hurt him at the worst possible time.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I could sugar coat this, but one statement stood out:

    "while in ROTC (he almost got kicked out), and I feel this might make his ranking low

    Getting almost kicked out is a big issue. If a Commander is about to kick the cadet out, chances are his ranking will be very low.

    People need to understand Commander's are AD members, who also get reviewed by their bosses for promotion.

    Would you in the corporate world risk your career and future promotions to sponsor an employee as a top candidate who was almost fired by you, had run ins with the law and no ECs just because of their job performance being a little bit better? Or would you support the candidate with the lower performance, but had no issues? 1 job, 2 candidates is how to address this issue.

    The military really isn't that much different than the "real world".

    That is hard and gut wrenching to read. I hope I am wrong!

    I also want to state that they still can turn this around. For the AFROTC AFSC does not come out until they are a C300 (jr). Get involved with the det and prove that this was youthful discretion to them. CoCs will go out on the ledge if they have the ability to say, it was just youth and they got with the program as soon as they were hit with adult reality.

    Don't give up, the ball is in your court, it is up to you now.
     

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