Need Help with deciding between AFROTC Detachments!!!

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by SamAca10, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Okay, so I applied to the AFA but was wait-listed, was conditionally accepted to the CGA but am still waiting on a waiver, so I've started to look at my other options. Luckily, I won a Type-7 AFROTC scholarship as well as a really good scholarship from a local university (covers tuition, housing for 2 years, books, and fees).

    Firstly, does anyone know if I will be able to combine these two scholarships at all? I like how the University scholarship covers a lot of the costs, but the AFROTC scholarship has some extra stipends that would be great financially. I would still plan on participating in AFROTC if I couldn't combine the scholarships.

    Secondly, the university that I was accepted to is a combination of IU and Purdue University. I know that it has a cross town agreement with IU's detachment, but would I be able to go to Purdue's detachment if I wanted to? IU's detachment is Det 215, and Purdue's is Det 220.

    What are some things that I should look for in the Detachment? Does size matter? Will going to one detachment influence any of my career choices down the road? Any questions I should ask the Professor of Aerospace Studies?

    Thank you so much all of your help!!!
    :biggrin:
     
  2. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    The Air Force does not care if you use other scholarships with your AFROTC scholarship. Keep the money, use it for room & board or books...it doesn't matter to the Air Force. That said....it might (probably does) matter to the local university that you have an AFROTC scholarship that is paying your tuition / book allowance / monthly stipend. They may choose to withdraw your scholarship. If what you are suggesting (and perhaps I am misunderstanding you) is that you might only take advantage of SOME parts of the AFROTC scholarship....I don't think that will fly (excuse the pun) with the Air Force. You could however, completely turn down your AF Type 7 scholarship, join AFROTC without a scholarship (or monetary benefits) and use you university scholarship for two years...AND...then re-apply for a two year AFROTC scholarship. No guarantee you'll get it....but it is possible.
    Again...I'm having some difficulty following this. Are you saying that the university you are going to attend has cross-town agreements with two separate AFROTC Detachments? I've never heard of that. Normally you belong to whichever detachment is assigned to the university that you are enrolled....even if you take SOME classes at another university.
     
  3. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    agagles,

    I would choose the university's over AFROTC if I had too, simply due to the fact that it is a better deal financially (covers tuition, housing for 2 years, all books, fees, and $5000 per year for four years for a graduate or professional degree).

    With that being said, I would still like to participate in AFROTC. Being an officer is my number one goal. I am trying to look at things monetarily right now though. And it wouldn't be financially smart for me to turn down this university's scholarship at the 2 year mark, because that might mean giving up the master's degree. So, would I still get the stipend if I wasn't a scholarship cadet? Would I be treated equally in the detachment like the cadets on scholarship?

    2nd part about det's

    That's what I'm confused about. I think it has a crosstown agreement with IU's detachment, but I wasn't sure if I would be able to go to Purdue's. Do the detachment's make a huge difference in the ROTC experience?

    thanks
     
  4. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    If I understand it correctly it sounds as though the university (Purdue?) is offering you a heck of a deal and I agree it would be financially difficult to pass up. Particularly if you are planning on getting a Masters immediately after your undergrad.

    I am having some difficulty understanding your plan with AFROTC. You can participate in AFROTC during your freshman and sophomore years without making a commitment to the AF. I believe that beginning with your junior year you will need to contract with the AF if you want to continue with AFROTC and eventually get commissioned. The expectation is that after you graduate with your BS/BA (in 2 years) you will enter the AF as an active duty officer. While there are some programs that may allow you to continue with some post grad schooling (law/medical/dental/pharmacy), there are severe limitations on who is allowed and the approval process is not easy (AFAIK).

    As for Detachments....which school is your dorm located? That would normally be the school you are enrolled and the Detachment that you belong.

    Regardless of which detachment you join: you will IMHO be treated professionally and with respect. Some AFROTC Detachments may have nicer on campus facilities but at the end of the day it is all about the cadre and your fellow ROTC cadets. You can and should expect that all detachments will be very similar....IMHO.
     
  5. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    Non-scholarship cadets get a stipend once they enter the POC (start of junior year). But they do not receive book money or tuition assistance.


    Yes and no. Size does make a difference. Ive heard that Purdue has a large det and thus, its harder to get face time with the cadre and make as big of an impression. That said, larger dets have advantages in numbers. They can usually get more base visits and incentive rides, etc. It really depends on your preferences but either way you'll make some good friends and have a good time.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would say what is important in determining which det is not based on size, but actually how active the det is. Some dets are more into bonding over other dets. They have social frats like AAS and HG. They are know to hang in the cadet lounge between classes. Some dets are all business and that is it. You go in to fulfill your job and leave.

    The one thing I would suggest to incoming ROTC cadets is that due to the RIF and pipelines slowing down, it is becoming more competitive. You will need your commanders rec and you will meet a board against everyone that is being commissioned. Your gpa, AFOQT and PFA will be a part of this, but so will the positions you hold in the det. Face time is going to help you when you are applying for the jobs in the det.

    As stated before it can help or hurt you if the det is really large. Helps if you are the Cadet Commander, hurts if you held no job.

    Our DS told me a few weeks back that they are cutting cadets on contract who expected to be commissioned this spring. Before the gpa cut marker was 2.0, now it is 2.5. Not only that, but one girl failed her PFA and she was told thanks, but no thanks. Be mindful of this because it is not easy to carry 18 credits, do ROTC and have an ROTC job while staying in that 3.2 gpa range (common range if you want UPT), and at the same time having some form of a college social life.
     
  7. mudvillemom

    mudvillemom Member

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    Can you help a poor mother with no military background here with some of the acronyms? AFOQT (AF probably Air force? but OQT?) RIF? What I am getting from these posts is that one can not assume that a commission is waiting solely on the basis of a 4 year scholarship. Is it safe to say that slots are fewer than numbers in ROTC programs and students would be wise to understand that?
     
  8. aglages

    aglages Parent

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  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The AFOQT is a test given in SEPT/OCT time frame it is similar to the SAT. Just like the SAT, this will be a part of your file and when your child meets their board for career assignments it will be a part of the decision making process along with their GPA and their major. The higher the AFOQT score the better chance of getting your 1st choice job assignment.

    There is a difference from the SAT, this test is given 1x, so there is no super scoring, in that way it is more like the AP tests. Also in this test they are going to test their spatial skills regarding flying. There are kids who study their butts off for it and those that don't. I believe the cut off marker for flying is in the high 70's, but realistically to get a UPT slot you need to be in the high80's/90's. I would think with the pipeline slowing down that number will move up to the 90's.

    It is important to understand that even as a contracted ROTC cadet you can lose the scholarship for a myriad of reasons. Failing the PFA is one of them. All ROTC cadets take the PFA 2x a yr, essentially at the start of each semester.

    GPA also is a player regarding contracted status. When we don't have a RIF occurring or a slow down in the pipeline, they can and usually do opt to give extra chances, but that is at their discretion.

    As I stated 2 cadets at our DS's det were officially informed that the AF has elected not to commission them. Since the AF has elected this, they will not be required to payback the scholarship. however, that brings little solace to the cadets who wanted to make the military a career.

    I think for the class of 14 the AF will be back in the position of being more lenient. I say this because for 13 and 14 I saw on this thread lower scholarship types (as low as 2K a yr) and a lot more "thanks for applying, but at this time..." compared to yrs before. That means they have already slowed down their pipeline, reducing the need to cut ROTC commissioning classes.

    The same is true for AFA. You saw through this site tightening of DODMERB waivers. Waivers mean that the AF is taking someone with a medical issue in their history and due to that they might be risking a medical re-occurence issue down the road on their dime.

    Nobody can predict a RIF, not even the AF. The AFPC (Personnel Center) does long term strategic planning for manning power, however, since many are on obligation for 5 yrs before they can dive, they cannot determine to a precise nature how many will dive and how many will say, it is actually our economy that is the driving force in this situation. When the economy is strong, military members will dive, but when it is at 10% unemployment they are more likely to stay, because a paycheck is a paycheck. That means at the 5 yr marker they will commit to more time. That slows down the pipeline.

    It is important to understand why a RIF occurs for certain yr groups over others. The first thing to understand is that Flag (Generals) to Field (Major, Lt. Col. and Col) to Company (Lts. and Captains) are a mandated ratio. If one group stays and messes the ratio up than there are basically 3 options. They are:
    1. RIF
    2. Speed up boards
    3. Combination of both

    In the current atmosphere, AFPC has decided that they cannot speed up the O4 board, so they are going to RIF certain commissioning yrs and certain fields are targeted.

    Traditionally what you will then see is the O4 boards will speed up because if you are passed over 2x the AF can say BUH BYE with no severance check, just the amt of leave you can sell back. This allows the AF to get the field to company ratio back to the proper number.

    The good news is I jokingly say the AF is bulimic. It will gorge and then purge, repeat do again. The ideal situation is to be in the class that is right after the purge because you will be the safest.

    The warning sign of purging came way before the RIF was announced. Class of 10 from the AFA were given UPT dates of 10 months after graduation. Typically that is when the ROTC cadet goes to UPT. AFA grads go in July when the pipeline is flowing. ROTC grads start going in the Sept time frame.

    The other warning sign of a RIF coming was when they washed out (BUH-BYE) AFA grads at UPT. When times are great they will wash them back (try again in the next class). When times are starting to get tight, they will convert them to a new field. There are a couple of parents I know through forums like this that their recent AFA grad (09) were just officially given their walking papers.

    It is also important to understand that you may be commissioned through ROTC in May, but if you do not have a report date until March, you will not be collecting a paycheck. AFA cadets will be placed on casual status and actually report to a base, thus collect a check until they report at UPT.

    Your child should look at what is currently on the hit list for the RIF because if that is their ultimate career field and it is being hit they need to have a strong conversation with the det commander regarding their AF career.

    I wouldn't worry at this point, I think by the time he is commissioned the AF will be back on track regarding man power.

    BTW pipeline typically means UPT slots, however, it is also true for any field that requires a member to attend school. For example, if you want to go Intel, you go to Intel school before going operationally. If the school use to have 4 classes a yr, but now it is down to 2, that means they are slowing the pipeline down and that should be a sign that they have plotted out that Intel officers are not leaving as fast as they use to and since they aren't they need to slow the flow, hoping that in time it will readjust.
     

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