NROTC --> AROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Ottomaninvader, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. Ottomaninvader

    Ottomaninvader New Member

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    I am just beginning NROTC (4 yr scholarship), about 1.5 months in. I am considering switching to AROTC and need some advice. I don't know if I really thought through the Navy as a career path, and I feel like an idiot. I've always wanted to serve, but I can't really imagine myself on a ship or sub or even flying a plane. But I've been looking over the protocol for switching to the Army - I'd have to apply for a scholarship on campus. The problem is, I can't afford to go to school without a scholarship. If I leave NROTC to join AROTC as a walk on, I wouldn't have a scholarship 2nd semester. If I leave NROTC, my money is gone, and I'll have to compete for an on campus army scholarship. I doubt anyone here has experience with a MIDN this stupid, but advice would be great. There's no one I can really talk to about this. Should I talk to the ROO of the AROTC unit and explain my predicament? Can I apply for an AROTC 3 year scholarship while still participating in NROTC? I feel like AROTC would want me to put in the effort for a scholarship at the unit, but I couldn't afford staying in school if I dropped from NROTC.
     
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Hopefully @clarksonarmy will answer this.

    I would definitely recommend speaking to the AROTC ROO at your school, but NOT before you prepare a cogent explanation of how you ended up in NROTC in the first place. Otherwise he might think you will jump ship again next semester (of course you would owe the money back if that happened).

    I believe you can apply for a campus based 3 year, but most of these go to proven non- contract cadets. However if you impress him with a solid track record, maybe he or she will be interested. It will depend on how the ROO is doing on his recruiting objectives.

    I presume you are a STEM major as you are in NROTC. Remember Army ROTC is not so focused on your major as AF or Navy.

    Good luck.
     
  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Have you talked to your cadre about a possible switch to MO NROTC? Not sure how things work these days, but in the past there was a process for Mids to apply and few were selected to switch over.

    My other advice would be to stick it out while exploring options and get to the summer training. Ensure your summer training is something fleet exposured and get as much of it as you can. Go get hands on experience on a ship, live there, work there, eat and sleep there. Then when you come back in the fall you know 100% USN life isn't for me. Don't walk away from it now without any real exposure to it.
     
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  4. Ottomaninvader

    Ottomaninvader New Member

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    @AROTC-dad
    The truth of the matter was that it was the only way I could sell it to my parents. My uncle was in the army and it really messed with him when he served in the first gulf war, so my parents are really against my joining. That's another discussion I'll need to have with them, but I can do that myself. Is that a sufficiently cogent explanation? I'm not going to mention my uncle - I wouldn't feel comfortable using him in a discussion with the ROO - but is saying the bit about my family's stance on the military ok?

    And navyhoops, you may be right on my needing to experience the navy before making a decision, but at the same time, I have to make this decision now, because otherwise if I do end up deciding the Navy isn't for me, I won't be able to afford to stay on campus as a sophomore. I'll look into the CORPS too, but I don't really think it's for me. One of the big reasons I like the army is the flexibility of career paths I can take. The marines aren't great in that department, I didn't think
     
  5. NavyJax

    NavyJax Member

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    It is important to be able to articulate why you want to go in the Army. (not just to serve your country, but how will you serve) But once you are done with college, what do you envision serving in the Army will be. Not just locations, but what type of duty. Research, understand what type of duties are in both Army and Navy for officers - and depending on your degree, what field you will most likely serve in. It is important to understand the differences between Army life and Navy life. (not college ROTC, but actually living it) All the services go overseas - on the ground, Navy has both on the ground and on ships. Army has on the ground and in the air. Make a pro/cons list for being a Naval Officer and an Army Officer - this will help you focus and be able to clarify what/why you want one or the other. Just remember before you jump ship, make sure you land on solid ground vice deep water.
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    You need to talk to an MOI for the USMC. I personally think there are as many options in the USMC as there are in the Army. Most branches and MOSs align very closely. The biggest difference would be size of armor units. Is something so unique you want to do that you believe the Army has it but the USMC doesn't?
     
  7. DeskJockey

    DeskJockey Member

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    We are accustomed to thinking about the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines as being very different service environments - and in some ways they are - but from the perspective of a junior officer they are a lot more similar than you may imagine. Your workplace may be on a ship or in a quonset hut, but that is largely incidental to your primary job, which will be to effectively manage a group of sailors, soldiers, or airmen who are responsible for performing a somewhat technical job. You will be "getting the job done" by setting schedules, making sure your people are trained, resolving interpersonal conflicts, and doing lots of paperwork - and that will be the case if you drive a ship, a tank, a plane, or a desk. It is true that sometimes - and not even the majority of the time - a naval officer must do his or her work on a ship that is at sea. But the work itself is the same. And if you are more interested in where you are going to be doing your job, instead of what you will have the opportunity to do, then I think you need to broaden your horizons a bit. Which is why the Navy is giving you a no-strings-attached one-year trial run, including the summer CORTRAMID experience before the start of your sophomore year. At that point, you can make a much more informed decision as to what you want to do; and if you spend this year trying to switch services, you are likely to miss out on that.

    Finally, now that you are an adult, you should realize that life is a series of compromises. At this point you may feel that the Army is a better fit for you, but the cost of finding that out is that you may forfeit a valuable scholarship and a path to a commission in any service. Given how competitive the NROTC scholarship selection process has become, you would not have been given one unless you possessed the qualities of character and leadership which will enable you to be a successful junior naval officer. You can certainly manage to serve for five years, and if it isn't the right fit you can move on with a far more impressive resume than most of your peers. This is a long way of saying that it is natural for all college students - whether they are in ROTC or not - to second-guess their decisions. The smart ones understand that they cannot really predict, much less control, how the rest of their life is going to turn out. Have confidence in yourself, keep your options open, and don't fear that you are passing up something else by following the road that you are on right now. Good luck to you.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I feel like we have not really addressed the elephant in the room.

    Your ability to stay at your college if you do not get the AROTC scholarship.

    Have you discussed plan B with the folks. Plan B being if you cannot stay where will you attend college next year? Are you starting to apply to a backup school as a transfer student?

    Remember AROTC is like NROTC where X amt of cadets are on scholarship, what if they have only 1 slot available? ROTC cadets on scholarship are the minority, as I am sure you are aware of in your NROTC unit. What will make you more competitive than a non-scholarship cadet in that AROTC unit right now? Many of them will be applying for the ICSP too.

    I agree with Deskjockey. It is a valuable adult lesson you are learning right now. I have always been a proponent of do not apply for a ROTC scholarship just so you can attend that dream college. Mainly because of what you are saying now. You love the college, but reality is setting in and you don't love the branch that you will owe 4 yrs AD....as of yet.

    I also agree with Deskjockey, each branch does have similar career paths with some variance. They all have Intel. They all have some form of cyber. They all have Public Affairs, Finance officers, Military Police, Mission support, etc. etc. etc.

    I get you don't want to serve on a ship, however, only you can answer this question. How badly do you want to stay at your college? Can you bear it out for 4 years AD if you stay with NROTC and commission that way? Or are you saying that there is no way you can do that and would rather transfer to a school you can afford?

    Typically here when posters state they are applying for a scholarship in HS because that is the only way to attend, most posters will state don't do that. The reason why is we know there are many kids that walk after the 1st yr. and that places them in a quandry of how to pay for their education.

    I also believe that if you keep your mind open to the opportunities you never thought of regarding Navy, you might look back and say my 1st thought (NROTC) was the right thought. Let's assume you get the AROTC scholarship, will you turn and say I don't want to be in tanks, or jump out of perfectly good airplanes or in helos, so you are back again at the same starting point, but now much further down the road.
    ~ I have always believed that for the Navy you do something like the AF 6 months out (deployed) and back home for 6-12 months. Yet for the Army they can deploy up to a year and come back home for a year and deploy again. ----no flaming...just what I have always assumed from what I read.
    ~~ If my assumption is correct. Than think of it a little differently. Being on a ship is a little city of its own. It will have to go into ports every now and then. Unlike being sent to the sandbox (Qatar, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc) You will be in the sandbox for that entire time.

    Just my 0.019864 cents and with $2.07 you can get a small coffee. I would say as a parent stay with NROTC. The grass is not always greener on the other side. You might have to leave your college if you don't get the scholarship, which I think is probably a likelihood. Will you now say I wish I stayed in NROTC?

    Another thing to think about is an adult reality. Not everybody 'loves" their job. They do it because it is a paycheck. It is the adult thing to do. I don't know what college you are attending, but unless it is really renown/respected for your major than I would stick it out with NROTC. Do the 4 and the door. The work experience will be a huge asset to many companies. Rand, Raytheon, Lockheed, SAIC, L3 Comm all want employees with military service. Not only because they are defense contractors, but because they want the ones with security clearances too. Secret clearances are very expensive to obtain, thus if they have 2 applicants that are equal, and 1 has a TS while the other does not, they are going to pick the one with a TS.

    My best wishes, thoughts and hopes for you.
     
  9. inSANEmom

    inSANEmom Member

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    I was going to respond... but really... Pima said basically everything I was going to say... so I will shorten it to this: Stay the course.
     
  10. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

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    I think getting a 3.5 year AROTC scholarship is going to be a tough sell to any ROTC unit, and if you cannot stay in school without your Navy scholarship spring semester, the problem will be the same trying to get the scholarship for day 1 sophomore year with a different service. Exploring job opportunities within the the MO is a great idea and explore that option.

    I agree with those that say stay the course through the summer, apply for a transfer to a school you can afford without the scholarship as a back up plan, then if you need to walk away before 1st day of sophomore year you can do that without obligation. A talk with theArmy ROO never hurts, especially if you approach it as "I have been thinking Army might be a better fit (be able to say why), can you please tell me my options?" It is just a conversation, you are not declaring anything. Good luck, please keep us posted.
     
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  11. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

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    Let me clarify as I think we all might be making the wrong assumption and a clarification might help? Are you saying you cannot afford to stay in school period without the scholarship, or cannot afford to stay in your current school?
     

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