NROTC Backup

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by USCGA2017hopeful, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. USCGA2017hopeful

    USCGA2017hopeful Member

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    If I don't receive an appointment to USCGA, I am considering attending a civilian university and participating in NROTC. However, I don't know much about NROTC since I recently decided I would be interested in the program and the website does not provide a great deal of information.

    Since the applications are due in less than a month, it is not ideal for me to complete it now, but if I decide to apply next year, is that possible? Am I still eligible for the scholarship? What is a NROTC programmer? Do they still participate in the same activities, just without the scholarship? And finally, what is the time obligation for the average NROTC Navy Option program?

    FYI, I will be a non-STEM Political Science major.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    An NROTC programmer, or more fully an NROTC college programmer is someone who participates in NROTC without being on scholarship. An NROTC college programmer can apply for a side-load (in-college) scholarship each semester, starting second semester of freshman year. They participate in the same activities as those on scholarship except for summer cruises. Other than that college programmers and kids on scholarship are treated exactly the same and have the same leadership opportunities in NROTC.

    If you do not participate in NROTC your freshman year and have less than 30 credit hours when you apply for the high-school scholarship in the spring of your freshman year, then yes, you can apply for the high school scholarship then. If you do participate in NROTC as a college programmer then you cannot apply for the high school scholarship and can only apply for the side-load scholarship. There are far more high school scholarships awarded than in-school scholarships so some folks see not participating in NROTC their freshman year as an advantage. On the other hand you have to double up and catch up if you take that route and you will be a year behind on leadership opportunities. Personally, I think if becoming an officer is your goal then I'd recommend participating as a college programmer. This is perhaps more true in your case as 85% of the four year high school scholarships will be awarded to Tier I and Tier II majors. Tier III majors must have stellar stats to win a scholarship.

    NROTC Marine Option on the other hand doesn't care what your major is; but the physical fitness expectations and demands are higher and the leadership aspects of the application package become more important. That is to say the Navy option tends to have more stress on academic performance than Marine option does, and Marine Option has more stress on physical fitness and leadership... but none of these stress areas will overcome real weakness in the other area(s). I hope that makes some sense.

    College programmers who fail to win a sideload scholarship must achieve what is referred to as Advanced Standing by their rising junior year. The process to achieve this is the same as applying for a sideload scholarship. If the scholarship is not awarded then basically they decide if they still want you in the program. If they do, then you will become a contracted MIDN and will receive the monthly stipend but no tuition monies.

    It's not too late to get your application in now. I believe boards for Marine Option meet through April and I'm pretty sure Navy Option is the same. It's worth a shot anyway and you certainly have nothing to lose except some time and effort. I would say if your not willing to spend the time and effort then you need to take a real hard look at your motivation to become a Navy officer.

    Navy Option scholarship MIDN are required to serve 5 years AD and 3 years reserve.

    Marine and Nurse Option scholarship MIDN are required to serve 4 years AD and 4 years Reserves.

    College Programmers under any option are only required to serve 3 years AD and (I think) 5 years reserve (not sure about the reserve requirement).

    Some specialties, such as pilot, may require additional years of active duty, basically to allow the Navy to recoup the costs of training.

    Hope this helps! :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  3. USCGA2017hopeful

    USCGA2017hopeful Member

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    Wow, that helps a lot! Thank you!

    Once I make my choice of school, is there someone I can contact at the school's unit that can help me make the best decision based on my personal situation?

    When is the soonest I can apply for NROTC (scholarship or programmer) after the January deadline this year?

    I will try and finish the application this year. Thank you again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Duhhh... it suddenly dawned on me that you weren't asking about the time obligation for Active Duty and Reserves, but the time obligation while in college. Here's an outline of what my DS does each week (it can vary some by unit):
    1. PT 3 days per week 05:30 - 07:00
    2. 3 hours of Naval Science class each week, plus homework (just like any other college course).
    3. 2.5 - 3 hours of Naval Science Lab/Drill each week (activities vary each session... sometimes its additional PT, sometimes it's lecture on administrative stuff, sometimes its some form of field training, sometimes it's marching drill, sometimes it's a ruck march, or leadership reaction course). MIDN are required to wear their uniform to all classes on the day they have Lab.
    4. Other NROTC clubs (DS does Boat Crew beat downs for 2 hours each Friday evening. This is basically an optional club and they all go to dinner together afterwards.
    5. Cleaning football Stadium after home Games 07:00 - 09:00 (or until complete). This is pretty common across units and is how the unit earns money for fun stuff, like the pre-game tailgate party before home games.
    6. Other duties required by your billet, or leadership position. First semester freshman year this will not be an issue. As a squad leader, platoon seargent, platoon commander, company commander, company XO, Battalion Staff or Commander the demands on your time will increase. My DS was pretty stressed out second semester of freshman year when he had squad leader responsibilities along with a demanding academic load plus non-NROTC activities he participated in... soccer league and ballroom dancing clubs).
    7. Care and maintenance of uniform and other items. You WILL be pressing your uniform each week and making sure it's ship shape. Since DS was doing this he also earned some extra bucks freshman year taking in ironing from the other guys in his dorm. I think he charged a buck a shirt.
    8. Additional PT on your own. DS PTs at least 5 days a week and probably seven. This is probably more of a Marine Option thing but I know his Navy Option buddies do it with him a lot. Some days he'll lift weights or something on his own time even on days he did AM PT. Over summer vacation he did MARSOC workouts each day to stay in shape and improve his performance. But then he's a Marine Option and a PT stud. YMMV.
    9. Drill Team in the spring... this usually requires an additional 2 days per week, 05:30 - 07:00. This is optional but its a good way to get a free trip to Mardi Gras in N'Orleans and some other interesting places around the country to do drill team competitions.
    10. Usually 1 long weekend per semester doing field training exercises. Since he's in SC he gets to go to Parris Island for this. Fun stuff like rappelling, fast roping, extraction exercises, land nav, obstacle courses, etc.
    11. Other additional items... eg. DS's unit often meets 05:30 - 07:00 to prepare for special activities such as Battalion Inspection, or Pass in Review.
    12. Other fun stuff... Navy Ball, Marine Corps Birthday Party, Dining in... these are things you'll really look forward to, so no need to worry how much time it takes on a Friday or Saturday night.

    Basically, as an NROTC participant you WILL become a master of time management. :biggrin:
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    On your scholarship application you will list up to five schools. At least one of them must be a public school that will grant you in-state tuition. This generally means a public school in your state but it might be somewhere like Texas A&M which allows ROTC students from out of state to pay in-state tuition.

    I don't know what you mean about contacting someone at the unit to make the best decision for you. Basically you should pick a college you want to attend and offers the major you want. These should be schools you feel you can be accepted to, although some might be a bit of a stretch, but make sure you have one or two "safety" schools in the list. A scholarship will be awarded that identifies the school you must attend (from your list) but it is your responsibility to get accepted into the school. If you're not accepted you lose the scholarship (short form of tale... you might be able to transfer your scholarship to another school but this doesn't always work out). So make sure you list schools you would like to attend, or at least wouldn't mind attending.

    I do recommend you contact someone in the units at the schools you are applying to. I'm assuming you're a high school senior since you mention the deadline. If that's the case and you don't apply this year, then the soonest you can apply for the high-school scholarship again is April. This application would be an attempt to win a scholarship starting in your sophomore year of college.

    If, by making the right decision for you, you mean whether you should participate as a college programmer or delay and try for the high school scholarship, then try the Professor of Naval Science (PNS). He will probably point you to the right person in the unit to discuss this with. If you can't reach the PNS try every phone number you can find for the unit. ANyone you reach will point you in the right direction/put you in touch with the right officer.
     
  6. mingram

    mingram Member

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    Hopeful,
    The only thing I would add to Kinnem's post is if you are at a crosstown school you could add a significant amount of travel time. My DD spends about ten hours a week commuting and her schools are only fifteen miles apart.
     
  7. USCGA2017hopeful

    USCGA2017hopeful Member

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    Are you talking about if I attend school without an ROTC program and do the program at another school? I think this is the case at Florida State University. I don't believe they have a NROTC program, so they feed off of FAMU's program. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     

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