NROTC-MO vs AROTC? Differences?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by hardknock96, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. hardknock96

    hardknock96 Member

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    In the course of application I have won a AROTC and NROTC-MO Scholarship. I now will weigh these two options and will create a decision that will affect the rest of my life. I know some differences and similarities of the Army and Marine Corps but ultimately would desire feedback from people who've been there, done that. How will career choices be different? How are the organizations mentalities different? What are the job opportunities coming back into the civilian world?

    I could make this decision based on school awarded and would like to retrace my steps on this simple matter. I have Embry-Riddle for NROTC-MO (Requested for transfer to Norwich) and for my AROTC Scholarship have it accepted at FSU(Requested for transfer to Norwich). Is this too small a thing to make a decision over? I find both to be great organizations but realize obviously I can take only one and once I am contracted have an obligation for at least 8 years. The more thoughts over this choice the better.
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    What MOSs or branches interest you? That can help us provide some differences. Biggest difference is MO is guaranteed active duty as long as you complete all training. Army (SMC being the exception) you are competing for active duty.
     
  3. Axxif

    Axxif Member

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    The first thing that popped into my head is the all-important question of what you want to do in the military (which appeared in the form of me wondering what your intended major is)?

    From my observations, here are some of the differences (be sure to take these with a grain of salt):
    • The Army is bigger, therefore you will have more opportunities of advancement than that of the Marines (albeit there are probably a couple careers that the Marines have which the Army doesn't, such as Embassy Guard).
    • The whole "I'm a soldier" vs the "I AM a Marine" mentality... is not 100%. Both organizations take pride in themselves, it's just the Marines that get more credit for it
    • This might be a good read, even if it's on the Army website (thus there's definitely potential for serious bias)
    • A Marine is an infantryman first, then whatever military career he is given second. (This has been told directly to me by multiple sources both inside the Marine Corps and of those closely associated with it. Not saying you'll be fighting day in and day out, but you'd be expected to be able to pick up a rifle and fight like the best of them regardless if you're a janitor or pilot or whatever)
    • The Army has the NG component available, which can be a blessing and a curse if so chosen to join (They get benefits from both State and Federal, but can be called out for stuff like Natural Disasters by the Governor)
    • Pay is relatively similar
    • If you become a Marine, understand that you will be on water at some point in your career
    • I'm not sure in regards to the Marines, but with the Army you are eligible to change your branch (unless you do direct commissioning)(This knowledge was bestowed upon me this past Thursday by a current PANG Major)
    • I choose Army over Marines
    • This Google search: https://www.google.com/search?espv=...edr...0...1c.1.64.serp..4.11.1683.g3ZrfrUuCtI
    In the end, you must ask yourself where you see yourself in ten years, and what you see yourself doing at that time.
     
  4. hardknock96

    hardknock96 Member

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    I have no idea what branches(MOS) I would join. I understand your degree means little to nothing other than your commissioning source. I may have planned to get my college paid for and get a job....
    but that job I want still remains unknown.
     
  5. hardknock96

    hardknock96 Member

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    I want Norwich for that reason, active duty looks like the route to go.
    I want: to be garunteed active duty, full-fill my 4 year commitment, stay in for 10-15 years, get out and do NG or Reserves...depending on MOS.
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Ok let me take a stab at this. I was a USNA Marine Commission, so I did not go the NROTC MO route. But you are asking for service differences not school differences. School wise the biggest differences I think you probably have figured out. Marine Corps you will go to OCS. It is no joke, but MOIs do a great job preparing MO guys. Follow their lead and you will do just fine. Some of my great friends commissioned via Norwich NROTC MO or via PLC at Norwich. It has been sometime since I went through all this, but in at least then, Norwich did a phenomenal job with NROTC MO guys. Out of all the SMC guys I worked with Norwich guys were by far my favorite. But, that is just my opinion and you must pick what is best for you.

    So Marine Corps... Marines first and foremost love being Marines. We love to talk about being Marines and it honestly will carry with you the rest of your life. When you commission unlike in the Army you will not have your MOS or future duty station. You will first head to Quantico for The Basic School (TBS). The goal of TBS is to make you a basic rifle platoon commander. You also learn Lt things. Honestly TBS is not hard. Academically it wasn't challenging and physically no one single event was all that difficult. The great part is you will know alot of your peers in and outside your MOS while in the fleet. When I was there single guys/gals were required to live in the barracks. If you come from the SMC or SA side of the house this won't be a big deal. My two room mates were ROTC guys and they struggled to adapt for a month or two. They were not used to the nearly 24/7 military environment. But its only 6 months. Once TBS is done you will head to your MOS school. These vary from 3 months to a year. Most fall in the 3-6 month range and can be anywhere in the US. Infantry school you walk across the street in Quantico, Logistics is NC, AAV is San Diego, Artillery is Ft Sill. When you are at TBS you will get your MOS about 2/3 of the way through the school. You will get your duty station very shortly after that. Depending on when your school is, you could end up checking into your unit prior to heading to MOS school, all depends on school dates. This isn't to common, but it does happen. The USMC uses a quality spread for MOS selection. So each class is broken into thirds and then MOS selection is done by the top person in the top 1/3, then the top person in the middle third, then the top person in the bottom third, then repeat. I am sure there is tons of data if this is a good or bad way to do things, but it is what it is. In everything the USMC does, its all about MAGTF operations. If you don't mind floating on a boat for months at a time, then the USMC is a good fit. MEUs are generally 6 month floats. They can be alot of fun and a chance to travel to the world. Are there bad MOSs in the Marine Corps? All depends on what interests you. Take a look at this website as it lists officer MOSs and their schools: http://www.usmcofficer.com/the-basic-school/marine-officer-mos-list/. The USMC considers these as combat arms: field artillery, tanks, AAVs, ground intel, and infantry. Tanks, AAVs, Ground Intel generally have very small numbers for each class, normally 1-5 range. Everything is about the needs of the USMC. Infantry, Artillery, Logistics and Ground Supply tend to normally have the most spots. Remember the USMC's goal is to be amphibious in nature and be able to project power from the sea. We have sort of put this a little on the back burner for the last decade, but if you read anything about the USMC planning, strategy, etc we are going back to these items and really focusing on training on these items. Once you arrive at your unit you will either be a platoon commander or section type leader (for instance Supply Officer for a battalion doesn't necessarily have a platoon, but they have a section and a shop to run). You will be prepared for this and will get your feet wet quickly. You will learn from other more senior Lts on what to do or not do. Your SNCO will keep you straight. Keep your ears open, listen and watch alot at first. Yes Marines will joke around about butter bars, but once you "earn your keep" trust me they will call you "their Lt", defend you and follow you anywhere. Marines have a special esprit de corps about them. The USMC birthday is a special day. We know our history and love that the title is earned. Sure the other Services have esprit de corps too, but Marines just take a it a step further in my opinion.

    The Army is much larger which can be good and bad. Yes, that means more promotions, larger variety of assignments. If tanks, armor and artillery are big interests to you then Army is a better branch for those items. There is just alot more of it. The Army spends more money on it. There are more units, equipment and assignments to be had in these fields. In the Army you will go to BOLC after graduation for your Branch. I believe you will also know your duty station prior to graduation also. There are some correlation between branches and MOSs. The USMC sends Marines to the Army Artillery, Tank and MP schools, so those are pretty easy to figure out. Things like Quartermaster in the Army are similar to the USMC's supply and logistics fields (these MOSs merge at the rank of Major in the USMC anyways). I worked alot with the Army while deployed. Just like anywhere I ran into good and bad officers. I know in the Army Cadets can sign up for longer contracts to get active duty, branch assignment and base assignment type stuff. The USMC does not have this, but SPCs at TBS will work with you to know your interests. Oh yeah, flying. If you get an air contract on the USMC side there are jets, helo and cargo options. If you branch Army aviation chances are you will be mostly helos (there are others, but very very small numbers). You can apply for an Air Contract on the USMC side once you get going in NROTC and have completed the ASTB and qualified. This will mean you to head to Pensacola after TBS.

    Ok, I can go on for hours. If you have more specific questions more than happy to answer.
     
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  7. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    NavyHoops - that is a first class response. Well done!
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Only thing I would add to NavyHoops comments is that the TBS "barracks" (if you can call them that) have been recently rebuilt. 2 people to a room, with a large mud room entry way where you can store your (usually wet) gear, weapons, etc. I would think the word dormitory would be more appropriate. The mess hall and bar are mere steps away across the courtyard. Really beautiful facility.
     
  9. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Saw they were renovated. Glad they were. The old ones sucked, but did the job. The old ones looked very much like the barracks my Marines had.
     
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  10. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Nice post, Navyhoops! The only error I see is while Army cadets can ADSO (agree to additional years' service) for branch or post, they can't ADSO for Active Duty. You qualify for AD by being above the cut-off line or (successfully) attending an SMC, or you don't. A small but noteworthy correction.
     
  11. hardknock96

    hardknock96 Member

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    Thanks, that really made me understand the more immediate differences I would take on a path to commissioning. I honestly, don't find them to be remotely different and wouldn't mind being in either. I do however want a SMC (Norwich) to live the military lifestyle, have paid room and board and be around sober, military-minded people. It will probably be based on which branche's transfer gets me to Northfield VT.
     
  12. Fox_AndersonMO

    Fox_AndersonMO New Member

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    I will also be attending Embry Riddle on a NROTC MO Scholarship...I want to be a marine aviator so for me this was a no brainier...good luck and maybe I'll see you down in Daytona Beach!
     
  13. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Who said everyone at an SMC was sober and military minded, and everyone at a civilian school is a lackadaisical drunkard?
     
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  14. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The guarantee of Active Duty from a SMC comes with a caveat, the PMS needs to sign off and recommend the cadet for Active Duty. this years class include 105 SMC cadets that made Active Duty while being under the cutoff. Some SMC cadets did not make AD this year. The PMSs at SMC have been told to give a better review of those cadets that fall below the cutoff. Being there was such a high number that were below the line this year, I would imagine there will be more SMC cadets that will not get that recommendation if the trend continues. Point is, AD is not an unconditional guarantee.

    You forgot to mention the Special Branching Program, if a cadet has a minimum 2.75 GPA and a degree that meets the requirements of certain branches, a cadet can now ADSO for Active Duty.

    I really hope you were joking.
     
  15. hardknock96

    hardknock96 Member

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    I really hope you were joking.[/QUOTE] I was referring more to the civilians I would encounter. I may go to a very wild, high school where kids like to have a good time. Despite them having good grades there are other things they rather do than drill or PT.
     
  16. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    You realize that the majority of cadets that commission each year come from civilian schools, they are civilian student most of the time and interact with more civilians then they do cadets, they do just fine. Don't discount civilian interaction or assume it's a bad thing. Having a life outside of Drill and PT is not a negative attribute.

    SMCs are great schools, they do not however have a lock on being "sober and military minded". A large percentage of SMC cadets that commissioned this year fell below the Active Duty Cutoff and would not have made Active Duty had they been from civilian schools. Where you go to school does not determine if you will be successful in ROTC, that is up to the individual cadet.

    Norwich is a great school, go there because it is a place you believe you will have success and be your best, not because you believe they are all military minded and want nothing but Drill and PT, you could end up very disappointed.
     
  17. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    I was referring more to the civilians I would encounter. I may go to a very wild, high school where kids like to have a good time. Despite them having good grades there are other things they rather do than drill or PT.[/QUOTE]


    There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with:

    1. Having a good time within legal and moral boundaries, and pushing those boundaries are what define adolescence and young adulthood.

    2. Doing things other than drill or PT. In the military, after whatever initial training one may go through, close order drill makes one gain a whole new level of understanding of the word "afterthought", as can be PT depending on the military community you're in.

    I can't think of a school that trains (manufactures?) robots, but those aren't military schools. College kids in one school are the same as anywhere else, albeit with some differences, but none that would completely shut off the "college kid doing dumb things and wanting to make everything entertaining" valve.
     
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  18. Physicsguru

    Physicsguru Member

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    Beware the ring-knocker mentality of "I had real military training because I went to an SA or SMC". The vast majority of officers in the Marine Corps went to civilian colleges and universities and got their commissions through ROTC, OCS, or PLC. There are good students and people at schools like Harvard, Stanford, UC-Berkley, FSU (where a colleague of mine was PMS) and other universities as well as at Norwich, North Georgia, Citidal, and VMI.
     
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  19. hardknock96

    hardknock96 Member

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    It's a better fit for me; there are good people at every school, its just that I want Norwich. I could do well at any school, I believe that Norwich would prepare me the best as the Corps of Cadets is their sole purpose. I like the military lifestyle.
     
  20. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Not that it's any of my business, but you're from the Southeast, correct? And if I dare go more specific....aren't you from Florida or Southeast Georgia? If so, Norwich and the Northeast will be its own animal for you to tackle....
     

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