OCS or ROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by mthop, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. mthop

    mthop New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I'm only beginning to consider a career in the armed forces and I'm new to all of this but I have read up on doing ROTC at Syracuse University, or finishing school and doing OCS. I'm currently going into my second semester as a freshman and I know I can finish all four years at school with great grades but I'm unsure whether it would be better to do ROTC now or wait till after graduation to apply for OCS. I am also a student athlete, so would I be able to play at the collegiate level and do ROTC?
     
  2. 845something

    845something Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    166
    Since you are on campus, you are best to talk with the ROTC department there. Some allow you to participate in collegiate athletics in lieu of PT. As for OCS vs ROTC, again, the department there can talk those options to you as well. There will inevitably be differences in branching and posting options. Long term, looking at separation boards for Captains and Majors, OCS has taken a hit compared to ROTC and USMA, but I think that has more to do with individuals than commissioning source.
     
    AROTC-dad likes this.
  3. rocatlin

    rocatlin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    88
    You can be a student athlete and do ROTC, but as suggested talk with the local ROTC detachment. My son's roommate is a gymnast. My son's first Marine Officer Instructor played college baseball and went through ROTC.

    Not sure how much "catch up" you'll have to do entering ROTC as a sophomore. I know from the Navy/Marine Corps side, you'll need certain classes before hitting your junior year in order to commission through ROTC. Some of my son's friends that had college hours and weren't contracted ending up dropping ROTC and will look at the OCS option.

    Again, talk with the ROTC unit as well as officer recruiters for the branch you are considering.
     
  4. Sampia

    Sampia Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    56
    My son did AFROTC as a freshman then switched to NROTC as a sophomore so it was like starting over. He was/is Marine option so he really had to present well because they were already in the mindset not to let him in as a sophomore. His "catching up" meant doubling up on his military classes for a few semesters since they did not overlap with the ones he took in AFROTC. that was really the main difference from joining as a sophomore.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,544
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    In addition to discussing sports with the unit, discuss it with your coach. If the coach isn't willing to cooperate as well then you will not be successful.

    ROTC is always the surer route to a commission. OCS is used by the services to top off where they need to be in terms of numbers. It's always possible the number needed is 0 or very small so you may not make it via that route regardless of how good you are.
     
    rocatlin and AROTC-dad like this.
  6. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    65
    From everything I've read (I never experienced ROTC personally) juggling ROTC and school sports is as doable as juggling full-time college and a part-time job. Lot's of coaches like ROTC and vice versa. It'll take some creative scheduling (from what I've heard) but don't let this discourage you. Remember, tough, ROTC is the springboard to maybe up to a 30-year military career. College sports (unless you're a superstar) is a nice experience and memory but not much more.

    And, as others have pointed out, ROTC gives you a much greater chance of being an officer than OCS/OTS, which is a long, arduous process with no guarantees of acceptance. Even if there's a renewed buildup in the ranks in coming years.

    Getting into ROTC is easy, i.e. just join. OCS/OTS, not so much. Scholarships are there if you're a good student and good cadet. It's the greatest source of merit-base scholarships in the country.

    I've got a 21-year old seeking the Air Force OTS route whom is kicking himself for not pursuing ROTC 3 years ago.

    If you want to serve as an officer in the armed forces, go ROTC.
     
    AROTC-dad likes this.
  7. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2015
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    320
    As a family we are new to the ROTC thing, but not the sports recruiting piece. My other two daughters are student-athletes, and were both recruited with scholarships to top D1 programs in one of the five major conferences just to give some context. I cannot imagine either of them being able to juggle their commitments to their team, STEM majors AND ROTC. However, with that being said, "playing at the collegiate level" can mean a lot of different things. There is a big difference between DI and DIII, not to disrespect any student-athlete, there are just different expectations on the part of the different divisions and programs. I taught college at an NAIA school and many of our athletes were two sport athletes on scholarship, as well as also having jobs, that would be almost unheard of in NCAA DI. So I would definitely talk to your coach and your school's ROO about if that is something that does happen at that school. Good luck, it sounds like you have many opportunities and decisions to make, I am sure you will figure out the best choice for you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
    AROTC-dad likes this.
  8. tjb1975

    tjb1975 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    118
    When my DS visited his top choice D1 school (to which he has now accepted the AROTC 4-year), he spoke with the football and wrestling teams. Football was much more keen on the idea of also being in ROTC. Wrestling basically said no. DS knew that sports were a short term thing and that he was focused on a career, so both were dropped in favor of ROTC.
     
    AROTC-dad likes this.
  9. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,699
    Likes Received:
    450
    Google "Marshal Plumlee"
     
  10. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    1,039

Share This Page