Preparing for AROTC Fall 2014

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by usa95, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. usa95

    usa95 Member

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    I'm ecstatic that I was awarded a 4-year Army ROTC scholarship after the first board, and just wrapped up my DoDMERB last week. I can't wait to be a cadet at the school I chose, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice for preparing to be a cadet? I realize this isn't anything like preparing for Plebe Summer, but just how rigorous is PT in Army ROTC? Should I learn how to climb a rope, start weightlifting, start memorizing Army knowledge, etc?
     
  2. usmawebb

    usmawebb Member

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    Getting in better shape is a good idea. It always helps and will make it easier to adjust if you are in good shape. However, I would contact your PMS to see how intensive and often PT is. My battalion has it 3 days a week, but I know some people that only have it 2x a week at their respective schools. Same thing with knowledge. I didn't have to memorize anything, but I know a couple guys that did. Every battalion is different, so contacting the cadre would be the best way to prepare. It will also look good to be in touch with them early.
     
  3. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    Congrats on earning a scholarship. There are several treads on the board on how to prepare. I'll give you my 2 cents.

    Stay out of trouble!!! Alcohol, drugs, speeding tickets can ruin everything you have worked for.
    Don't slack on your grades. In your contract it says you must maintain good grades. CC will ask for a final transcript.
    Watch the type of activities you engage in. I would think twice about free climbing,rodeo and other activities like that.
    Work out!!! You may think you are in good shape and can max the AFPT. Go online and make sure you have the proper form for sit ups and PU.
    Did I mention you should work out???
    Lastly, enjoy your senior year.
    Best of luck in your new adventure.:thumb:
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The best thing you can do to prepare is start working out. Work on push ups and sit ups and run, run a lot. Working with weights is not a bad idea, work on your core strength. Make sure you are doing the pu and su to Army standards, they grade tough for the first APFT. Remember, your scholarship is not activated until you pass the APFT.

    Don't worry about memorizing any Army stuff, you'll learn that when you start.

    Keep in touch with the battalion over the summer and try to get as much of your paperwork done before you get to school.

    Other then that, just stay out of trouble and enjoy the rest of high school.

    Congratulations.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    +1 to above posts. I would add that it's actually counterproductive and bad form to memorize stuff before getting there. Part of the "educational" experience is memorizing it along with everyone else, with or without any externally induced stress.
     
  6. ABF

    ABF Member

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    Congrats usa95! Welcome to the Army.

    Get a good pair of running shoes and use them four times each week for 30 - 45 minutes each day. They won't take you on a long run the first week of school, but don't be surprised if your ROTC Bn goes of 5-6 mile runs on a regular basis once they get the year started. Do lots of push ups throughout the day every day. Do as many sit ups as you can when you get up each morning. Oh, and in you are on the heavier side, get your weight down and keep it down. I never had to climb a rope as a soldier, but I sure had to keep up with gazelles on long runs... and I'm more of a "Clydesdale".
     
  7. k2rider

    k2rider Member

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    It wouldn't hurt to contact the PMS or other cadre (or cadets if you know any) at the school you'll be attending because they don't all operate under the same set of guidelines. I have (2) kids in AROTC at different schools, both in areas where weather can definitely present a problem at times. They both work out 3X per week (5x per week when they do Ranger Challenge) but one of the schools will do outdoor workouts NO MATTER WHAT the weather is while the other moves things indoors if deemed necessary.
     
  8. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    No offense to other posters, but I would most definitely contact the ROO before the PMS. Especially if you already have a scholarship. And if you can't get ahold of the ROO, call the unit and ask to speak with the MS1 Advisor or another MS instructor.
     
  9. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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  10. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Concur with Bull...the PMS is a busy man, and shouldn't be fielding questions from incoming freshmen. The ROO is a good start. If you let the Battalion know you are definitely coming they may hook you up with an upperclassman over the Summer. I know if you were coming to Clarkson I would want to talk to you over the Summer, schedule a time to get your APFT out of the way, and just know you won't be calling to tell me you are going to an Academy or enlisting or joining the circus.
     
  11. usa95

    usa95 Member

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    Thank you all for the helpful advice. I'm a runner, but I will certainly be doing more pushups in the coming months. ClarksonArmy, I never thought about that. I appreciate it!
     
  12. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    Agree with what everyone else is saying. Just wanted to briefly touch on one thing, regarding knowledge (before coming into the Battalion). That's great if you want to learn things on your own - nothing wrong with a high speed cadet. But there comes a time when if you know a lot - and you show it off, you come off a bit too squared away ==> being labeled as "that guy." And, you don't want to be "that guy."

    Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with being high speed and squared away - basically, just don't be arrogant about it and don't show off, and you should be fine.

    Best of luck your MS1 year.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  13. 36cmadawg

    36cmadawg Member

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    Some advice my dad gave me when I started HS was that when the teacher asked a question, wait and see if anyone else answers first if you already know it. You can still always answer the question a little bit late and show some knowledge without looking like that know it all kid that needs to be put on the spot by an upperclassman.

    If anything, just read any military history books. It can't hurt to get a deeper sense of the history of the organization your joining. And don't just focus on American conflicts. Get some cultural perspective as well!
     
  14. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Ok, I have to jump in on this one.

    If a question is asked, answer it, if your first to answer then great, this isn't high school. While ROTC is a unit it is still a competition from day one. You will compete with other cadets for positions in the battalion, placement on the battalion OML which has become increasingly important, you will compete for summer training slots. Everything is based on your standing and almost everything effects your standing.

    Now I'm not saying to be arrogant or a show off, but you need to be confident, if you know the answer then answer the question. Just find a balance.

    There is a funny thing about the term "That Guy", the person at the top of the list is usually considered to be "That Guy" whether they deserve the label or not.

    My son got the unfortunate label of "That Guy" his first week of ROTC, he scored a 319 on his first APFT while most of the MS1's either failed or scored barely above the minimum. The talk was that he was showing off, he was aware of this and when the second APFT came along, he scored a 342. Now, he never bragged about it and offered to organize workouts and runs to help improve the class score, only a couple showed up, the three of them now have the highest scores in the Battalion.

    Don't shy away from doing what you do well, be humble and help when asked, do what you can to help your fellow cadets and ask for help from those that are better in the areas you need help. Work together and you will all be better for it. There will always be some that will look at those who excel as being "That Guy", nothing much you can do about that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  15. tigers06

    tigers06 Member

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    Besides working out, practice going to bed early and waking up at the crack of dawn over the summer. I'm a natural night owl (aka I enjoy staying up until 4am and sleeping in until noon), and I've found that the hardest part of ROTC has been adjusting to waking up so early. Here at school, I try to be in bed by 10 and wake up at 4:45am for PT (usually earlier on days we go on ruck marches).

    It's already semester 2 of my freshman year and I still haven't really adjusted to this schedule yet lol. So if you're anything like me, and don't usually wake up at 5am or earlier, I HIGHLY suggest trying it a few times over the summer so when you get to school, it won't come as a complete shock having to wake up so early.
     
  16. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    ^^Great advice.
     
  17. USN16x

    USN16x Member

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    hopefully all these early morning swim practices will help me out
     
  18. 36cmadawg

    36cmadawg Member

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    Well that sheds a little bit different of a light on it! I never thought of it that way, but yeah the competition doesn't end at the scholarship letters. I guess what I was getting after was just be humble about it, you'll have some respect from your peers, but don't be ashamed to want to learn more and strive to do your best.

    And Jcleppe, that seems odd to me that your son got labeled because of his physical fitness. That just seems the opposite of what I'd expect. Someone who scores high should be labelled a bad son of a gun that you don't mess with, not "that guy"!
     
  19. NavyNurseApplicant

    NavyNurseApplicant Member

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    I second those who have said to work out continuously and to practice getting up early. The first day of PT we ran 1 1/2 and did intervals of pushups and situps afterward- that was the easiest PT workout I can recall us doing. Also, at my battalion for lab we often had to be at formation at 0450, which meant we actually had to be there at 0440. Do the math- we had to wake up pretty early :thumb:.

    Just to comment on the the "that guy" stuff: at my battalion in the MS1 class there is a kid that got the nickname "Hooah cadet". He's actually pretty nice, but he's got the "teacher's pet" thing going for him and his PT scores weren't the highest. Meanwhile, everyone respects the MS1 with the highest PT score (he scored 325 on his first PT test and is the MS1 participant for our Ranger Challenge team). So it definitely varies from school to school, and you should be able to tell pretty easily within your first couple of days there how the group dynamic works.:smile:
     
  20. The OC Josh

    The OC Josh Member

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    It really becomes about attitude. There's a huge difference between confidence and arrogance. Definitely be confident but don't be arrogant. Help people out.

    A note about ROTC being a competition. Absolutely be the best you can be. Work hard. It'll pay off. But it doesn't have to be a zero sum game. Jcleppe, I love that your son helped out the rest of his class. (Or at least the ones with common sense) That's what it's about. When you get to MSIII and MSIV year, obviously you want to do well. But that doesn't mean you go at it alone. I've seen people try and they simple fail. It's not a zero sum game. Even LDAC, which can be intensely competitive, is a complete zero sum game. Evaluators can give out as many Es as are warranted. Yes, platoon rankings are zero sum, but besides that everyone can succeed.

    I had the #5 cadet on this years National OML in my Squad. He wasn't cocky or arrogant. He just did work while being friendly. He helped us out while we helped him out with his English. (He's from Puerto Rico) Another example, 8/10 of my classmates were DMG. That's a pretty big deal. I honestly believe our focus as a class led us to that success.

    At the Battalion level, I don't think ROTC is a zero sum game. Those are the people who can be helping you out.

    tl;dr Yes ROTC is a competition so do your best, but work together and don't be a blue falcon


    PS-It's early. If this didn't make any sense, I apologize.

    PPS-Also MSIVs and cadre will easily be able to tell who prepared over the summer and who didn't
     

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