Question about "special" ROTC boards -- AFROTC and NROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by patentesq, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    It is my understanding that if you are 3Q'd at USMA but are not admitted for some reason (because class is full or no nomination), the Army holds a special board in the summer to consider whether to offer that student an AROTC scholarship instead. The goal here is to keep quality kids for the Army.

    Does this work the same way with USNA and USAFA? I mean, is there a special NROTC/AFROTC board held in the summer for USNA and USAFA candidates who don't gain admission but are 3Q'd?
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I have never heard of an AFROTC board held in the summer for candidates that got the thin envelope to AFA. This is probably why everyone stresses to apply for AFROTC scholarship as plan B.
     
  3. aglages

    aglages Parent

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  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I was thinking about this and came to realize why the AF does not hold boards for those that did not get an apptmt.

    Unless things have changed in the last few yrs, if you accept that AFROTC scholarship and get appointed they will release you regardless of when you accepted that scholarship or when that apptmt came down.

    The AFA trumps AFROTC.

    In the AF world they stress to do AFROTC as plan B, and 99% do, so they know that if you didn't this was not ever your desired route. I do not know one ALO who would tell their candidate not to apply for AFROTC and stress heavily that they should as Plan B.

    It is also probably why the AFROTC only offers 5% Type 1, because they know that out of 2100-2200 qual candidates with a nom, 500-600+ will not get an apptmt., so they can't be handing them out like candy.

    Also, for the AF it is the smallest branch out of the 3 you mentioned. That means they have the smallest budget to go around. Once the pot of gold is gone it is gone, the leprechaun isn't going to come back until October 1st.

    Lastly, the AF is going through force re-shaping. LY they canceled an OCS board, that should tell you they have more than enough officers in the pipeline currently, thus, it would make no fiscal sense to have another board and put more in the pipeline. They can do it via OTS or 2/3 yr scholarships later on.
     
  5. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Many thanks, aglages. I saw this thread (perhaps I shouldn't have used the term "summer board"). But my question is really whether the QNS procedure used by USMA/AROTC to keep quality kids in the Army (which I understand is a work-in-progress) also applies for USAFA/AFROTC and USNA/NROTC. I think the practical result of this is that those who apply for USMA/AROTC and are 3Q'd have one more chance at an Army scholarship (albeit a 3yr) than those who apply AROTC only. This makes sense because whoever is good enough for USMA should be good enough for AROTC -- they are on equal par in terms of commissioning potential in my book. But I am learning that there are so many arbitrary factors that go into a USMA appointment (like the whole nomination process where the MOC wants to please as many constituents as possible without regard to whether they are academically qualified) that many who are qualified don't get an opportunity for a USMA appointment. By the same token, many students decide that ROTC is the best route for them at this stage in their lives and will make just as fine officers by going to a civilian college (of course, the downside is that they don't have a guaranteed AD slot upon graduation).

    Pima answered this for USAFA (much appreciated). I'd be interested to hear if USNA/NROTC does something similar, or whether Army is the only service addressing the problem of QNS at a service academy.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    In the AF it is a guaranteed AD slot. I believe that is true for the Navy too.

    Flipside that is why some don't want to do AFROTC scholarship, because they don't want AD.

    As far as the MOC thing, it is highly unlikely a competitive district noms someone who is not 3 Q for an SA. The reason the MOCs talk is because even when they do talk they still will have many that do not get even 1 nom. Rule of thumb to know if you are in a competitive area...the MOCs will state to you if you have at least 1 nom from another, DO NOT APPLY. Or you can look on nom threads here and people will say from Ca. CO, TX, NY, and VA that everyone only got 1 nom. Not every state is competitive. Not every MOC submits a full slate...a few yrs back for the AFA there was an MOC that submitted 1 name for their slate of 10...Terre Haute Ind. It is up to the discretion of the MOC on how many they submit. There are some MOCs that will say you won't make the cut, thus they don't submit. Some will say that they are not ready for the SA, but prep school and the only way to get them that opportunity is to nom them. Different ways to see it.

    In CA and VA the Sens traditionally have 500+ for their 10 slots. In PA the last I heard one sen had 300. If you can't find 10 3Q candidates out of that size of a pool than something is wrong with our educational system.

    It is the duty of our MOCs to represent every constituent fairly. If they feel the only way to do that is by talking and only giving 1 nomination to as many as possible, than that is actually fair, because everyone is being given the chance. You can't take the leap without knowing the stats of everyone on all three slates that they nominated someone who is not 3 Q.

    Even with all of that you need to remember that the highest WCS wins the apptmt, thus, the person with a nom that is not 3 Q will never win the apptmt over someone who is 3 Q, but now has the opportunity to go to a foundation school.

    When looking at the AFA and AFROTC compared to AROTC and USMA, one thing really sticks out.

    The AFROTC program is designed from a decentralized system, it mimics the AFA program that the highest WCS wins the scholarship, but now from a national level, not a geographical level. Selection of college does not play into the equation at all.

    I think that is also why some also apply because it means that they can take it anywhere they want as long as ROTC is accepted. You can apply to 25 colleges, and take it to any of them. For NROTC and AROTC you have that 5 college issue, so it really is important to match correctly.

    AROTC is a big draw for those who do not want engineering. If you accept an AFROTC scholarship for engineering and decide you don't want engineering anymore, you are placing your scholarship in jeopardy (devil in the fine print).

    Where do you stand in this process? Are you a candidate for the SAs, but never applied for ROTC or will you be applying next yr for 16?

    If it is the latter, than you really should apply for both USMA and AROTC because it appears you want Army over everything else, and it would really stink to go AF and hate that life, just because at 17 you thought all you wanted to do was serve no matter what branch.

    Trust me, as a spouse who had a DH that did 2 assignments with the Army when he was an AF officer, their lives are night and day. Their missions is what makes them happy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  7. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    All I can tell you is that my son has applied to the USMA, USNA, USAFA, AROTC, NROTC and AFROTC this year and the only MALO/BGO/ALO that mentioned anything about receiving an ROTC scholarship if he wasn't selected to a SA was the Army MALO. FWIW - I think his information might be slightly out of date and was probably relevant when the AROTC was having difficulty meeting it's recruiting goals (a couple of years ago). I don't think that is the current situation with the AROTC (hence the 3yr scholarships) and definitely not the case with the AFROTC and NROTC. When my son visited the USAFA this past October one of his "roommates" (freshman) had received an appointment (obviously) to the USAFA last year but did NOT receive an AFROTC scholarship. I have heard about others in the same situation.

    Also FWIW - my son received an LOA from the USMA back in Sept/Oct and was awarded a AROTC scholarship from the first board. Evidently it is possible to apply for the USMA (be 3Qd) and still receive an AROTC scholarship from one of the regularly scheduled boards.

    Good Luck to you and your son!:thumb:
     
  8. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Thanks for the thoughtful post, Pima. I am actually a parent of a son who has an interest in being a military doctor who has applied to every SA and every ROTC. He doesn't have the problem that many do in weighing the difference between serving as an officer in a nuclear submarine, an Abrams tank, or a jet fighter. I agree with my DS that being a military doctor in either of the services will have a similar day-to-day job. So my advice to him was basically, "See which service wants you -- don't try to join a service that doesn't want you." This led to his applying to all of the posslbilities.

    My gut tells me that he's going to USMA or USMMA, because that's where our congressman nominated him. But as they say, "It ain't over 'til it's over" for the other SAs until the Sup and VP noms are in. My DS is also pushing hard for scholarships (science/engineering route). At the end of the day, we will have to evaluate what is best for him based on all available information. I will also insist that he spend the night at USMA before committing to anything.

    You likely will disagree, but I really don't think there is a single kid in country who really knows what they want -- even those who say they wanted to fly or sail their entire lives. For me, I was certain when I entered my senior military college as a cadet that all I wanted was to be an Army doctor (my father was one for his entire career and loved it). This desire changed rapidly for me, however, and all I wanted was to be an Infantry officer jumping out of perfectly good airplanes and running around in the woods for a living. I then met my future wife while on active duty, and suddenly, the idea of spending 6 months out of the year lying in the cold, wet mud without sleep didn't seem as appealing as it once was. I then worked for a two-star general and, after my service obligation was complete, entered law school without having any idea whether that was the best career choice for me (any law student who says they know that's what they want before experiencing it is delusional). As it turned out, law school was the BEST thing that ever happened to me. I truly love the practice of law. It took me many years to figure this out, and I had to work very, very hard to get there.

    Over the years, I've learned that life is all about opportunity. Opportunities arise for the most arbitrary reasons sometimes, and you simply follow them. I expect that if I happened to apply for an AFROTC scholarship (never did) early in my life, I would be flying right now. I suppose I will never know.

    Even today, though, I cannot truly and honestly tell you what I will be doing 10 years from now. I could run for Congress and begin a political career (that's what one of my law school classmates did), or I could just as easily go into commercial real estate. Or I could win the powerball lottery and open a basket-weaving shop in the Bahamas. But for now, I am in the best profession on the planet. My time in the service has really benefitted my practice over the years (being a trial lawyer, you incorporate a LOT of airborne infantry tactics!). In my book, the best activity/job to prepare you for the practice of law is US Army infantry.

    So . . . whenever a 17-year-old kid tells me that they know what they really want, I simply smile and reflect on my own days going through this process.

    Thanks for the well-wishes, aglages!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It really always does come down to timing and personnel needs.

    I do know back in 08 that the Army was offering scholarships up until the month of August, even just to a few days prior to the college starting.

    Our DS's good friend, got contacted in August by the Army for ECU. We were floored because he was at our house several times a week since he was a soph in HS and in the 1st week of August he walked in wearing an Army tee shirt. We asked why and he said I got an AROTC scholarship, and I am going Army. It really came out of the blue.

    He is happy as a lark to this day!

    Than again, the signs were there that Army was a good fit for him since all they ever played was an X box game based on WWII...can't recall the name...I am a Mom:eek:

    Back on topic.
    AG is not the only one that has heard these anecdotes regarding getting in the AFA and not getting an AFROTC scholarship.

    This goes back to the point that AFROTC is done from a nationalistic POV. If you are from AK or VA it doesn't matter, it is your WCS. VA is one of the top states for public hs, so that does play into the equation when you have an SAT of 1360 and 9 APS for the ROTC compared to the AK candidate with lower stats.

    For an SA, the nom matters, and if you are from VA, and the avg is 1350 for the SAT, and 13 APs are the norm, it will be hard to win that nom from the WCS POV with a lower SAT and less rigorous course load. Now take that same AK kid from before and they have lower stats than the VA student, but the highest for the slate, it doesn't matter that they are lower than the VA candidate, they are the highest for their AK MOC slate. They win the apptmt.

    I am not implying that the AK candidate is any less worthy or smart than the VA candidate, but the fact is the systems work in their own entity. This is why you read posters finding that the system is unfair because it is a slate issue and not a nationalistic issue.

    This is why you will see some candidates get an appt and not a scholarship.
    It is just the system.
     
  10. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Amen! I have said the same thing a thousand times. How can we expect a 17 year old to know what he wants to do in 10 years when I (a male that is 50+) still don't know what I'm going to do when I grow up. All we can do (as parents) is give to give them our best advice and hopefully somewhere between what we think is best for them, what they think they want, and what opportunities are presented to them, there will be a correct choice that works out for the best. Fortunately they should have quite a bit of time ahead of them to change course if the initial plan doesn't work out.

    Best of luck to ALL our children! :thumb: I'm glad my decisions were made during a simpler time.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I also agree, that is why I state over and over again until I am out of breath that BEFORE YOU ACCEPT THIS AFROTC SCHOLARSHIP UNDERSTAND YOU WILL OWE AT LEAST 4 YRS

    I am also someone who states don't take it because you want to fly, since that means a 10 YR COMMITMENT. Tally the time and you are 34 before you can bolt...double your current age!

    Life is full of would of, should of, could of's!

    Now with that being stated there are some who at 17 know that they would rather eat Ramen for 4 yrs before they have to live at sea for 4 yrs to pay for their college education.

    The same can be said for those who would do it to avoid being stationed on land!

    This is where as parents with life experience step in, and say there are a lot of ways to get into that branch besides accepting an SA apptmt or a scholarship as a freshman in college if you have any doubts.

    1. FAFSA and student loans as you take ROTC
    2. Apply in college for a ROTC scholarship
    3. OTS/C after you graduate
    4. Enlist and then use that route with the GI Bill.

    ROTC is not the only option.

    Now as far as being a military doc. My suggestion is to look on this site for Hornet and discuss this with him personally. This is something he always wanted to do in the military. Career fields matter and the closer you can get to those in those fields the better picture you can make regarding the future.

    Also agree that when you enter with a goal is probably not what your goal will be when you exit...again pm Hornet.

    However, this is where I will disagree.

    You might not know what you want, but if it comes down to the branch you know that in your heart of hearts.

    Now let's go back a step and acknowledge that our DS wanted to be JAG, but through ROTC his military career has changed.

    However, the branch never changed since he was 10.

    That's the thing when it comes to ROTC or the military there is no guarantee regarding your job, the only guarantee is the branch. SERVICE BEFORE SELF if you cannot accept that your desires take 2nd place over their needs than re-think it. Want only a fighter and transports won't do, than re-think your decision. Want to be a doc and would die if you get Public Affairs, look at my flier comment. You serve at the luxury and need of the service, your career aspirations come 2nd.

    Our DS always knew that he did not ever want to serve on a boat or in a tank. We pounded in his head that to go for that dream job, but that doesn't mean you will get it; we would rather sell our kidney or go in debt than to see him hate his life for X yrs.

    He decided to heed our advice and only applied for the AFROTC scholarship. He also only applied for AFA.

    There are 17 yos that do know they do not want to be in one branch over another.

    We also stressed if you want to serve the country there are other ways than the military.

    No offense to you, and I wish your family the best, just trying to defend how there are some who can come to their decisions at 17.

    Heck my 16 yo DS would rather eat his skin before going military...again if we are to accept them as adults making decisions even for college that impacts their life than we should take the approach that the military does that at 18 they are adults.

    I am and will always be their safety net, but I do believe that this is their time to soar on their own.

    I also know as a ROTC mom come the minute they turn 18 every branch will cut you out regarding anything...it is best to get accustomed to that now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  12. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Pima, I suppose we will agree to disagree on this issue.

    I think it is a HUGE mistake to apply for only one scholarship or service academy. It is almost like throwing a "Hail Mary" pass in a football game. If it succeeds, then that's terrific. If it doesn't, then the student is in a tough pickle.

    It may be that my philosophy on this issue is rooted in my background as an Army officer, not Air Force. In the Army, we are trained to seize and maintain the initiative by applying overwhelming force from multiple angles when attempting to secure a particular objective. At some point in the battle, an opportunity will open up and that's the point where you commit your reserves and exploit the opportunity and follow through with everything you've got. Countless battles over the centuries have been won or lost by a commander's ability to implement this tactic. Air Force, it seems to me, to be more focused on the precise and isolated acquisition and elimination of a defined target (I don't mean to suggest, though, that the AF doesn't know how to apply overwhelming and awesome force on that target!!).

    Gen. Norman Schwartkopf understood this approach of broad application of unrestrained force on multiple fronts when he ousted Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in 1991. He went in with overwhelming force and left little to chance. The conflict was over before it even started. He didn't dilly dally around.

    Maybe I just have the wrong philosophy, and maybe I am totally in the minority here. But I will always advise students to apply to all of the services at the same time, with an equal amount of vigor. Only when the student is fortunate enough to receive a positive indication from a particular service that it is interested in the candidate (through an offer of scholarship, for example), that is when he or she should apply your excellent advice about making a choice among the services.

    Congratulations on your son's AFROTC scholarship! They say that children get their smarts from their mothers. :wink:
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Actually, I am usually the minority in my attitude, but than again it maybe as you stated that is the AF way of thinking...afterall, the AF has always been the red headed cousin.:wink:


    I will say it is a personal decision for each and every candidate. There are some like my son who will state that it is this branch or nothing. Our cousin who went Army was Army or nothing. Another cousin went USNA because he liked their uniforms best...I wish I was joking, but I am not!:eek:

    That guy is also the only USNA flier I have ever known to never do a sea cruise.

    I also think that both of us will agree, we have seen many military members who served and hated every second because they served for the wrong
    reasons. They are the ones that cause morale issues in a unit.

    I do agree you seize the moment when the opportunity arises, but it is important to understand the cost and go in accepting the price you will pay.

    That is just my belief...there is always a price to pay and it is important to understand that fact.
     

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