ROTC and Choice of major

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by CGBrat14, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. CGBrat14

    CGBrat14 New Member

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    I plan on doing ROTC in college, I haven't decided if I'd rather do Air Force or Army. My biggest worry is that I will be wasting my time and theirs because my major is irrelevant to military needs. I applied for the AFA but decided to give up my interview because I knew I wanted to major in something they didn't provide. I continued to apply for afrotc scholarships but also declining an interview because I didn't want to be stuck in a major I didn't like. So my question is, is it harder to get a field training or ldac spot if your major isn't necessarily useful to the military? Also I've heard that it's increasingly difficult to get commissioned by the Air Force because they are cutting back on officers, is this true/ is it the same for Army?
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I'll leave it to the Air Force experts here to respond to most of this. I will say that it is more difficult to get a scholarship with a non-STEM major, but it's not impossible. I can't say for certain about field training selection once your in the program, but it's my belief that your performance in the unit is far more important for selection, with a small bump for tech majors. In any case, you are wise to focus on a major you enjoy and not change that for the purpose of serving in the military. Also, you can't achieve your goals with respect to the military, whether it be Air Force or Army if you don't try.

    Army is not so interested in your major as Air Force is. I would also point out that the Marines do not care at all what your major is, so don't rule out NROTC at least in that regard.
     
  3. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    If I am reading correctly between the lines, you only applied to USAFA and AFROTC, and withdrew from both when you realized that the USAFA doesn't have your major. But wouldn't AFROTC allow you to major in basically… anything? Why did you withdraw from that?

    At this point, go to a college that has both AFROTC and AROTC, and join one of them as a non-scholarship cadet. AROTC will at present give you a much better chance of a scholarship while in school, but don't pick the Service based on scholarship.
     
  4. CGBrat14

    CGBrat14 New Member

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    I stopped applying for the AFROTC scholarship,when you apply you have to pick from a list of majors that are "beneficial" the the Air Force. Some are technical like engineering and some are non-technical like political science. I'm still a senior in high school right now. I want to pick the one that will give me the best opportunities. I know that both have great opportunities but from what I've read on the web, it's much harder to succeed in AF if you don't have a tech major. And my major isn't even on the non tech list of majors when apply for scholarships.
     
  5. AlphaAlphaSigma

    AlphaAlphaSigma Member

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    Majors that are non-STEM pretty much have a hard road to commission as an officer in the Air Force. To get a slot for Field Training, you have to go through whats called a EA board. There are five boards that correlate to what you want to do in the air force and your major: Tech Board, Nursing Board, Language Board, Rated Board and Nontech Board. Most of the slots would go to the Tech Board and it is reported that 20% of the slots would go to the non tech board this year. Some detachments including mine have about 50% of the FTP cadets being non-tech majors so competition is tough for non-tech majors. I have been looking at army ROTC and it looks like they do not care what major you are. It looks like college GPA is more of a factor in army ROTC than major. I have also heard that Army ROTC still has a lot of scholarships for in-college students while in AFROTC doesn't look to be giving out any scholarships soon.

    I don't know what you want to get out of the military but if you want to fly and really fly do Air Force. If you need college to be paid then go Army as they have the most chances in giving you a scholarship. Understand that Army ROTC will commission you to either Active Duty or Reserves/NG and getting into Active Duty is tough as the Army wants to decrease in size.
     
  6. undflyboy

    undflyboy Member

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    Not doubting you, just curious as to where you heard that 20% will be non-tech/non-rated? I heard someone say they heard somewhere (as reliable as that is) that there may be about 300 non-tech/non-rated EA's this year, but I haven't heard either first hand.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Either way you play this numbers are about the same from a chance perspective.

    @2200 are offered slots. 300 would be 14%, and they are saying 20%. A very far cry from 2 years ago.

    I happen to agree with dunninla. If your college has both A/AFROTC take the next few months contacting each unit, and ask to meet with them.
    ~~~ Our DS did not interview at any college, his AFA ALO submitted his rec for both. After he was accepted to his top choice college, with AFROTC scholarship in hand, he met with not only the COC, but also spent an hr or so with some 300/400's.

    He used this time to get the answers regarding his chances as a non-tech for SFT and rated. They were brutally honest regarding what would be needed from him as far as PFT, AFOQT and cgpa to be competitive.

    The time he hung with the cadets they hung in the lounge playing Xbox and talinkg about how to juggle everything, what it is like, different types of military fraternities, such as AArnie Air, Silver Wings, Honor Guard, etc.

    College is not only academics, but socializing too. ROTC is like that too. There is no algorithm to decide. There is just an emotional gut check on which branch you feel at home with.

    The fact is if you go non-rated, and don't want to drive tanks, the career fields are close. The mission is different, but the job...not so much. Intel, maintenance, PA, security forces, finance, comm., etc. No flaming. Just my opinion.

    Finally, remember the biggest differences between the two. AROTC allows cadets to go Reserve or Guard. AFROTC you can only go AD.

    Clarification regarding changing majors for AFROTC. You can easily change your non-tech major to another non-tech or any tech majors. The problem is when you want to switch from a tech major to a non-tech major. Typically, the answer will be no!

    Hope this helps, but remember as kinnem states, my opinion and 2 bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
     
  8. usa95

    usa95 Member

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    I'm in the same boat as you. As a Government and World Affairs future major, I wanted to go to USNA, but realistically I think AROTC may be better for me. I've been offered a 4 year scholarship to Tampa.
     
  9. AlphaAlphaSigma

    AlphaAlphaSigma Member

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    I heard it from my NCO when he gave us the details of our PSP. 300 sounds somewhat cruel to me and the fact that he gave us that estimate leaves many non-techs to lean onto that rated board.
     
  10. FlyingWildcatDad

    FlyingWildcatDad Member

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    Alpha, did your NCO give you any info on how many total EA's will be available this year, or was he on referencing non tech/non rated EA's?
     
  11. AlphaAlphaSigma

    AlphaAlphaSigma Member

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    He said that the traditional number was 2200 but with budget cuts he expected the cuts for Field Training to be a couple hundred. Considering that fact that Max 6 is cancelled and rumor that Max 5 will be cancelled I would believe that the cuts will be steep.
     
  12. FlyingWildcatDad

    FlyingWildcatDad Member

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    Thanks Alpha, that is about the same info that my DS has been getting. As a parent of a AS200 cadet competing for an EA this year, I am hoping the cuts aren't too deep. Hopefully more concrete info will be coming out soon?
     

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