ROTC/Change of Service

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Jarhead, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. Jarhead

    Jarhead Member

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    DS number 2 has a athletic scholarship to a University he loves but he also wants to do ROTC and serve his country after he graduates. The school does not offer the branch of service ROTC that at this point is his ultimate goal. What are the odds that he could change services or request to serve in a different branch after graduation. He has spoken to the unit leaders at the school and the coach is all for him doing ROTC but he does not want to ask them this question for fear of hurting feelings and not starting off on the right foot. I told him he may change his mind during his years in college but was wondering how often a change of service is allowed to happen.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I can't answer the question you are asking. I doubt it comes up much and if it is possible I expect it actually occurs even less. Certainly which services are involved may play a role. You're not going to go from AROTC to become a Naval Surface Warfare officer, but there could be a possibility of Marines... if it's even allowed.

    I felt the need to post though for the following reason. Tell your son I said (not that I'm anybody) that he is making life decisions. And he shouldn't make these decisions due to a lack of information simply because he's afraid of hurting someone's feeling. He should ask the question and not worry about that. They are there to help him and give him the info he needs. Once he's in, he's in, and it would be best to fully understand what he's getting into.

    Hope all works out for him. I'm assuming they have AROTC and he wants to follow in Dad's footsteps? If so, there are other paths to commission. PLC, OCS, etc.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    +1 to kinnem.

    I would add this:

    This question has been asked many times on the SA forum. The typical answer is it can happen, but you need both branches in agreement, which is why it is a rarity. Plus, think of it like the NFL draft...if they are willing to let them go, why? It might be they have enough in that area, or it might be because they don't want them. The incoming has to decide which one of these options are the reason.

    Additionally, they have spent money training them for 4 yrs, paying for summer training. What is the motivation to release them? What is the motivation to take someone if they have to re-train them their branch way?

    Like knnems post here is my example:
    AFROTC gives out rated assignments the spring of their junior yr. A/NROTC don't give out until their sr. yr.

    Summer of their rising SR. yr AFROTC sends them to Wright Pat AFB for a 3 day flight physical. This is not cheap. Think of all the tests(incl. EKGs), flying them out there, per diem, etc. Why now when they are cleared should they hand them over to the Navy or the Army?

    That medical file is available to any other branch, it belongs to the DoD...they might have to re-test something, but for AFROTC this is the FAA Flight physical. I would think only color deficiency would be an issue, and that would be for Navy. Yet the AF paid the cost and now they are losing a potential pilot that they had counted on for a manpower perspective.

    The same with AROTC that sends cadets on summer tours for foreign language. Why would they agree to release them to another branch after paying for that?

    Finally, if one branch is willing to release them, the question is if the gaining branch has the need for them?

    I don't know which branch he wants to go, but for AFROTC as a jr., scholarship or not they will contract. They have control.

    JMPO, unless he knows that no way in HADES he would go that branch, I would go ROTC. You don't know, he might fall in love with that branch.

    If he is set on one branch, like our DS, than he needs to ask himself is the scholarship from age 18-22 as an athlete at that school is worth more than applying for the ROTC scholarship(branch) and being a walk on athlete at another school from 18-22?

    Life is filled with compromises.

    My kid, I would cover both bases. Apply for ROTC scholarship with intention of walk on, and pushing forward with the current situation.

    OBTW since you haven't stated the branch, or the sport, place into the equation injury issues. Swimming, fencing, tennis, track that's one thing. Any injury will probably not be contact and cause issues later on. You can't say that for sports like FB, Basket Ball, LAX, Baseball, Hockey, etc., broken bones can trigger a DQ.

    I am the odd duck. My opinion is strange. If you know you will never play that sport as a paid athlete, why put your body at risk? Many colleges have intramurals, and you can do it for enjoyment at a much lower risk of injury. Again, talking contact sports.

    ROTC as a freshman is easy, 20 hrs a week is probably 2 times more than the avg cadet/mid. 20 hrs a week as a sr is probably not enough for the avg cadet/mid.

    Like HS, demands increase as they rise up the ranks. Add in college courses, and a social life, sports and ROTC may mean their life is overload. That they are burning the candle not only at both ends, but in the middle too.

    As parents, we don't want our kids saddled with college debt. We want them to go to college. We demand it. However, we are so self absorbed with the media talking about the debt of college students and the economy we lose sight that ROTC kids (AF/NROTC) will have a job for at least 4 yrs. 25K in student loans is not as bad as one might think. It is something they can handle.

    Hence, why I am someone that shies away from taking a contact sport scholarship if their dream is to go AD military the day he graduates.

    JMPO, throw it in the circular filing cabinet. It is your child and you know him the best. This is just me saying my opinion, and why.
     
  4. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Change of service? Very Very low. The paperwork mess alone would boggle my mind. Also you have to take into account retraining, just because you qualify as a field artillery or engineer officer in the Army doesn't mean they can use that skill set in another branch and retraining costs A LOT.

    I wouldn't even bother thinking about it unless you are a specialty like JAG, Chaplain or Medical.
     
  5. JMS

    JMS Member

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    Jarhead, if your son is planning to go to school that is nearby to other colleges that do have ROTC for the desired branch, perhaps a cross town arrangement can be made. I have not worked through one of these, but I learned some place or other that if the school and relevant ROTC unit are agreeable, setting up a crosstown is not difficult. Of course, convenience is a factor regards crosstown. In my view it would have to be a very short drive to the unit.
    I agree with the other posts regards athletics and asking questions (even if embarrassing) before jumping in.
     
  6. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    AROTC will not allow transfers to NROTC, according to what I have read. Transfers to AFROTC may be allowed under certain circumstances, but I would bet the moon has to be green for that to happen.

    David Shoup was in AROTC and later managed to get a Marine officer's commission. In fact, he had just been commissioned as a 2nd Lt. when he was allowed to switch, which may be even more unusual. Although this worked out well for us, rules have changed since 1926.
     
  7. Jarhead

    Jarhead Member

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    DS is a wrestler. The school only has AROTC and he wants to be a PJ in the Air Force. Today at 4pm he will be in the pool working on going 50meters subsurface. He is a motivated young man.
    I too feel if he does AROTC he will change his mind and find something in the Army he will fall in love with. But for right now these are the questions he ask.
    How hard is it to get a Officers commission in the Air Force without having done ROTC. DS like my other kids is a average student not because of lack of work but some are blessed different than others. Thanks for the responses so far.
     
  8. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    I'm not an AF person, but isn't PJ an enlisted specialty? I'm sure there's some officer career field that correlates, but if he wants to be a PJ, why not wrestle in college at the school to which he was awarded a scholarship, then enlist as a PJ after graduation?
     
  9. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    I believe the officer position that correlates is CRO, Combat Rescue Officer. They command PJ units.
     
  10. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    If your son's dream is to be a PJ, what will be of more benefit to him, Wrestling, or attending a college with AFROTC.

    AF OTS is very competitive these days, they seem to suspend the whole thing from time to time.

    Of course none of this really matters because if your son wants to be a PJ then he'll need to enlist if he wants to do the daily PJ mission.
     
  11. Jarhead

    Jarhead Member

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    College in our home is basically not discussed as a option it is just the next step after high school. Being a former enlisted service member myself I have seen both sides and I think given the option the commissioned side is the choice to make. My son has some decisions to make. He has a offer from a school with AFROTC but the coach does not seem as open to him doing both and he wants to wrestle and I have told him I think it could help his future especially if he wants to pursue some sort of special forces in the military. Thanks for your responses.
     
  12. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Given the athletic scholarship, there won't be the pressing need for the commitment to a ROTC scholarship up front. This gives him options.

    He can do his wrestling and participate in the first 2 years of ROTC without giving up too many options (at which time he will need to make a decision). Commissioning as an AF officer is not a certain thing even with a scholarship, so think of the "changing branches" as crap shoot. After 2 years, he will have enough experience in the AROTC program to decide if that is good for him or whether he really wants to enlist AF and go PJ. I'd still recommend finishing the degree because it gives him options afterwards (not to mention the wrestling he seems to enjoy).

    Even 18-year-olds with a picture of what they want to do have their dreams evolve. Right now it is about keeping as many doors open until the life experience helps him choose which is right for him.
     
  13. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    First and foremost get the degree

    The degree is priority. It opens other doors later on. It is very difficult to get in your mid twenties when you are working. It is the thing to focus on now. It is the thing to secure first.

    I have to mention the dreams of a 17 year old sometimes change when they reach 20, 24 , 30. Let him explore his options when he gets to school. See what happens.
     

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