ROTC Scholarships & USCG

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by wilmared, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. wilmared

    wilmared New Member

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    This may be a dumb question so bear with me. My son wants to be a USCG officer - specifically a helicopter pilot. He has applied to the USCGA and we feel he is competitive and we are awaiting (breathlessly) an answer. He also applied for a NROTC scholarship and to five schools that have NROTC. He has been accepted to Maine Maritime, VMI & Norwich (which gave him a huge financial package so we would not need the scholarship) This is the question: He wants to be commissioned into the USCG after graduation. It seems to me the NROTC would not want to fund his education if he wants a USCG commission. Correct? Since the USCG does not have an ROTC type program, what are his other options? He has also applied to SUNY Maritime which has a direct commssioning program to the USCG (although not in a field of his interest) I am confident he will be accepted there and we qualify for instate tuition so again we may not need the money. If he decided on VMI and they did not offer enough financial assistance, could he use the NROTC scholarship (if he gets it) because I know VMI gets a few kids a year commissioned into the USCG? It would be nice if things were a bit more streamlined but I guess all of this work trying to get into the academies builds character!
    Thank you all for all of the informative posts!!
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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  3. wilmared

    wilmared New Member

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    I did read that but I can't find anywhere specifically that students have used NROTC scholarship money and then have been commissioned into USCG. I know he can be in the NROTC program and get commissioned but can he use the Navy's money to be in the Coast Guard?
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think that it would be best to post this question under the SMC forum (right below ROTC) because your question really is about VMI.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I don't know the answer to your NROTC question although my suspicion is that your suspicion is correct. However, since you didn't specifically mention it I wanted to make sure your were aware he could direct commission out of Norwich provided he did at least two years of NROTC (presumably the first two) as a College Programmer. You can find more info on the Direct Commission Selected School program here:
    http://www.gocoastguard.com/find-yo...rtunities/programs/direct-commission-programs

    It's towards the bottom of the page. He could do the same out of VMI but I gather from your post that the financial aid package there (if any) is not as enticing as Norwich.

    Only other thought is that perhaps the cadre at the schools or one of the recruiting offices might be able to answer your specific question is no one on the forum can.
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    No, the question is really to the Navy, and their willingness to pay for the schooling of someone who will not be commissioned into the Navy.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Luigi,

    I get your point and honestly I wanted to state the Navy does not train officers for the USCG. USCG does not use their funds to train their mids to become Navy officers.

    That being stated, the OP is discussing VMI, and neither you nor I have any connection to that SMC. It would be unfair to state anything as a fact.

    The OP's DS may decide to take the scholarship for a yr or two and bolt to USCG. It is important that they understand there are consequences, and VMI may have a voice in the decision.

    With everything in life, there is always a gray area.
     
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Her question has to do with using NROTC scholarship money to pay for school without commissioning into the Navy.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Luigi, I am not disagreeing with you, but just like the SA's they can walk before a certain date without repaying.

    That means to me if this is a finance issue they may use the NROTC scholarship for the 1st yr or 2, and than try to cross over to USCG at VMI.

    We are not at VMI and have no clue if this is common or not.
     
  10. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I would not plan on getting an NROTC scholarship to VMI (or the other SMC's which participate in that program), keeping it for 4 years and then commissioning in the Coast Guard. That's not what the program envisions and as Luigi points out- essentially you would be asking the Navy to fund a CG commissioning program.
    The unique thing about the SMCs is that in addition to the military lifestyle, at most of them, the Cadets are required to compete ROTC but aren't necessarily required to contract and accept a commission. So I think that is who the program (The Selected School Direct Commissioning Program is the official name) is targeting- cadets who have a major who they are looking for and who have taken 4 years of ROTC but are not committed to another service.

    You always have a one year grace period with an ROTC scholarship to decide if you want to contract and continue on- but after that year you are committed. It seems to me that's the most amount of time you could reasonably expect to get the Navy to pay for if your interest really is in a Coast Guard Commission.

    Personally- if I were really interested in going into the Coast Guard and am not accepted to USCGA- and have financial concerns, I would be looking very hard at the Maritime Colleges. All of the 3 in the NorthEast have regional agreements with multiple states that make them very affordable propositions - offering in state or close to instate tuition rates if you are a residnet of one of the regional states that they have agreements with.

    While their military environment is not as spartan/ over the top as VMI's they are all structured and disciplined lifestyles- Mass Maritime has 100% of the students as Cadets in the regiment, NY Maritime has around 80% of the students as Cadets and Maine I think around half. All offer direct commissioning into the Coast Guard. I personally know 3 guys (one of whom is a relative who followed that path, 2 of whom retired as Captains and one retired as an CG Aviator Commander. I'm glad that VMI has the option and that a couple of guys every year get to take advantage of the direct commissioning program, but I think that it is much rarer than Cadets who direct commission into the Coast Guard from a state Maritime Academy (makes sense doesn't it?)
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Doesn't the Navy have the same requirement as to when a scholarship cadet can step away from the program. If I am correct they can complete the first year and walk away with no obligation, if the complete their second year and walk they will either owe the money back or time as enlisted. I don't believe the Scholarship Contracts are written differently for SMC's Since the USCG does not have a ROTC program I'm not sure what the cadet would be crossing over to.

    It's been a while since I have been in the USCG and I realize things have changed a bit over the years. The only options I remember were USCGA, Maritime Colleges, and OCS, I admit I don't know a lot about the chances of commissioning to the CG through the SMA's. All I do know is the getting into CG OCS after attending a traditional college is very difficult and very competitive these days. The Maritime colleges seem to be the best plan B after the USCGA, unless you attend a accepted Minority University which has programs that can lead to a USCG commission.
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    From Bruno:

    @Jcleppe - So bruno is talking here about a non-scholarship (ie non-contracted) midshipman. Evidently SMC students are not required to get Advanced Standing to remain in the program which makes a certain amount of sense to me. Thus, even after 4 years thaey have nothing to pay back.

    @OP - I agree that the Maritimes are probably the best plan B if USCGA doesn't come through. Norwich would also be a viable alternative (plan C?) with the significant financial aid package they are offering in combination with the Selected School Direct Commissioning program.

    Edit: I need to add the following from norwich.edu admissions:
    So perhaps bruno is mistaken or Norwich is an exception? But then they did say "typically" which they could have left off if it were required.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  13. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    contracting is not required at any of the SMCs. As a Scholarship winner although you contract when you start your freshman year- you aren't obligated until the start of your sophomore year. If you want to commission as a non-scholarship winner with any ROTC unit most do so at the start of 2d class (junior) year when they start advanced ROTC. The difference between VMI and any other non military college is that if you don't contract as a college programmer at most schools you will not be allowed to continue with advanced ROTC classes, while at VMI (and I think the other SMCs ) you still are require to continue to take ROTC- you just won't incur an obligation since you are not contracted (and not getting paid your stipend either).
     
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    OK. That still makes sense to me as I said before. Thanks for the clarifcation/restatement bruno!
     

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