ROTC TO WP

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by et81, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. et81

    et81 Member

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    Hi all,

    I am currently a ROTC cadet with a 4 year scholarship who is contemplating applying to WP again. I received a nomination last year and was 3 q'd however I did not make the final list. I have ben in ROTC now for about 3 weeks and I love the program but deep down I still have a drive to go to WP.(maybe because I didn't get accepted and that kinda makes me want to go more) I don't know if this is a waste of time or if I should even consider it. Im trying to get input I'm sure there have ben threads about this before if anyone can share information or wisdom please do. I am thoroughly grateful for the situation I am in currently being that I am in one of the best ROTC detachments in the country I don't believe I can go wrong either way. Please share any thoughts.

    Thank you!
     
  2. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    That's what I did 20+ years ago. No regrets.

    It is your decision as you have to deal with the consequences. Folks that are against your desire to apply to West Point will point out why wait another year/repeat freshman year/missed out fun/whatever if your ultimate goal is to become an Army officer. But, how you become an Army officer is your decision. Each way to commission has their strengths and weaknesses.

    If you do decide to apply to West Point, just be mindful of how you share your plan with fellow ROTC cadets and ROTC cadre. Also, if you do you could get a ROTC nomination with your PMS endorsement.
     
  3. et81

    et81 Member

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    I already spoke to my PMS on the topic he is a WP Grad himself. He already told me that he and his staff will fully support me and that they have had cadets in the past do the same thing. I have spoken to other cadets some oppose the idea and others tell me to do what I want. Its about 50-50
     
  4. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    If you really want to go to USMA, apply. Don't let the extra year interfere with your goals. Many cadets get appointments after getting turned down the first time (even second or third time).

    Doing well in college academics will carry a lot of weight. You can read in other parts of the forum about plebes struggling with academics. Test scores and high school coursework are only predictors of success at college level academics and do not account for the challenge of being a plebe. Performance in college coursework removes half of the uncertainty.
     
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  5. renobob80

    renobob80 New Member

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    Go for it! You will never be sorry. Any time you have already spent in college and ROTC will make you better prepared.
     
  6. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    If you are willing to put in the work then apply. if you get an appointment you can then decide is ROTC or USMA is the path for you. You do not have to accept the appointment.
     
  7. 1mountaintop

    1mountaintop Member

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    During interviews with ROTC programs at Senior Military Colleges, my DS was very open that WP was his goal. The interviewer shared that one their ranks had recently been accepted into WP and it was presented more as a source of pride. The Future Cadet was giving up two years of college. Quite a sacrifice but if you have a dream, then go for it. I think those in ROTC will probably respect your choice.
     
  8. et81

    et81 Member

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    Im not so worried about what others think. I am worried what if I give up what I have to go to WP and I don't enjoy it. Theres always that doubt for allot of people. It's could be even worse for me now knowing what the ROTC life is all about. This is all granted I get in and have the choice. I may be rejected again who knows.
     
  9. 1mountaintop

    1mountaintop Member

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    Certainly can't answer that as it depends on what you want. I haven't heard too many people indicating that they enjoy WP, by design it should be challenging. I will add this from my DS perspective, he thought ROTC might be hard in one respect, as those in program are training, getting up early, limited off-campus time and TV etc while the rest of school is partying, sleeping late etc. At WP, VMI and Citadel you all are in same boat and there are few distractions.
     
  10. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    My DS didn't get into WP directly from HS and did a year of ROTC (he had a scholarship as well). He always planned to apply twice, so that is what he did and is now a yearling at WP. His ROTC leadership was very supportive. He was able to obtain a ROTC nom in addition to MOC, so I think that helped...you never know which nom gets you in. I am concerned, however, that it is Sept. 9 and you haven't decided. Honestly, your application should be complete by now except for your teacher recommendations (they don't know you yet). Those should be done in Oct. GET BUSY!!
     
  11. et81

    et81 Member

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    Back again,

    I have ben working hard and thinking allot. I have finished my application minus my CFA which is next week. I have applied for my nomination as I did last year and they are going to Skype me for my interview but was told unless something has drastically changed I can count on their nomination so I will have two nominations one congressional and one from my PMS. The one thing that will be the deciding factor for me is opportunity. What I mean is the opportunity for CULP, Air Assault, Jump school, Mountain and much more. Depending on what opportunities I get with ROTC this year will be the deciding factor. My goal is to be an Army Officer WP would be awesome and is a dream of mine but the family and friends I have here in ROTC make it hard to leave. Do any of you have opinions on the opportunities in ROTC vs WP as well as taking into the account the friendships and year of college I will be abandoning to take this leap if I do get the opportunity.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  12. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    My son is a cadet at WP. What I have observed is that WP simply offers more opportunities than other colleges. And I mean opportunities of all kinds - guest speakers, and travel opportunities are certainly the biggies. Of course all schools offer this, but it's notched up several levels at WP.

    It isn't all that uncommon for ROTC cadets to apply to WP and get in, so if you did end up at WP, you wouldn't be in a very unique position.
     
  13. SMP

    SMP New Member

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    My son is currently a plebe at WP. He was a reapplicant who spent last year at a large SMC on a 4-year ROTC scholarship. While I cannot give you advice on what you should do as ultimately you will need to look inward for that answer, I can share with you my son's story and his observations.

    DS desires a career as an Army officer. Like you, he came out of high school 3 Q'ed with a nomination. Fortunately, he had a great Plan B so when the TWE came in April of his senior year, he was off to the SMC with scholarship in hand. However, he still aspired to attend WP so he began the reapplication process. He discussed his aspirations with his school's Enrollment Officer and was told that the school has reapplicants every year and that some who subsequently receive appointments decide to accept them while other decide to stay.

    DS spent the bulk of the new cadet training at the SMC on crutches, which ultimately delayed the activation of his scholarship and contracting date with the Army because he couldn't complete the APFT. Nevertheless, he was "all in" from the day he first set foot on campus and he quickly rose to the top of the OML. His efforts were then rewarded with opportunities and he was given an overseas CULP assignment as well as a coveted slot to Airborne school for the upcoming summer. In the meantime, he continued trudging through the arduous WP application process. He received a ROTC nomination from his PMS and another one from his congressman. However, by late January when his congressional nomination finally arrived, he still had not completed his WP application as DoDMERB was still hounding him for information relating to his injury during new cadet training (notwithstanding the fact that he'd since contracted with the Army and that he was scoring over 300 on his APFTs). Although he was busy, he just couldn't seem to "find the time" to go to the medical center to retrieve the necessary paperwork to resolve the DoDMERB issue. In reality, given his success at his SMC, he seemed to be experiencing some second thoughts about going to WP and starting from scratch again.

    With less than gentle parental prodding, he eventually completed his WP application, and he received his appointment shortly thereafter. The parental prodding was not because I wanted him to attend WP (which would be irrelevant anyway), but rather because our family beliefs that you finish what you start and that you try to leave yourself with the most options.

    When DS finally received his appointment, he said that there was only about a 30% chance that he would would accept it. He didn't relish the thought of starting over at WP and giving up his summer Airborne and CULP opportunities. I told him to just think about it once he was able to get away from school for spring break. It was at the end of our family spring break vacation that he told me that he had decided to accept the appointment. A couple of factors influenced his decision. One, was that while on vacation he had a long discussion with a couple of men he met, one of whom was an ex-Army officer (not a WP grad) and the other a businessman who'd had previous interactions with WP officers and said that 10 times out of 10 he would hire a WP grad in his business. Two, he reflected back on something he had learned as an ROTC cadet, which was that the Army is going to do what is best for the Army and that what the Army does may not always be what you think is in your best interest. Although DS's desire is for a career in the Army, he began to think about what his options would be if he and the Army didn't always see eye to eye, and he concluded that if that were to occur, he was going to be better off with a degree from WP than he would be with a degree from his SMC (even though that SMC is a fantastic school). Ultimately, that was the deciding factor for him.

    Fast forward now to this year at WP where DS is doing well. When I spoke to him the other day, we talked about whether or not he had any regrets about his decision to attend WP. He said he had none and that it was the right decision for him. Some of the difference makers are the history of the academy, the resources and the opportunities. Bookreader's comment above is right about the resources. DS loves all of the briefings he gets to attend. He said that these weren't available at his SMC. As for things like Airborne and Air Assault, he says that if you really want to do something at WP and you are generally competent, they can usually find you a slot, which isn't the case for ROTC students in general.

    DS and I also discussed the flip side of the equation, and he touched on some things that might cause someone to prefer to remain in an ROTC program. Of course, someone at WP does not experience the traditional college experience. Aside from that, he said that it has become quite apparent at WP that the Army now "owns" you, and he says that there are lots of things that the cadets have to do that are done for the benefit of the Army or the image of WP. In contrast, he said the focus at his previous school is much more on what is best for the student. Another interesting observation that he made was that at WP there is much less autonomy in the sense of personal decision making/accountability than there was at his SMC. He indicated that WP is extremely overprotective in that they perhaps micromanage certain things like academics. We concluded that this is likely due to the fact that the Army has so much invested in each cadet that they bend over backwards to make sure that everyone is given every opportunity to succeed. He wasn't suggesting that this is a negative from a macro point of view; just that it can be a bit frustrating if you are ready to take responsibility and fly on your own without the need of a constant safety net.

    One final parental observation as to the key to my son's success thus far is that he began his journey with the end in mind, which is becoming the best Army officer he can possibly be. That's his focus and that's what largely drives the decisions he makes. This includes his ROTC tenure. He didn't go into college worrying about what he needed to do improve his WP application and his chances of getting into WP. His focus was on maximizing his opportunities to prepare for a successful career in the Army. That focus did not change at his SMC even after he accepted his appointment.

    I hope this helps. Best of luck to you!
     
  14. et81

    et81 Member

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    Your insight really helps. Since my last post I have completed my application, received my ROTC nomination, and interviewed for my congressional nomination. I now just have to wait. Does anyone know if having both nominations actually helps or is it irrelevant. Thanks for everyones insight it really helps me think through this process.

    V/r

    et81
     
  15. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Multiple nominations gives you multiple opportunities to receive an appointment, so yes, it helps.

    As far as whether to forego the balance of ROTC for a WP appointment - anecdotally speaking, my son's experience was the exact opposite of @bookreader 's DS. My DS participated in CULP, graduated CDQC, Ranger Challenge for 4 years, Best Ranger for 3 years, 2 different CTLT experiences, Sandhurst, National Small Arms Competition, George C Marshall conference, etc.

    He had more opportunities for leadership throughout his 4 years than the average USMA cadet. (MSIV class of 30 cadets / Bn of 100 vs 1100/4400 @WP - how many really get leadership positions?) Overall, he found that, in comparison to his West Point counterparts, he had much more hands-on training and experience. Upon hearing his ROTC experiences, more than one of his fellow LTs at IBOLC were surprised at the depth and breadth of opportunities available to the average ROTC cadet.

    I'm not in any way disparaging the USMA model, just pointing out that ROTC cadets get more opportunities than you may be led to believe. You will not be missing out on training by sticking with ROTC.
     
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