ROTC vs. OCS

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by vira, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. vira

    vira Surfrider

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    I'm wondering what the differences are in terms of difficulty with ROTC and OCS (for any branch). Is it better to have your military training dispersed throughout the school year or just all in the summer? And also, how are the different branches of OCS compared to each other?
     
  2. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    OCS is a program for college graduates to attend post-graduation... just making sure you understood that. OCS is designed as the "flex" component of the officer accession programs... that is, when demand is high for new officers, Army OCS, for example, can have close to 3,000 commissionees -- more than AROTC. However, and this is the risky part, when demand is lower than normal for new officers (such as this year due to drawdown), OCS shrinks substantially. So, it seems risky to me to not participate in ROTC as an undergraduate student, if you have the opportunity, with or without scholarship, and instead to wait for OCS -- OCS might not be an option if demand is low and your particular college degree is not in high demand at that time.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    First off, OCS is not a summer only program, it occurs yr round. 2 of our friends (O6) were OCS AF grads and they went in Dec.

    Secondly, at least for the AF, OCS boards are broken into rated and non-rated.

    Thirdly, you are in college now in AROTC, please enlighten us why OCS is on the table for all branches?

    If in college and in AROTC, Army OCS should be off the table. Why would you leave AROTC for OCS?

    Fourth, do you really want AF?

    ROTC or OCS grad for AF can't go reserve. It is 52 weeks a yr, M-F, 8-4, 30 days leave (sat/sun count as leave) for yrs.

    I understand you are trying to figure out your path. This has been a unique path, BUT to get true answers ask the true question that matters.

    Army OCS doesn't matter since you are AROTC, unless you are transferring to a school with no AROTC unit.

    Navy commissioning sources matters because they matter to you. Be honest you want NAVY.

    AF has never been on your plate regarding options. If it is now than it is a question about how rated vs non rated works. AF OCS has cancelled non-rated boards, while still having rated.

    Not trying to rile your feathers. Trying to illustrate that if you want true answers and guidance, open your heart and share your thoughts/fears. Otherwise you will get blanket answers that will not help you in your decision process.

    Best of luck.
     
  4. vira

    vira Surfrider

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    I'm looking at Navy and Marine Corps OCS. If I were to stay at UCR I would've wanted to participate in the PLC program, so that's why I was thinking about doing it in the Summer. AF is out of the question, sorry I didn't write that in but I was wrong in believing OCS is structured similarly. Army OCS won't really be an option for me because I have AROTC available to me, and really my question should actually be:

    Difference between NROTC and Navy/Marine Corps OCS in terms of training and difficulty? I do know Marine option Midshipmen go to one OCS session after their junior year, but I was also wondering what the difference was for them and the PLC candidates who go to two OCS sessions
     
  5. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Keep in mind OCS also gets third choice in branches for the army...it goes USMA--->ROTC--->OCS. They do get all available army branches (i.e. aviation, MI) but from a smaller AD selection. Perhaps they they leave 5-10% free allotment in every branch before it gets to OCS? I''ll try to find the source but I have been told multiple times that USMA and ROTC get the pick of the litter before OCS.
     
  6. Marist College ROTC

    Marist College ROTC Member

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    When DOD is looking to reduce the number of commissioned officers, OCS is the first commissioning source to be cut. Under today's conditions, OCS should not be Plan A.
     
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    LMAO @ 8-4

    Must be nice.
     
  8. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    That got me confused so I googled "military vacation". Can you confirm what I think I learned?

    Leave = "Out of Area". Weekends count even if they are "off duty", if the soldier is "Out of Area"?

    Off Duty: How much "off duty" does an Army LT get per year? Is the typical "duty" M-F, 8-4, and then Sat. and Sunday are "off duty"?

    Is that about right? I would assume then that the way to not double count "off duty" with "leave" is to use Leave only for M-F, and start and finish an 11 day "vacation" in the local area, off-duty, combined with M-F out of area.

    It would seem if that is the case that 5 days would be the maximum a soldier could be "out of area" without double counting the weekends, and that if one wanted to really get away for awhile, one would leave on a Monday, return 12 days later on a Friday, and only have the one in-between weekend double counted.

    I suppose that would mean a soldier could expect two 12 day vacations, then have six leave days left over to use as needed. Unfortunately, it also looks like it means that "getting away for the weekend" by leaving on Friday night for a two hour drive to the cabin, and returning Sunday night, once a month, burns 24 Leave days. How many miles can a soldier travel on a weekend and still be considered "in the area" and not use that trip as leave?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The overlap for leave can get confusing. Going back on memory, which nowadays is risky at best, if you were to take leave from M -F they will charge you at least on of the weekends making the total amount of leave charged 7 days. I remember taking 3 days leave during the week and only being charged for those 3 days so I believe there is a max number of days you can take without having the weekend included.

    Another thing I remember is that we used to take 2 weeks leave that started on a Mon. went through the next weekend to the following Fri. so that we would only be charged for one weekend, I believe that has changed. I think that you would now be charged for the weekend in the middle and either the weekend before or after the total leave time making the total amount of leave charged 14 days.

    This was all a long time ago so some of the AD types might be able to shed a bit more light on the leave subject as it works today.

    As far as how much "Off Duty" time a LT gets, that depends on what he is doing. An Infantry LT will have a varied schedule with time off scattered all over the place. If you are in a staff job you may have a more regular schedule. During my first 4 years my schedule was hectic to say the least, never really knowing when I would be off duty. My last 2 years were at the District Headquarters, that was a 7:00 to 3:30, 5 day a week job with no duty, except for special assignments. It's hard to predict how much off duty time someone will have, for a fresh 2nd LT I wouldn't count on a fixed schedule.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Jcleppe has it correct if you take M-F, they will charge you the weekend, so it is not 5 days you are charged, but 7 days. As you learn the system you become wiser on how to use the system. Like Jcleppe stated about working M-F leave.

    Leave is accrued by 2.5 days per month you serve retro. In other words on the 1st of May you earned the 2.5 days you served through April.

    Additionally, they allow military members to roll over leave up to 60 days per yr. That is why it is common to hear people say they have use or lose, or they have to burn through their leave.

    Lastly, there is a thing that is commonly referred to as desk drawer leave. You fill out the paperwork for a CYA purpose, but are not charged. Usually this is for a 3 day weekend deal (Thanksgiving as an example). Many times the base/post will have Friday as a family day, hence few are at work from Wed. afternoon until Monday a.m. So instead of charging, or worse yet members leaving without telling them, they allow desk drawer.

    As far as how far they can travel, if I recall correctly it is @ 2 hrs or within state lines. I.E. In NJ you can get to NY or PA or DE within 2 hrs, hence why they state within state lines. A lot has to do with recall purposes and getting back in time for the task.

    Bullet's O6 has a lake house that is 2 hours away, and he is down there every weekend during the summer. He is never charged for it because he is within the regs.


    As far as work schedule, as scout pointed out in his LMAO post, it varies depending on the career field. The maintenance officer is not reporting at 8 when the 1st flight takes off at 8. They are a 24/7 operation, because when that last flight landed at 10, they had to turn the jet for the morning goes. The SP officer also works on Sat. and Sunday. Flip side you are not going to see the Personnel officer pull a duty day passed 4/4:30 because their job doesn't require it.

    I recall when Hurricane Floyd came barreling into town (SJAFB was ground zero), they decided to Hurri-vac jets on a Sunday. The FC calls a young lt. and his wife answered the phone. She told the FC, it is Sunday, he doesn't work on Sunday and will be there tomorrow :eek: Of course the FC had a few choice words to tell her, one being if he is not in the squadron within the next 90 minutes he will be considered AWOL, the other being he works 365 days a yr 24/7. He was in the squadron, but when he arrived it wasn't pleasant for him. Mainly because he got an earful from the FC/ADO/DO/SCC, but also because people were amazed at his wife and her belief that he didn't work on the weekends, plus her feeling free to talk in that manner to his direct boss.

    Hurricane Floyd kept them at WP for 11 days (runway was 10 feet underwater). Floyd occurred only a few days after they had returned from Hurri-vaccing for Dennis. In a 4 week spread they were gone almost every weekend. That is why I say it all depends on the job, and that to enter thinking even as a flyer weekends are yours in a non-wartime scenario, it is not true. They can recall you back to base at any given moment. Hence, they own you 52 weeks a yr, 24/7.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  11. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Ouch, I wouldn't want to be that airman, or especially his wife, when he saw her next :)
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    ^^^ LOL. I don't think even MY wife would talk to a boss that way, let alone a military boss. And she HATES me working weekends.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    He actually was the creation of the acronym SNAP/SNAW at our base.

    Sensitive New Age Pilot/WSO
     
  14. sjbd94

    sjbd94 Member

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    How competitive is it to get into OCS these days for all the branches. Also how do they select applicants. Is it like based off of GPA and majors that are in demand like STEM majors?
     
  15. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    My DS and I spoke with officers at two different AFROTC detachments last year when he was figuring out what to do and where to go. They both said it is very, very, very difficult to get an OCS air force slot. Needs change rather quickly in the military it seems, but from what we were told, I certainly wouldn't think of OCS as a first plan to become an officer in the USAF.
     
  16. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Think of OCS as a college Wait List. YOu know, where the college courteously puts 500 on the wait list, and expects to take maybe 50 off of it. It is a 100% backup system that only operates when the Academy, and ROTC, cannot supply the needed number of new 2LTs. Right now, I would be surprised if more than 50 were commissioned OCS in this year, since all services are CUTTING able bodies ROTC participating members. It they're cutting ROTC, they're NOT commissioning OCS, unless it is a weird major like cyber security or something that they need that isn't sufficiently available in the Academy+ROTC commissionees. If they are commissioning at all out of OCS, it is probably from the pool of enlisted or prior service that have college degrees that want to get a commission the quick way, since Field Commissions are exceedingly rare these days.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would look at it this way from a commissioning purpose.
    1. SA's
    2. ROTC
    3. OCS

    If the SA's and ROTC fill those numbers they will have no need for an OCS board. Nobody here can tell you manpower needs 4 yrs from now. ROTC will at least allow you to put your foot in the door.

    If OCS is on your mind I would suggest it is best to clarify your post regarding the branch. AF manpower needs is different than the Navy or Army. Their OCS boards are different.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012

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