ROTC vs SA

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by sheriff3, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    We vistited DS this last weekend. While talking about AROTC he mentioned a cadet in his class that is applying for WP. During the conversation he said the impression he was given was that WP ( SA grads) are more respected by other officers and enlisted. I told him I was not sure that was the case. I recall a presentation made by a recruiting officer while touring WP, he said the army gets about 70% of its officers from ROTC. It was his opnion that while the SA's may be more acadimecially challanging than most schools, ROTC does a better job of teaching time management and allows the cadets to develop independant thinking skills. While I agree that attending an SA may seem more prestieges, I would question that the SA's put out a better product. I would value others opinions on this.
     
  2. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    I think WP grads may have an advantage coming out because of their academy's reputation, but after a few years in the military your troops could care less where you graduated as long as you're a good officer.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    An officer receives the respect from others that he earns, not because of where he went to college.
     
  4. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    That's pretty much what I told him.
     
  5. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    From what I have experienced, WP seems to be an academically superior school compared to most ROTC host colleges and prepares graduates with a better military background. They simply get a better budget, more training time and opportunities. After BOLC and a few years TIS I am not sure how noticeable the difference is though.

    As a con.... like I said before I wouldn't take a recent WP grad as a wingman to a bar or club. I am not pulling this out of no where either as a couple of my WP platoon mates agreed about the social immersion schism they felt after coming out of there.

    As for respect, a butterbar is a butterbar, I don't think most of your guys will care will you commissioned from.

    I remember at CTLT asking my PL where the other LTs commissioned from and he really didn't know because the conversation never came up. It turns out the breakdown was 50/50 ROTC/WP but no one really cared...If the other LTs didn't know or cared I doubt their guys did. I never saw any rings either.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would have responded...tell that to Colin Powell! :shake:

    Decades and decades ago, long before they were born that might have been true (probably not even than since Powell was Chief under Bush 41), but now it has been stated @ 50% of Flag officers are ROTC/OCS.

    SAs open some doors, such as I know with the AFA it is easier to get to go to a grad degree program right out of the AFA with the AF picking up the entire dime.

    I would think for the Army it might come down to if they want to AD, because they are guaranteed after 4 yrs AD.
     
  7. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    this is an interesting observation...

    As a con.... like I said before I wouldn't take a recent WP grad as a wingman to a bar or club. I am not pulling this out of no where either as a couple of my WP platoon mates agreed about the social immersion schism they felt after coming out there

    I can attest to this first hand. We live 45 minutes south of the AFA. Seeing a lot of these cadets in the wild they do seem somewhat socially akward. Also my niece was dating a newly graduated (may 2013) AFA 2LT. Poor guy was a little out of his element and seemed uncomfortable at a graduation BBQ. I will say I do recall having this same feeling myself after Marine boot camp.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  8. sancontoa

    sancontoa Member

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    I'm an ROTC grad so I may be bias, but I really think it is more a matter of which ROTC battion you come from not ROTC V SA. ROTC has so many schools that you can have vastly different experance coming out of it. For example some schools are right next to bases so you have classes full of prior enlisted people and the school emphasizes soldiering skills whereas others will be huge and do a almost all garrison stuff some CDTs slip, some are senior miliitary academies where you get more of immersion in the military experance and others have only 20 CDTs and you get very hands on attention by the cadre. I really saw at LDAC and BOLC that it matters more which battalion you come from not simply ROTC v SA. Also there's a third commissioning source, OCS, and those guys usually do better then everyone else just cause its so hard to get into OCS they are usually very high speed and they are usually older with more working experance. However I know currently at armor BOLC there are some platoons which only give out leadership positions (such as being the platton's PL) to former west pointers, so that's an example of how going to a SA still opens some doors. Honestly though what I've heard is after about the 1st year as an LT you can't tell who is who.
     
  9. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    lots of prior threads on this over the past couple of years.

    My recollection:

    - Respect due to Academic Prestige: ROTC at a well ranked college will prepare cadets academically as well as an Academy will. Possible exception is large Public research Universities, which are prestigiouls, but whose budget is by and large devoted to graduate students. This means class sizes much, much larger than those at the Academy. At less rigorous college ... no.

    - Respect from other Officers through O1 and probably also O2: For ROTC out of a prestigious college, and the Academy, no difference. Less rigorous college, maybe some unspoken questions

    - Respect from other Officers once O3 and beyond -- no difference.

    ----------------------

    Other differences between ROTC commissioning and Academy commissioning discussed in prior threads not relating to Respect:

    - Military exposure, knowledge, protocols, bearing, tactics: Academy by far, but only through O1 and probably also O2. Beyond O2, no difference.

    - Production of a good % of cynical, sarcastic 2LTs: Academy by far. Somewhere during or soon after Beast, wide eyed innocence dies for a lot of cadets. Whether this is good or bad, I can't say. It just is.

    - Ability to understand and make effective decisions amidst civilians, internationals, and military contractors: Probably ROTC due to having to navigate the civilian college obstacle course for four or five years.

    - Ability to socialize with ease with the opposite gender, and civilians, both US and international: ROTC by far.

    - Ability to choose to serve in National Guard or Army Reserves: ROTC only.

    - % of commissionees brancing Infantry and Aviation: ROTC by far. (this is not true of NROTC and USNA... % appointed into each of the Communities are within 1% of each other)

    - % of commissionees branching Military Intelligence and other Support and Force Sustainment Branches: ROTC by far.

    - Active Duty Service Obligation (assuming ROTC cadet goes Active): 5 yrs. Academy, 4 yrs. ROTC Scholarship Cadet, 3 yrs. ROTC non-scholarship cadet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  10. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Not really sure the prestige of the college has a lot to do with either of these.

    I know that nobody ever asked where I went to school or even cared.

    My son has said that other then seeing an old college t-shirt on people at the gym, nobody ever talked about where each other went to school.

    For my son at least, how he performed at flight school was the only thing anyone cared about. The ability to land in the fog with NVG's has very little to do with where your school ranked on some list. Finishing toward the top of the class, getting his first choice of airframe and duty station was not impacted at all because he went to a school not ranked in the top 100.

    Bottom line, do your job well and you'll do fine, where you went to school won't even get you a free cup of coffee.
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Well, I dunno. I might buy an Academy grad a cup o'Joe if I stumbled across one just outside of Starbucks on payday. :biggrin:
     
  12. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Knowing you, you would buy a cup of coffee for anyone in a uniform regardless of where they went to school.....as would I. :thumb:
     
  13. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I would agree with that. And as you mentioned, it is mostly a question of budget. Small classrooms cost a lot of money to support. At a large public research university, Calculus will have 100 or more students in one classroom. So will Chem, and Bio, and Econ, and History, etc. The Academies, all four, will have under 35 generally, often under 20. In a large class, there are effectively no questions/answers. In a small class, there generally is. This enhances the learning substantially. This is also why some cross admit students will choose Swarthmore, Amherst, Williams, Wellesley, Pomona, Carlton, Haverford, etc. (all of which tend to have small class sizes like the Academies do) over Penn, Brown, Cornell, Northwestern, Berkeley. Class size matters. A lot. Most large University classes through sophomore year would be just as well delivered over DVD or Internet, since there is no interaction in the actual classroom anyway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013

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