Scholarship or National Guard?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by allenn15, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. allenn15

    allenn15 New Member

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    Since I don’t want to have too little information posted I’ll just go through the whole story, I’m writing this because I would like some opinions and what you would recommend. Currently I’m a sophomore, last year I was in the Criminal Justice program but this summer I decided to change things up a little bit and decided to join the army ROTC program. Plus I decided switching my degree to health care administration. Because of that I now have 4 my years of college so I’ll start as a MSI. I switched because that field is hard to get into and I didn’t like it as much as I thought. Also I’m quite interested in health care administration and for the battalion I’m joining if you want to go active duty you have a much better chance with a technical degree since they pick 10 cadets with that degree type compared to the general degrees where they cut down to 5 a year. Anyways during the summer when I was making the switch (keep in mind I really wanted to join the ROTC and was committed) I met the commander and we talked about financing and he recommended joining the Nation Guard while I was in ROTC and doing the SMP program. Keep in mind my school is very friendly towards the National Guard. I believe there are more kids here in the guard then with scholarships. Also don’t confuse this with the National Guard scholarships. But I ended up joining the Guard but there was a problem, I’m colorblind and I was originally going to have my MOS to 88N, but the day I was going to swear in they told me I’m now not eligible. This was a problem because I was supposed to get done with Basic and AIT in the summer then go back to college after. Then with all the positions that I’m allowed to do, the AIT would take too long to complete and I would miss the fall semester. It was difficult for me because I had 5 recruiters telling me to skip a semester but I really didn’t want to do that. I ended up calling my commander and he was very against me skipping a semester and we tried working with the recruiters to find a MOS that would work but none would. So we ended up just picking 42A and picking the split option. The commander told me that we can try to get a scholarship later during the year, because through the National Guard I can’t get the GI bill until I’m done with AIT and that would be at least 2 years. I forgot to add this was during the end of summer so I would have attended boot camp after my first year of ROTC.
    Now that you know the situation I’ll just say that I was just awarded a 3.5 year active duty scholarship. So now my main question, do you guys think I should accept the scholarship or continue with the National Guard? Ill state the pros and cons.
    With the scholarship first off it would come into effect in January, about 1.5 years before the National Guard would come into play. Plus I would be contracted right away. If I stayed with the Guard I wouldn't be able to contract until I was a MSIII because of the AIT thing. Since if you’re contracted cadets aren't allowed to go to boot camp and ait. But not being contracted is scary since there is no guarantee you will be contracted if I go that route since there is a lot of competition since half the kids are doing it that way… but they don’t have the AIT problem I do. Plus I’d be discharged from the Guard once I accept the scholarship and worried if there would be any problems, shouldn't be but always a possibility they might not like it. There was lots of drama involved originally with the guard because after I joined 2 recruiters where fighting over me because long story short I was supposed to be recruited by my college recruiter but I wasn't aware of that and this other recruiter got me in so they fought for a while for who gets credit. I believe the recruiter who recruited me said some lies about recruiting me according to ROTC commander and recruiter (they were involved) and fought hard so I’m nervous if his department will try and stop me from getting discharged.
    Now the advantages of going the guard is I can go to boot camp, I know it won’t be a fun experience but I would gain a lot from it, and from not going I feel like I’ll be behind at ROTC since many have gone and know a lot more. Plus with my commander we did the numbers and staying with the guard I actually still would get as much as with the scholarship, maybe more in the long run. After adding the TA, GI Bill, Grant, Guard Duty, and the time of service. I would have 4 years of time in service through the guard so when I’m commissioned my pay would start higher.
    Just to point out, this is a small branch with maybe around 20 contracted cadets and 30 non contracted. So the chain of command is possibly a lot different than what many of you are used to. I don't attend the university where the battalion is located so that's why its much smaller, Central Michigan is the host school.
    I apologize this post is so long and if there are many grammar issues, its late at night and I tried at least to include the entire situation so you know what I’m dealing with for deciding. If you guys have any more questions about the situation I’ll respond. But I’d like to hear your opinions on if I should accept the scholarship or not… Thank you for your time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  2. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    Allen15,

    Just my first thought - take the scholarship - the financial considerations are important, but the contract is the true prize. Stick with your commander - sounds like he has your back and is giving great advice and truly wants you in the program.

    I'm sure more posters will be along with more detailed reasoning for their point of view. Read them all. Good luck.
     
  3. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    I didn't read your essay very closely, but you are a little confused on the details. First off, you aren't being offered an active duty scholarship, there is no such thing. You are being offered a 3.5 year campus based scholarship that will allow you to go active or Guard/Reserves when you graduate. You also have the option of converting your scholarship to a GRFD scholarship next year and locking yourself into the Guard (and taking active duty off the table). At that time you would be required to SMP, and you will probably not go to Basic or AIT if you do that. I would suggest you sit down and talk to your ROO about your options. If your options have been explained to you by a National Guard recruiter that would explain your confusion.
     
  4. allenn15

    allenn15 New Member

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    ClarksonArmy
    Sorry for the confusion on the scholarship, I know there is no guarantee to go active from it and that it's campus based, but I often called it that to differ it from the national guard one. Also I believe your getting confused what I'm saying? I want to go active when I graduate. So I don't want to convert my scholarship. I'm talking about how I'm currently enlisted in the guard now.
     
  5. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    I think I'm tracking what you were trying to say in your treatise. I don't think we have all the information we need to give you good advice. Financially, does it make more sense for you to use TA? Is it worth your time to attend BT and AIT in return for GI Bill/Kicker? Personally I believe the 4 years of Guard/Reserve experience the recruiters sell is overrated. Your initial pay check will be a little bigger, but not that much bigger, and you will be making more money than you should be able to spend as an LT anyways. My personal advice is stay in school, don't add the stress of SMP if you don't have to (especially since you will be on scholarship) and focus on your academic success for the next three years. I have nothing against the SMP program, and for some it's a great option. If you are looking for a bunch of strangers to make your choice for you, I just handed you my 2 cents.
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Little confused, but why can't you do both? Take the scholarship and stay in the Guard.

    I am not an expert on ROTC AND NG. I have more questions but if you get the questions answered you might have a viable course of action.

    1. Can you take an ROTC scholarship and be in the NG? I think the answer is yes.

    2. If you are in the NG and ROTC, is SMP mandatory or optional. I think answer is optional

    3. If you graduate, commissioned and get active duty, what happens to your NG committment? I think you get released from it.

    Challenges will be getting your Baisc and AIT done and meeting your academic, ROTC, and NG requirements.
     
  7. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    If you are on scholarship you cannot be in the Guard and SMP unless that scholarship is GRFD. If that scholarship is GRFD you will not be able to go Active Duty (don't let anyone tell you otherwise). If you are GRFD than SMP is mandatory. Much as I hate hitting you all with a bunch of acronyms it's the easiest way to spell this out plainly.
    SMP = simultaneous membership program
    GRFD = guaranteed reserve forces duty (includes Guard)
     
  8. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I would love to have you explain a little more about this statement.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Still confused. So what happens if I joined the guard, in college, apply for regular ROTC scholarship or when you become MS III and have to contract?
     
  10. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    If you receive a scholarship offer, and do not want to convert it into a GRFD scholarship you must be released from your Guard/Reserve unit to be able to accept the scholarship. Your other option is to contract non scholarship, in which case you can remain in the Guard/Reserves and SMP. If you are in the Guard or Reserves and haven't been offered a scholarship, I'm asking you to contract sophomore year (so you can start getting your stipend). Once you're contracted I'm not going to be looking to get you a scholarship, because you are already on the payroll and have made a commitment. Not every cadet is on scholarship, and as allenn15 said sometimes it's more lucrative financially not to be on scholarship.
     
  11. allenn15

    allenn15 New Member

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    Jcleppe,
    As we know their are different degree levels for the rotc. I believe that the battalion I'm currently in is producing more active duty officers with a general degree then what the army wants. Because of that our battalion was cut by 50% for general degrees and the army is hoping that we get more of the other degree types. For this battalion at least it was always 10 per degree type. I'm not sure if this is a problem at other schools though. Keep in mind this is only for active duty, but yeah only 5 slots with the majority of people with that kind of degree can be very competitive.

    MemberLG,
    So joining the guard in college is what I did. Then I also applied for the scholarship while in college. If you get the campus based scholarship and accept it you would have to discharge from the guard. Unless you commit to the guard and get the GRFD, same this as a campus based scholarship just you commit to the guard, plus its easier to get. If you don't get a scholarship and your in the national guard and get contracted you would be in the SMP program. But when you graduate you aren't tied down to the guard. You can still pick active duty if you wish.
    Clarksonarmy,
    Right now I am thinking more to go with the scholarship because It's a safer bet and I would rather be safe then sorry and get contracted. If I don't accept it. It would add more stress down the road for other commitment and always have the worry if i cant contract.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  12. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    allenn15 --

    The reason jcleppe asked you to clarify your statement about Technical (ADM4 and ADM3 and possibly ADM2) vs. not-technical (ADM1) is that this is a huge issue for Navy ROTC and Air Force ROTC scholarships, where anywhere from 85% (Navy) to over 95% (Air Force Type 1) go to Engineer or STEM majors, but hasn't been so in practice for Army ROTC in the past decade.

    Even more important, if the rules of the game are changing WHILE a cadet is in ROTC... that is, a non-scholarship cadet joined Army ROTC as an MSI thinking the ADM didn't affect his/her chances of Contracting and going Advance Course at the end of the MSII year, but then finds out in the middle of MSII year that being an ADM1 is a negative, THAT'S A HUGE DEAL!!!!!!!!

    If Battalions are being given Commissioning missions by their Brigade and/or Cadet Command that specify the # of Army ROTC commissions by ADM, this is new information that is critical for MSI, MSII, and scholarship applicants to be aware of, and to take into account in their planning.

    If, as you wrote, you have personally decided to switch from ADM1 to ADM2 because of guidance given by your Cadre, think of all the other ADM1 majors who would be just as happy with an ADM2 major, or ADM2s who would be just as happy with an ADM3 major, who selected the lower numbered ADM without any strong preference for it. They may have shot themselves in the foot by not knowing that the ADM mattered.

    For what it's worth, the ADMs are titled thusly:

    ADM1: Generalist: social sciences, humanities and arts
    ADM2: Technical: (includes most business, economics, finance, management and accounting)
    ADM3: Physical Science/Analytical: (math, Bio, Chem, Physics, Geology, Oceanography, etc.)
    ADM4: Engineering
    ADM5: Nursing

    allenn15, it sounds like what you heard from your cadre is that ADM1 is currently being treated as a disadvantage by Brigade or Cadet Command in setting mission sets for 1) on campus scholarships, and 2) choosing which MSII non-scholarship cadets are approved to Contract and go into Advance Course as MSIIIs.

    Oh, most importantly, CONGRATULATIONS on getting a 3.5 year scholarship.! :beer1:
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  13. allenn15

    allenn15 New Member

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    Dunninla,
    Thank you for telling me more about that, it seems that was a bigger issue then what I thought it was. Sadly I'm not a expert about the subject, all i can tell you is that command is trying to get less ADM1 degrees here and are influencing people to choose differently if they wish to make active duty. Most cadets going into the program do know this but I'm sure that your right that people mid program or that just wanted to join after their 2nd year or so was affected. I have a friend that is in Criminal Justice and he knows that he probably wont be able to make active duty because of it so hes planning on the guard. I know one story where a cadet had dual enrollment, a ADM1 degree and a ADM2 degree. But command recognized him as having the ADM1 degree so he was not commissioned. Since based on the competition it was harder, however if they counted his as ADM2 he would have commissioned. He fought it and was able to go active though when they recognized his ADM2 degree instead, but it was a lot of effort and the only reason he got it was probably because our commander was working hard to fight it and to give him the ADM2 instead. Plus just to say they where really pushing engineering and nursing, ADM4 and 5. Since we don't have many people that are in those programs. There saying you have a very high chance with those.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  14. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I'm sorry if I seem a bit suprised by what you have written about the ADM levels and commissioning, but it just doesn't make sense.

    Cadets receive AD based on their position on the OML. The only current effect a cadet's major would have is the extra 1 or .5 point added to the cadet's OMS for certain majors.

    I have not heard of any cadet that has, for sake of argument, an ADM1 History Degree being denied a commission soley based on the fact they have an ADM1 degree.

    I would think it would be difficult to find a History Major the had a OMS of 94, was in the top 10% and a DMG that they were not going to be allowed to commission due to their Major.

    On the other side of that coin, I don't think any cadets that had an ADM4 major and had a OMS of 65 were offered Active Duty based soley on their major.

    Personally I think there is some confusion on how this is working. It sounds to me this is a goal that the battalion and brigade you looking toward but not a set policy. I know if I were a cadet with a 94 OMS, E at LDAC and a 300 APFT that I was not going to be allowed to commission, I would want to see the new regulations from Cadet Command. I can say with close to certainty that my son's battalion is not doing this.

    You mentioned a cadet that was not going to be allowed to commission due to his ADM1, but in the end was able to commission, I would imagine that this was last year. Are you saying that this cadet would not have been allowed to commission Active Duty or are you saying he would not have been allowed to commission at all, if it is the latter then that makes no sense at all. If that had been happening last year this board would have been lite up like a Christmas Tree. What OMS did this cadet have, where was he on the OML. Last year, as well as years before, a cadet's major had no effect on whether they were commissioned or whether they received AD other then the extra points I mentioned above.

    I'm sure I'm reading much more into this then what is actually happening. I would just like to see this cleared up because if other cadets read this it's going to scare the crap out of them since nothing has been written officially about this, if it had my phone would be ringing off the hook from my son by now.

    I am inclined to think Dunninla has the right take on this, that it has to do with those cadets competing for a contract rather then the commission.

    I hope Clarkson will weigh in on this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  15. allenn15

    allenn15 New Member

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    I was looking in my email to see if there was anything I can find to show you and I found some email with my commander about when I was discussing possible degrees, I'll show them to you.

    Me: I've been looking into changing my degree and a couple that I've been interested in are Health Care Administation and Health Care Management. I was wondering what the competition are for those kind of degrees in the point system?

    Commander: That is the same as level as communications. It would be an ADM 2 which doubles your chances of contracting. We can take 5 ADM 1's (Criminal Justice) compared to 10 ADM 2's.

    Me: Are there usually more ADM 2's then ADM1 student though since a lot of degrees are under ADM2?

    Commander: Not currently. Historically we were allowed to recruit more ADM 1's. It is just in the coming years that the pressure has been put on us to focus on other ADM's. I suppose there are more degree's here that fall into the ADM 2 range, but we just don't get as much interest from those students.

    Me: Also I'm slightly interested in the nursing program. Whats the difference with nursing in the army compared to the other degrees?

    Commander: The main difference is that you go into the Army for exactly what you are studying in college. You would become an Army nurse. The other degrees do not necessarily end up in an Army branch that is the same as their degree. You would think that all criminal justice students would end up as Military Police, but that is not the case.
    With Army nursing, you could still join the National Guard during college and have your choice of competing for active duty or reserves when you are done.
    Nursing is an ADM 5 and I do not currently have anyone else that would be graduating the same time as you. That might be a great choice to give you the best chance of contracting with ROTC.



    That is one of my earlier conversations I had while I was looking at degrees. I hope this helps you guys out.
     
  16. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Allenn15,

    That email thread you posted clears everything up.

    The Cadre is referring to contracting not commissioning. It makes perfect sense that they are trying to contract higher ADM's. Saying that a higher ADM will give you a better chance at contracting is not the same as saying you will not get Active Duty or Commission.

    I assume you are in a larger battalion, one that has more cadets then available contracts. Using the cadets ADM as one of the criteria the battalion uses to give a contract again makes sense.

    Remember, Once you have completed all your paperwork, passed your APFT, and signed that 3.5 year contract, your major or ADM will have no impact as of now whether you commission or receive Active Duty other then the extra 1 or .5 points you would add to your OMS should you be in one of the majors that receive those points.

    A lot of contracted cadets will be able to exhale now....at least for now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  17. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    ^ that helps a lot.

    What I understand from that dialog is that CONTRACTING non-scholarship AROTC MSI and MSIIs (which at least 75% of cadets are) is NOW affected in a large way by their ADM. This is different from Commissioning, and also different from the selection process for Active Duty vs. Reserves. Completely different steps in the Accessions process. Contracting must happen before the MSIII year. Commissioning only happens with MSIVs who successfully complete the program.

    This "Contracting quota by ADM" is news to me. Apparently it is the fruit of a policy shift in the summer of 2011. The Army wants a higher mix of ADM2,3,4 (the higher, the better) as compared to ADM1, and now that the huge ROTC buildup is over, they are going to enforce that objective that has been on the books for several years.

    I suspected already that Cadet Command was actively managing to this mission set at the pre-scholarship level (in the Scholarship Committee of 2012 -- I had been told that in September 2011 by a PMS). It is now clear that at least in some Brigades, this mission objective is being managed on campus in the selection of non-scholarship cadets for On-Campus scholarship awards (preference given to non-ADM1), and also for the promotion of non-scholarship MSII on to Contracted MSIIIs (again, preference to non-ADM1).

    It looks then as though Army ROTC is heading in the direction that Air Force and Navy Option NROTC have been for many years ... the more technical the major, the better, period. The Navy ROTC has official forms that the PNS fills out each academic term that specify the # of mids on schedule to commission in YEar Group 2015, 2016, etc. with a column specifying what % of that year group is Tier I and II (combined). If the % is under 85%, then something needs to get fixed... b/c that 85% rule is on the books.

    My DD is an MSII with an ADM3 major, Neuroscience, and she's on scholarship, so this new shift does not affect her. However, it will affect many of her fellow ADM1 cadets if Cadet Command is pushing to Brigade, and Brigade to Battalion, quotas for ADM1 vs. ADM2,3,4.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  18. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    True, MSIII, MSIV, and Scholarship MSI and II can exhale, b/c they're all Contracted.

    However, MSI and MSII not yet contracted can keep holding their breath, or better yet, immediately start a dialogue with their cadre to see if ADM will be used in THEIR Battalion in selecting who gets to Contract at the end of MSII year.
     
  19. allenn15

    allenn15 New Member

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    Thank you for explaining that all to me, It's very interesting stuff, since I wasn't to familiar about how it use to be. Also I'd like to apologize for confusing you guys about the contracting/ commissioning. I wasn't sure myself about it.
    Anyways with this information since it seems to be a big deal, I recommend you probably should create a new thread about it since this thread originally was about a whole different issue. So it would be a little bit more exposed.
     
  20. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    ^^^^
    +1 to dunninla who beat me to the punch. Also, dunninla is correct about tracking the % tier 1 and tier 2 in each NROTC class, but although the scholarship awards target 85% for those tiers, I think the expectation is to commission around 65%. I may be incorrect but I could swear I read this somewhere in some official NROTC docs.

    I must say OP seems a bit confused about contracting vs commissioning vs active duty and sometimes seems to use the terms almost interchangeably. Or maybe its just the way he presents it that leaves ME confused. However, if he is after the scholarship then changing the major can make sense. I'm confident the Commander was speaking in terms of percentages and not absolute numbers of 5 and 10 (but maybe I'm wrong about that particular aspect).
     

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