Senior Military College versus regular ROTC; Impact on career

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by hockeypals, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. hockeypals

    hockeypals Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    My DS is weighing options at a college with a Corps of Cadets/ROTC versus regular colleges with ROTC (with small and large detachments). He is interested in Air Force or Navy. Does it make a difference from a long-term military career perspective whether someone does Corps of Cadets with ROTC or just regular ROTC? That is, will you have just as good career prospects if you just do regular ROTC? Also, does the size of the ROTC detachment at a college have an impact on your career (i.e., if you are in a large detachment versus a small detachment)? Thanks.
     
  2. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    Response is bolded. The answers are simple, but where you do ROTC really doesn't make a difference. Going to an SMC is more about wanting that lifestyle as opposed to a traditional college.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  3. NMMI PREP DIRECTOR

    NMMI PREP DIRECTOR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agree 100%! Some of the best company grade/junior officers that worked for me came out of OTS. Most active-duty bosses don't care where you went or graduated from. What's important to them is not the past - but the present. How hard is a junior officer willing to learn, work, and achieve the unit's mission? Are they willing to accecpt additional responsibility?

    At some of the higher ranks the "good ole boy" network may come into play, but nothing beats hard work, motivation, and a strong desire for mission accomplishment.
     
  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    True. But WHY do you want a military college lifestyle? What do you get out of it? A lot IMO. If you are going to a military college- you are going there because not only do you get a really strong preparation for a military career if you so choose- but you also get a really strong preparation for a world that values commitment, honor, perseverance, an unparalleled sense of comraderie and a dedication to the concept that there are more important things to life than your own comfort and personal advancement. Wouldn't trade the experience for the world (wouldn't repeat it either) , and have never seen its like on a standard college campus.
    Although hard for 18 year olds to believe, your military career will end and you will still be alive and kicking in a second career- sometimes much sooner than it appears today. Those traits will serve you well whether you are a 3 year AD tour and 26 and starting a second career , or a 30 year retiree looking for a post retirement career or someone who decides at graduation that they don't feel like serving in the military and go on to a career in business, academia, law, medicine etc...
     
  5. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,587
    Likes Received:
    0
    I totally agree with bruno. Although I didn't attend a civilian college, so maybe I'm clueless. But I wouldn't trade my SMC experience for anything in the world. Also, I recall that SMC's in my day had an edge up for getting an active-duty slot.

    I am one of those who did the second career thing: SMC --> Army Infantry --> Law School -- > Lawyer.
     
  6. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    Ditto, almost.

    For me:

    SMC-->Air Force Missileer-->Law School-->Attorney
     
  7. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,587
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm curious. Do cadets at SMCs still get a guaranteed slot on active duty like they did in the days of Ronald Reagan (God bless him), whereas the ROTC cadets at other schools had to compete for these slots? At least in my day, having a guaranteed active duty slot was an ENORMOUS benefit to attending a SMC.
     
  8. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    Yes, SMC grads are promised active duty out of AROTC. This is different from other schools, where it is not a guarantee. As for the other branches, NROTC and AFROTC require active duty service regardless of where you go to school (as far as I know).
     
  9. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,587
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, sprog. The other thing to really think about is that you get a totally different college experience at a SMC than at a "civilian" school, outside of the classroom. I like to think that the lessons of "endurance" that I picked up at my SMC have helped me considerably throughout my career. I think there is something to be said for having your head shaved and having to walk around like a robot during your plebe year that adds dimension to the typical high school kid. I really believe that I grew up faster at a SMC than I likely would have at a civilian school. I will never know for sure, though, because I didn't go the civilian route. But worked for me, doesn't apply to everyone.
     

Share This Page