Several curiosities

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by JJaeger, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. JJaeger

    JJaeger Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Two things-
    1. USNA or NROTC at four-year civilian university? Which is better/more enjoyable/etc.? (Input from midshipmen greatly valued here!)
    2. How is the professional training at West Point compared to USNA? I know both are SA's, but it seems that USMA has a lot more hands-on military training. Thoughts?
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    459
    I'm not sure you can compare USNA to ROTC. Very different programs. If you want civilian college with some military thrown in, ROTC is for you. If you want 4 yrs of military immersion, go USNA. What is "enjoyable" is in the eyes of the beholder.

    As for USNA vs. USMA, no one that I know has gone through both programs in their entirety. The Army and Navy have somewhat different approaches to leadership, etc. based on the needs of their respective services and USMA and USNA likely reflect that. Neither is "better." They simply are different.
     
  3. equestriangrl93

    equestriangrl93 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    usna1985,

    How are the approaches to leadership different between Army and Navy?
     
  4. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    16
    The difference between ROTC and SA primarily is a matter of degree and intensity. As 1985 noted the SA will be full immersion military for 47 months whereas the ROTC at a civilian college will be a few hours a week plus summer programs. The big advantage to ROTC usually is a much larger selection of majors, also the hours/semester most likely will be short of the 18-22 hrs you would carry at a SA. If you are concerned about with- standing the degree of discipline and regulation typical of a SA, you also may be better off in ROTC. That being said, I am not in any way disparaging the ROTC programs; I have had a brother and a nephew graduate via the ROTC route; both did well in the program and in the Navy. It is a matter of what you (are willing to) put into the program that really makes the difference.
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    As mentioned above it is all what you are looking to get out of a program and what best fits you. The SA is a total immersion 24/7 of a military environment. Academic standards and the pace of the day are like no other place, except at another SA. There are also a variety of ROTC options depending on what you are looking for. There are civilian colleges with Corps of Cadets such as VA Tech and Texas A&M. Not to mention other schools like VMI, Norwich, Citadel and others that have ROTC programs. Each ROTC program seems to have its own personality. That is dependent on the number of students at the school/area and the personality of the MOI. I would recommend you spend time and talk to Midshipmen/Cadets at any program you are interested in to get full exposure to their daily lives in and out of the classroom.

    My room mates at TBS were both ROTC graduates. The biggest difference I noticed between them and I was their total shock at now living in a military lifestyle day in and day out. It was totally new to them living that way beyond a few weeks at a time during their summer training and OCS. They freaked out at the smallest things like room inspections. The Academy grads and MECEP grads (prior enlisted Marines, now commissioned) all laughed at these things and just 'played the game.' It also appeared that a good portion of the new 2ndLts had been prepared to survive and complete OCS, with not a total focus on leadership training (just my opinion -not all new 2ndLts were like this, but there was a good percentage I would put in this category... there were some amazing officer from ROTC also... just like from any commissioning source there are those who are great, average, and not so great). The other diffence I noticed between Academy grads and ROTC grads was their lack of exposure to other military officers. At USNA you are exposed to so many officers, noth active duty, retired and former. You interact daily with a variety of people and are exposed to so much. There are so many lessons to be learned. In some ROTC programs, Midshipmen only have exposure to 1 officer and not even on a daily basis.

    Now USMA vs USNA... it is all about what you want to be... A Marine or Army 2ndLt or Navy Ensign. I do not think one SA is better than the other regarding leadership... they are different. Remember that the Navy is a very broad service with subs, airplanes, ships, special forces, and special warfare and also the Marine Corps. USNA spends a great deal of their summer training exposing Midshipmen to different warfares to make a well informed decision for service selection. The great part about USNA is there are so many service selections to choose from. But if you want to be an Army Officer, there is no better place to do that than USMA.
     
  6. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    2
    A good friend of our attended West Point and DD is a current USNA Firstie, so here are a few observations regarding summer training that I've gained from conversations with them.

    Plebe Summer -
    USNA: 0 nights spent sleeping on the ground. Academic placement tests, lots of time doing PT, learning about damage control, handling small sailboats, learning to drill, doing the obstacle course and endurance course (run through the woods in boots and utilities). One day spent in rifle and pistol qualification.
    WP: A significant amount of time is spent living "in the field," with ruck marches, firing weapons, and "running around in the woods." (Not meant in a bad way, just the phrasing he used.)

    Other summers:
    USNA: Youngster summer: one "grey hull cruise," plus one other block (could be sailing, NASS squad leader, soaring, or various other options). The grey hull cruise can be fantastic (sub cruise from Pearl to Japan with time for liberty at each end), awful (one month tied up at the dock in Norfolk with no transportation), or anything in between.
    WP: Yearling summer spent at Camp Buckner. Lots of weapons firing, squad tactics, etc.

    (I don't have WP info for later years)
    USNA 2/C summer: PROTRAMID = ~1 week each spent with Marines, surface fleet, subs, and aviation (Navy or MC), plus one other training block (lots of options, including internships)

    USNA 1/C summer: one block spent with a service selection area of high interest to the Mid, i.e. "Leatherneck" is now nearly mandatory for Mids who want to service select Marine Air/Ground. Lots of options for the second training block, as for previous summers, this time including being a detailer for Plebe Summer.
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    459
    2nd LTs in the Army and USMC generally lead small ground units. USN officers typically fly planes or are junior officers on ships and subs. They are division officers but, IMO, it requires slightly different skills than leading a small ground unit. For example, USMC/USA officers need to focus on small unit tactics, making sure people know how to survive/thrive in difficult climates, making sure people are in shape, etc. USN officers often focus on preparing for inspections, PQS (professional qualification standards), developing technical skills of their enlisted, etc.
     

Share This Page