SMCs and Commission Slots

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by pennak, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. pennak

    pennak Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    1
    I posted in another forum (the SMC forum) but I am curious to hear any opinions in this forum. Thanks:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by patentesq
    Good luck, CoachBart! In view of the increasing competition for active duty slots that will be on our doorstop very soon, I think SMC is definitely the way to go for ROTC (unlike ROTC units at other colleges, SMC grad AD slots are protected by federal statute).

    Not to quibble, but I am not sure that "slots" are protected, per se. Rather the pertinent federal statute, 10 U.S.C. 2111a(d),(e) provides (subsection (d)) that the services "may not take or authorize any action to terminate or reduce a unit of the Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps at a senior military college" and further provides (subsection (e)) that the Secretary of the Army must ensure that "a graduate of a senior military college who desires to serve as a commissioned officer on active duty upon graduation from the college, who is medically and physically qualified for active duty, and who is recommended for such duty by the professor of military science at the college, shall be assigned to active duty."

    I do not understand these provisions to mean that the number of commisssion slots for SMCs are protected. For example, if the Army reduced its need from 1000 new 2nd Lts to 500 2nd Lts, then that 500 slot reduction may well be distributed, consistent with the statute, across all the ROTC units in the country, including those at the SMCs. In other words a reduction in the number of new commission slots doesn't necessarily "reduce" a "unit" at a SMC, as the "unit" at the school stays the same -- just the number of commissions available to that unit is reduced. And while subsection (e) purports to guarantee a Army AD commission to those SMC graduates who are otherwise qualified, that commission is also conditioned upon the recommendation of a ROTC professor. The number of such recommendations is obviously subject to adjustment each year. Please note that subsection (e), by its terms, is applicable only to the Secretary of the Army -- subsection (e) thus does not apply to the Secretary of the Navy (and by extension the Marines) or the Secretary of the Air Force. The Navy, the Marines and the Air Force are thus not required to offer commissions under this statute, only the Army is.

    If any of this is incorrect, I would be delighted to hear that as my DS wants a Marine commission, but if you think I am wrong in this please provide details and references. I would like to check this out. (And yes, I am a lawyer).


    For those interested, the federal statute is 10 U.S.C. 2111a, and pertinent subsections are (d) and (e). I have reproduced the entire Section 2111a below:

    10 U.S.C.A. § 2111a .

    United States Code Annotated


    Title 10. Armed Forces (Refs & Annos)

    Subtitle A. General Military Law (Refs & Annos)

    Part III. Training and Education

    Chapter 103. Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (Refs & Annos)

    § 2111a. Support for senior military colleges



    (a) Detail of officers to serve as Commandant or Assistant Commandant of Cadets.--(1) Upon the request of a senior military college, the Secretary of Defense may detail an officer on the active-duty list to serve as Commandant of Cadets at that college or (in the case of a college with an Assistant Commandant of Cadets) detail an officer on the active-duty list to serve as Assistant Commandant of Cadets at that college (but not both).


    (2) In the case of an officer detailed as Commandant of Cadets, the officer may, upon the request of the college, be assigned from among the Professor of Military Science, the Professor of Naval Science (if any), and the Professor of Aerospace Science (if any) at that college or may be in addition to any other officer detailed to that college in support of the program.


    (3) In the case of an officer detailed as Assistant Commandant of Cadets, the officer may, upon the request of the college, be assigned from among officers otherwise detailed to duty at that college in support of the program or may be in addition to any other officer detailed to that college in support of the program.


    (b) Designation of officers as tactical officers.--Upon the request of a senior military college, the Secretary of Defense may authorize officers (other than officers covered by subsection (a)) who are detailed to duty as instructors at that college to act simultaneously as tactical officers (with or without compensation) for the Corps of Cadets at that college.


    (c) Detail of officers.--The Secretary of a military department shall designate officers for detail to the program at a senior military college in accordance with criteria provided by the college. An officer may not be detailed to a senior military college without the approval of that college.


    (d) Termination or reduction of program prohibited.--The Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of the military departments may not take or authorize any action to terminate or reduce a unit of the Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps at a senior military college unless the termination or reduction is specifically requested by the college.


    (e) Assignment to active duty.--(1) The Secretary of the Army shall ensure that a graduate of a senior military college who desires to serve as a commissioned officer on active duty upon graduation from the college, who is medically and physically qualified for active duty, and who is recommended for such duty by the professor of military science at the college, shall be assigned to active duty.


    (2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Secretary of the Army from requiring a member of the program who graduates from a senior military college to serve on active duty.


    (f) Senior military colleges.--The senior military colleges are the following:


    (1) Texas A & M University.

    (2) Norwich University.

    (3) The Virginia Military Institute.

    (4) The Citadel.

    (5) Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

    (6) North Georgia College and State University.


    CREDIT(S)

    (Added Pub.L. 104-106, Div. A, Title V, § 545(a), Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 317, and amended Pub.L. 105-85, Div. A, Title V, § 544(d), (e), (f), Nov. 18, 1997, 111 Stat. 1745, 1746; Pub.L. 106-65, Div. A, Title V, § 541(c), Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 607.)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by pennak; 12 Minutes Ago at 02:36 PM.
     
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    842
    Unless someone really wants to attend a SMC and will enjoy and thrive in it's lifestyle, going to a SMC just to guarantee Active Duty is a bad idea. If you are somewhere you are not happy you lower your chance of success.

    Last year the total number of AD slots added to the OML from SMC's were around 110. Not a huge number and for now even added to the SA not enough to fill the quotas.

    Sorry, I was a bit off your topic.
     
  3. larry2013

    larry2013 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    0
    I recently learned about that federal statute - it says sec of ARMY - so I don't know if that applies to navy/marine - just a thought, larrys mom
     
  4. pennak

    pennak Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks. What service were there AD slots in? Was there a quota from ROTC units? Or just a total number from West Point plus ROTC etc? Guess I don't really understand how this system works for commissions for ROTC.
     
  5. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,234
    Likes Received:
    5
    I had people in my PLT from almost every SMC in the country. I would say about 20% actually enjoyed their experience and most would have rather done ROTC at a state school.
     
  6. pennak

    pennak Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    1
    I really don't think it does. Subsection (d) applies to all the services while subsection (e) mentions only the sec. of the army. Looks to me like only the army is obligated to offer commissions under this statute -- the other services are free to do whatever.
     
  7. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    I would say that is a personal opinion which is absolutely out of synch with the SMC cadets and alumni I know ( and I am pretty confident that I know a lot more of them than the poster). Can think of very few who would go to a civilian school if they had to do it over again (and I know several current first class cadets who took a semester at other schools including 3 in my sons roomone of whom took a semester in Australia, one in Hungary and one who took a year at GMU.) While they all love to ***** about their lives- they would probably pull your throat out if you presumed to speak for them on their time and experiences on the bricks- to include the biggest grub first class privates in the Corps. Personally - if I didn't have personal experience at an SMC I darn sure wouldn't offer an opinion like that because most of the cadets I know would use scatalogical terms to describe your thesis.

    As far as the law- its written specifically about the Army - my understanding from a PMS who I know, is that if he recommends AD they will get it. The operative phrase is - "IF HE RECOMMENDS". If the PMS thinks you are a squirrel- he will not recommend you. (As an aside-The history of that law is that it was a response to the Clinton administration's attempt to strongarm VMI and the Citadel threat to remove AD personnel and ROTC from VMI aand the Citadel if they did not agree to go coed - regardless of the court ruling on the case. In response a number of Virginia and South Carolina congressmen got this law passed removing the Sec Def's/ SecArmy's authority to do so.)
     
  8. sprog

    sprog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    9
    I think the poster was just relaying that 20% of the SMC people in his platoon at Advanced Camp were happy with the choice, not that it represented the overall opinions of SMC cadets throughout the nation. It's just an anecdotal observation. Quite frankly, I would be surprised if SMC cadets didn't ***** and moan, and that could have been misinterpreted as complete unhappiness.

    Not for nothing, but, if I could put my almost 34-year-old brain into my 17-year-old body, I'm not sure I would choose to go to an SMC again. It has nothing to do with regrets, mind you. I don't regret going to VMI and I highly value my education there. Otherwise, I wouldn't be on this site.

    That's why we make that choice when we're young and willing to put up with things that, as older people, we might not be so fond of. :shake:.
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    842
    The number of AD slots were for the Army only. I have no idea how many went Navy, Air Force, or Marines. The numbers were just referring to the AROTC OML.
     
  10. pennak

    pennak Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    1
    Correct Bruno. Take a look at 10 U.S.C. 2111a Note to the 1995 amendments where Congress stated:

    (c) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—In light of the findings in subsection (b), it is the sense of Congress that—
    (1) the proposed initiative of the Secretary of the Army to end the commitment to active duty service for all graduates of senior military colleges who desire such service and who are recommended for such service by their ROTC professors of military science is short-sighted and contrary to the long-term interests of the Army;
    (2) as they have in the past, the senior military colleges can and will continue to accommodate to changing military requirements to ensure that future graduates entering military service continue to be officers of superb quality who are quickly assimilated by the Armed Forces and fully prepared to make significant contributions to the Armed Forces through extended military careers; and
    (3) decisions of the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of a military department that fundamentally and unilaterally change the long-standing relationship of the Armed Forces with the senior military colleges are not in the best interests of the Department of Defense or the Armed Forces and are patently unfair to students who made decisions to enroll in the senior military colleges on the basis of existing Department and Armed Forces policy.
     
  11. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    The law only needs to apply to the Army because it's the only service that will commission ROTC cadets to either AD or Guard/Reserves.
    Unless they are cut from the program (as is apparently happening to some in the AF) virtually ALL AF and Navy/Marine ROTC cadets will commission Active Duty.

    A hefty number of Army ROTC cadets will not be able to commission AD - and will be forced to go into the Guard/Reserves. That number is growing each year lately in the Army.
    If you really want to be *guaranteed* an Active Duty commission then prospectives should definitely consider either West Point or a SMC.
    JMHO.
     
  12. MNDad2015

    MNDad2015 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0
    No offense, but if you want AD, work for it. IMPO, doesn't matter if you're WP, SMC or AROTC, those that show the drive and desire should be offered AD. Would hate to see the U.S. Army lose a great AD officer because of bunch of obstacles and decisions created by do-nothing politicians put them there (while continuing to wast a gazillion $s elsewhere). Plenty of opportunities for DS's/DD's to prove themselves no matter where they're getting their education.
     
  13. pennak

    pennak Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hey Mom. Two issues here as I see it. First what actually happens at the SMCs which may a matter of discretion and policy and what the services are legally required to do. My post was addressing only the latter but I would love to know what the actual practice has been. The original point was that services are facing new budget constraints that may reduce the number of commissions that are needed or available thus forcing policy changes in how matters of discretion are handled. The question is how that affects the SMCs
     
  14. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    Who would you be offending? The line is drawn each year and it varies. Right now its been drawn higher and higher. I am simply stating the reality - not judging.
    The reality is in this climate - if you choose ROTC and want AD then you will have a clear advantage over those who do not. One bad semester at a civilian college can blow your chance at Active Duty.

    If you take two Army ROTC cadets with identical OML scores below the cutoff - and one attended a SMC that one will be offered AD while the cadet who went to a civilian college gets Guard. That is the reality.

    pennak - I am not altogether clear on what you are asking....
    If SMC cadets do have an advantage or why do they have an advantage?
     
  15. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,234
    Likes Received:
    5

    I don't presume to speak for anyone but those I knew (in my particular PLT) and their 3-years experience at Norwich, Citadel, NG and VMI. Its obvious everyone will have an opinion of each commissioning source which includes ROTC, OCS, DC and WP. I am not discrediting the career value and discipline instilled by SMC. These opinions are but a handful of huge amount of alumni, thus my response is directed towards the notion that SMCs are not for everyone and choosing one based on a locked in AD slot might be presumptuous. In addition, studying abroad is pretty common for most state schools and I have known several cadets who have been all over the world from Finland to China. As for the pulling out my throat reference..was that really necessary?...Just disagree with what I stated as not reflecting your SMC experience or those you know and drive on. I see people all the time on these board referencing experiences about ROTC when many have never even experienced an MS year...only vicariously through kids, friends or spouses etc...Not saying its a bad way of gleaning information, but your response seemed to deem otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  16. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    842
    Easy on the "only vicariously through their kids" comment. A great deal of us here have been there, done that, and got the free T-shirt. I would imagine his "Throat" comment would take on clear meaning if you made those comments to certain SMC grads. I could fill a book with complaints about the Coast Guard Academy but there was a saying we had, WE can complain all we want, but we will defend the bricks to the end. The orginal post was on how AD worked within the SMC's, not really sure why you made you comment at all. Everyone complains about their school at one time or another, it's natural, doesn't mean they wouldn't do it all over again.

    You give a lot of good information here, just slow down the "drive on" comments.

    Most of the posts on this board deal with the nuts and bolts of ROTC applications and the process. Some relay experiences their son's and daughters have had, usually to give new applicants a sense of what they will have to look forward to. Not much different then you making a comment about what a few SMC cadets told you at LDAC. Your opinions are based on a very limited environment, many here are SMC grads or have served with them over the years.

    Keep posting, it's great for new applicants to get the perspective of a cadet still in the program.

    By the way...I agree with you that SMC's and SA's are not for everyone. I actually steered both my son's toward a standard public school and ROTC even though I had taken the SA route. I could tell they would thrive much better in that environment. There are plus and minus to the SA's and SMC's, would I do it again today, I really couldn't answer for sure to be honest.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  17. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,275
    Likes Received:
    212
    A couple of things. Those who deserve AD will get it. The fumbling world economy, I have a feeling, will increase the need to have a strong militiary. I do not know for sure but I think the world will become a tougher place for the next few years.
     
  18. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    Not sure how you define *deserve*. Regardless, by this logic a whole lot of cadets have been getting AD who did not deserve it.
     
  19. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,234
    Likes Received:
    5
    I do agree the comment wasn't really necessary and didnt add much to the thread. That is my fault and I take the blame for it. However, I didn't like the tone of the post a simple disagreement would of sufficed. Oh and I am not downplaying the support system for those in ROTC and the value they add to these boards(both in past military experience and current experience from DS/DD in ROTC). It was just a response to the "what do I know I haven't met all SMC alumni/ haven't personally been to a SMC" vibe I was getting from the comment. All in all though I agree with you.
     
  20. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,275
    Likes Received:
    212
    Sorry Mom, No offense, i meant those high on the OML will get AD
     

Share This Page