Sports

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by equestriangrl93, May 16, 2011.

  1. equestriangrl93

    equestriangrl93 Member

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    I'm a junior in highschool (home schooled) and am going to be starting on ROTC applications (Army and Navy) soon. I haven't played any organinzed sports, but I am competitive horseback rider. I have won many year end awards and ribbons at local and state horse shows. I didn't choose to not play sports b/c I wasn't interested, but horses and competing on this level takes a lot of time and dedication. I know I will have a very good PT score. Will the scholarship boards take these factors into consideration? Also, is there one branch who doesn't care about sports as much?
     
  2. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Egrl,

    It's not a matter of caring about sports or not. We recruit scholar/athlete/leaders for the Army because the Army is a fit culture, that require fitness to be able to do our job. You don't have to be a team sport athlete to be physically fit. I think you will do just fine explaining that the physical component of your life is an individual sport or activity. I would tell you that the Army and the Marines expect a higher level of fitness, but all branches have a physical component to the instruction, and expect their leaders to be able to lead from the front. Your competitive riding also gives us an indication of your desired attributes. We try to instill the "warrior ethos" in our cadets, and two components of that ethos are "I will never quit" and "I will never accept defeat". I expect when you ride competitively you have a similar ethos. Ever looked at St Lawrence University for equestrian?
     
  3. gojack

    gojack ....

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    equestriangrl93,

    Having Scholarship/leadership/Athletic evaluated and assigned points, is done during the PMS interview. Being home-schooled, w/no varsity letters you will need to document your activities, studies, leadership well for the PMS to evaluate them properly. Interviewing w/a PMS at a school that has an equestrian program may be helpful.

    My son was very interested in Drexel and their co-op program, but the >20% 4yr graduation rate eventually changed his mind. (ROTC needs to be done in 4)

    Have you looked at the Army Free room and board list (here)?
    Both Drexel and Clarkson are on it

    Having no class standing, your SAT is going to be even more important.
    IMHO: For a petite 'girly girl'...
    A small ROTC Battalion, where you will be treated more as an individual-
    may be the better choice.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    As others have stated, it is best to tell them that this is the sport you have chosen. Not only do they like sports, but more importantly they like to see long term commitment. In other words, they would prefer to see that you have done this for yrs, and didn't just start now to fill in a square that has been unchecked for your entire life.

    Our DS did TKD competitively, he applied for ROTC and AFA. We were pro-active and had the Master write a letter to explain the intensity. The ALO was shocked to read that to do this he trained 20 hrs a week yr round, on top of his traditional TKD requirements.

    He also was a certified life guard, thus, we had his boss write a letter too. In it she explained what went into his monthly certifications...i.e. retrieving a 10 lb weight from the 10 ft end without using ladders to get out and within 60 seconds, plus the procedure of rescuing a body.

    Things like that will allow them to understand more succinctly that this is a sport. Our DD rides and competed Western, to control a horse at the speed they go during barrel racing takes great upper body strength, along with upper leg strength.

    You may just need to inform them of the athleticism that goes into your sport. Many people don't think cheering or dance is a sport, but an EC. Once they learn about the physical attributes needed their mindset changes and will move it over to the athletic side.

    Every ROTC is going to desire athletics. They may rack and stack it differently for their profile, but it will still matter. It matters because you will have PT as a requirement.

    You also need to ask what branch you want to serve in, and go that route, because you will owe time to them. Stinks to be on a boat for 6 months if you hate water.

    Additionally, it is important to realize that certain branches are more competitive than others for getting that scholarship. I.E., let's say the AF cares the least amount athletics compared to the other two. Theoretically, you would be better off going that route because your score would be less impacted. Reality is AFROTC is the smallest branch of the 3, with the smallest budget, hence less scholarships to spread around.

    Good luck. You are doing the right thing right now; being proactive and discovering how to navigate the uniqueness of your sport for ROTC/SAs to obtain the best WCS.
     
  5. equestriangrl93

    equestriangrl93 Member

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    IMHO: For a petite 'girly girl'...
    A small ROTC Battalion, where you will be treated more as an individual-
    may be the better choice.[/QUOTE]

    I'm quite sure what you mean't by this post. Please clarify so I can understand and don't have to make any assumptions.
     
  6. equestriangrl93

    equestriangrl93 Member

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    Pima,

    I feel that I have shown commitment to the sport; I've been riding English for 10 years. I ride 4 horses 5 days a week and compete on average 2 weekends a month.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    That is what I was talking about. You need to show how much of a commitment you have to this sport. It would be like getting Eagle Scout...you stuck with it for 10 yrs, yr round. It wasn't a try it out and bolt issue if you didn't care for it.

    Heck, if you want to impress them about how athletic it is, I am sure, like our DD, you have had to muck stalls and saddle horses tell them that. I know it takes a lot of upper body strength to lift a saddle on a horse that was taller than you or shovel crap for hours.:thumb:

    You don't have to convince me that this is a sport. I spent many of an hour at the ring watching how hard it is to control a horse that got spooked. A horse that probably weighed 5 times your weight. That takes muscles and instinct to get them back down. It takes dedication to get back up when you are thrown.

    My point was and is, that this sport is unique and people may assume that because they rented a horse to ride on a trail that it is easy, not realizing there are different levels. Look at the female riders re:horse racing. The reason it is male dominate is due to the fact that females traditionally do not have the upper body strength to control a horse.

    They def. will accept it, but it is important that they understand that this is not a seasonal sport. It is yr round, and it requires strength to compete, but also your training, which includes mucking stalls and saddling.

    That is why I stated you might want to get your trainer to write a rec. The rec can say how many awards you have won, but it should also state what goes into that training from a physical aspect. Don't let them think that it is all about dressage and jodhpurs.
     
  8. equestriangrl93

    equestriangrl93 Member

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    Pima,

    What a great post!

    It's ironic to me that you mentioned an Eagle Scout project. I've been working my Girl Scout Gold Award project since Oct. (I'll have it completed this July) and there have been lots of ups and downs, but I've stuck with it because I have the commitment and this project is something I'm very passionate about.

    Also, I have a question for you.

    I would like to continue riding and maybe showing after commisioning, so I wanted to know what branch of the service would make that the most fesible. It seems to me that Navy would be the hardest since I will probably be stationed at sea for months at a time. I've heard that Army posts have stables have stables on base. Are you allowed to bring your own horse or can you just ride their horses?
     
  9. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    equestriangrl93. I don't know what's implied either but I am pretty confident that it is based on zero and frankly isn't guidance I would buy into.
    You are going to be treated as a soldier whether you are in a large unit or a small one.
    As Clarksonarmy and PIMA have pointed out- the Army really doesn't have an institutional interest in the sports you play- they have an interest in what playing the sports tells them about you. Drive, perseverance, willingness to work long hours to perfect a skill, planning, ability to be coached and to coach along with physical fitness are all attributes of a successful athlete and attributes of a successful leader as well. Equestrianism can demonstrate that just as well- the only drawback is that lots of people don't know what it entails. So your challenge is to show them all of the things that go into your sport. So think about what the sport entails and be able to articulate what goes into training as well as competition for your sport, and then have your coach or trainer be one of the people that writes a recommendation for you. If you are really into the sport and continuing with it, as Clarkson suggests- look at schools that have an ROTC program and offer this. Good luck!
     
  10. Azmomm

    Azmomm Member

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    I know nothing about showiing horses but both fort huachuca army and davis monthan have stables available on post for your horse as well as countless facilities off post for rent
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Many bases have stables. Many people lease horses at local stables. The military, at least every place we have ever been does not have horses to ride for personal use.

    The only issue regarding having a horse is when it comes to PCSing...expensive to ship a horse overseas...yes, I know someone who did! For example, let's say you get posted at Leavenworth and after that tour they send you to Ft Rich in AK in Dec. You are not going to drive the Al-Can with a horse in tow when it is -30 degrees at night.

    You also need to consider that all branches may send you on an extended deployment. For example in the Strike Eagle community for the past 2 decades they have done 4 month rotations @ every 12-16 months.
     
  12. gojack

    gojack ....

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    I read a paper a year or two ago - that ROTC female cadet retention was higher at smaller ROTC units, of course now I can't find that study. I did not find it surprising at the time so I did not save it.

    I am very numbers/stats driven, I think a college that has a 80% graduation rate is a better school than a comparable that has a 20% rate. When half of all US college students are not completing their degrees, I think it is prudent to stack the numbers in your own favor. JMHO

    ROTC cadets do graduate college at a significantly higher rate than the overall student body, I am all for ROTC just from an academic discipline point of view.

    I am trying to think of a real life example;
    Which would be the more discouraging, consistently coming in 9th out of 10 on the morning 2 mile run OR coming in 90th out of 100? (Huge crowd ahead of you vs small group?) Hope that makes a little sense.
     
  13. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    My wife worked at the stables at Fort Gordon, back in the late 80's. I think I encountered a hunt club at Fort Leavenworth a few years back. There was a horse unit (the soldiers did demonstrations and daily shows) at Fort Hood, Texas as part of the 1st Calvary Division. There is an Army Athlete program that sometimes allows soldier to train to compete. We had an LT a few year back that went into the Vermont National Guard as a Biathlete. Spent his Army time skiing and shooting. I think you will have the opportunity to continue to ride as an Officer. You will probably have to have a good care plan if/when you get deployed.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Ft Leavenworth does have a hunt club, and actually on Sat mornings you can hear the horses and the hounds out. Fort Meyer in DC area also has horses. I believe Belvoir has stables too.

    The one thing to understand is that these stables are 1st come, 1st serve, thus, it is never a good idea to assume there will be room at the horse's inn!

    I know the AFA also has stables. I recall a few yrs ago a cadet asked if the 1 personal item she could bring as a Doolie was her horse. I am pretty sure the answer was yes. Don't know if she did it or not, but it was kind of comical to read can I bring my horse to the academy?
     

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