Starting grad school "off cycle" for ROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by DrakeDargon, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. DrakeDargon

    DrakeDargon New Member

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    Hello all,

    I've done two years in the Army as an active duty soldier. I just got back from the desert, and I've applied for (and received) a green to gold 2 year non-scholarship. I am starting graduate school in January to pursue a 2-year Masters degree while doing ROTC. Given that my schedule is "off cycle", i.e. start in January instead of September, and also given that I start ROTC as a MSIII because of my previous service - how do I fit into the LDAC and OML timeline? Am I going to have to do LDAC this summer after one semester of ROTC? Is starting off cycle bad for my OML placement?

    Thanks a ton.
     
  2. sancontoa

    sancontoa Member

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    No, they will probably put you in as an MS2 cdt in Jan. Then you have a summer and when you come back in the fall you start your MS3 year, then you go to LDAC that summer and come back and do one semester of an MS4 year. You'll be a dec grad so you'll be assessed with the class you went to LDAC with.
     
  3. sancontoa

    sancontoa Member

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    Also as a prior enlisted you should be fine jumping into ROTC late. They might ask if you want to go to LDAC after your first summer and if they do turn them down, it might be frustrating having to wait a year to go but a lot of LDAC is learning how to play the ROTC system, which you learn by having a full ROTC year, and since part of your branching depends on how you do at LDAC its better to play it safe and go when your over prepared then try to get it over with quickly.
     
  4. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    I did the exact same thing, except I did undergrad and not grad school. Your first semester they'll probably have you take an MSIV level class, then your MSIII classes the ext year, and the second IV class your final semester. It will work out better for you in the long run. It'll give you more time to familiarize yourself with the way ROTC handles the orders process and the general flow of things. This is particularly useful if you came out of a CS/CSS branch like I did and need to play catch up. Also, if you need to boost your GPA it will give you an extra semester to do so. If your PT score isn't as high as it could be, it will also give you a freebie semester+summer before your scores begin to count for accessions. Since you aren't G2G active duty option, you have to compete for a slot like everyone else. PM me if you have any questions.
     
  5. DrakeDargon

    DrakeDargon New Member

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    I really appreciate the advice, thank you. I was worried that I'd get tossed into LDAC immediately.

    If I could ask an unrelated question ... One of my primary goals is job security. I'm a bit older now, and I want to pick a branch that will give me the time I need to get in my 20 (well, 18 now) years before I retire. I'm nervous about picking a branch like AG and then getting forced out in 10 years. I don't particularly want to start a new career in my 40s with no guaranteed income. What branches would you recommend to somebody who wants room to get to 05+ and put in 20+ years?
     
  6. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    sancontoa is wrong...you will have to do 4 semesters of advanced course (MS III and IV) so his plan won't work. Here is how we do it in our Battalion. MS 332 in the spring, next fall MS 331, next spring MS 442 with an emphasis on preparing you for LDAC. Go to LDAC. Return from LDAC and finish out with MS 441. We'll be commissioning two G2Gers that went with that plan in two weeks.

    He is correct about when you will go to LDAC and the implications with regards to accessions.
     
  7. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    That's a weird way to sequence the classes. I liked being able to take my III year level classes together because it put me in the same boat as my peers even though my grad date was staggered. It also kept everything fresh and condensed in my mind for LDAC.
     
  8. DrakeDargon

    DrakeDargon New Member

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    Ok sir, so if I'm understanding correctly, I will start school in Jan 2014, do 3 semesters of graduate school and ROTC before the 2015 summer LDAC. After that, my GPA, LDAC scores, PT and extracurriculars will put me somewhere on the same OML as the 2015 class and I will commission after December 2015 when I graduate?
     
  9. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    You'd be in the FY16 year group if you graduate in Dec '15.

    With respect your extracurriculars, you can also join the NG/USAR. I thin it's worth about a quarter of an OML point and it'll give you an extra ~300 in your pocket a month. Helps if you have a family and some summer training slots (Air Assault is all I know of) are limited to SMP Cadets through the Guard, depending on your state.
     
  10. DrakeDargon

    DrakeDargon New Member

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    Yes sir, I'm already on schedule to ETS in mid-January and then immediately do SMP through the local NG while I start going to classes.

    As far as FY 16 group ... How long will I have to wait before I go from school to a job again? And by "job" I just mean, "when will they start paying me as an active duty officer?" I'm hoping I'm not sitting around for months after I graduate waiting on the Army if I've been selected for an AD spot.
     
  11. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I have a couple of questions, then comments

    Who told you, or how did you find out, that AG has lesser job longevity than other Branches? I met a LTC recently who had transferred, against his desire, from Aviation to Adjutant General six years ago. Apparently there is demand for AG officers. Interestingly, he found AG much more satisfying and rewarding than he thought he would.

    What Branch sounds the most interesting to you?

    OK, you have more than two years to figure out the Branch you list as first choice during Accessions. So I wouldn't worry about that yet.

    There are those here who point to Logistics (Quartermaster) as a job that is immediately well paid in the private sector upon leaving active duty. Not sexy, but try winning a war without supplies being at the right place at the right time. Ask the Marines at Chison Resevoir in Dec. 1950 how much they would have appreciated winter gear…. hundreds died not at the end of a bullet or shrapnel, but froze to death.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
  12. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    Haha, you're preaching to the choir. Here's how it went for me this year (I graduate this month)
    Summer: finished LDAC
    September: counseled by PMS on where I stand, likelihood of being accepted for AD, etc
    ~Nov 20: found out I made active duty, found out I branched QM
    Today: Waiting to find out when I go to BOLC. Could be weeks, could be next year. I have no clue yet.
     
  13. DrakeDargon

    DrakeDargon New Member

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    The master sergeant sitting next to me in ACAP is my only source. I'm not even out of being lower enlisted yet, so I haven't had the opportunity to talk shop with many officers, yet. I suppose he could be wrong. Maybe there's a senior NCO equivalent of the Private News Network.

    I wouldn't mind any of the "less sexy" branches at this point. I'm more focused on my career and family now, and what's best for them is a husband/father who doesn't get downsized if the Army continues to shrink. I was just wondering if there was any word about particular branches being chopped up in the future so that I could make plans ahead of time. I suppose you're right that I have time to plan this out in grad school.
     
  14. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    So long as your GPA isn't poor enough to the point it jeapordizes your chances of getting AD I wouldn't worry too much about that. Most cadets are young with little to no military experience outside of maybe basic training/AIT. The most competitive branches are mostly combat arms. If you want to avoid them just rank them last on your wish list. The manuever support and effects branches (MI, MP, SC, etc) tend to be fairly competitive as well. The logistics branches (OD, TC, QM) are fairly easy to snag.

    e: Also keep in mind some support branches (MI and Signal I particular) get branch detailed
    to combat arms in significant numbers. This means your first couple of years you spend as a IN/AR/whatever Lieutenant and then move into MI/SC/whatever later on. I'm sure your wife is going to have a say in your decision making, so keep that in mind when choosing a branch. Avoiding branch detail is one of the reasons my top three were all logistics branches.
     
  15. sancontoa

    sancontoa Member

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    Sorry this was a little while ago as far as the discussion goes, but I probably should have clarified better I meant which year group he would be considered in terms of cdt rank and leadership roles. What I meant to say is that (at least in my old battalion) you would come in with a MS2 cdt rank (although he would be taking the MS4 level academic class), wait a summer then do the MS3 year rank. This would mean that although you are in the MS4 class, you would be considered a second year cadet and would only be given team leader roles your first quarter and would have a chance to get to know the system before going into the evaluated MS3 roles. This is opposed to someone doing the two year who starts in fall who would enter as a MS3 rank cadet and immediatly be placed into leadership roles.

    Also I'm AG officer and I've only heard good things about my job longevity. If anything combat support has way more opportunites for base assignments and different jobs then other branches, cause ever unit needs an S1.
    The wait time between commissioning and BOLC (when you start AD) depends of your branch and your ranking on the OML. I commissionied in july and will start in jan, but I've heard of LT only having to wait a couple weeks. The average seems to be 3-4 months.
     
  16. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    Rank among cadets is like rank among Lieutenants is like rank among Privates. You'll be paid the MSIII level stipend regardless of what fake rank they stick on you.
     
  17. ABF

    ABF Member

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    +1 to what sancontoa wrote. You'll do much better after 3 semesters.
     
  18. DrakeDargon

    DrakeDargon New Member

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    I really appreciate all the help, folks. You answered all of my major questions and I got a call from my OIC last night that confirmed your answers. I will be paid as a MSIII but officially just an MSII for the first semester. The only negative thing I took away from the convo with the OIC was that it's supposedly policy to "blend" my undergrad grades with my new graduate grades for class rank. Yeah I graduated college back in 2004 when I was a very different person, so hopefully the 3.0 GPA I had back then doesn't hold me back much now. :frown:
     
  19. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    The extra semester will help you as far as GPA is concerned. I recovered from way worse and still made the AD cut. Granted I had to pull straight A's (except for that one B. stupid math) for a year and a half to get where I needed to be.

    Something I did to bolster my grades was to use Tuition Assistance to take additional undergrad courses and them transfer them into my university. I was taking a rediculous amount of credits, something like 24 at a time, but it helped a lot. Tuition Assistance policy changes this month. If i were you, I'd see if you could use TA to register for some undergrad classes now while you're still active duty. Once the change takes effect you probably won't be able to use TA at all since the new requirements call for 10 yrs of service unless you entered the Army with a bachelors, no use on duplicate level degrees, blah blah blah. Focus on school and PT and you should be fine.
     

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