Study abroad during AROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by BigBillNY, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. BigBillNY

    BigBillNY Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    My DS had his AROTC interview last week with the PMS and it went really well. Thanks to everyone on this forum for all the advice and tips. It really helped and my DS appreciates it.

    During the interview, the PMS asked if my son had any questions and he inquired about a study abroad for one semester. He is looking to be a business major and a little international exposure would help his degree program. The PMS discouraged my DS and stated, in sum and substance, "Why would you do a semester abroad? Do you want to to go Active Duty?" He implied that if he took a semester abroad it would screw him up. Meanwhile, the college actively encourages its students to go abroad for at least one semester.

    Has this happened before to anyone? Do other PMS discourage students from taking a semester abroad?

    Thanks again for any advice!!!
     
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    That seems like an odd reply from the PMS, there were at least 3 cadets in my son's battalion that did Study Abroad for one semester, all received active duty, one was the #2 cadet in the nation last year, Study Abroad sure didn't hurt any of them.

    Most comments on this board about Study Abroad mentioned that their PMS was very supportive. Remember, that the Study Abroad needs to be part of the students major.
     
  3. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    I do remember seeing that it was supposed to be sophomore yr and not junior yr if possible.
     
  4. nofodad

    nofodad Member

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    Vista that was my DS' experience. PMS was very supportive. DS' battalion policy is/was study abroad is MSII year too much going on for MSIIIs. Downside for doing it MSII year is that many study abroad courses are designed for juniors and are generally 300 level courses so what one can take sometimes is limited.
     
  5. AROTC Parent

    AROTC Parent Member

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    Semester Abroad During AROTC

    At my now 2LT's - ROTC unit is was not encouraged. They made it difficult to complete the ROTC required courses during the semester abroad or to make them up while on campus.

    The Cadet Command Regulations allow it but it is dependent on the ROTC unit.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I don't think they were trying to sway him, but I can see why he asked the question. If he intends to go AD than that semester abroad is not going to make him a better officer.
    ~ I am not sure how a semester abroad would assist in his degree program. Will it give him a unique perspective on how other countries are, but not much more IMPO. No flaming...just my opinion.

    My DS was AFROTC, and they too were not gung ho about cadets going abroad, especially the spring of their sophomore year, which was the popular semester to go abroad. It had to do with training for the summer and paperwork that is time sensitive.

    Our DS decided to intern than do any type of semester away because of the old adage....out of sight, out of mind. He would not have any ROTC position if he was not at the school and for AFROTC, the CoCs rec/rank is 40% of their OML. That is something you might want to investigate from an AROTC POV.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    With the big push the Army has now to send as many cadets they can to CULP, it seems odd that there would be any push back for Study Abroad. The Army seems to see great value in having it's future officers experience different cultures.

    At my son's school the International Relations/Studies requires a semester of Study Abroad, the ROTC battalion has always encouraged and supported this and has made adjustments for the cadets. None of these cadets had any trouble catching up when they returned, most were at the top of the battalion OML. As I mentioned above, one of the cadets graduated #2 in the National OML.

    It's interesting to see how this is handled by different Battalions, son's school is smaller with a smaller battalion, not sure if that makes a difference.
     
  8. paradoxer

    paradoxer Member

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    Humans are funny things

    Maybe because of CULP there is a lesser need to study abroad in some minds.

    Or just bank on the fact that the PMS who did the interviewing will be gone soon and the next one will think it's just fine and dandy.
     
  9. armydaughter

    armydaughter Member

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    Or even senior year. In my son't battalion, there was a group of seniors who did first semester abroad and then stepped right into leadership positions when they got back. The thinking is that everything you can do to influence your OML rank is done after LDAC.
     
  10. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    My thoughts as well. We even try to bring in reps from the study abroad office on campus to talk to MS1's and MS2's about going abroad. I think traveling abroad, either through study abroad, CULP, or personal travel, is extremely beneficial.

    If you fulfill everything required of you by ROTC and desire to study abroad, go for it, don't worry about cadre dissuading you. The PMS maybe doesn't see value in students studying abroad, or it could be because it may alter your commissioning date and that would affect his mission set. They have a certain number of cadets they need to commission per year and they are tracking each MS class from the start.

    If you want to do it, do it.
     
  11. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I see the other posters answered the question about whether or not other PMS discourage study abroad.

    The PMS who interviewed your son is most likely either:

    -ignorant of the fact that he or another member of the cadre can work with a cadet outside of the normal classroom and lab meeting times to fulfill the training requirements of a cadet,

    or, more likely,

    -just plain lazy, because it means he or another member of the cadre will have to go a little out of their way to make sure the cadet fulfills that semester's class and lab requirements.

    Assuming your son is able to join ROTC, let him know that he will run across many lazy people in this world, including those who are serving out country as career officers. With perseverance he should be able to press the issue and get what he needs. The sad thing is the Army is very serious about future officers getting outside-of-US hands on cultural and language experience, so this particular PMS seems to be out of the loop on the current Army priorities with training.

    The notion that ROTC cadets would be advised to not take a semester abroad is just so wrong headed it baffles me.

    Next he'll say the Army discourages technical degrees. :tank:


    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  12. nofodad

    nofodad Member

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    +1 dunninla. DS did independent study to fulfill second semester MSII requirements while abroad.
     
  13. philmont

    philmont Member

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    Yep. Our DS is studying abroad this semester. Army MS IV, contracted with scholarship at SMC. Many other contracted Cadets from his school are also studying abroad in various countries.
     

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