Switching Branches Prior to Commision?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by FloridaDad, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. FloridaDad

    FloridaDad Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is it possible to do four yeasr ROTC with one branch of the military and then commission with another? My DS has been told it can be done.
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    Depends!

    The AF is going through Force Re-Shaping right now. If they are RIF-ing officers and cutting ROTC plus canceling OTC it is highly unlikely that they will accept new O1's.

    Maybe for the Navy or the Army it is true, but since what I just stated is fact for the AF, I would accept the fact that they are not a player in this equation.
     
  3. FloridaDad

    FloridaDad Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    0
    What if the major was an area of need?

    Plus we are talking four or five years from now anyway.
     
  4. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,699
    Likes Received:
    450
    Why would the Army pay for your education and then allow you to serve in another branch? The answer is no for Army. Army really doesn't care what your major is, so there is no such thing as an area of need. We need mid level managers, and we'll find a place for you in the corporation.
     
  5. FloridaDad

    FloridaDad Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    0
    It was actually a former Army Colonel that was President of the ROTC board that told my DS its possible to switch commission. The information he received implied the receiving branch would pay the education costs.
     
  6. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    FloridaDad- I hate to say that the former Colonel is wrong, but I think that he perhaps was answering part of the question but not the entire one and there were one or two other questions you should have asked. Yes you can get a commission in a different branch from the one you went thru 4 years of ROTC and a couple of years ago the Army was actively soliciting AF and Navy officers who were being downsized to branch transfer. They are no longer doing so and at the end of the program- they got very few takers even in the middle of a war. The question you should have asked is: Why would the service that paid for you to go to school agree to let you go and why would a service already constrained in it's scholarship and assession numbers agree to take a transferring Cadet or Midshipman, commission them essentially sight unseen and pay for 4 years of scholarship for that unknown quantity? If you are betting on this as a plan, my honest opinion is that the likelihood of this is about the same as being able to predict the strike of lightning. If you are a nonscholarship cadet and you haven't contracted yet you might have a better chance of transferring and contracting into a different services ROTC program prior to commissioning but even that seems unlikely if you have gone very far along in your college career.
     
  7. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Service Academies do it by "trading" and finding someone in the opposite Service Academy who wants to cross branch. If ROTC did it this way then they wouldn't run into payment issues since they would get the same amount of O-1's they paid for. I'm not saying that they do but I wouldn't say payment issues would be much of a factor if they did it in this manner.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    I am with Clarkson and Bruno on this one. Leave the financial aspect of paying for college aside for a minute.

    The amount of havoc it would place on the system would be insane.

    First off, AROTC does not force you to go AD like AFROTC or NROTC, the SAs require AD and that makes it easier to manipulate. Let's say a cadet wants to go Guard with the Army, now you have to find someone not only wanting to transfer into the Army, AND in that branch, but also Guard. That is not an easy feat.

    Secondly, many of these cadets will have specialty fields, and they get their career assignment for AFROTC in the spring of their jr yr. From what I understand the Army doesn't hand out to ROTC until their sr. yr. That means the AF has already predicted their manpower and they don't like messing with things of that size unless they have to.

    Thirdly, the military does long term strategic manpower planning 5 yrs out. Look at AFROTC scholarships going out currently it is for graduation dates of 15...ROTC grads do not report until after SA grads, which can be 9 mos + (this now brings you to AD in 16...5 yrs from now). They know historically how many will leave the program and plan that number in now. Only when we face economic times like we have currently do we see them re-jigging, and it isn't to add onto the rolls, but to cut. For FY 10/11 they took all of that into account for Class of 15.

    Fourth, IMPO, probably the biggest reason why this would be a rarity. Every branch has OTS/OTC. This is the last prong in the system, and it is created to keep the numbers in flux. Currently, the AF canceled their last OTS board because for 10 and 11 they have enough officers. They can get qualified candidates through the system in months, thus, if they needed more candidates they have this option to fall back on. Now a cadet Class of 11 who thought they could do this, would not be looking at this option currently, they would be SOL if they thought that they would accept one ROTC scholarship over another, but be able to transfer upon graduation.

    Finally, look at it from a different perspective. Why should they take you over the OTS candidate? You already trying to dive on the 1st branch you promised to stay with for 4 yrs, and that was with them financially investing in your education.

    Branches don't like doing this to other branches because it creates a spirit of competition and pilfering. The AF would be mad at the Army if they took their cadets, and the Army would be mad at the AF, thus, they try to keep that to a non-playing issue.

    If you are unsure of the branch, it may be wise to do an in college scholarship and 1st try out the branch as a freshman to see if you want that service.

    Look at choosing any branch as you would at buying a house if you have children. You buy the house because where they attend school, not with the hopes that they can cross district lines and attend a different school.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011

Share This Page