Switching from army to marines...

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by sappel32, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. sappel32

    sappel32 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    DS has a 3 yr arotc scholarship. He has decided he is not happy with army and wants to be a marine. Does he have any options? I do not want him to bail out on his scholarship if there is a way around this. Appreciate any help/suggestions.:frown:
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    One cannot switch branches and keep the scholarship. Assuming he's a freshman then he can transfer with no penalty (doesn't have to pay back scholarship money). Not sure what the application process is. I believe if he has less than 30 credits at the end of freshman year he could apply for an NROTC 4 year high school scholarship. Alternatively, he could join NROTC as a College programmer. If he is just a starting freshman and can still change classes he might be able to make the switch now and keep up with the rest of the NROTC freshman academically. If he waits until the end of the semester or even until next fall then he might have to double up on Navy academic courses to catch back up. The Navy courses are different from the Army courses.

    As a Dad I'd be curious as to why he wants to switch. The grass isn't always greener, and perhaps its a case of the military is not for him? What does he want to do while serving AD? Is it clear that USMC is a better for for his goals?
     
  3. dunninla

    dunninla Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    5
    Can you be more specific? Army has 16 Branches after commissioning through AROTC. If he is attracted to Marine Ground, then Infantry might be acceptable to him. Is it the reality, or the image, that is motivating this desire to change? Army has Special Forces, aka Green Beret, and other units that essentially do many of the things Marines do, plus some. Is he attracted to Marine Air, piloting a fighter plane? In that case, yeah, Marines would give him more of a chance at that than Army would.

    I guess the only way anyone can help is to know more specifics about his dissatisfaction with being in Army ROTC. For example, did he learn that Infantry is a very tough Branch to get... that a high GPA is possibly needed? Or, does he have a conflict with the Cadre in AROTC?

    Specifically, what is his issue?
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,537
    Likes Received:
    837
    From reading you previous posts, your son is a freshman at Penn State.

    Since he is a freshman and a MS1 and a 3 yr AD scholarship cadet, his scholarship has not even kicked it yet. Kinnem is correct, your son has the first year to decide with no obligation to the Army, he can simply withdraw from the AROTC classes and let his cadre know he is quitting.

    As far as the scholarship, he will lose it as soon as he withdraws, there is No way around this at all. The scholarship is not transferable to another service. Your son would need to start from square one with NROTC/Marine Option. If you look back at Kinnem's posts your son will find that getting through the Marine Corps option is getting harder each year.
     
  5. bsherman92

    bsherman92 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Unfortunately no, there is no easy way to transfer. Given that he is already on a 3-year scholarship, he is contracted and obligated to a commission in the Army. There is no relation between Army ROTC and any commissioning program within the Marines, including the Platoon Leaders Course, Officer Candidate Course, and MECEP. Therefore, there is no possibility to transfer between commissioning sources without, in essence, starting all over. First he will have to deal with the cadre at his school and submit his intent to withdraw from ROTC while contracted/under scholarship. You probably already know the consequences to this: payback of tuition fees covered or enlistment, either of which is decided by the Army, not him. It is a toss-up as to which one the Army will probably decide on; I would say it is more likely you will be required to reimburse than to be offered enlistment as of right now. Whatever is decided, your son's options are further limited in terms of applying for a Marine commission. His only forseeable option is the Platoon Leaders Course, a 6-week x2 summer program that is basically OCC in 2 increments. As he is already a matriculated college student, he also cannot apply for an NROTC Marine Option scholarship, as those were intended for high school seniors. His other options are to enroll as an NROTC Marine midshipman as a college programmer (basically the equivalent of a walk-on, uncontracted cadet) or to apply for Officer Candidate Course upon graduation. His chances as a college programmer (a walk-on) depend on the unit and their vacancies; in this environment, it is sure to be competitive. If he's already in his second year of college (or farther), then he has a very limited timeframe to obtain a scholarship offer. PLC, the most viable course, is also a steep obstacle, because the major selection boards for PLC 2015 are coming up in just a few days, and unless he is able to gather all the paperwork within a few weeks, the competition in later boards will be very stiff (PLC, as well as all the other Marine Corps commissioning programs, have taken a very big hit in recruiting efforts). OCC is very much the same deal.

    If the scholarship is a big deal to your financials, then it is an even bigger gamble to try and disenroll. The payment and financial aid offered by PLC is measly compared to a 3-year ROTC scholarship (in fact, the financial aid is simply the Marine Corps' Tuition Assistance Program which is used by active duty members to take courses while on duty). As a college programmer, he will have to be offered a scholarship before getting contracted. Both scenarios are only possible if he is even approved for the financial assistance. The only upside is that commissioned officers who don't accept a scholarship to commission (like those who've commissioned through PLC) are eligible to full GI Bill benefits upon commission (their initial 36 month active duty obligation accrues full benefits), while ROTC scholarship acceptors must serve an additional 36 months of active duty service, beyond the service obligation of the scholarship, to accrue full benefits (essentially, their GI Bill was their scholarship, and their first 36 months is paying back the scholarship). This potential benefit is, I would say, not worth the trouble of losing a scholarship you've already obtained. Nobody here can really gauge your son's desire to switch branches, but these are all the logistical problems he will face, many of which may be too overwhelming for someone concentrating on studies. Best of luck!
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    I agree with all of these posts.

    1. The scholarship will be gone as soon as he withdraws from AROTC. Each branch has their own ROTC budget. Scholarships are a recruitment tool for that branch.

    2. dunninla gave a great piece of advice.

    Marines and Army overlap, just like they overlap with the Navy.

    Here's one more thing to add onto dunninla's comment of:
    Is he attracted to Marine Air, piloting a fighter plane? In that case, yeah, Marines would give him more of a chance at that than Army would.

    Tell him to think long and hard about this if he wants to fly fighters for the Marines. This is not an easy path. AF has more fighters than the Marines, and our DS is leaving in less than a few weeks for UPT. The chance of him getting a fighter is probably close to 5% from the original pool. He 1st has to make it through IFS, which has a 30% wash out rate, than UPT with about the same rate, and than only about 10% get fighters. If 100 start, only 5 will get fighters. We all want to believe the best, but you need to acknowledge reality at the same time.

    If he busts any part of this, the AF could cut him loose, or they could reassign him to a non-rated position. It is a risk.

    Finally, I suggest you look at this thread that kinnem posted a couple of days ago. The numbers are scary for MO

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=27603
     
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,537
    Likes Received:
    837
    OK, A couple things need to be cleared up.

    First, the cadet in question is under no obligation to the Army, he is not contracted because he is a freshman with a 3 year AD scholarship. His scholarship has not yet started and would not start until next year. The soonest he would be able to contract would be the start of his sophomore year. For the record, even a 4 yr contracted scholarship cadet can withdraw from AROTC anytime before they start their sophomore year with NO obligation to the Army.

    If this cadet decided to leave AROTC now he will owe nothing.

    If this cadet does leave AROTC he is eligible to apply for the NROTC M/O scholarship because he is not enrolled in NROTC, it does not matter if he is already a college student, in fact the NROTC allows students to apply for the Scholarship as long as they do not enroll in NROTC their freshman year. Since this cadet would be leaving AROTC and is not enrolled in NROTC he can apply for the scholarship. If he chooses he can walk on as a college programmer. PLC is an option, but it is not his only option.
     
  8. bsherman92

    bsherman92 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry about that; I assumed he was a sophomore or beyond.
     
  9. dunninla

    dunninla Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    5
    Jcleppe, I have read here that a college freshman NOT in NROTC may apply to NROTC and compete against the applicant pool of HS seniors... however, I was never clear if this avenue is just for Navy Option, or if it may include Marine Option. Are you sure?
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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

    Question that needs to be addressed honestly within your family is how the lack of a scholarship will impact your family.

    It is so easy to give suggestions and advice, but not one of us are footing the bill, taking loans or defending this country. I don't know your motivation, all I know is you said:
    "I do not want him to bail out on his scholarship if there is a way around this."

    That implies money is an issue. No offense intended, because money is an issue in my house too. However, the one thing I do know watching our DS commission last May, was the smile on his face, and him biting at the bit to serve in the AF. 4 yrs college is one thing, granted a big debt. 4 yrs AD when their life is on the line is different. Loans will be eventually paid off.

    Sorry if I offended, I just felt that the real question wasn't switching Army to Marines, it was about the scholarship. Again, no offense. I have had 2 kids in college since 2010, and will until 16, our first went in 08, so I get the money aspect.
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,537
    Likes Received:
    837
    To be honest I am not sure, I was just assuming that the NROTC and Marine Option were handled the same. I'm sure someone with better knowledge on that subject will chime in.
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    You are correct Jcleppe -

    From here: http://www.nrotc.navy.mil/entrance_requirements.aspx

    Since they discuss Navy option, Marine option, and Nursing option in other bullets on the same page it implies (to me at least) that this applies to all 3 programs, and that college freshman can apply for a four year high school scholarship for Marine Option provided they meet the criteria.
     
  13. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,234
    Likes Received:
    5
    I like questions, so I want to know why he wants to switch. What in terms of branch options does the Marines have that the army doesn't? Besides the Es spirit de corps and reputation does your son have a rationale reason for throwing away a scholarship many others are working extremely hard to obtain. He's a young guy and his opinion may severals times throughout college in various alternating forms. Please may sue he know what he's giving up because the likelihood of getting a Marine option scholarship is very low at this point.

    What makes him think the Marines will suddenly make him happy? What about the army disappointed him that won't disappoint him in the Marines?

    Pardon my grammar I am on my iPhone......
     
  14. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    312
    Sappel32:

    sent you a pm
     
  15. sappel32

    sappel32 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you, thank you...

    Your replies are so appreciated. Our household is in turmoil. We thought he had gotten everything he wanted...is it school/classes, homesickness, reality check? We are trying to figure this out. It is extremely hard over the phone.

    We're planning on meeting him face to face and trying to work all this out.

    In the meantime, I wanted to find out what options he has with regard to his 3 yr AD. Some of you are familiar with my previous posts and you are correct in the fact that he is a freshman, 17 days in, going through "something" that we are trying to figure out.

    We asked him to speak to the freshman cadre (not sure about the terminology).
    Should we as parents call and speak to this officer about what my son is going through? I think that should be our next step. What do you all think?

    Thanks again...will post again (feels like a soap opera).
     
  16. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    210
     
  17. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Sorry to hear you are going through this sappel32. And it comes right after you sent him off to follow his "dream path". I would be befuddled and bewildered too. I think a face to face with the DS is a great idea. I'm no expert on this but I wouldn't be speaking with the cadre as a parent, at least not yet. I think you need to give your son a chance to do this on his own after you have spoken with him. You can always meet with the cadre later if its necessary. Also, unless you think DS is going totally off the rails and ready to just drop out of AROTC, you have time to address this... and more time may be all he needs to adjust or otherwise get through whatever it is.

    Of course my advise is worth what you paid for it. I'll be keeping you and your family in my prayers. Please let us know how it all works out.
     
  18. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    811
    Sorry to hear about your son's situation.

    I think a face to face is key. You need to uncover if this is ROTC related, homesickness, a feeling of being overwhelmed or "buyer's regret" regarding the choice of University.

    You may want to consider speaking with a school counselor - school's deal with these issues all the time.

    I wouldn't necessarily be afraid of going to the ROTC unit staff but only after you assess the situation. It may not be AROTC at all. If it is, then some decisions are going to have to be made. Weighing a decision to go to the staff versus letting him work it out on his own. You have time.

    If possible (and the conditions warrant it) try to convince him to give it a semester.

    Best wishes to you and your son.
     
  19. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    35
    You are wise to have a face to face to discuss.

    Bringing options (if any) from this forum in your back pocket is a good strategy.

    You need him to spell out exactly what is wrong here before giving word one of advice or options, lest he drag you into his drama and use you as a crutch. It is time for him to approach his "problems" in an adult manner. Seeking out advice is good, but he really needs to have his objective clearly defined before asking what do do.

    If you want my $0.00 opinion of what he may be experiencing:

    1) He seemed (from your reports) very gung-ho on his way in.
    2) He got to first week of ROTC and discovered a bunch of folks who weren't as gung-ho as he is. This is very common as a lot of kids really don't know what ROTC is about before they sign up.
    3) He sees (or maybe talked to) a gung-ho MO cadet who seems to have it together like him. Decides that all MO types are more like him. (This may or may not be true, but the grass does look green over there)
    4) He has little patience for his peers in AROTC unit and hasn't figured out that his job is to lead his peers into being the gung-ho type he is.
    5) He has decided that MO is the shortcut to being where he wants to be instead of creating where he wants to be in AROTC.
    6) He has no idea how tough it is to switch and is looking for that "easy button" to get him into MO.

    If this is the situation, I think you know what to do.
     
  20. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Goaliedad, if your guesswork is corrext, and it very well may be, I'd opt for staying AROTC and let my gung-ho-ness shine though.... but that's just me. Besides, those Marines are just all screwed up! :smile:
     

Share This Page