Texas A&M Commissioning?

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Soap, May 24, 2015.

  1. Soap

    Soap Member

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    I was looking at a video of the Texas A&M ROTC class of 2009 being commissioned. I noticed that there were only maybe 60 people commissioning. to my understanding there are several thousand cadets in the ROTC program at TAMU. Can anyone tell me what was going on?
     
  2. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    All Cadets do not commission. Just because you are a member of the Corp of Cadets you are not obligated to commission. It is the same with any SMC. The Citadel Army ROTC commissioned around 97 this year that does not count the other branches who commissioned. I think the total for the other branches combines were less that the Army total. The 2015 graduating class (Corp) was around 454 or so.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  3. glen

    glen Member

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    Looks like TAMU Corps is in good shape - according to the following news release, the commissioning of officers was the largest at the university since 1984:

    Texas A&M To Award More Than 8,700 Degrees This Month
    May 8, 2015



    [​IMG]Texas A&M University is projected to award more than 8,700 degrees this month during 16 commencement ceremonies held across Texas and at its branch campus in Doha, Qatar. The main-campus commencement ceremonies will be among the first public appearances by the university’s new president, Michael K. Young, who took over leadership of the university on May 1. Commencement also will include several new features, including presentation of diplomas by deans of their respective colleges.

    Eight commencement exercises will be conducted on the main campus during a four-day span that starts today (Wednesday, May 13) with the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences awarding its Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees.

    “I’m proud to join our faculty and staff in recognizing the accomplishments and potential of this May’s graduates,” commented President Young. “They represent our collective futures with their ability to impact our state and nation for the greater good. They carry with them the heritage of Texas A&M University. We wish them all the best.”

    The ceremonies also will include the commissioning of approximately 130 members of the Corps of Cadets as part of the 2 p.m. Friday (May 15) ceremonies. Additionally, midshipmen of Texas A&M-Galveston’s Texas A&M Maritime Academy will receive their officer licenses for the U.S. Merchant Marine during the branch campus’ ceremony. The number of students receiving commissions is the most since 1984 for a comparable period, with the newly commissioned officers representing all four branches of the armed forces.
     
  4. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    We tend to look at a number of cadets commissioning as a ratio of the total number of cadets at an SMC, but what we SHOULD be looking at is the number of cadets commissioning as a ratio of cadets who WANTED to earn a commission and achieved that goal.

    So if a school has a total of 1000 cadets
    > 200 of which are seniors...
    >> 100 of the 200 seniors wanted to earn an active duty commission...
    >>> 87 of the 100 earned active duty commissions (and another 10 earned a commission in National Guard or Reserve)...
    >>>> that leaves 2 that wanted to earn a commission but didn't...
    that would be a safe benchmark.

    It's also possible that some of the cadets who earned a commission in National Guard or Reserve were seeking that goal all along.

    We should be looking at the number of cadets who earned what they wanted to earn, not the number of commissions as a ratio of the number of cadets who graduated.
     
  5. Soap

    Soap Member

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    So it's a matter of choice? For example half of the senior class chose not to commission? So if you want it are you most likely going to get it?
     
  6. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    Scrubbing TAMU ROTC Facebook pages revealed the following numbers for 15 May Commissioning

    Army - 60
    Air Force - 41
    Navy - 17
    USMC - 10

    Total - 128
     
  7. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    A lot of people enter an SMC thinking they want to earn a commission, but then by the end of freshmen year, they changed their mind. Still more change their mind by the end of sophomore year. I wouldn't say "it's a matter of choice" so much as it's a matter of — are you willing to put in the considerable effort it takes to earn a commission? PT, leadership, character, attitude, GPA, athleticism...all with its own dose of competitiveness.
     
  8. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    So the same question that appears often---- If you graduate from an SMC are you guarantee a commission or furthermore are you guaranteed AD?

    This same question was in another thread being discussed very recently. I think I know the correct answer but a little doubt keeps me from replying because I do not want to mislead. I remember someone posting the law/title relating. So I will defer guys.....
     
  9. Cav

    Cav Member

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    The statute is 10 USC 2111a(e)(1). Here is the text of the statute:

    "The Secretary of the Army shall ensure that a graduate of a senior military college who desires to serve as a commissioned officer on active duty upon graduation from the college, who is medically and physically qualified for active duty, and who is recommended for such duty by the professor of military science at the college, shall be assigned to active duty."
     
  10. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    (Emphasis added.)
    The key word is "recommended." The PMS could, for example not recommend all 100 cadets in his charge if he is told by Cadet Command to send 90.
     
  11. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    Think about it. Let's say you go to an SMC, screw around for 4 years, get a 2.2 GPA, not be able to pass even one component of the PT test, not exhibit any leadership skills, are you qualified to lead our nation's soldiers in combat? If you don't quit on your own, they're certainly not giving you a commission.

    Now the reality is those numbers I used above are extreme, and an obvious example of what we don't want. But the thing is, there's a drawdown. The military doesn't have slots for as many officers as it did a few years ago. But the number of cadets remains about the same I guess. So what happens next? That 2.2 GPA I mentioned might skyrocket to 3.4. The PT test (let's say we're talking Army) might go from 240 being a reasonably acceptable score to 270 being the minimum cut0ff. Likewise, there are probably a dozen other criteria that will determine who of the large number of cadets gets a commission. It is competitive. Earn a recommendation.
     
  12. emwvmi01

    emwvmi01 Member

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    payitforward, I get what you're saying but I would argue the recommendation is for a commission not active duty. I am an active duty, combat arms (MFE/Operations) field grade officer with four combat deployments and I am not going to recommend anyone for a commission in the guard or reserves who is not capable of performing on active duty and I can't imagine a PMS that would. This site sometimes unintentionally tends to infer that because of the competitive nature of active duty that our Guard and Reserve forces get less capable officers. No one should infer that the quality of the officers in those components coming from pre-commissioning sources is any less than their active duty counterparts. In other words the recommendation is really a bottom line are you fit to lead Soldiers and if you're not than you don't pass go and collect a gold bar. My guess is that the recommendations to commission SMC cadets who fall below CCs cut-off scores tend to involve cadets who faced GPA struggles but are on a path to overcome and graduate. Quite honestly from my foxhole I have never asked a new lieutenant in any of my formations what their college GPA is so I don't have an issue with that. I think this system does lend weight to the position of the PMS at a SMC who is going to be a Colonel who has been centrally selected for his/her position and if he/she achieved the rank of Colonel was also centrally selected by a previous board at the O5 level for Battalion Command/Key Staff placing him/her in the top 25% of his peers at that grade. PMS slots at any school are hard to come by but by selection for an O6 PMS position that officer has passed through four significant gates and is probably (as evidenced this year) competitive for Brigade Command and higher positions.
     
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  13. Cav

    Cav Member

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    While I agree that all cadets should do the best they can in all facets of their training, I think your comment is misplaced. First, a student that graduates with a 2.2 most definitely get a commission (at least in the Army). The question is whether they would be recommended for AD, and that also possible.

    This is not the first post where someone claims that Cadet Command can direct a PMS to make recommendations only under certain circumstances. However, all of that is conjecture. Nobody has yet provided a written policy from Cadet Command regarding the interpretation that is often thrown around on this forum. Whether it's well intentioned advice or not, there doesn't seem to be any support in fact.

    Lastly, the current goal of the drawdown has nearly been achieved (sequestration may cause a further drawdown). The force shaping tools used did include some reduction in accessions, but primarily, it involved attrition and forced separations. The military wants to stay young and prefers to maintain accession rates if possible. Otherwise, you end up out of balance requiring rapid growth in the low and mid grades.
     
  14. SGTLee

    SGTLee Member

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    From an "old guy" who went SMP in the late 80's (yikes) at a state university with a very small ROTC program...and having learned a ton (can I emphasize "ton" please) from this board as well as my DS's entire AROTC/NROTC scholarship process combined with his subsequent acceptance to all but one SMC that he didn't apply to, and chatting with literally dozens of current/past cadets, a group of stellar parents, pinging ROO's like a mad-man (TV reference for an old friend), and applying the "spirit of the law" to all things in life....seems that the landscape remains the same as it was in my beloved era - You need to continuously perform at a high level, nail a strong GPA, consider your major as part of that equation, be as physically fit as possible and work to increase at all times, do well at all FTX's while learning as much as you can from your mentors, and also realize that this is not the path for all cadets entering the process so do not be distracted as peers seem less focused and/or withdraw from the Corps. Even with the weight of a strong SMC, it is really up to the individual cadet to earn that spot. Thank you again to all for the invaluable guidance as my DS begins his SMC journey. I look forward to sharing what I learn and continue to be the sponge seeking knowledge from those ahead of me.
     
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  15. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    You are absolutely correct and I agree. There are cadets who request to commission National Guard who are ultimately selected for Active Duty, or vice versa. I could never pretend to know what the Army needs in any given slot at any given time. I'm sure the best candidate for the job is selected as often as humanly possible.
     
  16. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    I threw this out there because as a parent or maybe even a cadet I think it is often confusing. Someone threw statute 10 USC 2111a(e)(1) out there in a topic recently where some folks were commenting attending an SMC did not guarantee a commission. And also someone posted an SMC has more commissioning slots than a non-SMC while someone else refuted that comment and said it goes by OML listing and slots at an SMC do not play into the equation? Since an SMC has a larger cadet body do the numbers just look lopsided and there is no difference?

    Seems I distinctly remember a post that stated, the last 100 SMC cadets on the OML were ranked lower than other non-SMC cadets in front of them and still received a commission (did I state that right) ? I understand a PMS has to make the recommendation or can not recommend. I think this did happen in a couple cases at my DS's unit. But are your chances for commission better at a SMC or not and why? Just curious how the system works in reality?

    And I agree the slot should be earned whether it be AD or Reserve. Definitely in recent years, as far as deployment and I imagine other issues the lines between the two have become blurred. Was Desert Storm the first one, where the line between the two kinda became inseparable in a lot of aspects?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  17. Texas Mom

    Texas Mom New Member

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    Mom of two cadets at Texas A&M -- one sought/got commission (and is now active duty), other decided he would not, yet is completing his Corps of Cadets time because of its long-term benefits (incredible alumni network being just one example). Corps of Cadets is not a life for ninnies or those who are looking to "get by" to get a commission. Two years ago, about one-third of USAF applicants at TAMU got a contract offer. This past year, almost 100 percent got a contract offer (including many who were denied the previous year). Corps at TAMU does dismiss cadets for grades, failing PT, being stupid. That said, I have never heard of a cadet in good standing aspiring for a USA contract being denied, although I'm sure it's happened. Some Corps members at TAMU select to not go ROTC route and instead apply for (and in every instance I've heard of) go the OCS route. They spend four years in Corps, graduate and then apply for/attend OCS. Those officers are not counted in "commissioning upon graduation" numbers, for obvious reason -- they didn't do that. They do, however, fall into the "military officer who came from Corps of Cadets" column. In every piece of literature I've seen, Texas A&M says it produces the more officers for the military than any other single university other than the service academies.
     
  18. glen

    glen Member

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    TexasMom - All SMCs have experienced a drop in allotted ROTC scholarships, so it is expected that the numbers will decreas as the Services reduce their need for junior officers. TAMU typically is among the top producers of military officers. 128 seems a bit low and probably does not include members of the TAMU Corps who will commission after graduation due to a number of reasons. At The Citadel, in 2012 there were over 184 commissions in the graduating class. In this year's May 2015 class, there were much fewer - only 148 this year from the Corps. This does not count the active duty MECEPS or Navy commissions, or Cadets who will commission after completion of required camps. I think this reflects the draw down in scholarships. From The Citadel News Release this May: "Members of The Citadel Class of 2015 were recognized for excellence in leadership, service and academics. The South Carolina Corps of Cadets celebrated the graduation of 430 seniors from 34 states on May 9, 2015. Of those cadets, 148 were commissioned as officers."
     
  19. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD Member

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    I believe that TAMU also commissions after each graduation, of which there are three a year; spring, summer and fall. That might explain some of the numbers.
     
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  20. majstlo

    majstlo Member

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    Lawman is correct, typically the Army commissions many Officers in the summer who have not completed LDAC; additionally some also have to attend summer school, The Citadel has routinely had 10-12 commissioning in the summer recently. TAMU does commission some officers at its summer and fall graduation but numbers I have seen are small, perhaps 15. The Citadels actual commissioning number in May was 154 with about 8 more in August from LDAC and at least 2 direct commissioning into the Coast Guard this summer.
     

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