The Adventure Begins

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Future2LtMom, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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    My DS is a high school junior and is starting the AROTC scholarship application process when the window opens this January/February. We decided we wanted to start college campus tours and making contact with the respective AROTC battalions now, instead of waiting until next summer. We have a tour scheduled at his #1 school on Wednesday, and he was able to set up a meeting with the cadre's "Communications Officer". Wish us luck and pray that DS asks great questions and doesn't put his foot in his mouth!:rolleyes:
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    It's OK if he puts his foot in his mouth. They'll realize he's still a high school junior. It wouldn't hurt if he learned as much as he can about ROTC online prior to the trip though (if he hasn't already and I expect he has). This IS the time to begin visiting units. Over the summer it will be nearly impossible to contact anyone and the best time to visit the school is during normal sessions anyway. I don't think the window for applications will open until April, but maybe Army opens earlier than Navy... which makes a great question for your DS to ask. Good luck to both you and your DS. It's a long process with both the college applications and ROTC apps etc.
     
  3. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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    DS is already a bit bummed about this visit. He had originally wanted to meet some of the cadets, particularly MSIII's & MSIV's, but the officer said that it wouldn't be possible to introduce DS to any of them this Wednesday since they are in finals week. He really wants to get a feel for the "culture" of the unit and it's going to be more difficult to do that if he can't meet anyone but this particular officer. We have another campus visit set up in January for DS 2nd choice school, but still have to make contact with the ROTC unit there. After that, we probably won't be able to visit another school until the middle or latter part of April due to my work schedule. There are a total of 5 schools DS wants to visit (all in-state). Do you think that by putting off three of them until April/May will be too late?
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    No. You're way ahead of the game and yet right on schedule. He won't be able to start his application until April and it will take some time to get it all submitted. He can change the list of schools at any time (at least my NROTC DS could). Meeting with the cadets is great but I also think he'll find most of them very much the same. The kids all bond with one another, work hard, and have a great time. I'm sure there are some differences between each unit, but the real goal here is a college education. He should be making his choices based on that as long as he finds the ROTC unit "acceptable"... and I'd be surprised if he didn't.
     
  5. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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    Thank you so much for your input! I will definitely have DS verify start date of application window. Will keep everyone posted on progress. It's so nice to have this forum to turn to. We don't live in an area with a military presence, so our friends can't relate to what we're going through.
     
  6. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    There are very few "bad" times to visit a college. Actually, visiting during finals gives your son a look at the more "serious" side of college - when students are quietly shuffling between exams and the library. That being said, don't let that week's particular "tone" alter his impression of a school (this one being more serious than the school visited during a lighter time).

    About the worst time to visit is during spring break when the place is deserted - not that the campus is bad, but meeting professors or even getting a tour is difficult. So when you mentioned April, be careful to check the academic calendar before setting your date.

    My daughter and I visited a school on Labor Day (while enroute to her boarding school) which for this particular institution was actually a class day, but since it is a Federal holiday, the Cadre was not in the office. Actually, it turned out quite well, because Admissions set us up in the Cafeteria for lunch with a couple MSIIIs who were more than happy to give us a lot of insight into that particular school's unit.

    If you have any questions about school visits, please ask.
     
  7. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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    @goaliedad

    I hadn't thought about the Spring Break issue. I'll have to look at the academic calendars for the three schools that we are having to put off until April/May to find out when they shut down. If push comes to shove, I'll just have to try & take time away from the office during my busy time (tax season) to make the visits earlier than originally planned.
     
  8. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    You are doing all the right things...starting early...carefully planning your visits.
    http://goldenknightbattalion.wordpr...-i-knew-you-were-coming-id-have-baked-a-cake/
    I would also encourage you and your son to visit the Battalion's social media sites. A little research on the internet will probably give you a good feel for what the Battalion is about.

    I also feel that the fit with the school and campus are much more important than the fit with the Battalion. Definitely meet with the Battalion, get a feel for the unit whether it is by meeting with cadets or cadre, but spend most of your time exploring the campus and make sure it's the right place to be academically successful.
     
  9. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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    @clarksonarmy

    Will do on the social media sites. I read over the blog link that you provided. What would you recommend that DS wear to the campus visit tomorrow since it's not the official interview for the scholarship application process? The communications officer instructed our son to come to his office at noon since he will be taking a break for lunch in his office at that time. He said he would just give him general information about the ROTC program and what he could expect to experience. On the one hand, it sounds pretty casual. On the other hand, I'm not naive, and I know the officer (a Lt. Col.) is going to be carefully observing our son right out of the gate. He is also the person that handles all scholarship related issues for the battalion. So, should he go ahead and wear khaki's to this visit, or just some nice shorts and a shirt (it's Florida and around 80 degrees)?
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You can never go wrong with Khakis and a polo shirt IMHO. Khaki shorts and a polo would be next best. If he decides on T-shirt and shorts I don't think it would really hurt him, but it's always a good idea to put your best foot forward. Same for other aspects of the visit as well. You can only make a first impression once.

    I think my wife always insisted on Khakis and a polo for all my son's campus visits but she's into appearance. I'm not.
     
  11. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Oh look...another blog post that might answer your questions.
    http://goldenknightbattalion.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/the-interview/
    I understand this isn't the official interview, but if you know what will be looked for during the official interview this might be a good practice. Collared shirt and nice pants/shorts should be fine. Bring some good questions to ask too.
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Hey Clarkson! It may have been there for years but I just noticed the "Follow" button on your blog. I'm now an avid follower!!! Lucky you!!! :biggrin:
     
  13. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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    @Kinnem

    @ Kinnem: I'm right there with your wife! :thumb: My preference would be khaki's & a polo, but I didn't want to go overboard. Khaki's & a polo it is!

    @ Clarkson: Since it's only a "getting to know you" meeting, DS was going to ask things such as: 1. What % of your MSIII's & MSIV's typically receive their commission? 2. What is the size of the battalion? 3. Do you offer overnight visits? 4. How many scholarships (on average) are made available for them to award? 5. What are some of the things I can do that will increase my chances of being given an increasing leadership role in the battalion? 6. Will my scholarship application interview be conducted by you or by someone else?

    That's some of the questions he wants to ask. Also, he didn't know if it would be appropriate to ask about the cadets' OML ranking. We're definitely open to suggestions & input.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    They are all good questions that should lead to fruitful discussions. He won't get dinged for asking any of them.

    Just to prep your DS. My DS's NROTC class started freshman orientation with about 45 candidates. They came out of freshman orientation with about 35 remaining. Now, at the end of his first semester of sophomore year they are down to about 20. I think this experience in his unit is fairly typical. Some kids drop out and some do stupid things and are dropped. Some of them are outstanding MIDN, so don't think for a moment that only losers drop or get dropped. There are probably several ways they can answer his question about commissioning percentages, but your DS shouldn't panic if he hears a number like 50% commission. Also, he shouldn't take this as a reflection on the unit.

    I don't know enough about AROTC to guide him on asking a more meaningful question but I'm sure there is one. For example, NROTC Marine Option MIDN must attend OCS their rising senior year. His unit has 100% of attendees successfully complete OCS because of the programs they have set up to enable that. Typically about 10% of OCS attendees fail to complete it, so that's a damned good record. I'm not sure how one would ask this in the context of AROTC but I think you get my drift about the stats.
     
  15. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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    Wow! Kids were dropping out before they even got out of the gate! I guess it's better to do it at orientation, instead of later on. If I'm not mistaken, I believe the corresponding course for AROTC is called LDAC. They have it the summer before their senior year and it can greatly affect their OML ranking. Thank you so much for bringing that issue up. I will definitely have DS ask about the battalion's performance at LDAC.
     
  16. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    concur...all good questions. The equivalent to OCS for marine option would be LDAC for Army ROTC, so asking how the Battalion did at LDAC would be appropriate (how many overall "E"s, how many RECONDOs). Might want to ask about summer training opportunities (how many airborne, air assault, and CULP slots last summer).

    Last piece of advice...relax and have fun with the visit. You can't ask bad questions, and you should feel comfortable following up with questions at a later date via email or phone call.
     
  17. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    If your son is interested in summer programs such as CULP or Airborne School and Air Assault School, he may want to ask the following:

    1) How many from your school typically attend these programs every year?
    2) Do contracted freshmen get to attend?

    Make sure he turns his cell phone off before the interview (unless he's got a really cool ringtone - always an icebreaker)

    [I wouldn't have repeated Clarkson's questions, but got distracted by the phrase "cool ringtones" and lost precious minutes]
     
  18. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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    RECONDO is a new one on me -- I just googled it, though. I learn something new every time I'm on this forum. I will be sure to have DS ask about all these things. Thanks again for your time and input!
     
  19. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Well, the NROTC Freshman Orientation gate is very very narrow! :biggrin: It's my belief (based on no evidence whatsoever) that its designed to weed the quitters out. I know from son's experience that every attendee came face to face with the question "Do I really want to be here/do this?".

    Yeah, knew it was LDAC but I didn't know if there is a selection process (ie. some might not attend) or if one can fail out at LDAC... so I didn't know how to phrase a question.

    I agree with Clarkson... relax and have fun! I expect the people he's meeting with will have more fun as a result. And when everyone is having fun good things happen!
     
  20. Future2LtMom

    Future2LtMom Member

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    The ol' ringtones sent you down a rabbit trail, did it?:biggrin:

    I just want to make sure I'm clear on something you said - when you suggested asking if contracted freshman get to attend one of these courses, you meant that if DS is awarded a scholarship he will have to contract the summer before his sophomore year, correct? Therefore, if that's the case, he may be able to attend one of these courses the same summer he contracts, right?
     

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