The best Army ROTC Schools

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by MissIndependence, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. MissIndependence

    MissIndependence Member

    Jan 31, 2011
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    For all you seniors applying for the Army ROTC scholarship who are searching for the best ROTC unit we were in this situation last year. While my son was applying to schools I tried to find a list of the best ROTC schools for Army. Apparently they don’t rank them anymore except for the Mac Arthur Award which awards the top unit in each brigade. Unfortunately it isn’t always the same unit that wins this award. So how do you determine which unit would be best fit for your son or daughter?

    A year later I still do not know but I can now tell you that my son is a happy contracted cadet. It was a long road. He was awarded a 4 year scholarship to a very expensive school in New England. He switched his list constantly and told me it didn’t help visiting schools because he liked them all! One thing that was huge was the communication and advice he received. Also a big thank you to Marist and Clarkson for sharing their knowledge and updating everybody on this forum.

    My son ended up transferring his scholarship to the number 7 school he had on his ROTC list. He wasn’t going to apply there because it was too far away from home and he didn’t have a chance to visit it. He continued to get calls and e-mails from this ROTC unit. He ended up visiting the unit and got to spend an overnight with them. He decided to transfer his scholarship based on the ROTC unit not the school. He was busy in high school but even busier now in college. He is not my first to go to college but when I dropped him off in August I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was reassured that he made the right decision when I received an e-mail from the cadre telling me they saw my son walking back to campus that night and that he was making friends quickly. It was nice to know that someone else cared about my son besides his parents!

    I’ve read here on the forum not to pick your school by the ROTC unit but all my son’s choices were good private schools so the ROTC unit and how they ran their program was the deciding factor. A couple of days ago my son told me he was really happy with the cadre at his school. He was able to go talk to the officer in charge about his busy schedule and conflicts with sport commitments. Somehow they didn’t seem so complicated after talking with the cadre. Then the MSG, who according to my son had a list of things to do, cleared his schedule to give my son his APFT test for the month. My son was impressed that he could approach the cadre and that they were willing to clear their schedules and help him out.

    So I guess the point of this is that the best ROTC school may not appear as one of the top units winning the Mac Arthur Award, or the school that produces the most officers. I feel it is where your son or daughter will feel comfortable and be able to grow into a confident leader. It is also important to see if they are a host school, partner school or if your child has to travel. If my son had to travel for class or lab ROTC would not have worked with his current schedule. Oh, and if you are wondering my son is at a college that is ranked 25 most connected colleges and where he can sit in the library or his dorm and have an incredible view of the Hudson River! And yes Pima there is a “needle in that hay stack”!
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

    Feb 10, 2010
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    Great Post

    I have to second everything MissIndependence said. An applicant can put to much stock into what is perceived to be the best battalion. It is so important to look at all the factors when meaking their decision. Keep in mind that the PMS you talk to today may not be there next year. With each new PMS comes a new philosophy and their own way of doing things. What you see when you make your first visit may change with the Change of Command. My son (well actually 2 of them now) goes to a smaller public school, not a Tier 1, the battalion is smaller and not as promenant as some of the others. My son has loved his time at school and ROTC, because of that he was able to thrive, he finished in the top 6% on the National OML, I really feel he did well because the program was such a good fit for him. He had the opportunity to attend much more prestiges schools with larger battalion but chose his school based on the personal fit, he made a wise choice. Whether your school wins the MacArthur Award or not does not mean much when it comes time to branch, where you are on the OML does and I feel a good fit with the school and ROTC goes a long way to help in that effort.

    You get out of ROTC what you put into it, work hard, listen and learn and you will do fine no matter where you go.
  3. dunninla

    dunninla Member

    Jan 26, 2010
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    Indeed. I found our DDs PMS to be a great guy, and in fact had been award PMS of the Year in his Brigade two years ago. I also thought the Major who teaches MSIs was really solid, a great guy too. Then I met the Command Sergeant Major in charge of training the cadets for Ranger Challenge and he too was impressive. At ROTC Orientation the MSIIIs and MSIVs who stood up to acknowledge their responsibilities within the Battalion appeared first rate.

    Then today my DD calls to say the PMS is retiring. The thing to keep in mind in such changes is that when a great PMS puts a solid organization into place, it endures long after he/she is redeployed or retires. There is a culture, a set of expectations, a foundation of positive relationships within the University, that long outlives the person.

    I agree and third the notion that there is a very big difference between being a cadet enrolled at the Host school vs. being enrolled at a cross-town affiliate, unless the cross town is literally across the street. 60-90 minute rount trips 2-3 times a week can reek havoc on a young cadet's schedule.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011

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