The Future of ROTC...

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by jchaff1134, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. jchaff1134

    jchaff1134 Member

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    I have read many threads on this forum discussing and speculating on sequestration and various forms of cuts to all ROTC programs and I wanted to see if any new information had arisen now that we are (relatively) nearing the end of 2012 and sequestration has been showing up in the news more and more. Has anyone heard and/or experienced any disconcerting cuts to their ROTC program recently?

    The reason I'm starting this thread is that there's talk of cuts to contracted cadets in my program (I am an MSII on 4 Year ROTC Scholarship at a private university) i.e. contracted cadets on scholarship being told that there is a possibility that the Army will either cancel their contract/scholarship and do a "we don't owe you and you don't owe us", or that some will be commissioned into the reserves or even into IRR directly out of ROTC. Anyone else heard of anything like this happening? I know the military is looking to make personnel and budget cuts, but I didn't think it was going to get that bad for ROTC.

    Another issue in our battalion (and yours I'm sure) is the disproportionate size of classes: We have so many MSIVs this year that many will be serving as PSGs and PLs again. Plus, whereas usually we sophomores mentor the incoming freshmen, the MSIVs have been given that job as well (we have maybe 11 incoming cadets, and none of them above 3 year scholarship winners).

    I just want to know if any of you and your programs are experiencing the same worry that these recent patterns are not going to end well for the Class of 2015, 2016, etc, and see if anyone knew just how bad it is or if these rumors/patterns are actually less lethal than they look?

    Thanks to all for your input and for your/your relative/your friend's service!
     
  2. jchaff1134

    jchaff1134 Member

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    P.S.

    Also, if the admins think that this question is better suited in the off-topic section, please feel free to move it. I am new to the forums and just read that this ROTC forum should be reserved more for information to new cadets and parents and I apologize if this thread does not meet that criteria. Thank you!
     
  3. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    You have to remember that officer force strength in O1-O3 is very structured in terms of sequencing and timing.

    18 months for O1, then 3.5 yrs. for O2, etc. What affects O1, O2 and O3 right now might not affect O1 in two or three years. There is no way to know or predict what will be the situation in 2 years, other than that it probably will NOT be just like what your MSIVs will go through this year.

    Generally, OCS is the gap filler, and can swing wildly form one fiscal year to the next. ROTC in-college scholarship awards are about as unstable as OCS, and ROTC High School Scholarship awards are more stable than either, but less than the USMA.

    Much of what you describe is about the huge influx into ROTC in 2008, 2009 for scholarship applicants, and 2008 - 2010 for in-college scholarship awards. During this time, in-college scholarships were handed out like candy to 20-30 in-college students per year in mid-sized battalions. That stopped in 2011, and Your incoming class of 10 with scholarship is probably just a return to normal, and your MSIVs are part of a really abnormal time in ROTC.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    +1 to Dunninla's post.

    Yes, there will be cuts, yes they are re-aligning the program, but honestly, there is nothing you can do besides ride out the storm.

    My only different take on why we are at this cross road comes to our economy. Typically, they do what is called long term manpower goals. In 03, they never thought that in 12 we would be at 8.2+ unemployment rate for 41 months. They expected a % of grads to do 5 and dive (SA), or 4 and door (ROTC), they didn't. That created a bottle neck.

    They also didn't expect the DOD budget to be hit as hard as it was, thus they had to reduce higher ranks. The minute you hit the Field Grade, you have to hit Company grade, and that hits ROTC.

    The budget is going to get tighter, but as a 2014 grad, hopefully you will be sitting in a very pretty place. If history repeats itself like the 90's, your yr group will have faster promotion times and higher promotion selection rates.

    As far as AFROTC, dets are closing, there will be fewer host colleges. In School Scholarships are opening up again. Just realize, they not only stopped ISSP, but also canceled OCS for non-rated back in 10. It took them a few yrs to get the numbers right.
     
  5. jchaff1134

    jchaff1134 Member

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    Thanks very much for the input. I'm hoping you both are right and this has less to do with sequestration and more to do with the influx/efflux patterns of AROTC. I'm actually going to commission in 2015, so hopefully the system will be sorted out by then. Other opinions are still welcome; I'm still trying to get an idea of if this is exclusive to my battalion.
     
  6. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    This has already been happening for years. I'm a prime example!
     
  7. jchaff1134

    jchaff1134 Member

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    Nick, were you commissioned into the reserves or directly into IRR?
     
  8. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Nick was in AFROTC, they are having their own issues right now.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think what Nick was saying is as an AFROTC commisson, you receive a Reserve commissioning. This is not to be confused with going into the Reserves. AFROTC has always done it this way. Unless something has changed immensely he will still be AD, but unlike his counterparts from the AFA, and more like his AROTC counterparts that go AD, if there is a RIF in the future, due to the type of commissioning, the AF would have to cut him before someone in his AFSC that commissioned via the AFA.

    I believe for Bullet they changed his commissioning around the 7 yr marker. I won't swear by it, but I recall it had something to do with O4 promotions, you couldn't be a Reserve commission for O4. In his day, it was keep your nose clean, do your job and they will commission what I call "full" (no flaming ---I know there is a different term, just can't recall the terminology). In essence, it is the same as an AFA grad.

    It is not like AROTC in the manner some may be assuming, such as, he will go to the Guard He won't, he will go to an AD unit, just like the AFA grads.

    Caveat: Some AFROTC grads do go Guard, but typically that occurs if you bust the AFSC school, and are separated from the AF. We had friends that busted UPT, separated by the AF, picked up by their state Guard unit and went to UNT. They than served AD for X amt of yrs. with the Guard unit. They weren't weekend warriors.

    Nick is too young to have already busted Intel school, especially since he has yet to report to his school.

    I could be wrong, like I said something could have changed. I just know for DS's class (26 commissioned), not one of them is not going AD. 13 of them were non-rated like Nick.
     
  10. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Slight typo. It's 18 months for O2, about 3.5 (now) for O3. O1 is your first rank.

    The Army's ultimate personnel management goal is to get the O3 promotion date back to 4 years, and take O2 back to 2 years. It was this way before the post-9/11 buildup. At its worst (the surge years) the O3 promotion time period dropped to 37 months. Some of us made Captain very young.

    The core of dunninla's point is correct. Your MSIV class may be large. That will affect them much more than it can/will affect you. That has always been the problem of dealing with personnel flow problems at the O-1 through O-3 level. We can't just "turn off the tap" of incoming LTs because we need platoon leaders, and we need the old platoon leaders to move up, and we need a steady flow of year group officers for personnel management down the line. So they will likely feel the brunt of it (such as their platoon time being one year instead of two so each officer gets a platoon to the largest extent possible). You will not feel it as much as they will.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  11. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    ^ good catch. I meant "18 mos *as* O1, ...." etc.
     
  12. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    Into the IRR. Although I should have added that it is only temporary. This is a tool that all the ROTCs have used in recent years to save money. Although the AF uses it across the board, and I believe Marine PLC does as well. Several Army guys I commissioned with are in the same boat as me. But not all of them.

    The ROTCs suffer from budget cuts just like everyone else. When I initially started ROTC, I think the maximum time you were allowed to spend between commissioning and active duty was 60 days. Then when budgets got tighter it was extended to 180 days. And now its at 365 days. If even MORE cuts were to come, who knows. The waits might get even longer. Or they might just not ever bring certain people onto AD - I was told that happened during the big cuts of the early 1990s.

    Point is: have a backup plan in mind. Hopefully it won't have to come to that. But its always good to be somewhat prepared.
     
  13. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    It's been pretty common over the last few years that AROTC graduates have varied report times. There were 3 cadets that branched Aviation from my son's school last year. My son reported June 1st, the second will report the end of December, and the third will report April 2013. One of the cadets that branched infantry will not report until May of 2013. Others that graduated with my son reported early and others late.

    Nick is right, be ready for anything, you will find out your report date usually before graduation, and even that is not set in stone, my son's was moved up by 4 weeks before he graduated, others have been delayed.

    In this situation you are just waiting to report, you are not on permenant IRR. Once you report you will then start to fulfill your original obligation.
     
  14. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Jcleppe -- you may recall my DD is starting her MSII year soon. I was aware that commissioning and reporting are often separated by a month, or three, or even ten, but I hadn't stopped to consider actually planning for this Plan B.

    I assume then that when MSIVs graduate as new 2LTs, that often they must find gainful employment for an undetermined number of months before reporting for training (assuming their parents don't just absorb them back into the nest and pay for everything)? Who would hire a new college graduate who is truthful in saying they are really just temporary, and unknown if one month or six or ten? I guess a temp agency then would actually make sense as a backup plan. Does the Army/Navy/Air Force try to find temporary work for these newly minted junior officers, or is it more or less a "you're on your own, but don't start anything you can't get out of within a week's notice" kind of thing? What did your son's friends, the ones who were told to wait seven or nine months, do for gainful employment after graduating?
     
  15. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    I can answer from my current experience on the AF side:

    No.

    Yes.

    Most of us are working temp jobs (minimum wage in a lot of cases). Some people moved back home with their parents. Others started their masters (which the military doesn't pay for). It does take some of the fun out of commissioning in May, when you have to wait until November or March or April to actually "be in the military". But I just look at it as an extended summer vacation.
     
  16. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    ^^ That pretty much covers it. The other two Aviation LT's are NG which adds even more of a challenge since they find it hard to aquire a job the works weekends. As of now I think some have just taken the summer off or are finding as Nick stated Minimum wage jobs to carry them through. It is toughest on those that graduate and have families, they find it hard to make ends meet before they report.

    There are some options for AROTC Grads, they can apply to work at LDAC or LTC, some may be able to secure a Gold Bar Recruiter spot. This allows them to make some money over the summer to off set expenses while they wait to report.

    Dunninla, best of luck to your daughter in her second year, my younger son will be starting his MS2 year this Fall as well.
     
  17. jchaff1134

    jchaff1134 Member

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    Wow, thank you all for the input. I'm starting to get a better idea of the big picture, and I plan to talk with my cadre to see if they know anything more than what you have said already. My main worry wasn't being put into IRR, but being put into IRR for more than a couple of years or worse yet the Army parting ways with me altogether. I can deal with waiting up to a year, though it will be tough to find temp work.
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    To add on to Nick's post, something people need to remember is the other facts of life.

    1. Health insurance...they do allow newly minted grads to enroll into Tri-Care, but it is similar to the retiree system, you do not take priority at base hospitals. You also need to check if your current doc accepts Tri-Care.

    2. Loans

    USAA will offer a new commission a 1x only up to 25K loan. The problem is you have only a 6 month grace period before re-payment starts.

    Like Nick, our DS is at home currently, he has yet to receive his orders, but his report date as it stands now is NLTD 9/30. For others they have a Nov. date, that puts close to the 1st repayment loan date.

    College loans are this way too. Scholarships only pay for tuition, not R &B, some kids take these loans. You can find yourself in the same situation with the 1st repayment loan date.

    Kids forget to put this in their equation when they start signing their life away financially.

    The current AFROTC is like it was in the early 90's. The pipeline for entering AFSC schools is at a trickle, but it is better than the early 90's, at least for the rated commissions. In the late 80's/90's they did not go casual status for months prior to starting school, now that is common place.

    That all being said you have to remember in 2 yrs from now the military will look much different than even today in this issue, be it from how many ROTC units there are to school pipeline flow. I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  19. sprog

    sprog Member

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    When I went on AD years ago, there was some wait time (never more than a few months). I remember hearing rumblings about people not going for a bit, though. Thus, I made some considerations about what to do in the interim in case I didn't get orders to report for a while after commissioning.

    One thing I looked at, although in the end it wasn't necessary for me, was being a substitute teacher for my county. Nowadays, for college grads, I think that is about $100 a day (depending on your location). If you are willing to go to several schools in the county, there is always a need (you can get in a lot of days). You can always say no if you don't feel like going that day.

    No benefits, of course, but I thought I'd throw that out as something to consider for guys who haven't reported yet.

    I know that most people don't want to live with mom and dad after commissioning; however, in the end, six months (or even a year) is a short period of time. Do as nick says and try to enjoy it (without doing anything dumb, of course).
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  20. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I think this isn't as big of an issue as in years past. With the reform act, kids can stay on their mom or dad's plan until age 26. That would be helpful in such a situation.
     

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