thought provoking article I came across

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by NavyMama, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. NavyMama

    NavyMama Member

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    I haven't posted enough to be permitted to include the link, but there is an article on chronicle.com entitled "The Few, The Proud, The Enfantilized"

    As I have on NROTC MIDN and one SA candidate I found this very interesting and thought provoking. I have several family members who attended and / or graduated from SAs and know many OCS and ROTC produced officers as well.

    Is there any objective way to evaluate what he says? I am afraid my son is the uber hard-charging alpha who has spent the last 18 years dreaming of attending a SA. He would thrive in the Parris Island meets Harvard world, but I do worry about him being disillusioned by the realities of SA life. He has multiple ROTC offers in hand. Perhaps I am just looking to soften the blow that perhaps he has been passed over in final selection ???

    Not looking to start a fight, just curious if others see any validity in this article.
     
  2. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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  3. NavyMama

    NavyMama Member

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    Thanks, DixieLand! There is so much info on these forums! Sorry I didn't see it has been discussed before.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Oh THAT article! On a side note, no one in the Coast Guard, or at the Coast Guard Academy refers to the Coast Guard Academy as "New London"... most of them wished they weren't there (New London).
     
  5. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    No problem, NavyMama! This forum is pretty quick about finding SA/military-related articles and most of them are posted in the General Discussion section.
     
  6. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    HaHa

    That author is very very cynical. IMHO he undermines to be self serving.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  7. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    AHH Tenure.:thumb:
     
  8. NavyMama

    NavyMama Member

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    since we are here

    I figured I'd follow up here instead of getting lost in all the debate from that October thread.

    I have read up on the author's cynical (and tenured) viewpoints. What struck me in the article was something I'm not even sure I can put into words. My son attended 3 summer seminars this past summer and really enjoyed USNA and USAFA. His cadet leader at USMA, though, spent a lot of time telling the group how to "get around" a lot of the rules. My son was really struck by how insincere this cadet (and through guilt by association) many of the cadre were about the honor code and their integrity.

    My son is super literal. Not that he doesn't have a sense of humor, but it is buried pretty deeply under a very serious, sober personality. He is a hard charging, go-getter, Alpha type and he doesn't usually put much stock in "traditions" for traditions sake. The Academies are steeped in traditions. Many of them are silly, frivolous, occasionally dangerous, etc. He went to JCAP at TX A&M, earned a scholarship and said it wasn't for him. He just couldn't get over the Midnight Yell and things like that. It was totally pointless in his estimation. I just want to make sure I am giving him the very best advice I can so that he will have all the tools he needs to make his choices.

    Like I said, it may all be a moot point because while he is triple qualified at 3 academies, he has yet to hear any good news. He may be better served at the University of his choice in ROTC. He has 62 college credits that would transfer that way. He might come out after 4 years of ROTC with his Master's. What would he be trading away going that way instead of SA? Prestige? Comraderie? Would he really be an inferior officer? Is the stress of the SA pressure cooker really worth it?

    It is hard to get people to talk about the pros and cons of the options without emotional debate.
     
  9. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Actually- I kind of wonder if your son is going to be happy anywhere without making some fundamental changes. To be overly serious, unmoved by tradition and intolerant of "pointless" tasks is a recipe for being seriously unhappy in an organization like the US Military of any branch - all of which feature large doses of tradition, and a lifetime of performing tasks which often seem pointless at the time, and which frequently accomodate members who may or may not measure up to someone's personal exacting standards. The point of many of the systems and traditions at SA's and SMCs is in fact to teach one how to function in a world that often doesn't give a darn about your personal preferences, to subordinate your own ego to the good of the organization and to learn to excel despite not having the freedom to do things exactly as you would choose. Those are lessons that you are going to need whether you enter the service from ROTC or an SA or SMC. If you can't learn to live that way- you will very likely be a frustrated and unhappy person during your time of service as well as an unliked one by your peers and subordinates. So when giving him some advice, given the description you have given of his personality, perhaps he really ought to be considering whether he truly is suited for a career as a military officer from any source?
     
  10. MaineGrad86

    MaineGrad86 Member

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    1. Bruno makes great points on traditions.

    2 No, going ROTC in no way makes you less an officer. In my 20 years of service, I worked for lots of officers. ROTC vs USMA made no difference whatsoever. All Army officers, once commissioned, go off to their respective Basic Courses where the playing field is absolutely leveled. I saw many USMA grads hang their hat one their rings......... without success. Both my brother and my wife (currently a Colonel) were commissioned through ROTC and are probably better officers than I ever was.

    3. There is tremendous comraderie at the SAs , as well as there is tremendous comraderie at the SMCs. So be it. Comraderie only gets you so far.


    The only "pressure" I felt was the waiting to get in.

    You do need a sense of humor though - the pressure I felt at the academy was during Plebe year while getting accustomed to the military. The academics and physical aspects weren't really that bad.
     
  11. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Bruno, that is the best description of the military I have ever read, really. It can't be improved on.
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Just some information.
    1. He has 62 college credits that may transfer. Probably most will but perhaps not all.
    2. One cannot apply for a 4 year NROTC scholarship if one already has more than 30 credit hours.
     
  13. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Bruno,

    Well said!

    RGK
     
  14. jomo

    jomo Member

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    Peculiar

     
  15. time2

    time2 Member

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    If you follow this forum for any length of time, you will find that professor tends to make noise in the media about every 6 months with some controversial 'editorial' type remarks. Perhaps this is how he get the media's attention and keeps himself in the news.

    Regardless of whether your son goes ROTC or to USNA, the endgame is still to become an officer in the military. That is probably the first thing the needs to be certain of regardless of the path he takes to get there.
     
  16. NavyMama

    NavyMama Member

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    1.Correct, there are a couple of classes that might not transfer, but the majority will. He's my 2nd to send to college on ROTC.
    2.Incorrect, one is inelligible if they have earned 30+ credits AFTER graduating from high school. It is illogical to punish a high school kid who takes college classes in order to be competitive for a SA. I know multiple cadets that have or will graduate early (saving tax payers considerable cash) or get a minor or double major if their MOS requires that they stay for all 4 years. I think they should change the wording on this requirement as there are probably a lot of very talented young people who are being told they are ineligible and are not even applying.
     

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