Tough Decision Ahead

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Sroberts5, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. Sroberts5

    Sroberts5 New Member

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    Hello,
    I guess I might as well start off with a little background information about me. I am a senior in high school and currently accepted to ODU and VT. I was wait listed for UVA. Anyways, it has been my dream for quite some time to join the Navy. However, I recently received a 4 year Air Force ROTC scholarship. My nrotc scholarship app is still pending a decision, but I am seriously considering just doing the college program should I not receive a scholarship. I come from a big Air Force/Navy family so honestly I think I'd be fine with either. Earlier this year, I did the spend the night program at VT, although I did absolutely love the college and also have some close (civilian) friends going, I honestly don't think the whole VTCC structure fits my personality. ODU was less impressive, but I'd still be able to do NROTC and I could also commute as it is close to home. I know the decision is ultimately up to me and whatever decision I make, I'm not gunna look back on with regret. My question is if there's any noticeable difference between officers out of an institution such as VT and officers out of a normal college ROTC such as ODU. Also, if I were to go AF at VT, would it be possible to transfer the scholarship to another school such as JMU (cross town @ UVA) after my first semester? Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

    Best Regards and Many Thanks
     
  2. k2rider

    k2rider Member

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    This is probably not what you mean when you ask if there is any difference between an officer from VT vs ODU or other "normal" ROTC college but my answer is no, there is no difference. VT cadets do get a guaranteed active duty slot if that's what they desire but that doesn't make them "different" or "better" for that matter. There will great officers and not so great officers that come out of every institution and the includes West Point as well as the Naval and Air Force Academies.

    I can't answer your question regarding transferring while in AFROTC as I'm not familiar with their procedures.
     
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  3. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    If the OP chooses AF or Navy ROTC then Active Duty would be the only option at any school, a SMC won't matter.

    I agree with K2rider, the type and quality of officer you are won't be dependent on which school you attend. What's important is that you choose a school that you are comfortable with and see your self being successful. Choosing a school that is a good fit for what you want out of a college will giver you a much greater opportunity to do well in both school and ROTC.
     
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  4. sandnnw

    sandnnw Member

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    I think you are a bit early on asking for this advice. There are probably several thousand young folks who would love to be in your position at the moment. From your note, "...dream...to join the Navy," I would suggest spending some time with your family members who are Navy vets and ask them about becoming a naval officer. I also am curious, do you want to fly? What is your intended major at the big V? Where is the AFROTC scholarship? What do you think of a large vs smaller school? You mention ODU being close for a commute (are you sure you WANT to do that?) As well, if the "whole VTCC" doesn't fit your personality, are you sure you want to be in the military? I say this, not to condemn, but to encourage you to look deep into what you really are expecting from either an SMC/ROTC experience which transfers to any branch of our military. In my opinion/experience, and from reading others, the VTCC (or any SMC) "day to day" will only HELP you learn to interface with other officers/NCOs of all branches, its a huge network that all officers have to face in their careers.

    I do have some insight, as my son toured both UVA and VT, several times. He was rolling the Navy vs Army scholarship dice and Army just bit. I, being a retired AF officer, AROTC commissioned, talked to him at length about both and his brother is a 2/c at Navy. We've had many long discussions, both positive and perhaps challenging regarding all branches and he's spent four years in JROTC, finishing at the top, recently, as brigade commander. <--- yes I am tooting my horn as a dad.

    I too would have chosen VT over UVA. You ultimately have to go where you feel best, and this may take several more visits. Again, I'd look at your intended major, career goals and read/talk more on this forum. There are MANY great officers/cadets/mids & students who give very sound advice. But at some point, you are going to have to "flip that coin." What a position to be in! Congratulations by the way!!!
     
  5. 2020 wannabe

    2020 wannabe Member

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    James Madison University only lists Army ROTC and not Air Force ROTC. Don't know if that helps all.
     
  6. Sroberts5

    Sroberts5 New Member

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    So for a while, I've wanted to join the military, I still do. I've done 4 years of NJROTC. I know that is by no means any military experience, but at least it did give me a basic idea of what to expect. With the deadline for colleges coming up on 5/1, I really am torn. My AF scholarship is an In-State technical scholarship. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for it, not many people get that opportunity. I just don't know if the technical majors are of my interest any longer. As for the schools, for the longest time I thought I wanted to attend VT, even visiting last summer I loved it. However, this past week's visit I just had a weird feeling. It is a wonderful campus, but despite all of it, I just had a feeling that maybe just maybe it wasn't for me. ODU is closer to home. I could keep my job, and I could commute. I would have to do NROTC there as I don't believe the army fits me. I guess my biggest mistake was assuming tech was by and large my #1 choice. VT and UVA are the only schools I applied to that have AFROTC. Being wait listed by UVA, that means I could only use it at VT. So when it all comes down to it, I guess it was my fault for not having done my research properly. Without being too complicated here's my dilemma, I wouldnt mind doing NROTC at ODU but lately I've been thinking the AF might be a better fit for my future goals and plans. But to go AF would mean to study something I may not necessarily enjoy and to do the corps of cadets at VT.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    If you're not happy in your studies you won't be happy at all. Why were you once interested in tech? What changed? Are you perhaps just getting a bit of apprehension and cold feet?
     
  8. Sroberts5

    Sroberts5 New Member

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    Right now my major is chemistry. I enjoyed chemistry in high school and always did well in math and science. But my favorite classes were always my history and social studies classes. I feel like I could tolerate chemistry and I would probably try to pick up a history minor, but I just dont know if I'll enjoy it. Apprehension is probably the best word right now. To do something for 12 years and then to have it end in a couple months is honestly quite terrifying. You get used to seeing the same people in class year in and year out and soon all of you will be going your separate ways. The logical side in me says it'll be okay once I get used to it. Back in middle school I left my private school I attended from PreK-6th grade. I initially hated my new school and was upset. Six years later I love all those same classmates and my high school. So maybe it is just cold feet. But maybe there's some truth in my reservations. All I know is whatever decision I make, it's probably best to just not look back and not think about the "what ifs?".
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I too am a history lover. However, I determined I couldn't earn the money I wanted through a history major. I was pretty good at math and pretty logical so I went after a Computer Science major, and believe it or not back in the day I was still getting in close to the ground floor. :D I did take a history class every semester although I didn't pursue a minor. It sated my need for history. I have also read history books the rest of my adult life. I have so many my wife makes me go through them periodically and get rid of some. I've also "gone digital" to eliminate that problem. I don't think you can go wrong with either decision and I expect you'll successfully transition either way.

    Something to keep in mind... you didn't mention which option you would pursue in NROTC - Navy vs Marine. If you want to pursue Navy, they too will care what your major is when it comes time to award a scholarship or advanced standing your rising junior year. 85% of NROTC Navy Option scholarships go to tech majors. The Marines don't care what your major is - as long as you keep your grades high, stay physically fit, and continue to grow as a leader. My son was a history major and was commissioned as a USMC 2nd Lt. almost a year ago. Just want to make sure you understand the major issue with respect to NROTC as well so that you make an informed decision, especially as you think Army would not suit you and the Marines are somewhat similar.

    I really believe you're only suffering from apprehension and that you would do fine as a Hokie. Only you know the truth of the matter and can make your decision. Good luck with it.
     
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