Unexpected Consequences of Cut-Backs as an ROTC Cadet

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by patentesq, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I'm trying to get a handle on what the risks are to ROTC Scholarship students as an enrolled cadet (non-SMC) and hope that folks can shed some light here.

    In AFROTC, it is my understanding that the Air Force made an unexpected cut-back last year on the number of cadets who could attend Summer Field Training (fewer slots were offered than the number of students on scholarship). The practical result of this means that those scholarship students not selected from SFT lost their scholarships (had to pay full tuition for junior and senior years), but did not have to reimburse the AF for the prior tuition payments.

    Are there similar potential traps for AROTC and NROTC scholarship students? Or is it basically that if you do what is required in AROTC and NROTC as a cadet (and don't get medically DQ'd), you will likely earn a commission in the end? I understand that the whole question of whether you are given an active-duty slot is an entirely different question, but I'm trying to determine whether AROTC and NROTC cadets on scholarship have to worry about losing their scholarships for budget problems in Congress, like their colleagues in AFROTC do.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.
     
  2. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Not seeing that risk with AROTC...for one thing there will be less Cadets on scholarship, so I don't think they will cut to that level. Additionally, you don't go to camp until Junior year, so you are one year further than AF in that respect. Finally, I have not heard anything regarding reducing our mission. We still need 5300+ LT's a year, so I just don't see this happening with the Army (yet).
     
  3. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    This is actually a HUGE benefit of AROTC over AFROTC. It seems that AROTC plans better on the front end than either mid-stream or the back end. This is likely because the Army is so much larger than the Air Force in terms of headcount (there is larger room for error in the Army compared to the AF in terms of meeting annual budget demands).
     
  4. VAMOM2015

    VAMOM2015 Member

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    Thanks for the information. I just found out about the AFROTC situation last night. My friend's son just finished his first year on AFROTC scholarship and told her about one of the cadets (2nd year) losing his scholarship. Friend's son is worried about his scholarship. He says that it is effecting cadets in non-technical majors (and friend's son is non-technical major). I was amazed that it happened so I came here to search for answers.

    Glad AROTC isn't seeing the same issues! Thanks for the great information!
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    VAMOM,

    A lot goes into the SFT selection process for AFROTC. It is very similar to the scholarship process, but now it includes different acronyms that they are using.

    GPA
    Rank (within the det)
    PFT
    AFOQT
    Jobs (within the det)

    The scholarship min I believe is 2.8, but anyone in AFROTC will tell you tech or non-tech that this gpa will not get you a SFT slot....try 3.2 for tech or 3.4 non-tech.

    Techs, usually get a higher AFOQT score because it is sim. to the Science portion of the ACT. These students are taking math and science classes, thus it becomes easier for them to score higher than the non-tech. It also explains why non-techs need higher gpas, to offset the lower AFOQT.

    I would say to my friend that being a non-tech is not the kiss of death, and that the AF isn't targeting them, it is like the scholarship process, done from a national perspective, every cadet gets scored and if they have 1000 slots, the top 1000 with the highest score gets it regardless of the major.

    If her DS has:
    1. GPA over 3.4 attending a traditional college, obviously a 3.4 at Princeton is different than a 3.4 at VT...no insult to VT, just acknowledging the academic stature of each regarding ranking.
    2. PFT in the 97+ range
    3. Held jobs in the det.
    ~ Belongs to a military fraternity like AAS, Angel Air or HG
    4. Ranked top 1/3 in det.
    5. Pulls a 90+ on AFOQT

    He should feel confident that he will get SFT as a non-tech major. Her DS should know all of the answers, but number 5, because they now give the AFOQT Fall C200 yr. If Math AND Science are his weaknesses he should study the AFOQT during these next few months. If he has ppl hours he will be fine even without studying.

    OBTW, that AFOQT may also be a factor later on if he wants a rated position.


    Finally, one thing to realize is that the last few yrs for AFROTC the AF has been playing catch up, due to manpower issues. The theory is that they are now back on track.

    HOWEVER, nobody here can predict what the budget will be like for 2011/12 which is where the funds for SFT will come from. When Adm. Mullen says pay and bennies are on the table for AD members, ROTC cadets should realize that things can change for them too. If the DoD determines that the Army has to reduce manpower, ROTC will take a hit.

    The reason why is that the military really is a downhill atmosphere. They have a certain % set for officers to enlisted. Flag (gens) to Field (O-4 - O-6), Field to Company. If the Company grade aren't diving because of the economy, than they need to slow the pipeline of new officers (WP, ROTC, OCS). To do that they have the option that the AF implemented...reduce SFT, cancel OCS and RIF.

    The AF has always been the 1st to go through this process, this was true after Vietnam, Gulf I and now. The reason why is easy to see if you follow the military. AF goes in 1st, and leaves 1st during any operation, usually Navy is also there with them. Army hitches a ride with the AF. Once the area is controlled they pull back their assets. Hence, they are the branch that is not operational compared to the Navy or the Army, and take the cuts 1st. I remember the 91 RIF. AF was 91, shortly after the Gulf ended they announced the cuts. Navy was 91/92, and Army was 92/93. This current economy and military situation mimics that era.

    AFROTC started cutting back in 08/09, but have leveled off now. AROTC this past yr for incoming classes were drastically reduced. I would bet my very last dollar that if we leave AFghanistan and Iraq by next yr., you will see AROTC doing the AFROTC route. Economy in the tanks, and too many troops = cutting. The signs are already there based on the delays of the AROTC scholarship board, and posters like Marist and Clarkson saying they have far fewer incoming cadets on scholarship compared to previous yrs. The only reason I would back away from that bet is that AROTC does not require AD, whereas AFROTC does, reservist or guard is not an option as a newly graduated scholarship recipient.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  6. Packer

    Packer Member

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    The following is from communication with the Commander at Texas A&M.

    This sounds like ACT/SAT scores may be used in lieu of the AFOQT.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Packer,

    The AFOQT use to be given C100, it was only in 09 or 10 that they moved it to C200. C200's passed over may have taken the AFOQT, while at the same time new C200's had yet to take it. Thus, they used both, basically transition. I would be surprised for 2015 that they take both scores, since now every AFROTC unit will be on the same page (including the C200 passed over, but eligible to fight for the SFT)


    3.02 for Texas A&M sounds right because they also offer one thing that only 7 universities in the nation offers...Corps. I would guess that they are like VT. For new posters Corps is not ROTC, it means you have to dedicate even more time away from studying.

    Attend UNCCH, you will not have a Corps, you will be a cadre, attend VT you will be in the cadre and Corp. Hit me 1000 times with a wet spaghetti noodle if I am incorrect.

    You can be in Corps, but not ROTC, yet you can't be in ROTC without being in the Corps.

    This is why it is really important to talk to the CoC prior to deciding where to attend. They are all going to do the dog and pony show, but if you listen closely you can sort out facts from BS.

    There are certain colleges, mostly from the east coast, that without a doubt would feel safe regarding sending an AFROTC cadet to, and some that I would say, "Unless they would love living at other colleges I wouldn't send my kid if their desire was to get their career field". Honestly, in VA, everyone would say academically UVA should be their number 1 choice. If their goal is a strong academic program, but stronger military program, I would say UVA and VT are total opposites of the spectrum regarding everything, yet both have AFROTC. VMI is unique, so it is not in my equation.

    People wonder why I am still here since DS will be commissioned in 12. I am here because I walked in deaf, dumb and blind when he accepted his AFROTC scholarship. Believing all he had to do to keep it was maintain a 2.8 cgpa.

    What I learned was IMPO AFROTC shades the truth.

    Bullet was a scholarship recipient in the late 80's, a cadet that loss his scholarship because of gpa, but he still got commissioned, and a rated slot.

    Now a days that would never ever happen.

    As Packer stated the national avg is 3.22 for Tech majors. Think about it that is 0.4 higher than the min for the scholarship. 2.0 is not about the scholarship, but SFT.

    Do the math. 3.0 cgpa freshman yr, would mean that fall semester soph would need a 3.6 to be competitive from a non-corps college. That is for Tech, Non-tech, it is even harder. Board meets spring semester soph yr.

    Honestly, what you are reading is scarier than reality, but IF a cadet thinks that 2.8 is their bar to pass, iMPO they will find out at the end of their freshman yr they just screwed the pooch! They will spend their rising sophomore yr calculating what they need to carry, working out to score the max on the PFT, and hoping that it is enough. They will also spend the time trying to figure out how to make up the fiscal difference if they lose the scholarship.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  8. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Glad your here to help those of us that are still naive.

    I was surprised when the commander stated that the ACT/SAT was used as a factor. He says that the factors and weights are under review.

    Pima: Your prediction is that the SAT/ACT will no longer be one of the factors?
     
  9. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Absolutely true! Tech majors, non tech majors, scholarship and non-scholarship students all need to be at the very top of their game through their freshman year and first semester of the junior year when competing for an Air Force SFT slot. I don't know what will happen next year or the year after, but if you are currently a C100 or C200 and serious about earning an Air Force commission from a non SMC program...this is definitely NOT the time cut back on your studying and contributions/involvement with your Detachment....the number of people NOT selected for SFT the past two years was ugly.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Packer, I do not sit on the boards, this is JMPO, from 4 yrs as an AFROTC scholarship cadet. AGAIN, JMPO!

    I believe that since they changed the AFOQT from C100, to C200 they needed to use other factors, i.e. SAT/ACT...remember some cadets walk on soph yr. That means to me for a few yrs they need to use other scores to "capture" those who missed the AFOQT in the old program.

    I would suspect by end of next yr, they will go back to the AFOQT scenario.

    Agagles,

    I so heartily agree with you.

    I will say this if you want that dream job for AFROTC; it is 4 yrs of balancing your education and ROTC.

    IMPO from an AFROTC pov, college merit scholarships are easier to keep/maintain than an AFROTC scholarship.

    IF you walk in thinking that all you need to do to keep an AFROTC scholarship is to maintain the 2.8 min., tech or non-tech; I suggest you find a fiscal back up plan for jr/sr yr. I am not exxagerating. I am not blustering. I am being up front and honest. End of subject. period, dot.

    I have always stated this, but again it needs to be repeated. The scholarship board will feel like you have been put through Hades and back. However, just wait 2 more yrs. That SFT board will really matter because now you are tied to the college and your career.

    Wait one more yr after that because now it is 4 yrs 40 hrs a week/52 weeks a yr.

    Just wait, you will be me, and with each yr say "Oh Sheaat!"

    PS...if AG would just post more often I would disappear. He is the true go to person. I don't know another poster that has not only an AFA cadet, but a AFROTC cadet. On top of that he has a DS and a DD. You ask it for AFROTC and AFA he has lived it.!
     
  11. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Ahhhh shucks!:redface:
    Seriously there is no substitution for the experience you bring to these forums. I know your advice has certainly helped my children and I tremendously over the last couple of years. Keep up the good work!:thumb:
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Off topic, but on topic kind of...has anyone heard if they are doing the OCS board this July...I remember last yr they canceled it around this time. Also, I can't remember are they going to have an IS scholarship board this yr or not? LY it was canceled. Maybe they haven't announced yet since that would be for FY 11/12.

    The reason I wonder about this, is that it would infer to me what the % for SFT will be coming down regarding AFROTC for next yr. and how many scholarships might be coming out next yr.

    No OCS board would imply that they still have enough personnel for 2012 commissioning. Opening up the IS scholarships would mean good news for C100/200's regarding the % for SFT. Granted the AF will never be like the Army where 100% go to LDAC, but it would probably go back to a 60-65%, which is better than @50%.

    This also ties into why AFROTC cadets do overseas semesters, but they time it properly and far fewer do it than AROTC, just due to the fact that 100% go LDAC as rising srs, compared to 50% as rising jrs for AFROTC. That means for fall soph yr you want to be on campus, and going freshman yr is really not an option. That leaves fall jr. because spring jr is your last push before the AFSC. (If you want rated you take the TBAS the semester before the board). The other option is fall Sr yr.
     
  13. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 Member

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    A while back our cadre said that in-college would be coming back next Spring. As for if it would count for the spring semester or take effect in the fall (2012) they weren't sure about.

    There's been a lot going on since then though, so who knows if that decision was changed.
     

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