USAFA vs. ROTC programs? (in terms of life after)

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by jamestribe, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. jamestribe

    jamestribe Banned

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    Greetings all.

    So I am VERY conflicted right now. I dont know if I should go for an ROTC program at a university of join the USAFA.
    The thing is that I want to have a medical profession in the army, like a medic or maybe even an aeroflight surgeon.
    I know that if I join an ROTC program I will have a normal life and also get a taste of what the military is like.
    From what I know the USAFA creates pilots / other army flight professions. Can someone like me attend the academy or is it not for me
    When I say life after, I want to have a medical profession in the army after my commission time as an officer is over
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If you want to be in the army why are you posting this on the Air Force forum? You need to post this on USMAs forum.
     
  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    That was my question. Do you want to be in the Air Force or Army?
     
  4. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Im no expert here but heres what I know...
    Going to a SA is very prestigious, you HAVE to go Active duty for at least 5 years which starts you out of college with about 2,900 officer pay not counting clothing, housing and food allowances. You have a 4 year degree. You can go to medical school after (it is competitive I believe, someone may need to clearify that) and you can contract to the Army as a civilian after fulfilling your 8 years.

    Going through ROTC is a little different. The monthly stipend starts at 350 (SAs is 1010 a month). Not a lot of people understand this but an ROTC scholarship DOES NOT garuntee an active duty slot. You have to compete for it and you can in tern pay of your time in the reserves and not Active duty. (That was a major red flag for me) You do still het the college life and experience, a few less opportunites are offered it think, and USAFA gets the first pilot slots so I've been told. You get the 4 year degree and still can civilian contract.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Mods, can we please move this thread to USMA? I ask this because I believe lurkers/new posters will assume that what is true for the Army is true for the AF, especially ROTC.

    IE, and no offense Rogers:
    That is absolutely not true for AFROTC. Commission AFROTC and you will go AD.

    It is true for AROTC.

    jamestribe,

    You need to research a lot more.
    ~ 2 words in your post told me that you have not done due diligence in researching the military medical field. AEROFLIGHT SURGEON. They are called flight surgeons. Nobody calls them Aeroflight.
    ~ Additionally on the ROTC forum, you stated AFROTC has 1 board in Dec., however if you go to www.afrotc.com you will see that they have multiple boards.

    I am not trying to be mean, harsh or rude. We are here to support and guide every poster, but spoon feeding information is different impo, and not knowing that USAFA is AF, not Army, on top of not researching the AFROTC website regarding boards, leaves me with the assumption that this was the easiest path of least resistance from a Google/Bing aspect.

    I wish you the very best in your future endeavors. I thank you for your desire to serve this great nation, but I hope you take to heart that in the military as a cadet you will have to live at a much higher standard, be it at an SA or ROTC, than the typical 18 year old.
    ~ Many MOC nomination and ROTC PMS interviews will prove that fact very quickly. Not knowing the difference between branches will not be looked upon kindly.
    ~~ Same as the I am looking at which option (SA vs ROTC) will pay my academic bill for med school. OBTW I intend to leave as soon as my commitment is up. Not saying you will, you might decide to stay, but the way your post reads is...I want to be a doctor, and I will go wherever I have the best chances to become a doctor.
    ~~~ Not... I want to serve this great nation as a soldier/airmen. My desire is to support all those that serve as a doctor.

    See the difference?
     
  6. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Pima, I take no offense at all. I was unaware that it was different for AFROTC. Thank you for correcting that, especially if the OP is considering AROTC
     
  7. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Please correct me if I'm wrong. According to DD's best friend who has an AFROTC scholarship, only about 50% get commissioned. There's a weed out (or something) at the end of the sophomore year based on Order of Merit. (???) If true, also something to consider.
     
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  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    AFROTC, especially scholarship is night and day compared to AROTC.

    1. AFROTC website states 1180 (best sitting, not superscore) is their minimum to be considers competitive...iows, meet a board.
    ~ A/NROTC superscore
    2. AFROTC scholarship is 2+2, not guaranteed 4 years
    3. 80-85% of all AFROTC scholarships go to STEM aka Tech majors
    4. AFROTC scholarships are tied to the cadet, not the school like AROTC.
    5. AFROTC scholarships can only be used for tuition, whereas, AROTC can be used for R &B

    I know that reads like I am writing the riot act to you. I am not. I am just trying to illustrate to candidates, new posters and lurkers that every branch is unique when it comes not only the SA, but ROTC too.

    Look at USAFA and AFROTC. Same branch, but here are some differences within the AF for candidates.
    1. USAFA superscores
    2. USAFA does not care about intended major.
    3. USAFA includes everything for senior year. AFROTC does not, they only include an updated SAT/ACT
    4. USAFA starts from a geo centric (MOC) aspect before they hit the national pool. AFROTC is national from day one.

    Both paths are great, but impo, only if the candidate is a match for that commissioning source.
     
  9. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    I'm not sure who you were responding to Pima - probably not me since it didn't really apply to what I said. Haha!

    My comment was specific to AFROTC since I know even less about AROTC. Just passing on information about what I was told by someone in the program. It could very well be that the 50% number is specific to the university that the young lady is attending and not generally true across the board.

    Regardless, research those numbers when looking at each university.
     
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  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Actually, probably higher than 50%. More likely 75% attrition rate.

    1. Scholarship cadets get to walk free before the 1st day of their sophomore year.
    2. They must fight for what is called SFT (Summer Field Training)/EA (Enrollment Allocation) as a sophomore.
    ~ Selection rates vary year to year. It has been as low as 58% and as high as 93% in the last 3 years.
    ~ It is masked...the board has no clue if the cadet is on scholarship.
    ~ Tech (STEM) majors usually have a 3.0/3.1 cgpa. Non-tech range is 3.3/3.4+
    3. Not selected for this, traditionally HQ AFROTC will start the disenrollment process.

    Our DS started with @110 his freshmen year. @20% were scholarship. He commissioned with 26. Majority of the 26, probably @80% were HS scholarship recipients. I think he said only 2 that had a scholarship from HS left.
    ~ His unit won 2x in 4 yrs., the best largest AFROTC unit in the nation. They had @ 250 cadets.

    I do not want anyone to think I am ALL AFROTC. I am not. I am ALL look into everything first. My DS with all 3 MOC noms, was not a match for USAFA. He had 720 M, 34 ACT M, 34 S, but hated Math and Science. USAFA is known as the Little Engineering School in the Rockies. It was not a fit. Don't even get me started on having a clean room.

    I am ...please don't go down the rabbit hole of this is a free education or picking out a dream college that you can only attend with an AFROTC scholarship.

    Nobody walks in as a HS senior saying I won't commission, but many don't.
     
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  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I was responding to anyone and everyone that believes AROTC is the same as AFROTC when it comes to scholarship selection and commissioning.
     
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  12. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Makes sense! :)
     
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  13. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Jamestribe,
    It sounds like you have a bit more research to do, before you make a choice.
    As has been noted by others, the US Army and Air Force are different things. Each has its own commissioning programs. If you want to be in the Army, USMA and AROTC are ways to commission. If you want to go Air Force, that would be USAFA or AFROTC. (For college programs. There is also OTS/OCS for those who already have degrees.)

    If you want to be a doctor while in the military, there are specific programs and scholarships for that. USAFA does send graduates directly to medical school, but there are not very many slots available. Personally, I would not recommend attending any Service Academy if you want to go to med school while in service. You are simply putting yourself at a disadvantage, numbers wise. Look up HPSP and USUHS.
     
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  14. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Air medic is an enlisted job too btw.
     
  15. keeperkat90

    keeperkat90 Member

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    I have talked to many AFROTC Cadets, and they have said that they are not guaranteed a active spot, and that they have to fight for it.
    When i was deciding to come to USAFA, one of the deal makers was the guarantee for a active duty spot. The Commander of Illinois AFROTC told me himself that I would have a better chance of getting my dream AFSC and it will guarantee my active duty slot.
     
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  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    There has only been 1 year that I know of in the last decade when they offered cadets the ability to the Guard if the cadet wanted. That was 2 years ago. This occurred because they had sent too many to SFT and now had to pull back the amount being commissioned into ADAF. When it was offered they also limited the number that could request to go Guard or Reserves and which AFSC could be considered for this option. I believe the number was @150 cadets. Please realize that for that year group they had @1900 on the books to commission.

    I think you might have confused his position with a guaranteed commission as a cadet entering the program. As an AFROTC cadet you must compete and be selected for summer field training (SFT) as a sophomore. If not selected the chances are insanely high that they will start the disenrollment process, insanely high as in most cadets know that the door is about to hit them and they jump ship. Last year the overall selection rate was 58%. If you were a non-tech wanting a non-rated AFSC the rate was 17%. Now this year the overall rate was 90% overall selection rate. It usually depends on the pool size that causes the % to change.
    ~The avg. cgpa needed for selection is 3.0/3.1 tech, 3.3/3.4 non-tech.

    As for rated slots they have consistently hovered in the 90+%.

    Do I believe you have a higher chance of commissioning as a USAFA cadet? Yes. Do I believe that you have a higher chance for options like ED? Yes.

    But, as I said before I think you misunderstood them regarding not guaranteed AD. It also needs to be understood that they get a Reserve commissioning, but that does not mean they are going into the Reserves. They are still going AD. It is more of a technical aspect from a manpower perspective.
    ~ Look back at the 92/93 RIF. Before they could RIF anyone that had received a commissioning for certain year groups, they had to cut from ROTC commissions first.
    ~~ I do not know if it is still the same, but ROTC grads got their "full" commissioning @ the 7 yr. marker.

    If you even look on the AFROTC.com site it flat out says in several place Active Duty. My DH commissioned 25+ years ago via AFROTC. His entire class went AD. Our DSs class via AFROTC also had 100% ADAF.
    ~ At his UPT base at least 50% of the class were ROTC grads. Out of the 1800+ that commissioned with him, @880 went rated.

    I am sure there are year groups like 2 years ago that cadets are given the option to bolt, but it is not common. I would not want any candidate walk in the program and thinking in 4 years they can go and serve out the committment at the Reserve unit in their state, because Guard and Reserve units hire directly. It is an entirely different process.

    AROTC on the other hand does have the Guard/Reserve option for their cadets. They are not guaranteed to go AD unless they commission via the SA or an SMC.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Just for more detailed info from afrotc.com
    https://www.afrotc.com/college-life
    Understand the most cadets statement isn't that they are not picked up for ADAF, but the majority of cadets go non-rated, thus, most cadets will serve only four years. Nowhere on afrotc.com will you see service commitment information for going Guard or Reserve. It is not discussed.

    Now if you research the Army side on their website it is very clear that it is different than the AF.
    http://www.goarmy.com/parents/what-to-expect/service-options.html
    Not trying to pick a fight. Just saying that forums are anecdotal at best. The true sources are the military websites.

    I have in my 7 1/2 years here read only 1 post where an AFROTC cadet questioned Guard/Reserve option.
    ~ The poster did not like what they received from the rated board, and wonder if they could bolt now and try for a pilot slot out of the Guard.

    There has never been a question of what OML they need to get ADAF? The only posts after SFT you will see regarding chance me as a POC, is for rated. They all know they are going ADAF as a POC upon commissioning.
    ~ Look through the threads, you will not see any posters saying they are going Guard or Reserve.
    ~ AFROTC cadets meet their rated board (AS300 aka USAFA C2C) in Feb. They are sent to WPAFB the summer of their rising senior yr (400). If medically DQd for an FC1, but still medically Qd for the the AF. They meet the non-rated in Sept. 400 yr.

    USAFA without a doubt is a better option almost every way you view it. Remember, I am a spouse of a retired O5 (F15E WSO) and an O2 (C130 pilot), so that should say a lot to everyone.

    I don't know how many ROTC cadets you talked to, but if they are your year group, than again please understand to them, their future AF career is still dicey until March their sophomore year when they are selected to attend Maxwell.
    ~ Another reason why to go USAFA over AFROTC scholarship. AFROTC scholarship is 2+2. Guaranteed for 1st 2 yrs. Selected for SFT, guaranteed for the final 2 years.







    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
  18. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I think jamestribe quit asking.
     
  19. jamestribe

    jamestribe Banned

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    Alright guys good talk no need to hold the stake which can burn in the fire on the fire for too long.
    I will apply for ROTC and USAFA. If accepted to both I will pick USAFA and then go to med school from there. The rod is large for those who can stomach it!
     
  20. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    I'm not pursuing med school but I have a few friends who are. It is extremely competitive at the AFA. They've mentioned once or twice that they should not have come to the AFA thinking they were going to get a slot. Now their priorities have changed and they're prepared to accept whatever opportunity comes their way out of USAFA.

    Because any AFSC is an opportunity to excel as a follower, leader, and expert. Joining the military with a focus in serving in whatever capacity you are needed is important. Even the top cadets of the class don't get their #1 choice 100% of the time.

    Good luck.
     
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