USMA vs ROTC

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by sanandreasfreak, May 15, 2009.

  1. sanandreasfreak

    sanandreasfreak Member

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    hello there,

    I am applying to USMA, but of course am also looking at civilian colleges
    that have a ROTC program. Since both USMA and the ROTC have the purpose of training young Americans to become leaders in the US army, I am wondering what exactly the differences and benefits of either USMA or ROTC are.

    Also, I have found an article online, written by John Reed, (http://www.johntreed.com/gotousma.html) who tries to negatively criticize the academy in almost each paragraph. Are his views the truth about the academy and the army?

    Thanks in advance,
    Louis
     
  2. Harrison Morgan

    Harrison Morgan Candidate

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    you asked some good questions that could potentially take DAYS to answer so i'll just mention the article you showed.

    all in all, West Point is great for some people, not so much for others. one unfortunate thing is you don't REALLY know if its right for you when you get there as you haven't trully experienced cadet life, and you certainly (in most cases) haven't experienced the army life you'll eventually fully commit to.

    for this guy, West Point wasn't for him, and he's clearly trying to convince some people of his perspective- maybe he's trying to justify a short army career by criticizing his commissioning source...you never know. For many many graduates, the academy afforded them a great oppurtunity that led to a great career in the army and or a great career elsewhere. If you feel an army career is something you'd like to pursue, West Point can help you achieve that, and yes, when he said that the people who rise to the top are not normally the people you'd expect, history can back that up:

    Patton- had to repeat freshman year due to bad grades.
    Eisenhower- admitted that no one at West Point ever had the notion of him rising to greatness,
    George Custer- the one of a kind cavalry commander during the Civil War and Indian wars graduated dead last in his class.

    there's much more to be said, i hope others will fill you in as well.
     
  3. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    All great things are made the focus of much hate. The article is nothing more than a man who couldn't cut it and needed something to blame besides himself.

    USMA is not for everyone. I will agree with that but the rest is just endless ranting and making all opposition seem like they don't know anything and he is the only one with the facts.

    If you want a 24/7 Army experience while in college then go to USMA. If you want a traditional college experience then go to a normal college. If you want somewhere in between go to a Senior Military College.

    It all depends on what you want and how you think you will learn best.
     
  4. sanandreasfreak

    sanandreasfreak Member

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    yeah, that was what I was thinking. He is really trying to bash the entire army, but especially USMA.
    Can someone please give me a couple benefits and/or differences between USMA and ROTC?
     
  5. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    He certainly is. I stopped reading once he began bashing USMA for the racism that occured when the first black cadet arrived...honestly I challenge him to find an organization during that time period that actually welcomed minorities into their ranks. It was a different era and EVERYONE (not 100% but you know what I mean) was racist. You can't single USMA out on that.
     
  6. navalacademy12

    navalacademy12 Member

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    any ROTC unit is like an academy just with more civilian parts in your daily schedule and some would say you get to have more fun
     
  7. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    I wouldn't say more fun...maybe more free time? USMA is my definition of fun. :biggrin:
     
  8. sanandreasfreak

    sanandreasfreak Member

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    haha, probably. I attended an info meeting in Detroit today, and the academy definetly seems to be fun. I am however not really sure that I DO LIKE the army as much as I think I do. Any idea on how to find that out?
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I never described by college as "fun", however they may do things a little differently on the Hudson. The best way to find out about the Army (besides being in it), is to talk to people who are in it, and ask for the "whole truth" which most will be more than willing to give you. Talking to cadets will be good for finding out about West Point, however to find out about "the real Army", talk to grads, people who have been serving already. You'll be surprised by some of the answers. Some people really like it, and some are counting down the days.
     
  10. adrummer71

    adrummer71 2LT

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    If you want to experience ROTC you can call up a unit at a college in your area and ask if you can shadow a cadet for a day/night once school resumes in the fall if it isn't too late for you. That's a great way to find out how you like ROTC and get a feel for the schedule.
     
  11. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    riiigghht, becuase as a future member of the corps of cadets, you have tons of experience as a cadet and know exactly what it its like to be a cadet and you see it as fun. Ill very few cadets would tell you they are having more "fun" than if they were at a civilian college. Many would say they are glad they are there, but ill bet very few would consider the experience pleasant and fun while they are there.
     
  12. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Riiight because as a random person on the internet you personally know me, my experience, accomplishments, and what I consider to be fun. :thumb:

    Props to you, it takes some real skill to judge someone you know absolutely nothing about. :rolleyes:
     
  13. futureplebe

    futureplebe Member

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    Sorry, I didn't read the whole article, but the author is a West Point grad and was a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division. He also said he was a Ranger in his bio. Not sure how he didn't cut it...



    Just playing devils advocate...
     
  14. ChipAyten

    ChipAyten Member

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    I along with anyone else can produce for you a laundry list of things they would like to see changed in the ROTC program as well as USMA. For the most part you need to do your own research and make your own decision.
     
  15. Harrison Morgan

    Harrison Morgan Candidate

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    yeah i'm going with beatnavy here, i'm looking forward to West Point just as much as anyone else, even probably America's Finest and i'll bet anyone who thinks it's going to be more fun then civilian college is going to be the first to take that back. that, or you haven't experienced the fun you could expect at a civilian school.

    i love the thought of hardcorps training, Army Sports, commissioning, career service- but i'll also say that coming back on passes and leave to hang with my friends at civilian school will be the biggest 'fun' to experience. but i'm ok with that, its a sacrifice i'm willing to make b/c West Point isn't about me

    its all about my civilian buddies out there, having real fun. they're worth it
     
  16. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Fun is not the same for everyone. Just because you don't find ot fun doesn't mean I won't. Were all different.

    And if USMA was as bad as that guy says then why do we hear so much positive . Maybe it wasn't for him but that doesn't make it bad.
     
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Any swab or plebe who finds that first year as fun in its form will be sent to the clinic for evaluation. Yes, there are fun times during that first year. Often you will look back and figure out that what made those times "fun" was kind of pathetic. Looking back at the full 4 year experience, nothing comes to mind for that first year, although I did have some "Fun" those final two years...especially when I was not on campus.
     
  18. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    My reasoning is lost on you guys. I give up. If you refuse to believe some people may enjoy things most don't I will let you have your bubble of thought .
     
  19. Jaberwocky

    Jaberwocky New Member

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    actions speak louder than words

    Ok, well America's Finest, Idk how you can judge since you are not in USMA yet. I'm not trying to be mean or anything, just saying- I just don't think you (and by you , I mean everyone, and not just you) can judge yet until you've experienced it- you know what I mean? And I'm sure nothing you have ever experienced is like the first year at USMA. I’m just trying to play devil’s advocate here. I’ve heard a very wise quote from an old grad from USMA, he used to say: “It sucks to be here, but it’s great to be from here.” So I’m sure that when you go through beast it’s not going to be “fun” all the time, or it may be, you really can’t say until you’ve actually experienced it. But after you look back on it I’m sure you will say that it was one great trip- or not lol. Anyway I do hope it is not bad at all, and that you actually do enjoy the experience.:redface:
     
  20. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I refuse to believe that people enjoy these things because I have never seen them enjoy it, and while at an academy of 4,000 it might be nice to assume that some people are having a good time, in an academy of under 1,000 where you know all of your classmates, you kind of know.

    Now, I remember before I went....

    "We're going to be in the military, march around, wear uniforms, live the dream, be that shining beacon on the hill, and be better people for it."

    Once you get there the reality sets in that in that first year, you have very little say, that marching around also involved having deer flies bite you while you're trying to maintain military bearing, that wearing uniforms also means maintaining those uniforms and getting your butt handed to you when there's anything wrong with them, that the dream you had and the reality are not always the same things, that even a beacon on the hill accepts dirt bags and that having those dirtbags as "shipmates" will lead you to question is its even a beacon at all, and in the end....you probably will be a more complete person because of what you have gone through.


    Now, once it all starts, it becomes relative. Will you think somethings are "Fun"? Sure. But looking back at the "fun" times we had, it's generally because they were "more fun" than being yelled at or going through "incentive training" and not because the average joe walking down the street would want to do it.

    Also, a word of caution, if you get there, and you DO happen to think it's fun, don't be too vocal about that. The last thing you want to do is be the guy who's having all the "fun" while his classmates are miserable. I don't say that because the cadre would focus on you more, but instead because you would alienate many of your classmates. We had a kid like that in my swab summer platoon. Seemed like he was having fun, but he didn't make it through the first year.

    So if you are "that guy" who has fun, don't let everyone know it. It can be demoralizing for a group when only one person is "not" miserable. Also, if you come off as having fun but you really aren't, generally people won't know you need the support of classmates (that we all needed at some point while we were there.)

    Good luck! Try to have fun!!! Please don't be disappointed if it is not as fun as you had hoped. The career after will make up for it!!! :thumb:
     

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