Very Basic Questions-just starting

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Vista123, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    these questions are being asked by a mom who knows nothing about ROTC-sorry.

    Starting about two years ago my now rising senior son expressed an interest in attending a service academy. He has been working diligently towards that goal. We all learned as much as we could about applying to a S.A. We have let him know that those options are not that easy to gain entry and that he should pursue other options as well. He ignored us (can you beleive that-a teenage ignoring their parents). We set up a week of college visits (golf and white water rafting for the rest of the family) to look at colleges with top engineering programs. He picked U of I, Purdue and Virginia Tech.

    Yesterday he said that when he goes to Virginia Tech can he look into ROTC? We were a bit surprised as this was the first time he has ever mentioned ROTC. It seems that after going to a couple of the S.As summer programs he realized that if his primary goal is to be an officer in the military: army or Navy(marine-ground option) he had better look at all options. He also liked what he read about Virginia Tech.

    So now here we are starting from scratch-with no knowledge of ROTC. he has completed two of his S.A. applications and has his DODmerb evaluations this week. Number one question: Is he behind in the timeline for ROTC? We are looking at the internet and finding alot of information. However, this forum has been incredibly helpful in the past -so we thought to also try here for more information.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  2. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I can't tell you anything about NROTC but for AROTC he should try and have it completed in time to be seen by the first board. Last year the first board was late Sept or Early Oct. The last item my son completed was the interview and he did that the second week of Sept. and was seen by the first board. Typical advice is to interview with the PMS at your first choice school if possible. AROTC scholarships are tied to the school so for popular schools like VT he will want to be seen by the first board so they don't fill up. It seems that the odds for getting a 4 year scholarship are better with in state schools.
     
  3. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Your son is not too late to consider an application for an Army ROTC Scholarship, someone else will need to chime in on the Navy.

    Your son will however need to get started soon with the application. When he meets with the ROTC at VT he can get most of the information he needs in regard to the AROTC Application Process, he should open the application and get started filling it out. Your son will need to get some info from his high school school advisor, complete a PFT, (he may be able to use his fitness scores from his USMA application), he will need an interview which they will give him more information about once the application process starts.

    The first Army ROTC Board is in October, he will need to have his application complete along with the interview, transcripts, and PFT by the beginning of Oct, if he can't get in touch with his high school advisor before the start of his senior year don't worry, the process that requires the advisor does not take much time and he can take care of it once school starts.

    Try and have everything in and ready for the first board, if he is selected for a scholarship he will have 30 days to accept or decline. Since your son has also applied for the SA's don't worry, just have him accept the scholarship, if later he gains an appointment to one of the SA's and decides to accept, he can just decline the ROTC scholarship at that time, there is no obligation to the scholarship until he starts school.

    Your son will learn a lot more when he speaks the the ROTC battalion. Good luck to him.

    By the way, which U of I is your son interested in.

    Cross posted with Packer, follow his advise regarding the interview and school choices.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    The NROTC timeline and process is similar to AROTC. However, on his application he must choose Navy or Marines, he cannot apply to both. Navy wants 85% STEM majors. Marines don't care what your major is. Navy academic requirements while in college are much more rigorous and include 2 semester of Calculus and Calculus based physics. I don't think the Navy has a fitness test as part of the application anymore. The Marines have you take the PFT. A perfect score would be 100 crunches in 2 minutes, 20 pullups (untimed), and a 3 mile run in 18 minutes. You can find out how it is scored online. The pullups are the toughest part for most kids. Navy and Marines go before separate boards.

    Your DS should keep in mind that VA Tech in a Senior Military college and his experience there will be different from ROTC at other schools. He will need to list 5 colleges in order of preference for the NROTC application. He must be accepted to one of these schools, a certain number of which must be schools where he is eligible for instate tuition. His scholarship, if awarded, will be to one of these schools. Hopefully he will also be accepted to the same school. Obviously choosing schools that are in reach, with maybe one stretch school becomes important.

    As a plan C, if the academies and xROTC do not come through, is to do xROTC without the scholarship as a College Programmer and hope to get a scholarship while in college. That's the course my DS has taken. You're treated no differently from a scholarship MIDN. He must obtain Advanced Standing by his rising Junior year and will then be entitle to receive the monthly stipend (is he doesn't get an in school scholarship).

    Good luck to your DS. And enjoy your college visits!
     
  5. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    WHEW
    lots of information already.
    So he is applying to U of Illinois (instate) while he could definitely get in there in general-however, to get into the engineering program would be a stretch-though a possibility. He could get into Purdue and VT Engineering. His grades and superscore E and M act scores are high enough to get a chunk off.

    Everyone configures the ACT so differently. So this is an obstacle for U of Illinois. He has a superscore of R:31, S:30, M:34 and E:34. However his best sitting composite is a 30. This may keep him out of U of I engineering. but should let him into Purdue and VT.

    With regards to navy, Would he have to choose a school with less of an engineering program because it is instate? If he knows what college he wants to go to does he still has to pick 5 colleges? If so the programmer option sounds good -he read about that on the VT website.

    Can you follow up more on "Your DS should keep in mind that VA Tech in a Senior Military college and his experience there will be different from ROTC at other schools. "

    I suppose he just waits until the college visiting trip and talks with them there for more specifics. This is a good start though.

    thanks all!
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You reminded me that SAT and ACT scores for the NROTC scholarship are best sitting, not superscore, or at least they were in the past. They may superscore now. Their website will say which.

    With the NROTC scholarship he can certainly attend an out of state school. Again, the website, and/or application will mention how many schools must be in-state. It used to be 1 in state school, but I had heard they were increasing that due to upcoming budget cuts. Does he have to pick 5 schools? Don't know. That's a good question to ask during a college visit. More on SMCs later. The wife has given me a task to do NOW!
     
  7. Packer

    Packer Member

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    With AROTC he can pick out of state schools. This past year more instate school scholarships were 4 year while more out of state were 3 year. More 4 year scholarships appeared to be given at the first board. My son was offered 4 yr at an instate and out of state so I didn't mean to imply he has to stay instate but wanted to point out the odds seemed to be better for instate.

    At an SMC he will be in the Corp of Cadets and will have more of a 24/7 type of military experience as opposed to normal ROTC which is more of a typical college experience with some military duties added in. The SMC seems to be a cross between a SA and normal ROTC. Some SMC's (VT, TAMU) are closer to the normal ROTC and others (VMI) are closer to a SA.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    At a regular college a ROTC student your are in a normal dorm. You take a military academic course in addition to a military lab. The lab is normally 2.5 hours a week. The academic course varies by branch. Eg. Navy 101 is 3 credit hours. I think Army 101 is fewer hors. You will PT 3-5 days per week with the unit at 0'Dark:30. You will be in uniform 1 day a week usually on the day lab is held. The rest of your time is your own and you have to master time management on your own.

    At an SMC in addition to the same course work, you are in uniform 5 days a week. There are mandatory study hours, for freshman at least. Lights out is at a fixed time. Your placed in a separate dorm with the rest of the Corps of Cadets. You are also present for the raising and lowering of the colors. It's about as close as you can get to an Academy experience while not attending a service academy.
     
  9. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Very good explanation of the difference in lifestyle.

    I will add a little more (forward looking) thinking here. Speaking from AROTC, there is a lot of discussion here about commissioning Active Duty upon graduation. All West Point and SMC graduates are guaranteed Active Duty upon graduation, given they aren't a total screw-up (and lose the Commandant's recommendation). You can have a 2.0 GPA and it doesn't matter. AROTC cadets at "normal" schools are racked and stacked on various elements, GPA being one of the larger components thereof. Beyond the minimum GPA necessary to keep any scholarship awarded while in ROTC, prior to the beginning of the Sr. year, all ROTC cadets nationwide are ranked and a specific number (changes year to year depending upon the staffing requirements) are offered Active Duty, with the remaining assigned Reserve duty. Of those offered Active Duty, the highest ranked are more likely to get their top choice of branch (Infantry, MP, Engineering, etc.). Granted, the same rack and stack applies to SMC/USMC grads, but at least they are guaranteed AD.

    Many ROTC cadets in difficult academic situations put themselves in less-competitive situations by attending reach school or majoring in highly competitive subjects. The Army does not care where you get your degree from and once he finishes his AD time, most employers won't care where he went to school, except if it is dealing with USMC (a special place in many employers eyes) or and SMC (if you are in the alumni network). Yeah U of I gets graduates in a lot of doors for entry engineering jobs, but when he leaves AD, he will be looking further up the food chain where his experiences are more important than where he went to school.

    Ultimately, he should put all his schools on his Scholarship list. It sounds like he has a lot to figure out in the next few months.
     
  10. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    a sincere thanks to those who took the time to reply. your answers were clear and rich.

    they were exactly the type of answers we were looking for.

    His next steps will be to meet with VT corps of cadets.

    Goalie dad-you point out some realities that he needs to consider. He is wanting engineering and he is a grinder. He is not one that everything comes easy for. He got a 4.8Weighed gpa last year but sacrificed everything (except for hockey) for that-really he never left the dining room table (study area). trying to straddle both civilian plus a military load while people around him are frat partying-with keeping a high enough GPA in an engineering major at an engineering school-may be too much for this guy. he will have to figure it out on his own though (did I mention he never listens to me).
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    :biggrin: We all certainly understand how kids don't listen to us!

    On the plus side it sounds like he has already developed good study habits and time management skills so I expect he'll be in good shape. The engineering major could help him with the NROTC scholarship depending on what it is, if he decides to go Navy. Also, if he plans on Engineering I expect he'll be taking the Calculus and Physics anyway as part of that major.

    And speaking of making that decision he really needs to think about what he wants to do when he goes active duty and later when selecting a branch of service. A lot of kids think they would just like to serve in any capacity and it sounds like your DS is one of them. Nevertheless, once they think about it, some folks would never want to be on a sub or couped up on a ship for months at a time. If he wants to fly he needs to look at the type of pilots each service is looking for. No need in going Army if he wants to fly fixed wing. He should take a look at the MOSs with each branch to help him make his decision - besides helping him prepare for some obvious interview questions.
     
  12. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Hopefully a year in ROTC will impart some listening skills... :rolleyes:

    Oh and being in athletics (even intramural) while in college adds to the OML ranking. Not a whole lot, but there are points to earn all over the place. They are trying to measure how much the cadets can accomplish across the whole spectrum of scholar/athlete/leader, just like they are in the scholarship application process.

    My daughter plays varsity hockey and has done club lax as well as holding down a small job this past year. Burning the candle at all 3 ends. She chose a school where based upon their statistics she wasn't going to be over her head and a major that holds her interest and isn't a grind. GPA is not a problem for her, but she has a few friends in the unit who have struggled with GPA in highly challenging majors. It will affect their commissioning options, unfortunately.

    Being a grinder isn't such a bad thing. At least he isn't relying on his superior charm and intellect to get his grades. :wink: That habit will serve him well. :thumb:
     
  13. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD Member

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    Sent you a PM
     
  14. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD Member

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  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I'm doing someone else's heavy lifting here.:smile: ... but it occurred to me if your son is so dedicated to hockey and he wants to major in engineering, one ROTC college he might consider is Clarkson in Potsdam NY. It's an excellent school with a great army unit (dont know about other branches). If DS is interested you can PM Clarksonarmy on this forum for more info.
     
  16. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    kinnem...thanks for the plug...hockey is king in the North Country
     
  17. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    Kinmen: pay no never mind to your heavy lifting. much appreciation here!!!!!

    Regarding branching. DS informs me that army civil engineering or marines ground engineering is the way to go. I would imagine like all other 17 year olds-he is clueless.

    Regarding hockey-this is a really different sport from football or baseball. He met with the coach at USNA (group setting) from his research he can jump right in and play with them. maybe not travel with them as a plebe as only top players travel with the team but looking at the resumes of the Plebes-he is at least at their level of play when they started USNA. Son plays CSDHL--->AAA. Navy is ECHA. Regarding USMA that is division one. Hockey players peek later and do NOT start freshman (plebe) year as 18 year olds but in fact start as 20 year old plebes (that is the average age of a hockey playing plebe. He would have to play Juniors for two years then go to west point. No way! do not want to throw in hockey jargon here but he is really not going to juniors before college!!!!! I am guessing he will play hockey well into the beer leagues but will just play club in college. Do they have hockey in Afghanistan?
     
  18. paradoxer

    paradoxer Member

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    Check out ACHA hockey

    DS plays ACHA hockey and it's the perfect combination of school, hockey and ROTC. The schools on the list for your DS all have ACHA hockey. The season is September through February with March playoffs. I saw VT play last year and they were strong enough to make it to the national playoffs. Both ROTC (army) and the hockey team were very accommodating; in fact, the Battalion Commander encouraged DS to explore all hockey opportunities.

    Totally agree about the opportunity costs involved with a two year delay just to mature to play hockey, doing the math, it's about a 100K forfeit.

    I hear that Ft Drum has some great hockey leagues, not sure about marine options.
     
  19. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    A difficult balance if he wants to play hockey, do ROTC and major in engineering.

    I'll throw out another SMC to consider - Norwich. D3 hockey - not requiring the body of a 20-year-old, CoC works with athletics very well. Engineering school is probably not up to the level of the other schools on his list, though. With his stats he would either get a first board AROTC scholarship or a lot of merit money from Norwich.

    Lots of things to consider in what he wants out of his college experience...
     
  20. paradoxer

    paradoxer Member

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    Considerations

    Excellent point about determining which parts of the college experience are most important and how that fits with long range plans like maximizing GPA for the OML. Some posters have actually argued in the past that to attend an easier school or pursue an easier major is the more strategic way to go if your goal is to go active duty (how ones knows what is easier is another discussion).

    Also the better D3 hockey teams like Norwich are essentially no different than D1 - the boys coming in are 20 years old and have played a couple year of juniors as well. This trickle is happening in the top ACHA teams as well.
     

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