VMI and BUD/s Billets

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by jct95, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. jct95

    jct95 Member

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    Hi, I'm applying to VMI. Obviously, I like the school - I just have one question. I want to have a career In NSW as a SO (SEAL Operator). For those of you that don't know, to get a BUD/s billet ( Basic Underwater Demolition/ SEAL training ) coming out of an NROTC program is incredibly competitive. From what I understand, VMI has some leverage considering they are the premier Military College out there. Is there any truth to this? I heard that they are given two spots every year; and graduates/Cadets how many of your classmates have gone on to BUD/s and succeeded - do you know the success rate?

    Thanks, essentially I want to go to a Military college/SAfor myself to have a career in the Military in particular NSW not just for the education which kind of drives me crazy. Thanks again.
     
  2. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    The short answer to your question is IMO: no. You won't have special leverage becasue you are coming from VMI. VMI has had a fair amount of success in the last couple of years of getting a grad or two into the SEAL program, but I would not say that is the result of any particular unofficial agreement or advantage between NSW and VMI. Any advantage you get is going to be personal and come from the 4 years of honing yourself physically and mentally in a deliberately grinding environment.
    But I also need to tell you that what wrecks most Cadet careers at VMI is not the military physical aspect of VMI - most go there understanding that portion of the experience and learn to deal with it- but the Academics. This is not a really long OCS class- rather it is a 4 year very competitive and demanding small college environment overlaid with the rigors of the military system. If you don't understand and buy into that, you will be just as miserable as the fat kid who can do 2 pushups on matriculation night, except that your misery will go on and on :)eek:). More seriously- if you don't get that order of priorities you will have spent a ton of money going to College only to discover that you have squandered both your money and your opportunity. Going VMI is not the same as enlisting- something that I frequently find myself counseling prospective cadets about.

    VMI would be a great launching pad for a career as a NSW officer- because it will prepare you both mentally, physically and emotionally and it has prepared a reasonable number of grads to follow that path. But unless you understand the relationship of academic to military at VMI, you won't like it, nor will you be successful in getting to the point of being a graduate. I'm not sure if that helps you when thinking about this, but I'm trying to give you some experience and a caution that I have seen first hand a number of times.
     
  3. jct95

    jct95 Member

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    Understood, but in regards to statistics - do you know exactly how many Cadets enter BUD/s every year? And their success rates? Thank you.
     
  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    No and I don't know where you would find those numbers.
     
  5. jct95

    jct95 Member

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    When I spoke to admissions they led me under the guise that VMI receives a certain amount of BUD/s slots per year, and that the graduates have relatively high success rates.
     
  6. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    That's possible but I have never seen any kind of statistic that tracked how graduates did post graduation. While for the last the last few years they have sent a couple of guys from each class to BUDS, but if you really want to know that- you ought to be talking directly to the PNS Colonel Looney (or his Exec Secretary's email is : schulzmt@vmi.edu Ph: (540) 464-7275) or they have a link for questions on their page:
    http://www.vmi.edu/Content.aspx?id=86

    Personally- I really suspect that if you are looking for a guarantee that you will get a shot at BUDS- enlisting for it is the only way that will happen. I don't think that any comissioning source will guarantee you a spot in BUDS. However, VMI will certainly help you be as well prepared as any place in the country- physically and mentally.
     
  7. jct95

    jct95 Member

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    Ok, I wasn't as clear nor was I direct as I should have been. There are 16 BUD/s slots that are allotted to NROTC programs across the Country every year. To state the obvious, it is hyper competitive - it has to do with your standing within NROTC, your GPA, your activities, ability to speak a 'vital' language (Spanish, Farsi, Dari, Arabic), and your PST scores which have to be above and beyond the standard. I understand that if I were to go this route, it is up to me alone - my question was - does the fact that you're coming from VMI give you preference over say a guy who's coming from Duke or a 'civilian' college? The way it was explained to me (and if I'm not mistaken, I saw a post on here confirming it) was that VMI gets two spots every year - pretty high in the grand scheme of things when you take into consideration the fact that not many commission in the Navy. Again, I understand VMI is not responsible for my career in NAVSPECWAR - I get that. It's up to me, I was just wondering if Name value will in fact help you out.
     
  8. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    No schools are guaranteed BUDS slots except for USNA, if you are being told this by the admissions office they are mistaken. "Premier military school" is a bit of a stretch and a subjective judgement. VMI and The Citadel are great institutions and attending either will give you a leg up on achieving anything in the military but nothing is guaranteed, its based on qualifications as it should be.
     
  9. tro55

    tro55 Member

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    I've spent two years at VMI and each year 1 SEAL slot was awarded to an outstanding individual. I have also heard stories of some not taking a commission and instead Enlisting afterwords to get their chance to become a SEAL. Hope this helps.
     
  10. glen

    glen Member

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    VMI and BUDS slots

    JCT 95 - Sorry you are being given an advertising pitch by a VMI Admissions representative. Are VMI NROTC grads offered a chance to try out for the Navy Seals - sure. But this is a competitive branch and only your academic grades, medical and PT grades, performance grades from your summer training, and recommendations from the PNS - and the needs of the Navy will determine your entrance to the training program. And all NROTC Mid-Shipmen are ranked this way. Further, you have a much better chance of entering the training program as an enlisted - the Seals don't need that many officers.

    PS Who told you VMI is the "premier military college" - the same admission's officer? Each of the Senior Military Colleges in the US has its own unique character and benefits for attending. If your interest is in Science, TAMU or VA Tech offer better course selection and more prestiege in these areas. If it is in engineering - The Citadel has the #17 ranked program in the nation for schools focuing on undergraduate engineering (Civil, Electrical, Environmental and Fall of 2013 Mechanical). If your are interested in getting top ranked as an NROTC candidate - choose your school wisely and mostly for its academics. Odds are by the time you are a senior, your interest in the Navy Seal program will have passed and you will be more interested in preparing for the broadest opportunity you can possibly for the money you spend on college. Regards and good luck
     
  11. keydet2016

    keydet2016 Member

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    One guy from 2013 vmi got a bud/s billet.
     
  12. jct95

    jct95 Member

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    Do you know how many people at VMI were competing for a BUD/s billet?
     
  13. keydet2016

    keydet2016 Member

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    Not sure...maybe 1 other guy was trying.
     
  14. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Bluntly jct95 you are asking the same question from people at all of the SMCs over and over and don't seem to listen to the answers. I am certain that you WILL not get an answer from any SMC, nor will you from the Navy. A cadet who just finished his Rat year is not going to know any more than cadet gossip (which is notoriously inaccurate on all subjects and by the time it filters up to the 4th stoop often is completely unrecognizable though always interesting). I know the admissions folks at VMI and I have yet to see any of them ever give advice about the military in any way, shape or form and in fact they are very careful not to do so. I am also pretty certain that if you talk to Col Looney or any one down in Kilbourne Hall they too will not do much talking about your odds of becoming a SEAL beyond telling you that the class of 2012 and 2011 had 2 guys get selected to go to BUDS and this class apparently had 1. Next year they may have x. I suspect they may tell you that the only thing that will get you a slot into the SEALs is your own personal academic and NAVY performance so what ever you do is going to be contingent on your focusing on the right things while a cadet. In short your questions won't get an answer in large part because they are the wrong questions.

    I've seen a number of kids who fail early in their career at VMI and I have gotten reasonably good at predicting it- and one of the indicators from my perspective is an over focus on the military and indifference to the real purpose of the school- in short they are confused and think they are enlisting rather than what could be the most challenging College environment they could choose. Right now my friend I would put down even money on you being in that category- you have posted repeatedly asking about your odds of getting into BUDS from everyone of the SMCS and seem to imply that will be your main criteria for where you go, which in my opinion is no criteria at all. I don't know how else to tell you this, but you have 4 really challenging college years between you and graduation, and your success or failure in that environment is determined far more by academic focus and success than focusing on your post graduation career. If you want to be a SEAL after graduation that is great- it's a great goal and one which very few actually attain . But if you are going to college to be a SEAL and don't have the right perspective- Don't go here- because the odds are that you will wind up neither as a VMI graduate or a SEAL. Ask the right questions in deciding if you want to go to an SMC: What is life like there? What is this major like? Are there opportunities for studies abroad or internships and professional projects in your major? What % of cadets graduate in 4 years in the major that you are interested in and why didn't the others? How much time do your military duties take up? How do you balance them with your academics? What does it cost and what opportunities for financial aid are there? Do you have a social life? How much time do you have for personal PT? What does living with an honor code mean? What kind of training opportunities do you have with the Navy/Marine Corps ? How many Cadets changed their mind during their cadetship and decided that they didn't want to commission and why did they change their mind? There are all kinds of questions that you should be asking about VMI or the Citadel or any of the other SMCs- focusing on their SEAL selection rate (as if there is such a thing) is pretty much missing the point.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  15. pathnottaken

    pathnottaken Member

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    +1 Bruno Just like pro football - the players that make it to the hall of fame never thought about the hall of fame, they worried about the next play, and what they had to do to make it successful.
     
  16. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    I'll second the comments of Bruno and pathnottaken, best bet for an officer BUDS slot right out of college is USNA but always opportunity to apply after commissioning. No one can guarantee you anything; need to set a goal, work hard and keep after it.
     

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