Was First board just the big 3 athletics gimmies?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by KeyzCat, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. KeyzCat

    KeyzCat Member

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    I am a parent of a passed over in AROTC first round student. Obviously we all think our kids are the best so there is frustration but the hardest part is seeing people posting they have a 4yr award with GPAs/SAT/ACT lower than my son . His sport was 3yrs Varsity golf team -Captain Jr & Sr year, LKGA Jr Golfer of the year (Jr year); 4 years Navy League/NJROTC, National Flight Academy (Cadet of the flight), Basic Leadership Training Camp (Most improved cadet, Air Rifle and Bow highest scores), Co-Capt NJROTC Academic Team (4 individual awards), Color Guard, Co-creator and XO Mil Sim Air Soft Team, Congressional Intern Summer in DC and year round local offices (Senior intern at local office), 2015 Scottish Rite Americanism and Volunteer award (One NJROTC cadet per year selected), MENSA since 9, Nobel Foundation National Society of High School Scholars, 33 college credits not counting AP (started at 12 for DE, 9 credits are Honor College), UW GPA 3.53 (so far straight As this year so should be 3.8ish by end of this semester) Currently in Honors Calculus and Honors Physics All STEM classes College/AP or Honors ; ACT 29 (has a 35 in Reading) SAT super score CR 720 Math 620 Eng 620. Was told he was given full interview marks for both and had strong instructor recommendations. So why exactly was he passed over for kids with lower scores since obviously he isn't missing in the leadership or military/athletic areas. I am a T&P SCD Vet his dad is also a SCD Vet. His school selections are AUM #1 AROTC/ Norwich #1 NROTC #2 AROTC; VFM/MMI for AROTC ECP; FIU/USF AROTC & NROTC; Howard University for HBC Scholarship options NJROTC and just added on AROTC as did not have it on his app for 1st AROTC board. He did not have his NROTC done for first board but was put in for Jan and he also has his NJROTC second look apps for regular and HBC he is a native american so is a minority even at HBC. I honestly am wondering if the first board was just for the Big 3 Athletic applicants that already were scouted and offered since Football/Baseball and Basketball seem to be the only sports selected have on their resume. He just finished his FASFA but obviously Pell does not cover as much as a ROTC scholarship and if you don't complete ROTC you can't depend on a BA to get a commission. His goal is a military career not free school 5 and fly that is really frustrating when those not really wanting a military career take these slots away from serious mil track students. He already had to give up goal of SA since he turns 17 46 days after the deadline. But SA seem to be filled with people that are proud that they have no desire to actually serve past the min as AR/NG if there are this few slots why is AR/NG even an option? Only other info is AROTC degree Psychology and Navy is in for Physics but there are supposedly a few hundred Psychology slots opening but since not made Tier 1 or 2 only have added that info that is interested in Psychology program if needing candidates. The only thing we know he is having a possible issue is that he will be 16 for first couple of days of most of the schools Fall Semesters. Sorry just frustrating when you know hundreds of the limited slots are being taken by people with no real military goals other than as a resume fluffer. I guess as a Vet it is also not understanding why our kids are not in front of the 'free school' as little as you HAVE to give back people. Sorry for being 'that parent' but I know I can not be the only parent /applicant that is feeling the "WTH do you want from them/me?" when they see resumes of selected vs their resume and see a disparity towards Big 3 Athletics vs REAL WP selections.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
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  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    My sympathies, though I know that doesn't do much for frustration.

    Just to focus on one area - why give up on the SA? With a solid record like that, attend college, take a first-year SA-like schedule, ace the classes, keep up with external activities, try a new sport, apply to SA when the age works. Many, many plebes/doolies/swabs have a year or two of college before they apply. They tend to do very well, because they have gained maturity, possibly away from home. It all doesn't have to happen immediately after HS, as bruising as that is to the high achiever's psyche. If he is firm in his decision to serve as an officer, then patience and keep trying is the way to go, with the main goal of a commission being the driver to bear down and get there whatever path works.

    You can drive yourself crazy comparing stats and wondering how some people got in. Try not to. It's an art and a science selecting candidates for commissioning programs, balancing a wide range of factors to bring in a broad range of qualities, traits, skills and potentials.

    And thanks to you both for your own service.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I maybe 1000% wrong, but I always thought to get an HSSP (HS) you had to have less than 30 credits to compete for the HSSP.

    Just wondering if somehow he got lost in the mix and they considered him ineligible for the HSSP because he has 33 college credits before the AP credits are added on. If so, than by their regs., he is not eligible for the HSSP.
     
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  4. murfthesurf

    murfthesurf DS - USNA 2020

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    Wow! I don't blame you for venting!

    Your son sounds like ISR-caliber! What I don't understand, is why didn't he also apply to a SA?!
     
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  5. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    Murf, I agree, sounds like a great candidate for an SA, but he is not old enough to apply this year. He is only 16. I am with MJ, take college curriculum as if first year SA and then apply when old enough.
     
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  6. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    KeyzCat, your son sounds like a great kid with lots of motivation and dedication and I am sorry for your situation. However, I do take offense with your quoted statement. My DD just accepted an appointment to USAFA and her goal is to be a general someday serving at the Pentagon. And BTW, she is not a recruited athlete. Not every student attending SAs are there without military goals and only want a free education. In fact, there are several recent posters who desire to serve as a career in the military. And even if they are only in for 5 and fly, it does not mean they are less deserving of an appointment or ROTC scholarship. I understand your frustration, but your blanket statement is far from true and diminishes the hard work and tremendous effort put forth by each candidate vying for a spot, including your DS. I truly hope your DS is able to serve, and by looking at his resume, it seems like he will make it happen if he truly wants it to come to fruition. Good luck to him. Aim High!
     
  7. murfthesurf

    murfthesurf DS - USNA 2020

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    KeyzCat states : "He already had to give up goal of SA since he turns 17 46 days after the deadline." (This means his 17th birthday is ~Aug. 15th, 2016) + "The only thing we know he is having a possible issue is that he will be 16 for first couple of days of most of the schools Fall Semesters."

    Like Falcon says, your son is simply too young this year. Yet, nobody flagged the fact that he is 16 ?!-

    [From USNA Admissions: "At least 17 and not past their 23rd birthday on 1 July of the year they would enter the academy"]
    [From US Army Website: "To be considered eligible to join the U.S. Army, you must be 17 years old or older...."]

    I can't imagine that the AROTC or NROTC programs have an easier Age requirement than 17 ....
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Murf,

    He would most likely not contract in ROTC until after Aug 15th, thus the 17 yr old requirement would be moot.
    ~ Most colleges do not start before 8/15, and the cadets typically do not contract until a week after the start date of school. The folks would stil have to sign off since he is a minor, however, if 17 is the age min, and he turns 17 Aug. 15th, than that is why an SA doesn't work for them.

    What may be a factor for them when it comes to the scholarship is he has more than the 30 college credits for HSSP. If so, than he is ineligible for the HS scholarship program. If memory serves me correctly the fine print states for HSSP you can have no more than 30 college credits. The OP has stated they have more than that without including their AP credits.

    Hate to say it, if I am reading this situation correctly, but tracking out so fast in HS from an academic perspective may have created a clog in he pipeline, because he is either too young (SA) or too academically advanced for the ROTC scholarship program
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
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  9. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Your son's credentials are impressive. It's possible the AROTC board didn't want to spend a first round offer on someone who seems destined for NROTC.

    The first board awards a low percentage of offers, so don't be discouraged.
     
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  10. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Falcons Rock comment resonates with me with regard to military career motivation. All commissioning programs fully expect candidates apply with various motivations and expectations. There is absolutely nothing wrong with an original expectation of coming in, honorably serving the minimum obligation and planning to leave the service to go on to another career. That is the stated trade-off for a "free" education: you can buy your education and some variety of employment at the price of X years of your life. The system is designed to take enough candidates into the various intakes to allow for predictable attitrition for various reasons during pre-comm time and in the years following.

    I recall waiting for a meeting to start at USNA when I was a BattO, and we were all talking about how long we had originally planned to stay in and why we came in. The Commandant, who went on to make 4 stars as CNO, said he had planned to get out after his 5 years. My 5 fellow BattOs and the DepDant, and I, all laughed and agreed we had all planned to get out. That is very common. We had all discovered we loved the life, the service, the challenge, the leadership - and stayed despite the hardships on ourselves and families. In no way had we come in saying "I want to have a full career, be an admiral, etc." None of us knew how the journey would unfold.

    One of our USNA sponsor daughters came from a difficult home environment with very little money and advantages, had non-stellar stats, was not a recruited athlete, ho-hum public HS, moved along in the middle of the pack at USNA in terms of grades, activities and leadership positions. She was very open about her plan to serve her time, gain work experience, save money to help younger siblings and use her USNA education to launch herself into a corporate career at the end of her 5 years. Fast forward - she is a top-performing, highly successful officer, commanded a minesweeper as a LCDR and is headed for destroyer command next. She shakes her head in amazement at how her career has developed, and her original "5 and dive" plan evaporated. She is self-deprecating, saying she was never one of those "brainiac" types, but somehow she knows how to motivate people and build high-performing teams.

    It's frustrating enough for concerned parents and candidates to wrestle with disappointments while others with apparently lesser credentials get the nod. There is no percentage in evaluating motivation and post-commissioning career plans, but that is just me.

    No intention here to hijack this thread - just felt strongly. Focus here should be on OP's challenges.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I am sorry for your frustration. Hang on there are lots of scholarships still left out there.

    I know it is hard to be on these types of boards and see things, but hang in there and try not to worry about what others are getting or doing. Like any anonymous forum, it is really hard to gauge candidates as we only get part of the information. Things such as interviews do play a role in these things and candidates can really only guess how they did on those. I applaud your son for wanting to pursue a military career. I will caution as someone who has lived through this process to take it one step at a time. When I was commissioned it was prior to 9/11. We were all having a great time and living our lives as JOs, going on deployments, getting married, having kids, traveling, etc. Life was good for a young JO making decent money with no debt! I had planned to make it a career as many of my friends had. Well after years in the middle east fighting wars, serving as casualty officers, standing at the graves of our friends/Marines/Sailors/significant others it takes it toll. Many of us knew when we go to a certain point that it was time to walk. Some are still in today and still fighting the good fight and are great leaders. All I can say is to take it one step at a time. In many cases those who we thought would "5 & Dive" are now retired and others who were thought for sure were "lifers" did 5, 8, 10 years and left. Life at 17-18 looks so simple, but as we all know, families, kids, moving, takes its toll and eventually some choose to leave for many reasons.
     
  12. parentalunit2

    parentalunit2 Parent

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    KeyzCat – Your post just about blew me away. The blanket judgments and flat out insults to other young folks who wish to serve. Wow. Just wow. OK, I’ll go there.

    “So why exactly was he passed over for kids with lower scores”

    Because life isn’t fair.

    “when you know hundreds of the limited slots are being taken by people with no real military goals other than as a resume fluffer”

    Yes, your child would be the *only* one in ROTC or an SA with a goal of actually serving in the military.

    “He already had to give up goal of SA since he turns 17 46 days after the deadline“

    This statement makes no sense whatsoever. Apply next year.

    It is way too early for the annual sour grapes of ‘my kid didn’t get the golden ticket they clearly and so richly deserve’. I truly hope your child does not share in most of your attitudes.
     
  13. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    1+ CaptMJ and NavyHoops and thank you both for your service. And just a bit further off topic, I did not say it so eloquently and had forgotten that I too was only going to enlist for 4 years. I told myself I could do anything for 4 years and then I was out the door. Well, that 4 quickly turned into 20 and before I knew it I was being piped ashore and retiring as an officer. It happens more than one might think. Life gets in the way and opportunities are provided that most 17 or 18 year old young people do not think of when making that type of committment. As NavyHoops said, life is simple at that age and adventure awaits.

    Back on topic, Pima knows ROTC backwards and forwards and perhaps the OP should call the ROTC admissions and inquire. As far as her DS goes, he is very young and his life is just beginning. He has plenty of time and credentials to attend any SA. It would, in my opinion, be in his best interest to slow down a bit and be a kid and apply for one of the SA next year.
     
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  14. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

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    Venting is good, but this is a marathon not a sprint. To answer your original question, I know one applicant listed her only sport was competitive dance, so I would not consider that one of the big 3 sports. It is possible the major plays a role though, age and the college credits he has. The college credit issue is interesting, maybe ask cadet Command? Just a thought. Another idea is check with his top schools, would that be the same issues going for a campus based 3 year AD from the individual school? I know that is not the solution you are looking for, but it seems his exceptional motivation to succeed might of landed him in a pickle, but that doesn't mean he cannot have a great career in the military as an officer and get his education covered. It also might be that his major of choice was different than those with appearing to be less quality stats, just so many factors that it is hard to know.

    My DD is definitely more of a middle of the pack kid as far as stats go but just finished her application a few weeks ago and will be considered second board, she was told by every recruiter she talked to not to rush for first board as only 200-300 are awarded and she wouldn't be that kid. She also is not applying to power house schools as were listed by first board winners, While she does not have the stats your son does, she definitely has a dream to be in the military and has since she was 11 or 12. We are not a military family like yours is, so her exposure to this option has been very limited. So she found this desire on her own and it only gets stronger as she gets older. As far as how long she will serve, who knows. Again she doesn't have a lot role models to judge from, but knows she wants to be a nurse, serve her country and be the best leader she can be. I definitely applaud any kid who wants to dedicate their time in college to not only learning an academic discipline but also willing to become a leader in our armed forces, whether that be for four, five or twenty years. I would not second guess any of their accomplishments, and try to keep the frustration separate from bashing other kids. Your son is highly accomplished and will do very well in life, including the military if that is his choice. I wish the best for your son and definitely would recommend checking with cadet command on his options given his age and academic success with college credits. And thank you to your and your husband's for your service as well!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
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  15. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Also there is no reason he can't do a year at a University and then apply to a SA if that is what he wants. My squadmate was the youngest person in our class. I would of never guessed it but he had gonna to a one the very pricey, big name, exclusive boarding schools on the east coast. So his issue of being away from home and all that goes with that was not an issue. He service selected SEALs and has had an extremely successful career. Maybe a gap year of school wouldn't be such a bad idea with such a young son. Graduating and commissioning at 20... that is young. I understand he wants a military career, but what is the rush?
     
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  16. GutDawg700

    GutDawg700 New Member

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    These boards are frustrating, but there is plenty of time and no real reason for concern as of right now.

    I received a 4-Year ROTC Scholarship from the first board with similar credentials as your son, the only difference being that I have a 3.9 UW GPA, a 30 ACT, and a few more leadership positions. Nevertheless, I see your son receiving offers from AROTC or NROTC without much of a problem.

    Assuming he isn't majoring in something irrelevant to the Army, he did a solid interview, and doesn't have a record, he should be fine.
     
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  17. nofodad

    nofodad Member

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    It's early.
     
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  18. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    I haven't seen anyone mention this, but in order to receive a 3 or 4 year AROTC scholarship, you must be 17 yrs old. Not sure about Navy. So, it isn't just USMA that has an issue with 16yr olds.

    I'd recommend attending school on your dime for freshman year, and take classes that mimic Plebe year classes - Calc, chemistry, physics, history and English, and join ROTC.

    Work towards applying for the SAs after that first year, or obtaining an in-college scholarship and remain in ROTC.

    Best of luck to your son.
     
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  19. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    To be honest, your son's stats are about average. He is the member of several organizations and has some awards and some leadership.

    The issue when you look at other's stats that received a scholarship from the first board is that there is usually a lot more to them then the simple GPA and Test scores they post.

    Here is an example, my son received his scholarship from the first board in Oct. 2010. Looking at the surface his stats were average and below many who did not receive a scholarship when looking only at GPA and Test scores, but as I mentioned there is a lot more that goes into the process. Here is few of the items that were included in his application.

    GPA 3.5 UW
    ACT 24
    (Neither of these would be considered above average for the first board)

    This is what rounded out his application:
    3 years Varsity Cross Country Team Captain
    3 years Varsity Track Team Captain
    Debate Team Captain
    Sports Editor Yearbook 1 year
    Editor in Chief Yearbook 1 year
    Senator in Youth in Government 2 years
    Juror Youth City Court 1 year
    Head Juror Youth City Court 1 year
    Judge Youth City Court 1 year
    Section leader Band and Marching Band 2 years
    Youth Group leader 1 year
    Senior Youth Group leader 1 year
    Senior class president
    Junior class vice president
    Student Body President
    Senior leader on two trips abroad to build housing
    Boy Scouts
    Senior Patrol Leader 2 terms
    Eagle Scout

    These are a few of the items that were on his application. It's hard to judge against others without knowing the whole story regarding their applications. The board looks hard at those that not only belong to an organization, but are the leader in that organization. This does not mean they won't get a scholarship, they just may not receive on of the very few that are given from the first board. The board looks at the Whole Person, how they evaluate these applicants for the first boar is rally unknown to all of us.

    One other thing to consider is school selections, some schools have a much larger number of applicants to choose from, while your son's stats would be a shoe in from some battalions, he may be just in the middle of the pack for other battalions based on how competitive they are. Remember as well that being a competitive battalion does not mean they are a better battalion, just that there are more applicants that list that particular school.

    Your son has good stats, I would not be surprised to see him receive a scholarship from one of the two remaining boards, whether it is a 4 or 3 year will depend on what the battalions have available at the time.

    One last thing, it's not a good idea to post anything that implies that others trying for the same scholarship as your son are simply trying to fluff their resume. As far as wanting to make a career out of the Army right off the bat, it is way to early for anyone to make that claim. Nobody knows how they will adjust the military life, will they feel the same way in 4 years. Remember for an officer, making the Army a career is not always their choice either.

    Edit: Just re-read the original post, I guess I missed the part about the applicant being 16, might want to check with a battalion ROO to see if that is an issue with the application.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  20. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    What is a T&P SCD Vet?

    Service connected disability?
     
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