Which is better: ROTC or OCS?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by gbritto98, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. gbritto98

    gbritto98 Member

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    Hey guys I was just wondering if ROTC had any major benefits over just going to OCS after college? A lot of people make it sound like its a lot better and I'm wondering why. Do ROTC students get more guarantee on the jobs they want? Also I posted on here before and someone said if you want a certain Job then you can have that in your contract before you go to OCS that will basically say if you complete OCS then you get that job. Is that true and how do you go about doing that?
    Also do ROTC people have to go to OCS because I've heard from a lot of people that academy and ROTC don't and they do a different training?
     
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Your user name has "98" in it. If you were born in 1998, how can you be a College Junior graduating in May of 2018, as you have stated in prior posts?

    If you are indeed a college Junior you have advised by Navy NOLA that it is too late for NROTC. Yet you are still asking about NROTC?

    You have also been advised to do some basic research. Your questions are indicating otherwise. If you had done some simple searches on this forum, you will have found the answers to most of the questions posted above.

    I am not trying to be harsh here, but I am confused on why you insist on using terms that indicate minimal research being done on your own, and an over-dependence on unreliable sources.
     
  3. gbritto98

    gbritto98 Member

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    I was not born in 98 and I have done a lot of research but could not find anything. I am not referring to nrotc but just ROTC in general. For all the branches. Also the question did not indicate that I was choosing between the two. Just a simple compare and contrast. It's not an over dependence since I am questioning that things that I hear and not just taking them as law. I don't understand how me saying I heard something from someone and that I am just trying to verify it draws the conclusion of over dependence. If anything I think it begs to differ
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    This is an extremely broad question and is really service depeendent. The one draw back of OCS is it can go in surges of many spots and very few in others. Until you are accepted into a program, there are no guarantees. Also, OCS is generally a way to fill other MOSs or branches or specialties. So what you want might not be available. You are at the mercy of the needs of the service. The pros are you can focus on college while in college and OCS while in OCS. Remember OCS is not an automatic either. I can tell you USMC OCS is tough. ROTC you get exposure through training to leadership and the career fields available. I think the pros there are just the plain explosive, relationship building and the ability to go after any specialty (they might be small in number but all are normally available to at least out on your wish list).
     
  5. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    You need to a lot more research, but I'm feeling nice today. This is Army -specific. In a nutshell - there's no "better". They all produce good and bad officers. If you already have, or are about to get your undergraduate degree, OCS may be your only option. The problem with OCS is the class size and frequency is dependent on the needs of the service. ROTC is the main source of officer accessions, producing about 5k a year. Next is USMA at about 1100. If the Army only needs 6100 LTs that year, guess what? There will be no OCS classes held. In this era of budget cuts and drawdowns, that's a real concern.

    ROTC and USMA cadets are not required to go to basic training or OCS. They spend 2-4 years in college learning basic military skills. When they graduate and earn their commission, they go straight to BOLC, the school where they learn the basics of being a 2lt in their assigned branch.

    Since non-prior service OCS attendees do not have any military experience, and didn't have that 4 years in ROTC, their timeline is different. They first attend regular enlisted basic training. Upon completion, they go to OCS. After that, they go to BOLC. If, on the other hand something happens that prevents their graduation from OCS (conduct, physical test failure, academic failure, etc.) they will serve the rest of their contract as an enlisted soldier.

    As far as branching goes, it's not strictly true that OCS gets the less desirable branches, but in practicality, they are the last to choose. There are only so many slots available in each branch each year, so it stands to reason that the selection will be less by the time USMA and ROTC have branched. In addition, there are some branches that are essentially never available from OCS, such as medical or aviation. If you're looking at either of those, OCS will not help you.

    If you're interested in ROTC, I suggest you speak to the ROO (recruiting officer) at your desired college. Do not speak to a regular recruiter unless you want more info on OCS. They may be reluctant to process a packet for OCS - many have never done one. Be persistent and don't let them persuade you to enlist unless that's what you actually want. It is NOT easier to go to OCS after you enlist, regardless what you may be told.

    Good luck.
     
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  6. gbritto98

    gbritto98 Member

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    Do you get more of a guarantee with ROTC since some people get offered contracts before they graduate?
     
  7. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    In Army ROTC, you contract at the beginning of your junior year at the latest. Scholarship winners contract earlier. I'm not sure what sort of "guarantee" you're referring to.
     
  8. gbritto98

    gbritto98 Member

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    So you don't get to pick the branch you want till after you graduate OCS? So if I really wanted Navy or Air Force it would be a gamble because I wouldn't know what I'd get picked for till it's almost done? If I really wanted a join in Intel would there be any way to gaurentee that before OCS ?
     
  9. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    No, I specifically said my information was Army specific. When talking about branching, I am referring to Signal, Infantry, Armor, Engineers, etc. - all branches within the Army. I believe you select your branch about 2/3 of the way through OCS.

    And no, if you're wanting to go Active Duty, there is no way to pre-select your branch prior to OCS. As an FYI, MI (Intel) is one of the most popular and competitive branches to get - you normally need to be at the top of the class to secure that, if there are even any MI slots offered. Many classes have none.
     
  10. gbritto98

    gbritto98 Member

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    Like some people I know really wanted a specific job but when they finished OCS something happened and they didn't get it and they were given their 3rd option. This might sound dumb but when people contract, does that just mean they agree to be in the army or that they also will receiver the job that they want?
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Great post by the way.

    Just thought I'd make the comment that there are two OCS grads in currently in my son's flight school class, although rare, Aviation slots do come up now and then through OCS.....just don't count on them. NG has more slots then Active.
     
  12. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    You're correct, @Jcleppe - I was just trying to simplify it a little.

    @gbritto98 - you are correct. A contract means "I agree to serve the required number of years after I commission." On the Army's part, it means "if you do everything correct, and nothing unusual happens, you'll probably have a job after OCS". 99% of the time it works out fine.

    As far as getting your branch of choice, in OCS it comes down to two things - where are you ranked in the class, and what Branches are available for choosing. If you're 10th out of 100, there are only 2 mi slots available, and #1 and #3 in the class also put MI as their first choices, guess what? You're not getting it. On the other hand, you could be ranked #1, but there are no MI slots available for your class. There is literally no way for you to know ahead of time what your choices will be. As you'll hear many times, worry about what you can control - your pt scores, academic scores, etc that make up your rank are 100% within your control - the slots available are not.

    You didn't ask specifically, but in ROTC, you can agree to 3 additional years of service to increase your chances of getting your branch of choice. You can also agree to a branch detail - spending 3 years in a branch like infantry, then transferring to MI afterwards. Neither are guaranteed, but do increase your chances.

    It's ok to have a preference, but you should definitely approach all of these options from the standpoint that you want to be an officer first, and the branch is secondary. With the possible initial exception of Aviation, most officers are doing the same thing - managing people and logistics.

    Again, good luck.
     
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  13. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    When you apply and are accepted to Army OCS it means that you are agreeing to be an officer in the Army. At the point you start OCS you will have no idea what "Job" (Branch) you will have in the Army or even what will be offered when it does come time to select. As it has been said, about 2/3 of the way through OCS you will select your Job (Branch) in the Army based on how you rank among others in your OCS class.

    The only way you can pre select a Job (Branch) in the army is if you go through the National Guard or Army Reserve to apply for OCS, if you do this then you will serve your obligation in either the NG or Reserves and will not go Active Duty.
     
  14. gbritto98

    gbritto98 Member

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    So if I do reserves, I'd have a better shot at getting Intel officer?
     
  15. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Once you graduate flight school an Aviation Officer will have maybe 3 years before a major part of their job is managing people and logistics. Even during those first 3 year their job is heavy in both those fields. A lot of cadets don't realize this when they look at Aviation. Granted they will still fly, just not as a main part of their job.
     
  16. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Yes, you choose your branch in the reserves. You basically just have to get a unit to agree to take you after you commission. Don't, however, think you'll be able to go reserves and then transfer to active duty. Not happening in the current climate.
     
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  17. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Exactly - hence the "initial exception". Trying not to confuse the kid.
     
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  18. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Better shot yes, just never a guarantee, you would need to find a NG unit that needs a Intel officer that they can't fill through ROTC. Not an easy task unless your willing to move where that unit may be.
     
  19. gbritto98

    gbritto98 Member

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    Is this just for army or reserves for all branches ?
     
  20. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Army.
     

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