Why a State Military College?

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by SamAca10, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    A friend of mine and I were talking about service academies. His dad graduated from AFA, and my friend was considering WP. However, he ended up choosing an AROTC scholarship at Rose-Hulman...when we started talking about state military college( you know, VMI, the Citadel, etc.) he brought up a good point: Why would anyone pay money out of their pocket to be yelled at and have restrictions imposed on them? Why not go to a good civilian college with a ROTC scholarship? Like he said, at the service academies they pick up the tab.

    Thanks guys
     
  2. CadetMom777

    CadetMom777 Member

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    I can tell you my son's choice for picking a Senior Military College over the academies and regular ROTC programs. He is going to Texas A&M, which, along with Virginia Tech, have full-time Corps of Cadet programs within a larger civilian university. He has two classmates and good friends who are currently going through plebe summer at the Naval Academy.

    He wanted a blend of the two experiences. He wanted a very structured environment during the week, but with more freedom than the academies. Freshmen at the academies basically don't leave their campus but one or two times during their first semester and must do so in uniform. VMI and the Citadel are fairly close to that academy experience as well. At A&M, unless there are scheduled events for the cadets, he can leave campus on weekends... or town for that matter... and be a civilian wearing regular clothes until he reports back.

    At the other end, he felt like the regular ROTC programs at civilian colleges were not structured enough in that you only wear a uniform to class once a week and your training takes up your weekends.

    I guess it's all a matter of personality and preference as to how immersive into military life you want your ROTC experience to be. Any way you go, you'll still wear the same Second Lieutenant or Ensign bars when you leave. And if you get a 4 year scholarship, you are getting your education almost for free whichever choice you go with.
     
  3. LongGreyLine Hopeful

    LongGreyLine Hopeful Member

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    I can't speak for everyone, but out of everyone at STP that was on my side of barracks on the 3rd stoop at least 2 of the 4 in each room had some sort of ROTC scholarship.
     
  4. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 Member

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    There are many reasons to choose a SMC over a Service Academy. Here are just a few:

    Freedom to choose. You aren't tied down to one branch of service. You can choose any branch (to include the Coast Guard), change your mind and even elect not to commission at all. I know two cadets in my Class in particular who did all kinds of service jumping: one went Air Force-Army-Marines, and the other went Army-Air Force-Marines. There are also alternative choices to commissioning route. I know several cadets who commissioned through OCS/PLC/OCC instead of the traditional ROTC route.

    Corps size. I know everyone in my Class. I know most of the people in the classes right ahead of me ('08) and right behind me ('10). An entering plebe class at the Service Academies is roughly 2/3 the size of the entire VMI Corps of Cadets. I love the close knit relationship I have with my Brother Rats.

    State pride. Military schools are a Southern tradition. There's just something cool about being tied to a state (or, in my case, a Commonwealth) instead of the federal government. It sounds nuts to northerners, but if you visit, you'll understand. My mom couldn't begin to understand it 'til we went for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway during Parents Weekend of my Third Class year.

    Again, those are just a handful of reasons. More to come.

    Jackie M. Briski
    VMI Class of 2009
     
  5. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 Member

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    Here's repost from the thread on why anyone would want to go to a SMC if they didn't want to commission (http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?p=58245&highlight=Jackie#post58245). There are a few other ideas explored in that thread, too.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck,

    Jackie M. Briski
    VMI Class of 2009
    First Class Private (Ret.)
     
  6. sprog

    sprog Member

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    good question

    The original question made me giggle. I have had the same thought many a time over the last few years as I ponder my life choices.:rolleyes: I graduated in 99, and there were times when I was curious as to why on Earth my mom and dad were paying for me to undergo such torture. Yes- I often wondered it while I was marching 2nd relief sentinel in January during a slew of freezing rain, or while I was on confinement during Parents' Weekend Second Class year because my moron roommate couldn't be bothered to pick up his Army gear off of the floor.

    I'l be honest. I'm not one of those guys who will go to any lengths to tell you that VMI is the best place on Earth, and is a better choice than a SA. Yes it's full of history, Stonewall Jackson taught there, blah, blah, blah....I'm not that guy. I fully admit that I went to VMI because I did not get an appointment to my SA of choice. That said, I wanted a commission, and wanted to belong to a Corps (on a full-time basis). As a 17 year old, this sounded like a good idea. That said, I would not trade my VMI experience for the world. The academics were great, and the ROTC/Corps lifestyle really did prepare me for active duty. VMI has a great reputation in the active duty military, and in my four years in the USAF, most senior officers I ran into (Squadron, Group, and Wing level) had a great deal of respect for the type of junior officer produced by the "I." Also, I am a practicing attorney now, and I found the academics at VMI to be a strong preparation for the type of reasoning and intensive writing required in law school.

    Sort answer-I'm glad mom and dad paid for VMI, as while it wasn't my first choice, it WAS the most defining time of my life.

    Rah Va Mil '99 '99 '99!!!
     
  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Jackie's post is spot-on!

    Actually its about the best I've heard and it sums it up so well in such a short missive!!!:thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     

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