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3-year Army ROTC as an uncontracted, non-scholarship cadet?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by bsherman92, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. bsherman92

    bsherman92 5-Year Member

    Feb 6, 2011
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    Hello there. I am currently a mechanical engineering major at the City College of New York, a part of the CUNY system. This is the 2nd semester of my first year. I was actively seeking officership programs as a high schooler: West Point, USNA, USAFA, Army ROTC, you name it (I did not apply for NROTC and AFROTC). I only came so close as to getting a congressional nomination to USMA and USAFA, but I did not get accepted by academy admissions themselves. I was also denied an AROTC scholarship (4-year). Bummer, I guess. I just enrolled at CUNY City for the time being and forewent the whole plan.

    An Army recruiter called me towards the end of my senior year. I enlisted mid-semester. Got a 92 on the AFQT (of the ASVAB), took the TAPAS, MEPS physical, DEP-In, etc. I chose 68W - Health Care Specialist as my MOS. It's still a few months until I ship out. Since then I've completed my 1st semester and will go on to do my 2nd here. I figured I was going to either finish the 4 year contract and get the GI Bill and whatever, try to land Green-to-Gold, or maybe even one of those 200 enlisted slots at USMA. Either way, I was pretty happy.

    My cousin, an E-6 in the Navy, thought this whole thing was foolish. He saw my scores in prior academic years and my AFQT percentile and he says I should be looking into a direct path to officership, not a prior-enlisted one. He told me about a whole bunch of programs I never even knew existed: USMC PLC and OCC, Navy BDCP, CEC, NUPOC, Air Force TDSP. I'm not a stellar student (3.393 GPA during 1st semester, 1810 on SAT, 26 on ACT), but I'm hoping these are decent enough for a non-scholarship enrollment at Fordham's AROTC, which will be a pretty rough commute. I thought I would have financial troubles for school, which is why I was looking for those scholarships, but my pell grants and other aid seemed to cover me generously. And I commute too, which takes care of "housing." I met my recruiter about this. He was extremely nice about it and I thank him for understanding, but no recruiter is going to allow a DEP discharge that easily. The station commander and my recruiter were trying to tell me that with my scores, I would probably be going Green-to-Gold earlier than I would under ROTC or PLC or TDSP, and that I'd also get prior-enlisted pay. Taking the ROTC or PLC (which I'm really liking the sound of right now) path would also probably make my rents a lot happier. I have yet to give them an official answer but if I really am qualified to enroll, I'd like to request a DEP discharge so that I can seek a commission. My PT scores are... Decent? I know I'm supposed to ship out in a few months so I do keep them up for Basic. I passed the diagnostic APFT my recruiter gave me so I guess it's not really a problem yet.

    I don't just want to back out of the DEP because it would certainly hurt them a lot and I do feel guilty that I've wasted their time. However, I'd like to know, can you enroll into Fordham's Army ROTC program as a sophomore without seeking a contract or a scholarship, at this time? (I know all cadets only contract in their junior year) I don't care about getting a scholarship because quite frankly, I don't think I need the aid. More preferably, does anybody know how selective the USMC's PLC program is? I love the sound of it and it is pretty ideal to me, with the whole not having to wear uniforms around campus and attending two (or one) condensed, training session in the summer. I heard that competing for a slot there is basically competing against the whole Marine Corps Reserves, all of them with prior-enlisted experience and whatnot. Also, are the admission materials for Fordham's AROTC 3-year program different if you're seeking a spot as non-scholarship as opposed to a spot with scholarship?

    Sorry for the wall of text. I really appreciate the help!
  2. patentesq

    patentesq Parent 5-Year Member

    Jan 6, 2011
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    I think your cousin's advice is sound. You seem to be open to every branch of service. As such, my advice would be to apply to EVERYTHING again -- SAs, ROTC Scholarship, etc. You should also stop by Fordham AROTC and ask them directly the questions you have posted here.

    I wouldn't worry about guilt. If you were in a unit about to deploy to combat in Afghznistan, my view would be different. But in the Delayed Entry Program, the only folks relying on you seem to be bureaucrats in the Green Machine. If one of the services recognizes you as the bright kid you are, someone in the command structure will have made a judgment about you ad determined the best place to put your talents to use. We're all on the same team, and I'm sure the Army could find someone, somewhere to cover you.

    I also wouldn't dwell on trying to pinpoint your chances for the various programs. Just apply. Your chances will become apparent soon enough. The only thing that is in your power is to get your credentials in the best shape possible (e.g., work very hard in school this semester, etc.).
  3. -Bull-

    -Bull- 5-Year Member

    Mar 13, 2009
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    If you want out of DEP, you can get out of DEP. You need to be doing what you want to do and are happy with. If that is ROTC without being enlisted, do it.
  4. Marist College ROTC

    Marist College ROTC 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2010
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    There are plenty of CUNY students that are already in the Fordham ROTC program. The commute should not be a problem. You have the option of attending class, lab, and PT at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, or at Rose Hill in the Bronx. If you want to join the ROTC program, all you have to do is call the office, give them some basic information about yourself, and fax or email your transcript.

    If you are part of the NYARNG DEP you will have no problem "switching" to ROTC. If you are part of USAR, it is more complicated but not impossible. Stop procrastinating and call the Fordham ROTC Office. (718)817-4876.

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