5 year commitment

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by LurkingQuietly, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. LurkingQuietly

    LurkingQuietly Member

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    So, what is the history of the 5 year commitment for a service academy? Has it ever been re-evaluated considering the large number of applicants. Since the average enlisted contract is 4 years, wouldn't it be more appropriate to have the SA Students contract for 4, then pay back 4 years, for a total of an 8 year commitment? The officer ranks would be more seasoned.
     
  2. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    I think it should be longer. Using your enlisted analogy, the cost of the academy education vs enlisted training is not even close. More payback vice less is my vote.
     
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  3. helmsdown

    helmsdown Member

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    5 years is the minimum. If you go Nuke or Aviation you will owe more time due to the extra training. IF and that's a big IF, you go MedCorp you might as well stay and get your pension. LOL!

    My understanding is that many leave between 5 and 8 years. The Navy only needs so many LT CMDs and the pyramid gets narrow as you go up.
     
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  4. gonavy14

    gonavy14 Member

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    As a pilot the commitment is basically 10 years. 8 years from winging, and it takes roughly 2 years after graduation to wing.
     
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  5. MiddyB

    MiddyB Member

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    @helmsdown is correct. 5 years is what the Navy/Marine Corps needs. They need competent O1-O3's in front of divisions/platoons. After those ranks, the Navy/Marine Corps gets to be picky. The path gets narrower and you don't want the faint-of-heart to continue.
     
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  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I'm with Devil Doc. It used to be 4 years back in the day but the training and education is so much more expensive now, they raised it to 5. If it changes, it will only increase.
     
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  7. Nemo567

    Nemo567 Member

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    Nukes only owe 5 years. The only communities that increase your commitment are Aviation and Med Corps.
     
  8. THParent

    THParent Member

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    The USNA class of 1945 graduated as the class of 1944, because of "War-Accelerated Graduation" requirements.
    915 of them graduated in only 3 years, on June 7, 1944 (the day after D-Day).
    Less than a year later, one of that class (Richard McCool) was awarded the Medal of Honor.

    I'm a history dork, okay?

    Back on track, though - I think a longer service commitment is a good thing in theory, but honestly (just as @MiddyB wrote) the "supply" of officers in the chain is pretty well thought out.
    This is especially true for The Corps. They need those o-1 through o-3 billets filled, but if you don't make o-4 after that first look at you for it, the writing is on the wall. The Corps won't flat out say
    "we don't need you anymore", but they will make it so plain that you would be a blockhead to miss it.

    Unless there's a Reduction in Force. That's pretty much when they tell you "Here's your cover, pal - don't let the door hit you on the way out"
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  9. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    I have a document from my Dad filed somewhere that was a USMC issued paper that stated the average life expectancy of a 2nd Lt in a beach landing during WW II was 30 seconds. I can't find it at the moment but will continue to look. No need to debate or refute the data - my point is simply the Marines load up the top of the Officer funnel understanding that the need for junior combat officers is greatest and drops off significantly after Captain. In combat this functions exactly as planned. In peacetime, the service is forced to tighten promotion standards, execute RIFs, etc based on how many Officers elect to stay each year. All in all, the process works pretty well.
     
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  10. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    What was the life expectancy of the Corpsman I wonder. Thankfully we ditched the red cross.
     
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  11. THParent

    THParent Member

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    If you believe the movie "Rules of Engagement" a Marine Corps 2nd LT's life expectancy in Vietnam (circa 1968) was 16 minutes.
    It was actually on average, about two months.

    As for WWII, I knew a guy who walked up Utah beach with nothing but a 105mm round in his arms. That's almost like carrying a sack of water softener salt.
    The reason I was able to to know him at all, was because he was in the 3rd wave. He said that he walked over most of the first, and a lot of the 2nd wave.
     
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  12. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    Last thing you want to hear "Corpsman Up". One of my best friends in College was offered Corpsman with Marines or Officer School. He chose Officer School and a longer time.
     
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  13. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    I've seen that movie a few times. I think Jim Webb wrote it. I was part of Operation Sharp Edge and Assured Response, one of a handful in the SPMAGTF who had done both. I only went ashore during Assured Response. Thankfully the crowds outside the embassy gate were not as large or rowdy as in Rules. In fact, the crowd pretty much dispersed because of a well placed round from a Marine sniper perched at post 1.

    Another fun story: My son and I were blessed to know a 90 something year old retired Army colonel who landed at Normandy on 6 June 1944. After the war they sent him to infantry officer school at Ft. Benning. He breezed through it and stayed on after graduation as an instructor. He was a gem of a man and gave my son his foot locker as a commissioning gift. It's the standard green box with hasp for a lock. It has stamps all over it from different countries, kind of like passport stamps I guess. The locker is in my basement as I keyboard this.
     
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  14. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    There's no higher honor than maintaining the Navy and Marine Corps' main weapon system, the Sailor and Marine.
     
  15. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    When was the Academy commitment 4 years? Its been minimum 5 years since at least the early 70s. ROTC was 4 for much of my service time but not USNA.
     
  16. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Well... I go back way before the early 70s. As I said... back in the day. Never applied though, but did look into it.
     
  17. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Been 5 for awhile at USNA and ROTC was 4 when I was in. Wasn’t there a stint in the 80s where USNA jumped to 6 years?
     
  18. usna1985

    usna1985 10-Year Member

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    I have some recollection it was 5 years AD and one year in the inactive reserves. Something about a "universal 6-year commitment." But in our day, we never signed any commitment documents the way they do now so I don't really recall. I also don't know of anyone who wanted out at 5 years AD and couldn't do it (unless they were an aviator, etc.). I think they had to continue as a reservist for one year, but it was just a name on a list (non-drilling).

    Someone please correct me if my memory fails me.
     
  19. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    @usna1985 : I commissioned via NROTC a few years ahead of you. At that time, ROTC was 4 years active/ 2 years inactive reserve (total 6-year commitment). My recollection is that the Academy grads had a 5 and 1 commitment as you note. At that time, NROTC and Academy got "regular" commissions while PLC and OCS got "reserve" commissions. Regular Officers served at the pleasure of Congress versus serving distinct tours like Reserve Officers. I had to request permission to resign my commission even though I had exceeded the required time commitment.