A conflicting situation

a_conflicted_human

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Joined
May 13, 2022
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1
Hello, as my username suggests a new member on this forum, and I am " a conflicted human," I am graduating high-school in 1 week, and I'm at a conflicting point in time, where I have intentions of commissioning into the US Navy, and unfortunately I was denied to USNA this year.

I am conflicted now, because I was recently accepted to attend Norwich University, and previously I planned on attending, nonetheless I would graduate with around 30k in loans after 4 years.

I am also considering enlistment into the Navy, as a Rate of something related to Intelligence.

Essentially, my desire to enlist comes from what I think will make me a better officer when I desire to commission as an officer. I've attempted to compare the differences between just doing NROTC and college, versus coming from the bottom and working my way to the top. I feel that if I enlist, it will make me a better officer in the future, as I will be able to lead, and relate to the enlisted sailors more. It's just hard to think of myself attending college right now, and commissioning in 4-years, I don't necessarily feel that this NROTC route will allow me to reach my furthest potential, compared to going the prior-enlisted route then working up to officer.

So, I know no one can help me make the decision, but I would definitely appreciate some advice.
 

Heatherg21

USNA mom Bacon Lover Dog Lover
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
3,574
If you were my kid I would likely tell you to attend Norwich, seek the most you can qualify for in both student aid and scholarships. Norwich was very generous in their offer to our son who had Norwich with NROTC 4 year scholarship as his Plan B.

No guarantees you can become an officer going the enlisted route, unless you obtain a bachelor's and are accepted into OCS.

There is a far greater chance of you commissioning if you successfully complete NROTC at Norwich (or another college).

You weren't clear in your original post, did you obtain an NRTOC scholarship?
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Messages
747
Go to Norwich, knock out really good grades that first year , reapply to the USNA for next years class……if you still want to.


It gives you an extra year to prepare as well if you do end up at the USNA.

$30,000 in loans over 4 years? That is a one year loan for many.

$30,000 after 4 years—-if so—-sounds like a great deal.
 

Humey

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Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
1,990
Enlisting is great if that is what you want to do. Enlisting because you think it will make you a better officer, is probably not the right choice. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Want to be an officer then go to college and commission through Rotc or OTS ( i would advise Rotc) Yes there are people who take the enlisted route but usually, it's for their own personal reason. Is 30K, a lot of money, Sure. In the scheme of things, its isn't and with a guaranteed salary and low monthly loan payments, it won't be a big deal. Not saying not to try the Naval Academy next year, but i would do NROTC.
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
10-Year Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2010
Messages
3,482
Hello, as my username suggests a new member on this forum, and I am " a conflicted human," I am graduating high-school in 1 week, and I'm at a conflicting point in time, where I have intentions of commissioning into the US Navy, and unfortunately I was denied to USNA this year.

I am conflicted now, because I was recently accepted to attend Norwich University, and previously I planned on attending, nonetheless I would graduate with around 30k in loans after 4 years.

I am also considering enlistment into the Navy, as a Rate of something related to Intelligence.

Essentially, my desire to enlist comes from what I think will make me a better officer when I desire to commission as an officer. I've attempted to compare the differences between just doing NROTC and college, versus coming from the bottom and working my way to the top. I feel that if I enlist, it will make me a better officer in the future, as I will be able to lead, and relate to the enlisted sailors more. It's just hard to think of myself attending college right now, and commissioning in 4-years, I don't necessarily feel that this NROTC route will allow me to reach my furthest potential, compared to going the prior-enlisted route then working up to officer.

So, I know no one can help me make the decision, but I would definitely appreciate some advice.
The idea of being prior enlisted making a better officer is something that just about every recruiter will tell you along with many disgruntled junior enlisted. My father was career enlisted as were the fathers of a number of my USNA classmates. If starting out as a Seaman Recruit was an important step toward being a better Junior Officer, you can be assured that I would have heard that loud and clear from my father.
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During my Naval Career, I served with quite a few "Mustangs" who went from Enlisted to Officer through one of the programs and while there was no doubt that they had more detailed technical knowledge about specific equipment, their ability to lead varied across individuals just as it does with Officers from USNA/ROTC/OCS.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
7,346
The idea of being prior enlisted making a better officer is something that just about every recruiter will tell you along with many disgruntled junior enlisted. My father was career enlisted as were the fathers of a number of my USNA classmates. If starting out as a Seaman Recruit was an important step toward being a better Junior Officer, you can be assured that I would have heard that loud and clear from my father.
.
During my Naval Career, I served with quite a few "Mustangs" who went from Enlisted to Officer through one of the programs and while there was no doubt that they had more detailed technical knowledge about specific equipment, their ability to lead varied across individuals just as it does with Officers from USNA/ROTC/OCS.
I second this. I served with a lot of Mustangs and it’s a mixed bag, just like any other commissioning source. My company at TBS had a ‘cheating scandal’. All mustangs. A few companies ahead of us also had one that was all priors. This is a small sample and not reflective of mustangs at all. I served with many great officers from the MECEP program and in the fleet. I was also in units that were very Warrant Officer and LDO heavy… most were amazing. We need officers who can make decisions, problem solve, have high emotional intelligence, be empathic, listen, learn and a million other things. Being prior enlisted does not automatically mean someone can do those things. If you are not ready for college (and there is nothing wrong with that) and the officer path, enlist.
 

novanews76

2026 Applicant
Joined
Oct 29, 2020
Messages
619
This post about being conflicted conjures up a similarly themed post about Norwich or enlisting. I believe the poster was NOVANEWS76, so maybe he can weigh in. He's been pretty quiet on here lately 😏
Indeed, I have been quiet, just getting ready for life at Norwich!
 

justdoit19

Proud parent of an ANG, USNA X2, and a MidSib
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Apr 9, 2017
Messages
5,944
This post about being conflicted conjures up a similarly themed post about Norwich or enlisting. I believe the poster was NOVANEWS76, so maybe he can weigh in. He's been pretty quiet on here lately 😏
In the spirit of full disclosure…aka Michael 22 before that. Poster has changed their name a few times.
 

WarriorScholar

New Member
Joined
May 21, 2022
Messages
2
New here, but as a current college president I have learned the best college for any student is the one that "feels" right. You have to be able to imagine yourself being comfortable at the school you have chosen. And, yes, before you have actually been a student/cadet at a particular school, you cannot fully appreciate what being comfortable there is truly like. However, go with your gut and what you do know and all will work out.

No matter what you choose--good luck and take some pride in the fact that you are considering a collegiate experience that few have the fortitude to endure and confidence to choose. You will be better for the experience.

From a personal perspective, I'm a Norwich grad, was a professor at USAFA, and am now the president of a state college in California...and Norwich prepared me very well for those things and everything in-between. But make sure you find where is best for you.
 

Old Enlisted Marine

The only title better than Marine is DAD
Joined
Sep 16, 2021
Messages
421
From the view of an old enlisted Marine I will say this. My DS is at USNA 25 I couldn’t be prouder, direct admit not a prior. He will hopefully be the first officer in our family. Our Family has a long history of enlisted service. Life as an officer is a bit better so I think he is doing it right. Notice I didn’t say easier. Next I will admit every time I see an officer the first thing I look for is that good conduct ribbon. Mustangs do get a bit more respect at first glance but just because you are a prior doesn’t mean you will continue to get respect unless it’s earned. Success is earned daily. Enlist if you want, there is value to it, but understand transitioning to officer is not as simple as it sounds. Your service will take priority over a transition to commissioning. Best of luck and don’t rush this choice. Beware of those selling you on a path. This choice is yours, make an educated decision.
 
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“Life as an officer is a bit better” :)

There are no doubt many parents , we have seen examples, on a SA forum that would be upset and disappointed and very opposed if their DC talked about serving their country in the military and going the enlisted route. Even worse if it means standing on yellow paint.

Similar to someone passing up Harvard to get a ged in HS.

I understand the wanting “a bit better” , but it’s a sad state of affairs for the country..

That may be why Sen Paul Douglas stands out and above so many to me. A true American giant.

He passed up a commission , a desk job no doubt in DC in his future, to graduate USMC boot camp in 1942 as a pvt at the age of 50. And then went infantry.
 
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