ACTOR to NROTC??

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by pillbug, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. pillbug

    pillbug Member

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    My son has wanted to be a Marine for most of his life but strangely has spent most of his time acting (theater style). He is a lead in almost everything he auditions for. He now has gone to the recruitment office and after giving them his SAT score 1260, GPA 3.6 and taken the pre-ASVAB -score 78 they advised him to try for the NROTC. Are they just pulling his leg. After reading all the paperwork it seems like a reach. Should he just enlist? Advice taken.
     
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    We need a little more background.
    • Is he in college or high school right now?
    • Why would he be doubtful about NROTC/MO if he has a good GPA and fair SAT score (1260 with math and verbal, I hope).
    • If he is in college why not consdier PLC/OCS?
    • Why in your opinion, does a talent for acting/theater prevent him from being a Marine? *
    * See Jonathan Winters, Lee Marvin, Ralph Waite, Drew Carey, George C. Scott, Gene Hackman, Harvey Keitel, Don Adams, and Bea Arthur. (I think that is at least three Academy Award winners in this list).
     
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  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    DS did a lot of acting in school, with some lead roles, although it definitely slacked off in high school because it interfered with wrestling. He did a couple "introductory" acting classes in college but the demands for higher level classes were too great. He is now a Marine officer via NROTC.
    With that SAT score your DS may not get a scholarship (my DS's was 1340 as I recall and he did not get a scholarship until mid-sophomore year) but he could certainly participate as a college programmer and may win a sideload scholarship as my son did. As AROTC-dad pointed out, the Platoon Leaders Class is another path to becoming an officer. Once one is commissioned, they don't care how you got there.... a 2Lt is a 2Lt. If college is not in the cards for some reason then enlistment is clearly the way to go.
     
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  4. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    Plenty of actors who were Marines.

    If recruiters are suggesting the NROTC scholarship, why not apply and see what happens?
     
  5. pillbug

    pillbug Member

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    Thanks for your replies.
    He is in high school -a rising senior. His SAT score was the first one he has taken. He is retaking. Many actors were Marines but do actors become Marines? His recruiting officer seemed to laugh at all his theater experience and kept asking him if he did sports or Boy Scouts. He has done sports but not high school level and no boy scouts. I hope they have his best interest at heart. (mom worries) I don't think acting makes him any less qualified but when he mentions this as his main experience he gets looks and laughs.

    Tap dancing through a whole Broadway show is very athletic and I see the correlation between performing and the military. Everyone has to do their job with precision and if someone does not it can put the whole show or mission at risk. It takes the lead to perform at their best in order for the other cast members to shine. He volunteers and works with autistic adults. Everyone who meets him is always impressed by his maturity and poise.

    I am going to have him look into the "college programmer" route as well as the "Platoon Leaders Class". (new terms for me) I think he could be a Marine and officer material, but I am his mom. He is very serious about committing his all and doing his best at everything he does. And he is very serious about becoming a Marine. His dad and I would like him to get a college education while working towards this goal. He is thinking conservatively about colleges as well: San Diego State, University of Texas, Rutgers. Cost is an issue for us so he has to apply to schools that we can afford since NROTC scholarships are few and far between. Should he contact schools and let them know he is interested in joining the NROTC even without a scholarship? He is in the thick of things applying, writing essays, working, etc and I want him to do it on his own but I throw in tidbits of advice as I read through the forums etc.
     
  6. Humey

    Humey Member

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    Outside of scholarship, as far as I understand, you can graduate with any degree you want. If he is in high school and wants to apply to college, he can get a degree in theater or anthing else he wants. He wouldnt for example get a scholarship in the Air Force because they only give those with STEM degrees. Other branches have other rules
     
  7. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    The USMC doesn't care what degree you graduate with.
     
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  8. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Same with Army ROTC. Major is not an issue.
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    If he plans on visiting prospective college campuses he should visit the NROTC unit while there (make an appointment or drop by if that doesn't work). He can mention his desire to participate without a scholarship, if necessary, while there. He should contact them by April of his senior year in high school if he has not done so previously. This would allow him to establish contact prior to the cadre going off on summer assignments or vacation.

    As far as the snickers about acting.... the normal path for a Marine in high school is to participate in athletics. I'm sure when they hear 'acting' they aren't thinking of the athletic demands of acting. As long as he can perform well on the Marine PFT (google it) then he'll be fine. He'll need to take this PFT and be interviewed by an officer as part of the application process. So just shrug the snickers off as acting is not something the Corps is used to. If it does come up it might be worth mentioning the athleticism requirements of dancing. It might get that Sgt thinking in a whole new light.
     
  10. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

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    I think he might get laughs and looks just because they probably do not see a lot of actors walk into their office. And honestly only a small percentage of people pursue acting even in high school, so it becomes a novelty, I wouldn't take it as a bad thing or that it makes him less of good candidate. I am sure there are many examples he can talk about during his time working on productions that will demonstrate leadership. My daughter was a 3 year Army recipient two years ago and she had some sports, but a lot of dance, volunteering and church involvement. However in her interview she was actually able to give a lot of examples of leadership from several activities. And it never hurts to apply. During the process of applying it will help your son really decide what he wants and the other thing is, he cannot be offered a scholarship if he doesn't apply. Good luck to him and keep asking questions, there is a lot to be learned on this forum!
     
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  11. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    Ha! Trust me, they get lots of "actors" in their office

    But I get your point.
     
  12. unkown1961

    unkown1961 Member

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    Technically they do give scholarships outside of STEM, but they are difficult to get. Per the website:

    "Technical scholarship offers are awarded at a rate of approximately 80 percent, followed by foreign language majors. Very few foreign language nontechnical scholarships are awarded."
     
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  13. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    It is a great idea to contact the NROTC/MO officer at SDSU or other college that offers NROTC/Marine Option. The other thing is that he should speak to the Army ROTC recruiting operations officer as well. Lots more scholarships usually offered by the Army. My DS began this journey totally focused on the Marines and ended up on Army scholarship. The Army is also not focused on STEM majors like Navy or AF.

    Also be sure to look up the USMC Marine Officer Selection Officer (OSO). This is the person your DS would speak to about Marine PLC/OCS. PLC can be done at a college that does not offer NROTC. This was offered to my DS, but he had already advanced with his Army unit and he stayed the course with the AROTC battalion. Here is an OSO locator link: http://marineocsguide.com/find-your-marine-oso/
     
  14. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

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    Ha! Trust me, they get lots of "actors" in their office

    But I get your point.[/QUOTE]
    My favorite post ever!
     
  15. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    +1
     
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  16. MilitaryDad1968

    MilitaryDad1968 Member

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    My DS will also be a high school senior and is planning on AFROTC with dreams of being a pilot. He has a similar GPA and SAT (he's retaking in 3 weeks). He's also done a lot of acting in both school productions and our community civic theater. So your son is not alone with that type of background.

    I think that acting has helped my DS with his confidence and public speaking. It certainly can't hurt when ROTC boards take in the whole candidate score.
     
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  17. Humey

    Humey Member

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    I agree but i have to imagine like all things in life, sometimes it isnt what you know but who you know, that Academies members and academy friends are part of an old boys network. so in the long run how you got commissioned could make a difference
     
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  18. SAHopeful2021

    SAHopeful2021 Member

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    I acted my entire high school career and thus it hurt my athletic participation. I received a 4 year national ISR NROTC scholarship with a 1270, a four year AFROTC scholarship with a 1270, and an appointment to the merchant marine academy with a 1280. I remember walking in to talk to the LT CDR, who wanted to bypass the boards and give me the NROTC contract. I told him that I acted and that it's not favorable for the military and then he told me the best advice I have received from a military officer so far. He said He didn't care about that. He said the military needs diversity to improve and that although I was the typical kid, I stood out for being an actor. He said I'll have an easier time with memorizing things since I have to memorize scripts. He said it'll be easier to speak in public since I perform on a stage for 800 people constantly. He said empathy is the most important trait to have as an officer and acting makes it easier obviously. If the marine recruiter is laughing at his passion, then that is a problem all by itself. He has the capability to be an officer and he should pursue it if he wants to. If he needs anything, I'd love to help a fellow actor.
     
  19. pillbug

    pillbug Member

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    You seem like a dream come true. I'm 100% sure my son would love to discuss things with you. I had him read your post and he stood two inches taller. He is filling out his applications and applying to get a nomination for USMMA. The biggest decision right now is his top 5 schools and college major. He knows what he wants at USMMA. He is retaking SAT at end of month and taking ACT in September.
    He is thinking of pertinent info he can ask of you and we will reach out then. I think I will almost be at the right amount of messages to PM by then.
    Thank you again to everyone. This forum has guven so much info. I get lost in it sometimes but always come out smarter.
     
  20. SAHopeful2021

    SAHopeful2021 Member

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    I will PM you my contact information.