AFROTC and Arnold Air Society

eljay60

AFROTC parent, former ANC in USAR
DS has been invited to join AAS next semester. He is not sure because he feels the time commitment might be overwhelming. His dad, who was enlisted active duty Navy and never went to college, feels like this would be a good thing to have in your back pocket once you are commissioned. I'm neutral about it - DS is going to a challenging school with a heavy class load next semester, and the student group associated with the detachment already has a fair amount of community service projects going on. I'm sure he could find the time (at the expense of some of his leisure time), but it would mean yet another commitment to juggle. I found this thread, but it's 5 years old:

https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/afrotc-arnold-air-society-entrance.28183/

Anyone have any more current information or advice?
 

Pima

10-Year Member
Our DS was an AAS member, as well as my DH. To this day both of them still keep in touch with some of them. Now, that being said, his detachment was quite large @200+ cadets, thus it was also a way of bonding with other cadets.

Yes, it does require time, especially when pledging. The question is will he regret not joining?
 

eljay60

AFROTC parent, former ANC in USAR
I was hoping you'd see this, Pima.

Yes, it does require time, especially when pledging. The question is will he regret not joining?
That is the question I'd love to get answered, and since we have no personal acquaintances with the affiliation, it is hard to know if the short term sacrifice of his free time and stress level is worth it. Since his detachment is quite small, it is a pretty tight unit anyway. It's really a question of whether as an active duty AF officer, does the college AAS experience make life easier.

If he foregoes pledging next semester (which he knows is going to be challenging), is it possible to pledge later in his college career?
 

eljay60

AFROTC parent, former ANC in USAR
Also, no idea if this is a factor: due to his eyesight, he will be nonrated, probably looking at cyber or intel.
 

Pima

10-Year Member
I think it HAS to be HIS decision. As a Mom, my opinion is that he is not committed and that can be a problem. It was a time commitment, but than again he was at a huge unit. He was also an AS200 with a job in the AFROTC det. To be honest it became even more hectic for him a yr later when he was an AFROTC FCC and AAS pledge leader.
~ DS was AFROTC and college merit scholarship with a dual non-tech degree, plus a minor and a core concentration (19 credits+), the merit required 3.2 every semester. He carried a 3.4+.

If he has doubts than he needs to address his doubts. If he wants it, than he will be fine.
 

Humey

Member
My son is in Arnold Air and I am really glad he did so. I have no idea how they work in each college, but at least where my son goes, it resembles a fraternity. There is a type of pledge class and there is a time commitment at least when you are a pledge. It never interferes with school as it is mostly done after hours. After that, while there are events, the time commitment drops. At my son's university, they own or rent 3 houses where many of the members live. They are a very tight group and spend lots of off hours with each other. The funny part is that there are Arnold Air Members who are no longer part of AF Rotc who still participate and live in these houses. It turns out most of the events I thought were part of Rotc were really Arnold Air events. For example, they all got together last Saturday for Thanksgiving Dinner. At least for my son, he really only associates with the Arnold Air people when not in official ROTC capacity . Their last class just graduated. They started out with 40 members and only 25 entered the society. AF Rotc also had a very large freshman class this year. I guess it depends on every AF Rotc detachment. If you have a small group, it may make no sense to separate yourself out, but in a larger group, it may make sense
 

eljay60

AFROTC parent, former ANC in USAR
He was also an AS200 with a job in the AFROTC det
My son is only a freshman - so apparently the individual units have different bylaws for pledging. I think if he had more than 12 weeks of college under his belt, he might not feel so hesitant. He knows he doesn't have enough data to make an educated decision as to the time commitment, and without a single semester's final grades yet, he really can't tell if academically he may need to bump up the time he's investing in his studies. If the end of the semester goes like it has so far, his grades will all be As and Bs, but he has yet to take a true college final. He doesn't count the dual enrollment classes he took at the local community college last year.

At my son's university, they own or rent 3 houses
Since the university flips the bill for most of the contracted cadets' room and board, I don't think this is true at his college. They also have a student group registered with the school that most of the cadets (contracted and otherwise) belong to - from what he has said, you are a member unless you request not to be. And again - it's a small detachment (and a small university compared to Michigan State, where I went). Anyway, thanks for the perspective, and I'll pass on the info to him so he can decide what he wants to do. I will probably also recommend he check out what his closest friends in the detachment are doing before he decides one way or the other.
 

Humey

Member
He was also an AS200 with a job in the AFROTC det
My son is only a freshman - so apparently the individual units have different bylaws for pledging. I think if he had more than 12 weeks of college under his belt, he might not feel so hesitant. He knows he doesn't have enough data to make an educated decision as to the time commitment, and without a single semester's final grades yet, he really can't tell if academically he may need to bump up the time he's investing in his studies. If the end of the semester goes like it has so far, his grades will all be As and Bs, but he has yet to take a true college final. He doesn't count the dual enrollment classes he took at the local community college last year.

At my son's university, they own or rent 3 houses
Since the university flips the bill for most of the contracted cadets' room and board, I don't think this is true at his college. They also have a student group registered with the school that most of the cadets (contracted and otherwise) belong to - from what he has said, you are a member unless you request not to be. And again - it's a small detachment (and a small university compared to Michigan State, where I went). Anyway, thanks for the perspective, and I'll pass on the info to him so he can decide what he wants to do. I will probably also recommend he check out what his closest friends in the detachment are doing before he decides one way or the other.
My son's school doesnt pay for anything so they have the choice to live where they want. In order to be a member of Arnold Air at my son's school you definitely to apply and succeed during the semester. I would say the last two week prior to Thanksgiving break is the most time consuming and after that they have plenty of time to study for finals
 

afrotc16

5-Year Member
I was an AAS member. I enjoyed it and enjoyed the friends I had who were also in it. It was a time commitment, but we weren’t a super active unit and I never went to the conferences. There are some cool scholarships and internships that you can get thru AAS, which is a perk of joining.

However, it means absolutely nothing on AD. After commissioning nobody cares. He shouldn’t feel obligated to join at all.
 
Both of my kids do AAS and have heavy academic loads at academic focussed universities. They haven't seen the time requirements as demanding or imposing. And they're both glad they decided to join.
 
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