AFROTC FTP

AspiringPilot

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I'm entering my detachment as an AS250 transfer and I'm a bit worried about FTP since I will be taking a intensive courseload during my FTP semester. At my previous school I was friends with a AS300 who talked about how poorly he was treated as an AS200 in FTP, such as being constantly berated by POC for tiny mistakes, getting assigned repetitive and mundane tasks to the point of affecting their grades, and being told to do things that contradict policies by POC and getting yelled at by said POC if they don't do them (Or by other POC if they do) with cadre almost completely absent and letting the POC run the whole FTP process. The POC were also pretty huge ****s throughout the process and he complained that it was apparent that they would set some GMC up to succeed and others to fail.

I'm just curious if this experience is the norm within AFROTC or if this is an extreme case - if so, I'd be curious to hear about how FTP usually goes and what I can do to prepare myself for it. I am not afraid to go through FTP and LEAD no matter what and understand that this is a necessary step on my way to earning my commission as an Air Force officer, but since the only thing I know about FTP is what he told me, I'm definitely not looking forward to it.
 
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Humey

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I dont know if this is norm throughout all colleges, but from what my son told me about his detachment, that didnt really go on there. When my son was senior he took a class that was mostly taken by freshman. He should have taken it earlier, but it really didnt matter and he enjoyed taking an easy class senior year. There was 4 or 5 freshman from his AFrotc detachment and when they saw him there, they had a cow. My son isnt a guy who likes to screw with people for the sake of it but his job senior year was to yell at them during their training. I am sure there is a name for it but yelling is what they do and he did it well. The irony was that he never applied for that job and shied away from it. Someone must have realized he had never done it in his four years there and selected him to do so. However outside of training, he was warm with them. If anything it was the guys who joined Arnold Air who had to deal with more crap
 

kinnem

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I dont know if this is norm throughout all colleges, but from what my son told me about his detachment, that didnt really go on there. When my son was senior he took a class that was mostly taken by freshman. He should have taken it earlier, but it really didnt matter and he enjoyed taking an easy class senior year. There was 4 or 5 freshman from his AFrotc detachment and when they saw him there, they had a cow. My son isnt a guy who likes to screw with people for the sake of it but his job senior year was to yell at them during their training. I am sure there is a name for it but yelling is what they do and he did it well. The irony was that he never applied for that job and shied away from it. Someone must have realized he had never done it in his four years there and selected him to do so. However outside of training, he was warm with them. If anything it was the guys who joined Arnold Air who had to deal with more crap
I think my wife has had that job for the past 30 years! :D She's good at it too!
 

AspiringPilot

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He basically described it as something like OCS
I’m pretty sure anyone whose been thru Navy or Marine OCS would think FTP and field training in general is a joke.

Yeah it's nowhere near the level of Navy or Marine OCS; I just described it like an OCS-like experience split up into sessions of one or a few hours weekly. FT is nothing compared to OCS in length or intensity either. I removed that from the post since it seems like a very poor comparison in hindsight, like comparing a Prius to a F150.

If anything it was the guys who joined Arnold Air who had to deal with more crap

I don't know if it counts for anything but I did hear that Arnold Air can vary entirely from being a professional service organization to Alpha Alpha Sigma in terms of hazing and drinking and other things.
 

a400831

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Short Answer: No. That is not normal.

Longer Answer: That other detachment seems horribly run and the POC should have been seriously reprimanded for their actions. Here is how FTP usually goes followed by my personal $.02

FTP: You get to LLAB an hour early for extra inspections, drill practice, ext. Spend a majority of time in LLAB being tested on memory work, inspection procedures, and other field training related tasks. My detachment had additional training spread through the week that was optional, but recommended. You're gonna be given small leadership positions, it is in your best interest to rock them. It was a lot of early mornings and repetitive memorization, but since you want to be a pilot, giddyup and welcome to the first taste of the rest of your life. I never saw a GMC being treated disrespectfully in the slightest, and everyone was on an even playing field.

Personal Advice: GRADES FIRST. Seriously. Non-negotiable. If you can arrange your schedule to take easier classes the first semester so you have a higher GPA to submit in your package, I highly advise that. You may have POC pushing you to volunteer all the time, do every event, ect... If it interferes with your grades, politely say no. There was a kid in my class who did every extra training, every extra event, and spent lots of time in visible positions. He failed out of AFROTC 2 weeks before leaving for Field Training because of grades. Never saw him again. Put in the work to AFROTC that you need to, and when given the opportunity to shine then work hard. When it comes down to it, Big Blue cares a lot more about your GPA then that extra shoe shining clinic that you didn't have time to attend.

In short, you will be fine. Im not the sharpest tool in the shed and I did just fine with a full course load and working 20 hours a week. Load up on coffee, work hard, play hard, and you will get to the other side.
 

Pima

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My DS was in Arnie Air. Arnie air does vary from det to det. At DS's det most cadets that joined were cadets wanting to go rated, hence, theirs was a little more A type personality in my opinion, not partiers, just strong personalities. There was no hazing, they never would do that because it is too high of a risk for the cadets within the unit.
~ Something you will learn very quickly is that the cadre knows everything without ever asking anything! How? Facebook! Most dets have a FB page, and the cadets join that group. From there the cadre can now see everything you post, but also everything you were tagged in, so iows if that cadet is underage at a party on Friday night where alcohol is flowing and they were tagged in a pic, it is not unusual for them to be called into the unit on Monday.
~~ My DS saw this happen all too often when he was a cadet. If you saw his FB page it is swabbed clean, very few pics and very few friends. Gone are the days where he thought it was cool to have 700 friends, and accept any friend request.

As far as 250s, I agree 1000% with a400831, impo the problem that 250s face is they only have @4 months to make an impression within the unit compared to the 200s that have been with the unit for over a yr. Thus, many 250s volunteer for everything and risk grades, which can bite them when they go up for SFT selection since your grades are part of the score.
 

Phyzix

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Depends on the detachment. FT is a joke anyways, just wait until you get to UPT. Regardless, I think some dets have an issue of being too lenient on FTP cadets. Some cadets who graduated SFT I felt like definitely shouldn't have.
 

Humey

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He basically described it as something like OCS
I’m pretty sure anyone whose been thru Navy or Marine OCS would think FTP and field training in general is a joke.

Yeah it's nowhere near the level of Navy or Marine OCS; I just described it like an OCS-like experience split up into sessions of one or a few hours weekly. FT is nothing compared to OCS in length or intensity either. I removed that from the post since it seems like a very poor comparison in hindsight, like comparing a Prius to a F150.

If anything it was the guys who joined Arnold Air who had to deal with more crap

I don't know if it counts for anything but I did hear that Arnold Air can vary entirely from being a professional service organization to Alpha Alpha Sigma in terms of hazing and drinking and other things.
My son was in it. Lets just say that it was a fraternity in everything but name. Dont get me wrong, they did the professional service organzation aspect of it, but it was almost indistinquishable from a fraternity. They even owned houses where the members could live in .
 

AspiringPilot

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Personal Advice: GRADES FIRST. Seriously. Non-negotiable. If you can arrange your schedule to take easier classes the first semester so you have a higher GPA to submit in your package, I highly advise that. You may have POC pushing you to volunteer all the time, do every event, ect... If it interferes with your grades, politely say no. There was a kid in my class who did every extra training, every extra event, and spent lots of time in visible positions. He failed out of AFROTC 2 weeks before leaving for Field Training because of grades. Never saw him again. Put in the work to AFROTC that you need to, and when given the opportunity to shine then work hard. When it comes down to it, Big Blue cares a lot more about your GPA then that extra shoe shining clinic that you didn't have time to attend.
.

Gotcha. Out of curiosity what was his GPA? I'm a non-tech major shooting for a non-rated field (SecFo) and I'm just curious to see what is and isn't competitive for getting an Enrollment Allocation. What was your weekly time commitment to AFROTC during FTP? (I'm trying to get an idea of how to organize my schedule next year)

~ Something you will learn very quickly is that the cadre knows everything without ever asking anything! How? Facebook! Most dets have a FB page, and the cadets join that group. From there the cadre can now see everything you post, but also everything you were tagged in, so iows if that cadet is underage at a party on Friday night where alcohol is flowing and they were tagged in a pic, it is not unusual for them to be called into the unit on Monday.

Thanks for the advice; I've gone through and scrubbed all my social media pages this morning to remove anything that had the slightest chance of causing any trouble with cadre.

Depends on the detachment. FT is a joke anyways, just wait until you get to UPT. Regardless, I think some dets have an issue of being too lenient on FTP cadets. Some cadets who graduated SFT I felt like definitely shouldn't have.

I'm going to guess that the main issue is that it's only 13 days long with a lot of the important things cut out and it's hard to train or properly evaluate someone during such a short period of time. Some of the laziest and most incompetent people I've known myself could probably put up enough of a facade to make it through 13 days.
 

Pima

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I have to say that although the POC cadet that was a hard arse on the GMC, he/she may have done them the biggest favor in the world. One they will not understand until they are at any rated school.
~ Please look up Raimius (hit his blue tag line and read what UPT life is like --it is a few pages in, but it is true, true, true). If in doubt talk to Flieger, Stealth, Fencer, my husband or myself, sorry if I missed anyone. The AF is known for eating their young when it comes to rated schools. They will have no problem reaming you out in front of everyone during a brief and de-brief. You will get up at 5:00 a.m to do a sim, go to academics, mission plan for tomorrows flight and come home at 4:30 on a great day. Make dinner, study for tomorrow's academics---the BOLDS, chair fly for tomorrows mission, go to bed at 11 and wake up at 5 a.m. again. That is 54 weeks of your life, and that is before you get to your school house, do SERE or water survival, than you still have to get MQ at your 1st base. In essence, that is your life for 2 yrs.
~~ Any parent here that has had a kid wing from any rated school will tell you, a phone call from them during the middle of the week, was when you would say is this a good call or a bad call (Wizard of OZ reference) You steeled yourself as you picked up the phone because they are so busy that calling home during the week is rare. Our DS at UPT called weekly on Sunday as he was unpacking his groceries from the commissary. The call lasted 10 minutes because by noon on Sunday he was already studying for Monday while doing his laundry. He was not atypical.

ROTC is a breeze compared to any rated school.

If it was me, as a parent I would say join Arnie, Silver Wings, Angel or Honor Guard spring semester. If your det has GMC nights, go! GMC nights are typically weekly or bi-weekly held in the det lounge where 100, 200 and 250s hang out from 6 to 8 or 9, play Xbox, foosball crud and/or watch videos. DS's det would buy subs or pizzas. There would be a PMS there. It is really a social aspect to bond. Of course because there is a PMS as the chaperone for the night you also can talk to them outside of the LLAB atmosphere.

ROTC is what you put into it. My DH and DS both commissioned AFROTC. Both went rated. Both were in Arnie Air. They wanted to experience all that ROTC had to offer, but also knew that as it has been stated, grades matter. You can't commission if you don't get SFT. You can't go rated if you don't commission.
 
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