Airborne School or CTLT


Jul 11, 2019
Have the opportunity to attend one or the other. I understand the great training value in CTLT, however there is a chance of a poor experience depending on the unit I’d be sent to. Would love to go airborne even though it’s just for the awesome experience, not too much leadership value in it. I’ve already done AA.

It's a simple question: Do you want to go through life as a LEG or Airborne?🤔

All kidding aside, pick which appeals to you the most! Both are valuable, both have their risks/ affords you the opportunity to serve in a unit in a "junior LT experience challenges that you may well face later, to "mingle" with soldiers, and to see "the other side." The other affords you the opportunity to experience some seriously challenging training, the chance to work with a large group of soldiers and to achieve something that in the grand scheme of life, few accomplish.

And from personal experience? Jump school will either excite the hell out of you or scare the hell out of you!!
(FYI, I became addicted to jumping it was so awesome)
CTLT for sure. I think all LTs get the option of doing airborne before going to OBC... at least that was the case in my day.
CTLT for sure. I think all LTs get the option of doing airborne before going to OBC... at least that was the case in my day.
This is not always the case. I went to see DD at Ft Bragg and was surprised to find 2LTs who had not yet been to jump school due to funding. They were stuck in BN and BDE “S” shops until they could get jump school slots and had to convoy to the field when everyone else jumped in.

Personally, I would take the jump school slot if able.
The risk side is that if you get injured as an ROTC Cadet you could find yourself on the street.
Depends on what you want to branch IMO. If you plan on going infantry, you can easily get an airborne slot as an LT anyway. CTLT you can only do as a cadet. If you're gonna branch MI or some other POG MOS then I'd take the airborne slot.

I remember your post about AA a while back. I went too this summer. Were you at Campbell?
Jump school if you don’t need CTLT for a grad requirement, are interested in the school, and already have a good idea of what branch you’re interested in. It can be hard to get a slot in the big Army for Airborne depending on where you’re at. That said, if you don’t know what you want to do in the Army yet, CTLT is an extremely useful way to explore different branches out in the force that I would prioritize over another set of wings
I do think there are some misconceptions about CTLT and airborne school.
What was true 2, 4 or 8 years ago may not be true today. One Cadet’s CTLT experience may vary greatly from another’s.
As I wrote above, I recently bumped into combat arms 2LTs cooling their heels in airborne unit “S” shops waiting for airborne school slots. There weren’t any. Sometimes there are, sometimes there aren’t. But they were getting great at PowerPoint.
CTLT can be hit or miss. It can be a great experience where you learn about different combat arms, or it can be soul crushing tedium.
I know one Cadet who spent his entire CTLT rotating between BN “S” shops and doing change of command inventories. He was able to work out going to the field with an armor unit for a live fire, but the unit he was assigned to put the kabosh on that idea- it was more important for his professional development to count tent pegs.

So weigh your options carefully. Think about what you want. Airborne school is a known quantity, 4 days of training crammed into 3 weeks. But you earn something at the end of it. CTLT, if good, can be great. If not… it can distort you view of what the Army can be. Or perhaps reinforce it.
Years ago when I was a cadet, I was very jazzed to go to airborne school, until a guy in our unit went and broke his leg in a major way. He almost was unable to commission because of it. That was enough to tell me, that if I were to go and be injured, I'd rather do it while on active duty and have potential for the full medical benefits coverage and/or qualify for disability if it were bad enough. But for me, getting commissioned was the most important thing to me and I didn't want to risk it. I did got to CTLT, and went overseas when it was not the thing that used to be done for AROTC Cadets. It was quite an eye-opening experience to see the "real" Army when I had no previous exposure to it. The battalion that I went to was short a platoon leader, so I got to be the acting PL for the 3 weeks I was there.
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