AROTC Commissioning Options


Mar 23, 2018
I am going to be a MS3 in AROTC. In a year from now, I will be at summer training deciding which direction I want to go after commissioning. My scholarship offers a lot of options. I can choose Active Duty, Reserves, or National Guard. I understand there are a lot of factors that play into OML and how the Army decides how to place 2nd Lieutenants, but I think it is a great idea to go into this year having a goal for what I want to be selected to do after commissioning.

My major is civil engineering and I have a civilian internship at the Army Corps of Engineers. I have two paths that I am trying to decide to choose as my goal. First, going active duty and branching engineering. This way I would get the experience of training and leading as a combat engineer and possibly end up in the Corps of Engineers while finishing up my masters, and getting to apply my degree as a project manager there. Second, to be a part of a local National Guard unit to be able to stay in one place while pursuing a typical engineering career (ie. being able to take masters classes while working full time for a private company, then taking the state board exam). Does anyone have any advice or some insight into either of these paths that could help me get more information to decide?


Recruiting Operations Officer
5-Year Member
Jul 25, 2014
Our Engineers have a tendency to struggle with this question primarily because of the $$$ civilian companies throw at them. Bottom line is duty in the reserve component and active duty are vastly different. Also, don't rule out the USAR, it's much easier to move from state to state. You should have a fairly good idea on wheter you want to serve full time or not.