AROTC observations for those waiting to hear and selecting their college


5-Year Member
Nov 24, 2014
As the 2nd round of AROTC notices come out a few things we have learned from our own experiences; and from good points and suggestions from others. Take them for what they are, a few individualized observations that we pass along in good faith. Good luck to everyone, it is an exciting time!

· Planning. Have plan A, B, and C. And be ready to execute each one if needed.

· Costs. Go to a school can afford without scholarship, if necessary; or to transfer if needed. ROTC may not work out as planned, so if you want to stay at the school have backup payment plans.

· Do not fall in love with one school to the point “you cannot go anywhere else.” Be ready to make the best of where you ultimately end up. Do not go to your 2nd or 3rd choice angry, or arrogant, before you arrive. Unfair to everyone including yourself.

· Host vs. satellite. There are differences between the host school and the satellite schools. They range from transportation issues (do you have a reliable car), to face time with cadre, to just hanging out with battalion members. Some issues may be minor, and less variation at some battalions, but there will be differences. Understand that and ask questions of battalion and cadre.

· Military friendly. Check online to see how your selected school is regard as to military. Professors or administrators with anti-military bias can make life difficult. Ask if the cadre has a good relationship with the school. Ask battalion members on professors to avoid if they can.

· Physical fitness is currency in the military. Show up in shape, and stay in shape. Same with your GPA. All play a role in your OML.

· Leaders. Understand the PMS who you first met or interviewed may not be there your entire 4 years. Same with captains or enlisted in the cadre. That is normal in military you will need to get used to it.

· Room and Board. Be clear on the school policies. Some colleges provide full room and board to scholarship winners, some partial, some none. Some will require that all of your monthly stipend and semester book monies be applied to offset costs, and will reduce other college scholarship you may have. Ask all the questions you have and get clear answers.

· Tuition. ROTC tuition payments may be sent to colleges later than the schools “required payment dates.” Find out how your school handles that. Some schools understand and waive, others will apply finance charges. Schools are getting U.S. government guaranteed full tuition, they should appreciate that. Again ask questions.

· College experience. Understand you will miss out on some “fun” college experiences. You may be in the field for fall or spring training when your college has big activities planned. You will also miss out on some summer vacation for military training. Also as a scholarship student you have a lot to lose by violating drinking or other laws. 5:00 a.m. for PT is early especially if you are up until midnight every night.

Investment. Your parents, military, cadre, school and battalion members, have invested in you. If successful you will be leading others as an officer. Prove to all it was a good investment.

· Equipment. You are responsible for it, and will be liable for it. Take care of your equipment, including yourself. Eat well, and stay healthy as best you can.

· Listen. You have 2 ears and 1 mouth. That makes it a lot easier to listen than talk.