AROTC vs Enlisting?

drakem

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Dec 1, 2016
Messages
33
Hi all, I'm currently enrolled as an ML2 in AROTC. I was just curious -- what are the benefits of enlisting in reserves/active/NG vs doing an AROTC program in college? I understand the main differences, but here where I go to school, ROTC is somewhat looked down upon by the enlisted people and I'd like to know why. I'd always thought of enlisting, but decided on ROTC at the last minute.

Thank you!
 

inSANEmom

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Sep 1, 2016
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111
There will always be a "divide" between enlisted/NCOs and officers. It's the nature of the beast. The enlisted folks "look down" on ROTC and officers because they think the new officers think they (the officers) are "better than" because of their education and that it trumps the enlisted soldiers experience. Officers "look down" on the enlisted folks for a "lack of education." Both groups, in almost all cases, are wrong. However, just as in the civilian world there are conflicts between blue and white collar workers, such is the case in the military world... though it is quite a bit better than when I was a child and my father was active duty. Don't worry about what other people think about your choice. What do YOU think of it? What job/career do you want in the military? If what you want to do is an enlisted position... then enlist. If what you want requires a degree and a commission, then continue on in ROTC and go that route.
 

drakem

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Dec 1, 2016
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I have a lot of choices, and I'm having trouble making up my mind. i kind of want a combat-related job, so I dont know if havign an education would benefit my ambition by a whole lot. I could always settle to be a CBRN officer too.
 

inSANEmom

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Sep 1, 2016
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Welcome to adulthood! ;) It's hard to make some of these decisions because of age and lack of "worldly experience." I don't say that as a mean comment... but rather just a fact... we were all there once... when we had to make a decision that would have long lasting effects on the direction of our life.

There is no WRONG choice here... both paths are honorable and worthwhile. But if you are looking for specific advice... I would just say... if you are doing well and school, and are enjoying it (or are at least content there)... then stay put. If you are truly torn and the choices would bring you equal satisfaction... then stay in the one that will provide the greatest education and income. Good luck with WHATEVER you decide.
 

Jcleppe

10-Year Member
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Feb 10, 2010
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6,768
Reminds me of the old "I'm not an Officer, I work for a living" comment that I think is on page two of some enlisted handbook.

Just curious, what enlisted people at your school are looking down on the ROTC program?

This back and forth has been around forever just as the post above referenced, it's white noise and you should treat it as such. You need to decide which path you want to take and then do what you need to be the best you can be no matter which you choose. A good officer respects and puts the needs of the men and women under their command ahead of themselves, do that an you'll earn their respect. This is not to say there won't be those that just do not come around and have a giant chip on their shoulder, it's something every officer will deal with from time to time.

As it's been said, both paths are honorable, just don't make a decision one way or the other because you hear someone complain, do what is best for you. I knew a family friend that had graduated college and was accepted to Marine Corps OCS. he completed Marine Corps Boot Camp and came home on leave, he let us know that he had withdrawn his name from OCS because he had been told over and over at boot camp that only enlisted Marines are respected and everyone hates the officers so he stayed enlisted. a couple years later he told me that it was the worst decision he had ever made, even though he loved the Marines he realized he had let others sway him from what was his original goal.
 

drakem

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Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
33
@Jcleppe, there are some people who enlisted, got their DD214, and went to school. And then there are also some who enlisted in the Reserves or NG and then joined ROTC. Thank you both for the advice!
 

MohawkArmyROTC

Recruiting Operations Officer
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
Messages
490
As stated previously, don't worry what others think as that will limit your opportunities. Be true to yourself and choose that path that you want. There will always be enlisted that dislike officers and vice versa. The real question is what role do you want in the Army? I have been both an enlisted NCO and an Officer in the Army. Both are necessary and valid career choices.
 
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