Ask an Aggie Corps mom

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by aggiemom17, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. aggiemom17

    aggiemom17 New Member

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    I was on these boards years ago when my son was looking for an appt to a Service Academy. The nomination came but with no waiver a service academy wasn't meant to be. He was accepted to Norwich, VMI, Citadel but ultimately decided to attend Texas A&M with a 4 year Army contract. He is finishing up grad school now and will commission in May and head off to MI (as a DMG he has received his first choice). I am happy to talk about the Corps experience from my perspective as a parent and *not* from an Aggie family. Also Army ROTC and study abroad...which we had extensive experience with.
     
  2. TexasSoccerMom

    TexasSoccerMom Member

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    My son is a fish in the Corps. He has an AFROTC contract as well. Neither my husband or I were Aggies and with a son in the Corps we are on overload and the MAROON kool-aid is coming at us from a fire hose. LOL Those Aggies have a LOT of school spirit and pride in their traditions! Son loves the Corps so far (even being a fish) so that says a lot.
     
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  3. NJ_Dad

    NJ_Dad Member

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    So how is it there for us Yankee's from the northeast
     
  4. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD 5-Year Member

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    Pretty opened ended question but I'll do the best I can. I am not an Aggie. Nobody in our family has been an Aggie. I've had two kids at A&M and both in the Corps, and both spent their formative years in the DC suburbs. Both love A&M and the people the folkls they've met in the Corps. The overload on MAROON is straight trail stuff. Aggies are unique folks, and the Corps kids just a bit more so; but all in a good way. If time and budget allow I strongly suggest an in-person visit, both kid and parent if ya’ll can; kid if you just manage that. There a number of spend the night programs (all of the Senior Military Colleges {SMCs} have ‘em) and I strongly suggest trying to attend one.

    It ain’t for everyone, and no college is. Each SMC has their own unique strengths and their own idiosyncrasies, and no SMC is the best or right-est choice for everyone. A&M is a huge school, well over 50,000 undergraduates, and the Corps is about 5% of that; but they are the visible. So unlike the Virginia Military Institute, or The Citadel, cadets take classes with non-cadets during the day. Cadets may be up at 0545 and sitting in a classroom in uniform next to a student who is in pajamas who managed to get up just in time for the 11am class. There be pluses and minuses to everything and it is up to ya’ll to figure what is the best for your son or daughter.

    Aggies are friendly folks, seriously friendly, and that holds true for cadets and non-cadets alike. I’ve been on busses with opposing team fans who just beat the tar out of A&M in a game who’ve commented it is unlike anything they’ve ever seen or experienced and everyone was so friendly and welcoming to them.

    All that said, in a school of 50,000 you are much more of a number than at a smaller school. You are much less likely to get face-time with a professor as a freshman. There are more out-of-state folks in the Corps than in the school as a whole. Living far away makes Thanksgiving a pain, and homesickness as a freshman a bit harder.

    Bottom line, folks are friendly and it is a good place. Corps life is demanding and harder in many ways that a more traditional college experience. A&M cadets, even as freshmen, are less cloistered than those at VMI where our son’s best friend is a now a senior; and that has both advantages and disadvantages. If what you are asking is will an out-of-stater feel out-of-place, probably not. The stereotype of Texas and Texans is more myth than fact, and is true for A&M and cadets as well. If I can provide any additional information ask away.

    Best wishes.

    Recommend:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsz8sJ68udc. Mr. Smith is a former cadet, and he went back to graduate with a degree later on.

    Texas A&M Traditions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMp2D239fPo
     
  5. NJ_Dad

    NJ_Dad Member

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    thank you
     
  6. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD 5-Year Member

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    You are most welcome. Good luck on the journey to wherever your child ends up. The corps site, which is probably still corps.tamu.edu has ways to ask both staff and cadets questions.
     
  7. coin06

    coin06 Member

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    Are cadets able to participate in club sports all four years?
     
  8. USAFAMOM21

    USAFAMOM21 Member

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    My daughter was recently awarded an AFROTC Type 2 scholarship. We are headed to Texas A & M for a visit this week. Any advice on must see's while we are there? We are also visiting UT Austin and look forward to comparing the two schools. We are from the Mid-Atlantic.Thanks in advance.
     
  9. FEIMOM

    FEIMOM Member

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    We visited there a couple years ago when my son was looking at schools. I recommend the George H W Bush library for an hour or two. It's on the campus. My son didn't end up attending. It was definitely a very large school but we did feel like the corps was well respected and we liked that. Have a nice trip!
     
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  10. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD 5-Year Member

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    I believe so. I would suggest contacting the corps and ask them to make sure that you have the most up-to-date information. There used to be a tab on the Corps website, www.corps.tamu.edu, for contact us, and you can, or at least used to be able to, direct questions either to current students or professional staff. Good luck.
     
  11. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD 5-Year Member

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    Both are big schools. UT is in the heart of Austin. Students there have all a bustling urban area has to offer, and it is near to San Macros, river rafting, the Hill Country of Texas is not far away, San Antonio but an hour or a bit more given traffic to the south. A&M is the heart of Bryan College Station or, as they say, Aggieland. Now larger than UT Austin (or t.u. in Aggie-speak) the A&M campus has a different feel than UT. Both are great schools, both have great alumni. The current President of UT Austin is a retired four star admiral who was a SEAL and who graduated from UT Austin. ROTC life and Corps life are two different things. Recalling middle school geometry (something I poorly in I'll add, so take this for what it is worth) they are overlapping circles. So, at A&M all ROTC cadets, regardless of branch, are members of the Corps of Cadets. At A&M all cadets take ROTC for the first year and half or two years. At more traditional colleges ROTC cadets wear uniforms to class, have some physical training some mornings, and have other responsibilities, but that said, can live in dorms, can live in apartments, etc. At A&M, as I suspect all of the Senior Military Colleges - the cadets wish. At A&M your daughter will live in corps housing all four years, and wear her uniform most of the time most of the week days, and have other time obligations.

    So, to answer the question, check out Northgate and the Dixie Chicken, students go there on weekends. If church is a big deal in your family, check out the faith of your choice that is next to the campus. There is a big Catholic church next to the campus that takes the place of the traditional Newman Center. If your daughter goes to A&M the off-campus housing won't matter. Talk to students, and to cadets to get their idea of what they think. Have a great trip.
     
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  12. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD 5-Year Member

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    Hope you had a good trip. Can't send you a PM yet, but when I can I will.
     
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  13. USAFAMOM21

    USAFAMOM21 Member

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    Lawman32RPD- Thanks for the information. It was a great trip! We crammed all we could into 3 days and learned a lot. Now for the applications!
     
  14. Billberna

    Billberna Member

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    Question - how do Aggie cadets cope with the extreme heat of summer there, especially August and September? Do they do all their workouts outdoors? How humid is it? We are in Florida and DS wants so badly to get away from this climate, but maybe Texas is worse?
     
  15. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD 5-Year Member

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    Mostly they drink a lot of water. College Station is fairly humid. As of right now (about 8am Central time, 01 Nov) the weather icon on the iPhone shows there to be 97% humidity. Many workouts are in the morning so even if humid, the temperature isn't so bad. When our daughter went to FOW (Freshman Orientation Week - for cadets) in 2011 that area of Texas was in an extreme drought and the daytime temperature was around 110. They drink a lot of water. Now, the indoors are all air-conditioned, seriously air conditioned. When I went for a new student conference (held in the summer before FOW, for all students) in 2014 our son and I stayed in a regular dorm for two nights. I don't think I've ever been that cold, slept in my jeans wrapped the gauze that masqueraded as a blanket. They cope and do the best they can. This is a great question to pose to the cadets. If you go to corps.tamu.edu there should be a contact us tab, and a way there to direct questions to cadets.
     
  16. Billberna

    Billberna Member

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    Thanks, Lawman. It sounds very much like home. :)