Benefits of attending a Senior Military College ROTC vs regular civilian college ROTC

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Major_Jared, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Major_Jared

    Major_Jared Member

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    I was accepted to Norwich University and a number of civilian colleges that offer ROTC (Army).

    Is the leadership training offered at Norwich much 'better' than at a civilian college ROTC? I want to make the military my career and I like the fact that if you meet the satisfactory requirements at a senior military college, you are guaranteed active duty, while at a civilian ROTC, you have to fight for it. I don't want to end up going to reserve or national guard. I really want to go on active duty and make a career out of it. For this reason, I am almost certainly will attend Norwich. I don't mind missing out on 'college experience' at a civilian school.

    Any information that I might be missing? Or anything I should consider?
     
  2. Major_Jared

    Major_Jared Member

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  3. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    It really just depends on what you want out of college. Don't just go there out of the idea that it'll get you somewhere after college . You need to want to BE THERE (at a specific college) or you won't be happy and likely won't do well and won't earn a commission.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Pick a college you will thrive at. If it's an SMC, great. If it's a "civilian" college that's great too. Terrific officers come out of both paths, and in the end much depends on your standing on the OML. If you're not high enough the SMC ROTC commander will not recommend you, and the "guarantee" requires that recommendation. If you go to a reglar college, do well academically, do well in ROTC, and keep your nose clean you'll get your active duty wish and have all the tools you need to command your first platoon.

    Pick your lifestyle and college and go for it based on what you think you would enjoy over the next 4 years.
     
  5. 1337BeachedWhale1337

    1337BeachedWhale1337 Member

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    If you aren't branching into a combat arms I doubt the training at Norwich will be any better for you than at a regular ROTC. But I have never attended there... From what I've heard they produce a lot of infantry officers.
     
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  6. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog 5-Year Member

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    It doesn't work that "specifically". The cadet corps programs at SMC's benefit all officers; plenty of support and sustainment officers come from the federal academies. No one school produces or focuses on any one branch/MOS/warfare community, etc. That all has entirely to do with the individual's wants and what they earn after competing for it.
     
  7. Major_Jared

    Major_Jared Member

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    I want to attend a college that will prepare me for my military career. I don't think a civilian college ROTC, where you are in uniform (one lab per week) and three PT days a week is enough 'good enough' to mold me into a better officer.

    My dream is to become an officer in the U.S. military, and I believe attending an SMC will better prepare me for that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  8. Major_Jared

    Major_Jared Member

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    I understand that if you perform horribly academically (bad GPA) and in ROTC (low APFT score), then that person will not receive active duty even at an SMC.

    If you perform average and meet the minimum/necessary requirements, is it hard to get that PMS recommendation? I'm curious how many cadets request active duty but are denied at an SMC.
     
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  9. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    No one type of school is or isn't 'good enough' though. Whether you become a good officer or not chiefly depends on you.

    If you have decided that you want a more immersive military experience in college, than by all means do it. That's what I chose and I have no regrets. For people who truly have a passion for that unique and more challenging/structured/borderline masochistic college experience, there is much to be gained from an SMC. But you can successfully commission at a civilian school as well and you'll have a much nicer college life to boot. You need to decide what college experience you're looking for, not whether a civilian school is or isn't good enough.

    If you go to an SMC, solely chasing a commission, rather than with a specific desire for that type of college experience, I promise you will be miserable. Military school sucks enough even when you have that specific desire and have made the right decision for you. For example, I love VMI and it was certainly the right decision for me, but it still sucks just the same. Most of my Brother Rats who joined with a misguided passion have either already quit or have decided to transfer at the end of this year.
     
  10. Major_Jared

    Major_Jared Member

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    Oh, are you currently enrolled in VMI? Are you on ROTC scholarship?

    I don't mind missing the whole 'college experience.' I truly believe it'll be a distraction to my studies and ROTC.

    I don't think anyone who attends a military schools 'loves' it but it is for the experience, to mold your character, etc.
    What is your major at VMI? Was VMI your first choice school to attend?
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    Attending a SMC gives a cadet no benefit when it comes to branching. Branching is done nationally through Cadet Command, they are not allocated differently to SMCs
     
  12. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    Not everyone's character is in need of molding.

    EDIT: Should probably elaborate...The Army commissions the majority of Active Duty Officer through traditional university AROTC programs, the vast majority of these new officers have the good character you refer to. Good character is not exclusive to the USMA or SMCs.

    As it's been mentioned, a person should select a SMC because they want to be a part of the program and lifestyle they offer, they should not select a SMC because they feel it will somehow give them a leg up in the Army or give them an advantage over other officers. How you progress as an officer has to do with how you perform, not where you received your commission.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  13. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    I'm in Naval ROTC, no scholarship, seeking commission. If I don't pick up a Navy contract by 2/c year I will likely switch to Army as they give out a ton of contracts. I'm an Electrical and Computer Engineering Major and VMI was my first choice. Also, you obviously don't need to convince me that you're a fit at an SMC. I just wanted to make you think critically about your decision since it seemed like you had some common misconceptions. If after thinking it through, you want to go to a military college, go for it.
     
  14. Major_Jared

    Major_Jared Member

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    What about getting active duty, though?
     
  15. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    So in the case of Army, being at an SMC does give an advantage to getting active duty (the other branches are all active duty contracts). While at normal schools you compete for active duty slots (much like competing for branching), at an SMC, I'd describe it as competing only against yourself. If you have a contract and have performed well-enough to get a PMS recommendation, the law requires you be commissioned into active duty, if you desire. You may still commission reserve or NG if you want.
     
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  16. Major_Jared

    Major_Jared Member

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    Am I correct to say that it is more competitive to obtain a scholarship/contract at an SMC than at a civilian college? At an SMC, you are competing against hundreds of cadets but at a civilian college, that number is much less.
     
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  17. Major_Jared

    Major_Jared Member

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    Since you're already at an SMC, do you know whether the majority of cadets that request for active duty get it?

    I understand that if you perform horribly academically (bad GPA) and in ROTC (low APFT score), then that person will probably not receive active duty even at an SMC.

    But if you perform average and meet the minimum/necessary requirements, is it hard to get that PMS recommendation? I'm curious how many cadets request active duty but are denied at an SMC.
     
  18. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    In general, no. Competitions for scholarship are done at the national level. Now, if you're in a small unit at a civilian school it may be easier to stand out to your PMS and get really good recommendations, while at a school like VMI, no one really performs soooo well that the PMS knows you personally. Also depends on branch though, that's more true with Army than with Air Force since they're a smaller detachment than Army. VMI Army is in a unique position though and contracting is less competitive than other schools (even other SMCs). Also remember I'm not talking about scholarships specifically, but all contracts.
     
  19. Major_Jared

    Major_Jared Member

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    Campus-based scholarships/contracts are done at the national level? How is contracting at a VMI Army ROTC less competitive than other schools?
     
  20. VMI2017+3

    VMI2017+3 Member

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    That's correct. They're "campus based" because the application is submitted through your unit chain of command.
    VMI is unique because (this is as it was described by my PNS, I don't know exact details) any extra contracts for each class (as in class of 2018 for example) that aren't filled by a certain point in time approaching graduation and/or became unfilled by people losing their contract go to the VMI ROTC unit to give to VMI cadets in order to fill those slots. The Army unit here has recently been picking up 2/c cadets (class of 2018) on those contracts.