Discussion in 'ROTC' started by harrynm034, Dec 6, 2018.
What are some benefits of going to SMC other than guaranteed commissioning and Corps of Cadets?
you can do ROTC at a SMC so a double bonus
The structure of an SMC might allow you to perform academically than you might have otherwise.
You could also fail miserably due to the same structure.
Attending an SMC is a huge decision.
My son attends an SMC and he had the option to take his AROTC scholarship to a traditional university.
He says "It is something I think about everyday".
Those that choose to attend SMCs are a self selecting group.
You will not get the same diversity (not just race etc., but politics as well) as you might somewhere else.
Also, merely attending an SMC will not guarantee a commission.
Even without a scholarship you need to earn a contract and PMS recommendation.
Most SMC graduates do not commission. Most do not pursue a commission.
At an SMC you will be fully immersed into a military lifestyle. More so at VMI and Citadel than say Virginia Tech or UNG due to them having a Corp of Cadets and "regular" students verses all students being in the Corp of Cadets. At an SMC everyone will participate in ROTC, where are you a civilian type school you will be a student who is in ROTC.
My son felt that in most cases, but certainly not all, the SMC cadets were better prepared for basic and advanced camp due to their regular military duties on post.
I would imagine there is more of a "brotherhood" feeling at the SMC's where you are all gpigo through some sort of "initiation" process as well.
It really depends on what you are looking for. A regular college experience and participating in ROTC or something quite out of the ordinary. SMC cadets are somewhat guaranteed active duty if they desire it ( still need PMS approval) which can be an advantage. However, many non SMC cadets also get active duty.
I believe a requirement to do 4 years of rotc class regardless of contracting status exists
Not true. My son is in Corp at A&M but not in ROTC.
Interesting I thought that was part of the definition of a SMC -
To clarify... they must participate in the Corp if they choose the SMC option, but not ROTC. And schools like VT and A&M, if you do not choose Corp then you are just a normal student.
As far as outcomes go, I have never noticed a real difference between a SA/SMC graduate vs. ROTC vs. OTS officer that can be attributed to how they obtained their commission. Rather, I have noticed that a lot of people that would have been good officers anyway tend to gravitate (and be accepted to) the SA's and SMC's.
I'd toss out there that you have to be a certain type of person to want to do the SA/SMC route (and not have it be for a self-serving purpose), so if you lean towards that, then you are likely the type of person it would benefit. If you don't, then look at OTS and/or ROTC, because you won't likely gain much more from the SA/SMC route and you lose a lot of the "college experience".
This is a terrific and succinct summary of the difference between SMC/SA's vs "Regular college" ROTC.
My DS "probably" would have done well at the SMC he was accepted to, but instead chose a "normal" college life and has done very well in the process. The jury is still out as far as what kind of Armor Officer he will be as he commissions next May.
A couple of thoughts 21 years after matriculating at a SMC
- The only reason to go to a SMC is the desire to have that unique experience. If you go for any other reason (think it is an easier path to commission, family/peer pressure, conception about preparation as an officer) you will not like it and more than likely not graduate from said institution. The nature of these places is to have a "suck-element". It isn't all bad and there are things that are fun but like many things worth doing you have to want to do it in order to succeed.
- You can be successful in any source and have a successful army career. There are things that SMCs do well, there are things that SAs do well and there are things that ROTC writ large does well. I attribute a lot of my success after 17 years in the Army to my SMC experience. However, I worked with and for and over officers from all sources who have done well.
- I will caveat this by saying that ROTC is a blanket statement and needs to be considered by institution. Your SMC commission is really a ROTC commission. There are variations on ROTC but that has more to do with the fact that in the 270 programs the Army maintains there is disparity between both the colleges themselves and the rigor of the ROTC programs.
So for SMC life if you're willing to embrace that challenge and that is what you want as a means to a commission then by all means apply and focus efforts on succeeding there. However, if it is only as a means to something you can get at one of the other 264 programs then consider what they may offer.
You must be in the Corp if you are ROTC but the reverse is not required. My DS wanted Navy ROTC but his major and doing license option already had him over normal credits so ROTC would have been extra stressful. So he is only in the Corp. But that means living in Corp dorm, Corp activities/courses, mandatory uniforms til after dinner, etc.
Question then, if you are in the Corp but not in Rotc, what happens when you graduate? Do you commission or it is bascially having a military life four years while at school but when you graduate you enter the civilian world?
for some that's the beauty of SMC - options
Many Corps of Cadets members graduate from SMC's and choose not to commission. The SMC's are usually seeking to increase the percentage who do.
My son felt the same way. He felt the Corps lifestyle gave him a big advantage when he reached the Army in many different phases of Army life. He absolutely enjoyed the Corps in college. It was a great fit for him.
At his IBOLC graduation a friend who came from a small ROTC program could not march. This young man had difficulties in almost every aspect of Army fitness, dress and lifestyle. He barely passed IBOLC and lasted a week into Ranger School before he was thrown out. My son tried to help him all he could. 9 months later in Afghanistan he would man a 50 caliber gun when his gunner fell and face off 50 Taliban,. This young man who could not march or press his shirts got a Silver Star and a Purple Heart for his actions that day.
I am confused then. Are you saying you can join the corp but not join Rotc and commission? If so what is the difference between those who do corp only and those who do corp and Rotc?
It is your option. There is no commitment to commission if you are not contracted ROTC, but if you do well, you CAN commission. And you could choose which branch you would want.
ROTC Corp members have more required classes and extra extracurricular requirements. But otherwise you would not know the difference. One of my DS’s best buds is a contracted NROTC but outside extra PT, a pin on his uniform, you would not know the difference.
Then why do Rotc if you can commission without dealing with it. Not trying to be pain, just curious how it works
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