Considering dropping 4 year AROTC scholarship?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Anguswarrior112, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. Anguswarrior112

    Anguswarrior112 Member

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    Hey all, so a little background about me, I received a 4 yr Army ROTC scholarship to attend an out of state school. I was blessed to have received this scholarship but I am having trouble deciding whether or not to continue. Army rotc was actually my last thing on the list, I had wanted to a pilot and the air force, navy, and marines were all on that list and army was below because it does not have fixed wing planes. I applied to the service academies like USNA, and USAFA but did not get a nomination and Army rotc was there for a backup. I told myself maybe I might like the army stuff but after freshmen year, there were many negatives about rotc like discipline wise which made disappointed. I can drop my scholarship without having to pay back the money before sophomore year starts which for me is in, mid August. My question, do you think Arotc is worth dropping? Despite surviving freshmen year, it was tough, especially having to meet the height and weight for the army. Other than that, I have a 3.5 GPA and a good pt score. I'm not asking for anybody to make a decision, I just need advice because this is such a hard decision. My plan if I dropped was to attend OCS for navy, marines or the airforce and hopefully try to commission from there.
     
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    The Army DOES have a few fixed wing aircraft, and will be expanding its C-12 program*, but by far the other branches would be a better way to go fixed wing.

    *C-12 program: http://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraft/us-army-aviators-have-new-route-fixed-wing-flying

    If your heart is not in Army ROTC, then you should think hard before showing up in the Fall, as you will then be obligated to pay back your scholarship, if you were to drop out. The MS-II and MS-III years will be even more involved and give you greater responsibilities.

    Quick question, what was it about discipline that was negative? Too much? Not enough? If you do go fixed wing in the Navy, AF or especially the Marines, you will be further challenged. You may wish to look into Marine PLC/OCS but that is a longer shot than NROTC or NROTC/MO.

    Overall, my advice is to take the summer and talk to people you know in all branches before deciding. However if the fire is not inside of you, then don't continue with Army ROTC.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  3. Anguswarrior112

    Anguswarrior112 Member

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  4. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    In the "real world" military, you may someday be in a position to take over a poorly run unit with low morale and lack of discipline. Even in a marginal ROTC unit, there can be opportunities for YOU to take leadership and raise the standard.

    You also have the opportunity to "outshine" others in a battalion like this. What would it be like if you became the #1 cadet in the battalion? The other alternative you might consider is to request a transfer your scholarship to another college and battalion. But remember there will be pros and cons in every unit, regardless of branch.

    You also might consider moving your scholarship to a Senior Military College, like UNG or Texas A&M, where discipline is far more strict. This will take some doing but it could be just the change you are looking for.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    +1 to everything AROTC-dad said. Does your college have an NROTC unit? Perhaps you cold abandon the scholarship and switch to NROTC without the scholarship. I expect you'd find a lot more discipline there, although you never know.
     
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  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    You may want to look into the Marine Corps PLC Guaranteed Aviation Program. The Marine Corps is the only service that offers this option. You should talk to someone within the NROTC group if there is one at the school you attend. You can google the program to get some more information.

    As far as the discipline in ROTC, it's common for those that first had the desire to attend one of the Academies to see a big difference in the programs. ROTC is designed to be a mix of military and civilian, unlike an academy where you live a strict military lifestyle 24/7. What you see in the videos of life at an academy will be nothing like ROTC, it comes down to your preference, many prefer ROTC because they want the mix of both lifestyles.

    One thing to remember is that once you commission, actual military life will be the same whether you attended an academy or ROTC, the Army commissions 3 times the number of active duty officers through ROTC then West Point. So it comes down to how you want to spend the 4 years before you commission.

    Regarding your unit, there is always a mix of contracted cadets, like yourself, and those that are not contracted. Non contracted cadets are expected to show up for all classes including PT, but if they don't there is not much the cadre can do at the time, of course when it comes time to award contracts those that haven't shown up will most likely not get offered a contract. You do not do the same rituals that go on at an academy, so it can seem less disciplined to someone that had first looked at an academy. Don't mistake this as resulting in less qualified officers, once you leave your commissioning source whether it's an academy or ROTC, your follow up training will not care where you came from, the training is all the same and your opportunities are there if you work hard and do well.

    As for your question, if you are not happy with the Army and don't see anything that would interest you as an officer then you should look at the other options. My first option would be to check out the Marine Corps PLC Aviation program or the NROTC Marine Corps Option and look at the Aviation Track.
     
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  7. rocatlin

    rocatlin 5-Year Member

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    +1 to @kinnem

    Switch to NROTC as a college program mid and try for a sideload. If your major is non-technical, then join as a Marine Option college program midshipman.

    My son was basically "voluntold" to take the ASTB and flight physicals -- and now is on an aviation contract for the Marine Corps
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Keep in mind that despite having fixed wing aircraft, there is plenty of rotary craft in the Corps.
     
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  9. Anguswarrior112

    Anguswarrior112 Member

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    My college does have an nrotc unit, but I doubt they would offer me a scholarship.
     
  10. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

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    My advice is make sure you are asking yourself lots of questions, tough ones. Not just about ROTC, college, scholarships, etc., but about after. It is a huge decision, spend time and write down questions you would ask someone else in the same situation as if they are asking YOU for advice, what would you need to know to advise them? Don't assume you know the answers, because you might be assuming the answer until you really sit down and reflect on what you think and how you really feel. Free of other people's opinions. Then, spend some time writing down the answers, don't think, don't stop and talk yourself out of what your first gut reaction is, just write it ALL down. This might sound really crazy, but it can be very powerful what is lurking around in your head that you haven't quite accessed yet. Maybe even wait a day or two to read it, then again, take the time to be alone and not distracted and read what you wrote. If I am crazy, then you just wasted a few hours of your life, but you might be really surprised what you come up with. If you do it, let us know!
     
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  11. Anguswarrior112

    Anguswarrior112 Member

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    AROTC Dad, As an Ms1. there was not much I could do to raise the standard besides just going to pt and doing well in school. Most of the cadets here don't take rotc seriously and I have talked to cadre about it but their response didn't satisfy me. I don't have influence over my unit, my unit is big and most of the cadets here are involved in fraternities and sororities so they could care less of what I say.
     
  12. Humey

    Humey Member

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    I dont know much about the scholarships and who each services determines who gets one, but if you earned a 4 year scholarship from the Army, why wouldnt the Navy give you one.

     
  13. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Army Scholarships are far greater in number than Navy and thus the odds are better for Army. AF and Navy (but not Marines) are heavily favored toward STEM majors as well. Army and USMC are not as STEM focused.
     
  14. Anguswarrior112

    Anguswarrior112 Member

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    Humey, I was told from a recruiter that if you are offered a scholarship from arotc then it will be very difficult for other branches to offer you another scholarship, he didn't specify why but I guess its probably because they offere you a chance to commission but refused.
     
  15. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

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    My duaghter is dealing with this too, however, she has been able to work through it as an MS1 and will be an MS3 in the fall (nursing student, so that is how they do it at her school). We have always had the mantra in our family, that I had to remind her of all year. We are a family that believes in service (I don't just mean military, we are not a military family), however, even when serving others we always remind each other "do what is in your own best interest." So when she came up against the same issues you have, we talked about what was going to be in her own best interest? Since she wasn't enjoying the dynamic at school, but sill wanted onbe an Army officer. Mind you there were lots of things she did like, for example her MS classes, and some of the MS3's and MS4's were great role models and she was enjoying that. She decided that trying to set the tone whenever she could with her fellow MS1 cadets, rising to a standard she was happy with even if those around her chose not to, and taking this opportunity to practice being a leader in difficult situations, while she was reaching her goals of graduating with a nursing degree and commissioning were all in her own best interest. Being negative and frustrated with things she doesn't have control over was not in her best interest. And FYI, she said the on her campus the AFROTC is way more relaxed than AROTC, so sometimes he grass isn't greener. Do what is best for you, even if those around you are choosing not to play to you standards, it is about the end result in this case. She ended he last two months having a blast and letting go of some of her frustrating and will be returning in the fall. So much of our reality is our own attitudes.

    I must be feeling very philosophical today, I have two daughters graduating high school, so I apologize for my deep thinking!
     
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  16. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I agree with the advice offered. One thing... you mentioned height and weight being a challenge. The USMC is very strict on this. Before heading down this path I highly recommend you research their height/weight and PT standards. These are very high in the USMC and enforced.
     
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  17. NavyNOLA

    NavyNOLA Member

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    This recruiter was probably just trying to influence you one way or anther. There are many examples of students dropping one scholarship freshmen year and then picking up a scholarship from a different service later that year or in sophomore year. There is risk involved, but it's certainly not uncommon.
     
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  18. k2rider

    k2rider 5-Year Member

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    Based only on what you wrote and not trying to read between the lines, I'd also suggest you drop AROTC. You can get your degree and then join the military branch of your choice afterwards which is what my daughters husband did or you can do like others suggest and try and get a 2-3 year scholarship with the NROTC unit. Life in general is much more enjoyable if you're doing something meaningful to you and it doesn't seem like your heart in in with AROTC.

    I understand how you feel about the fraternity aspect and all the nonsense that comes along with it. I personally don't think the fraternity lifestyle and ROTC is a good mix. That being said, like somebody else said, you SHOULD be able to push that aside take advantage of the opportunity to excel and stand out above the rest of them. I hate to break it to you but the real world is full of people doing what ever they can to get by while putting in the absolute least amount of effort.
     
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  19. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Of course they won't. You'll need to participate, apply for it, and earn it. If you're willing to drop AROTC and then do OCS after college, then I don't understand why one wouldn't participate in another ROTC program while in college without a scholarship. Either way you're not on scholarship, but one path offers a chance to win a scholarship and offers a good opportunity for a commission.
     
  20. Anguswarrior112

    Anguswarrior112 Member

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    Kinnem, no what I mean is that even if I do participate I won't get selected.