Help! What should I do?

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by rayrotc, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. rayrotc

    rayrotc Member

    Apr 22, 2018
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    I have been accepted to 2 my of top ROTC schools: Wheaton College IL and Marion Military Institute.

    However I do not know how to decide. Marion I can get my commission in 2 years but for Wheaton, it is a great 4 year institution.

    My parents really want me to go to Wheaton because it is a Christian school and my family takes our faith very seriously. Wheaton is better academically and "less stressful" but my overall goal is to become an Army officer. I could care less If im activie or reserves and I always feel that I can do thrive well at Marion in the 2 years. As of now, I really don't where I want to go

    I've been telling myself this: If I get an ECP ROTC scholarship directly from Marion and no 4 yr from Wheaton, I go to Marion. If I get a 4 yr, I go to Wheaton.

    Keep in mind, I can always transfer to Wheaton College from Marion since I will become a Lieutenant after sophomore year and be in the Reserves.

    If anyone has insight on this type of dilemma, that would be great
  2. Pickering2019

    Pickering2019 ArmyBrat2000

    Jul 2, 2018
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    I feel for you because i'm in the exact same boat with you. I have been accepted to both the Citadel and VMI. I am very conflicted on what school I will attend but I am leaning towards the Citadel.

    My best advice to you is think about your future after the Army and what will set up your future the best. I plan to stay active duty as long as I can but I want to be prepared for after my Army time is up. So pick the school that will set up the rest of your life not just your Army career.
    tlatrice and CitadelN88 like this.
  3. CitadelN88

    CitadelN88 Banned

    Aug 3, 2018
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    The Corps of Cadets experience is life changing, though I’m not sure how that works in the 2 year context. Something to consider do you want to be a 19 or 20 year old 2lt? It’s a lot of responsibility, real world, people can die if you screw up stuff.

    As for Citadel vs VMI you can’t make a bad choice there.
    Sargon likes this.
  4. PastorZack

    PastorZack Member

    Oct 29, 2018
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    My son has been accepted to Liberty as well as Valley Forge for his ECP, but without the a 4 or even a 3 year offer will go to VF instead of Liberty. LU coop's with UVA for their AROTC programs. Coming from a Christian background, I can understand the pull that you feel. My son has given thought to joining the chaplaincy if that is another way to get AD just to be able to serve. There are many opportunities in front of you, just be open to the ones that you feel led to. Blessings to you!
  5. New@This

    New@This Member

    Jun 25, 2016
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    My DH and I both attended Christian colleges in the Chicago area. :) I have 2 sons who are currently pursuing commission. One is ROTC and the other is a SA prep student. We don't have direct experience as students of either of your choices we are familiar with what you might experience. Wheaton and MMI are going to offer very different college experiences. Wheaton has historically had strong support for the ROTC program and for a time in the 50's and 60's ROTC was mandatory for underclassmen. And, as you well know, Wheaton is a strong Christian community where you will be able to find many like-minded students. Christian college is a great experience but it isn't necessarily indicative of real life and is a bit like living in a giant bubble partially shielded from the influences of the world.

    MMI will give you the opportunity to commission in 2 years but you are going to have to transfer somewhere else for the remaining years, correct? You could consider attending MMI, commission, and then transfer to Wheaton where you will be able to take on leadership in that ROTC unit. There is much to think about. If YOU (and not your parents) take your faith seriously than you need to prayerfully consider these choices. You will find the right path.
    tlatrice and rayrotc like this.
  6. emwvmi01

    emwvmi01 5-Year Member

    Sep 21, 2012
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    OP I wouldn't disregard non Wheaton options. I grew up in a family where faith is vital. My dad is a pastor and my mom spent her career in Christian Education. While attending a SMC I was very involved in faith activities as well as the Corps of Cadets and ROTC. It was a good lesson in balance as an Army officer where I daily think about how to balance the professional and spiritual. My parents encouraged us all to attend Christian colleges and neither of my brothers or I did but we're all active in our churches too and leading our families. So find the path that helps you get to where you need to be. I will say Wheaton has a very solid program so you won't go wrong there but you can be a person of faith at USMA, MMI, VMI or any ROTC program of choice.
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 21, 2010
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    Correct me if I'm wrong folks but do these schools have an acceptance deadline earlier than May 1, which is the deadline for most colleges? If not, then you have time to let this issue ripen, sort through the various pros and cons, and wait for more info on scholarships and other financial aid. Heck you haven't, by definition, even filled out the FAFSA yet! By all means, discuss it here but I wouldn't have a lot of angst over it yet, if ever.
    Lawman32RPD and THParent like this.
  8. bruno

    bruno 10-Year Member Retired Staff Member

    Feb 2, 2008
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    Rayrotc: let me put this in a different light. You may or may not be a career Army Officer - you will have a life outside the Army either way. One of the schools in your list will get you part way to being an Army Officer but only part way- you won’t be a College graduate when you finish at Marion - and you will be an Army Officer who is unable to serve until you graduate from a 4 year Bachelors program. If you go to Wheaton you will have a commission, a Bachelors degree from a very prestigious University, and you will be prepared for a life and world independent of your Army career. Wheaton will ground you in the most important element of whatever you do for your post college life - your spiritual life. There are not many places that will offer you all of those things in one place.
    Falcon A and Lawman32RPD like this.
  9. conrack

    conrack Member

    Aug 23, 2016
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    One big catch to keep in mind - the 2 year program only gets you a commission into the National Guard and you cannot transfer to active or reserve; and you must get your Bachelors within 5 years of commissioning.
    SpadGuy likes this.
  10. SpadGuy

    SpadGuy Member

    Nov 28, 2014
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    any colleges/universities or specific ones?

    Most Marion grads go on to which SMCs?

  11. KuzNROTC

    KuzNROTC Member

    Aug 21, 2018
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    I know you've already stated you don't mind being in the reserves, and ultimately want to be an Army officer, so I believe you can tell me what you want to do what you want to do, but can you tell me the "why." For example, why do you want to be an Army officer? Why are you satisfied with being in the reserves? Why not give yourself a chance at active duty if you do change your mind in your college career that the reserves are not for you?

    Both Marion and Wheaton will lead you to a commission. Personally though, the ECP route has too many asterisks. You will be a 20 year old 2nd LT, and be somewhat immature to be leading a platoon and at that be a non-deployable/not branched platoon leader, because of not bachelor degree completed. There's always the chance you may change your mind that you want to go active duty, but if you go to ECP, you significantly decrease your chance of achieving that. You may discover there is a branch that you want to compete for as you complete your bachelor's degree, but find out it is only for active duty soldiers. In other threads, there are rules applied to going to school fulltime, as well as being a PL at the same time. Conflicts can arise from this, as depending on your CO, he/she won't care whether you have a class/assignment/whatever college thing comes in the way during a training date. You have to be a fulltime student, and if you can't meet that requirement, there are repercussions. You are also held with a time frame in which you HAVE to complete your bachelors degree.

    What do you get from ECP? Getting 2 years more of service under your belt that aren't "active duty" service.

    From a "regular" ROTC college, you have more options with less risk. You get the chance of competing for active duty. If you decide you don't want that, then you can go reserves/NG.

    I see a main factor in whether you go ECP or regular ROTC is dependent on the 4 year or ECP scholarship (seeing your "chances" posts). I very well understand financial situations, and how they can weigh heavy on these sort of decisions.

    However, your last post was on your chance of getting a 3 year scholarship. Say you don't get anything these next two boards. You always have a chance to compete in college for campus based 3 and 2 years.

    You will get a commission in college if you decide to do regular ROTC. Be confident in yourself and work hard and you will.

    This is my opinion though. Again, either route will lead you to being an Army officer.

    Good luck. You will be successful as long as you work hard towards your goals.