If I receive a ROTC scholarship(any branch) to a SMC, can I still go coast guard?

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by SamAca10, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. SamAca10

    SamAca10 5-Year Member

    Jul 19, 2009
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    I want to become a coast guard officer, and the SMC's seem like good back ups in case I don't get into the CGA...I've applied for NROTC and AFROTC scholarships. If I receive those and go to a SMC, am I obligated to that service? Or can I elect to go into the Coast Guard instead? I'm just not sure I could afford to pay for a SMC wtihout a ROTC scholarship though...
  2. bruno

    bruno 5-Year Member Retired Staff Member

    Feb 2, 2008
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    SamAca- theoretically yes- but in practice maybe not so easy to go from one service to another if you are a scholarship winner as opposed to a "college program" graduate. As a scholarship winner you are going to sign a contract and be obligated at the start of your 3rd class year (Sophomore year). While I am sure that there are some who have managed to xfer to another service or the Coast Guard, but I would not know the odds of that getting approved. I know that the USCG has a program for direct commissioning from VMI- but I think that releasing from your commitment that you incurred with the ROTC scholarship would be totally up to the service whose ROTC scholarship you possess.
    If ROTC scholarship money is going to be the key to you going to College, then I think that you really need to consider the prospect of being commissioned in the service you get the scholarship from. If you are really stuck on going into the USCG as your first love, but need that kind of money to go to school- I would strongly urge you to consider both the USCGA and USMMA as your first choices. Additionally- if you are in a state that qualifies for in-state or in-region tuition at the state maritime academies and investigate a program at those schools called the MMR-SIP (Merchant Marine Reserve-Student Incentive) program which offers an annual stipend and from which you can also commission as a USCG officer.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  3. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 5-Year Member

    Dec 15, 2008
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    Most of the guys interested in going Coast Guard at VMI take NROTC, but if they aren't contracted with the Navy, they don't have to participate in all of the NROTC training. But once you sign a contract (scholarship or otherwise), you're pretty well committed. They've also been known to coordinate and plan their own Field Training Exercises (FTXs) for the fall and spring FTX weekends. I'm sure you would be able to do something similar regardless of which SMC you go to.

    For more information about commissioning in the Coast Guard from VMI, contact LTC Gary Bissell: BissellGA (at) vmi.edu. He usually coordinates with the Coast Guard recruiters to get them to visit Post once or twice a semester. If he can't answer your questions for you, he can get you in touch with the local recruiters. They have a very nice program that involves training and making money while in school. I'm fairly confident they offer scholarships too, but I can't guarantee it.

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