Joining ROTC in College?

unkown1961

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Oct 20, 2016
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Sorry if this has been posted, but can a college freshman who comes to campus having not applied to ROTC do the following:
  1. Join ROTC after the start of term with the hope of getting a scholarship for sophomore year?
  2. Apply for a ROTC scholarship for their sophomore year without having joined ROTC their freshman year (e.g., they realize mid year that an ROTC scholarship is a good option)
If yes to either, how do the experts out there recommend proceeding first - possibly talking with the unit commander to explain their intent?

Thanks!
 

kinnem

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Oct 21, 2010
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Option 1 might vary by unit but I think, in general, you could do this. Be prepared to answer the question as to why you didn't pursue this prior to the start of the term. Also, you will almost certainly have missed whatever orientation program the unit has, which is usually done prior to the start of the term. This is definitely NOT your best approach.

Option 2 may be doable, but you will at least have to answer the question s to why you didn't do ROTC your freshman year. Also, you will again be behind the eight-ball and have to catch up academically, etc. to your classmates. You might even have to do 4 years of college from that point, making it 5 years. Also, you may have exceeded the number of college credits you can have in order to apply to ROTC. Again, this is NOT your best approach.

So here is what you should do - Contact the cadre at the college you plan to attend NOW and get yourself enrolled in the program NOW. You will not be behind the others in your class. You will have no problem answering awkward questions for scholarships, and could possibly be awarded a scholarship that kicks in during your freshman year. If you are unable to contact the cadre, for some reason, then do it the very first day you report to campus, presumably prior to classes starting (minimizing how far behind you are). Even on scholarship, you can participate freshman year with no service obligation after college if you decide to drop out.
 

unkown1961

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Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Messages
698
Option 1 might vary by unit but I think, in general, you could do this. Be prepared to answer the question as to why you didn't pursue this prior to the start of the term. Also, you will almost certainly have missed whatever orientation program the unit has, which is usually done prior to the start of the term. This is definitely NOT your best approach.

Option 2 may be doable, but you will at least have to answer the question s to why you didn't do ROTC your freshman year. Also, you will again be behind the eight-ball and have to catch up academically, etc. to your classmates. You might even have to do 4 years of college from that point, making it 5 years. Also, you may have exceeded the number of college credits you can have in order to apply to ROTC. Again, this is NOT your best approach.

So here is what you should do - Contact the cadre at the college you plan to attend NOW and get yourself enrolled in the program NOW. You will not be behind the others in your class. You will have no problem answering awkward questions for scholarships, and could possibly be awarded a scholarship that kicks in during your freshman year. If you are unable to contact the cadre, for some reason, then do it the very first day you report to campus, presumably prior to classes starting (minimizing how far behind you are). Even on scholarship, you can participate freshman year with no service obligation after college if you decide to drop out.

Thanks. I teach at a state university and I have gotten this question once or twice in conversations with students when I mentioned my kids are doing ROTC. I wanted to know the best reply to them. This helps.
 

wannabeplebe

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Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
206
Option 1 might vary by unit but I think, in general, you could do this. Be prepared to answer the question as to why you didn't pursue this prior to the start of the term. Also, you will almost certainly have missed whatever orientation program the unit has, which is usually done prior to the start of the term. This is definitely NOT your best approach.

Option 2 may be doable, but you will at least have to answer the question s to why you didn't do ROTC your freshman year. Also, you will again be behind the eight-ball and have to catch up academically, etc. to your classmates. You might even have to do 4 years of college from that point, making it 5 years. Also, you may have exceeded the number of college credits you can have in order to apply to ROTC. Again, this is NOT your best approach.

So here is what you should do - Contact the cadre at the college you plan to attend NOW and get yourself enrolled in the program NOW. You will not be behind the others in your class. You will have no problem answering awkward questions for scholarships, and could possibly be awarded a scholarship that kicks in during your freshman year. If you are unable to contact the cadre, for some reason, then do it the very first day you report to campus, presumably prior to classes starting (minimizing how far behind you are). Even on scholarship, you can participate freshman year with no service obligation after college if you decide to drop out.
How would it be possible to get a scholarship that kicks in freshman year in this case? I am joining the unit as a freshman this year andwI as told all I can do right now is apply for the 4-year scholarship (due in Jan.) that would begin during the sophomore year?
 

kinnem

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How would it be possible to get a scholarship that kicks in freshman year in this case? I am joining the unit as a freshman this year andwI as told all I can do right now is apply for the 4-year scholarship (due in Jan.) that would begin during the sophomore year?
Depends on the ROTC program. AROTC units sometimes have scholarships they can award for hard-working enterprising individuals. Sometimes 3.5 year scholarships are awarded. The scenario you describe would apply to NROTC. I don't know enough about the AFROTC program to comment one way or the other.
 
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