Navy ROTC College Program vs. OCS

Tengo Yankee

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Hello everyone:

I was wondering what people's opinions are on NROTC College Program (no scholarship) vs OCS. Before I go into the specifics of the question, here is some information about myself:
- high school senior committed to going to ivy school
- desire to serve in the navy
- will not need the military to pay for my college tuition
- money is not a factor

So, ROTC and OCS are the commissioning paths that I am eligible for. A good thing about ROTC is that it guarantees me a commission upon graduation. However, the ROTC commitment is very big with mandatory drill and PT. On the other hand, OCS does not begin until after graduation, so it is basically 12 weeks and done. However, I am not guaranteed an OCS slot (but if I have a good GPA coming from an ivy school and good PT scores, I believe OCS is definitely within reach). What do you guys think is the best commissioning source for me? Thanks.
 

kinnem

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The best is NROTC because (as you pointed out) you're guaranteed commission upon successful completion of the program and graduation. You may or may not be able to get into OCS since it's only there to "top off" the officer manpower needs based on the needs of the Navy.
 

Norfolk63

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NROTC will enhance your college experience, making you a better student and citizen.
 

5Day

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All NROTC programs know that you at in college for an academic education and academics come first. Yes ROTC does take up a good chunk of time, but it should not interfere with academics. It may however interfere with other EA. You will learn quickly how to manage your time and set appropriate priorities. If your goal is a commission in the Navy all you need to do is join as a college programmer, do well in your unit and do well academically and you will at a minimizing earn an advanced standing contract to get that Navy Commission. If you join as a college programmer with no contract and find out you don't want ROTCas part of your college experience you can drop it and it will not impact your chances at OCS.
 

Tengo Yankee

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If you join as a college programmer with no contract and find out you don't want ROTCas part of your college experience you can drop it and it will not impact your chances at OCS.

Thank you for your informative response! Just to clarify, if I do happen to drop ROTC it will not negatively affect my OCS application? I trust what you say, but what evidence/experience do you have that supports this. If this is true, I will definitely try NROTC just to see if it is for me.
 

5Day

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With no contract and nod scholarship you are not in the navy so when you quit you are not being discharged from the Navy. As opposed to those on scholarship. They are inactive reserve and if they were to leave there would be some sort of discharge that could inpact discharge.

But, you should be sceptical of any advice you get from an anomous forum. When you are interviewing or talking with a NROTC batallion about college programming, ask them about OCS. Ask about quitting and going OCS. That would be a much more authoritative source and one I would touch base with before committing to NROTC if I had your doubts.
 

Capt MJ

Formerly Known As Attila The Hunnette
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As noted by Kinnem, OCS/OTS programs serve as an adjustable intake valve, varying with predicted output from SA, ROTC and enlisted commissioning programs, etc. to fill yearly officer production goals. As such, it is a buyer's market. The Navy might budget for x OCS classes a year, of y size. If need be, they could flex to x-2 classes, say, of .75 y size. It is never a sure bet. If the Navy realizes it is under certain goals for under-represented communities, it will precision-recruit for qualified candidates who had not previously considered or were exposed to SA or ROTC options. Ditto shopping for certain majors. You could have killer college grades and not necessarily get in.

ROTC will give you increasing exposure, training and knowledge of Navy life, culture, discipline and officer career communities. I encourage you to research the primary sources and see if you can arrange to visit a unit, to educate yourself on your options. Perhaps there are grads from your HS currently at a NROTC unit you can contact.

Edit: Daily PT, mandatory or otherwise, at oh-dark-thirty, is part of military life and culture. Might as well get accustomed to it early. You will also benefit from the time management skills you will master when juggling college academics and ROTC activities.
 

NavyNOLA

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Thank you for your informative response! Just to clarify, if I do happen to drop ROTC it will not negatively affect my OCS application? I trust what you say, but what evidence/experience do you have that supports this. If this is true, I will definitely try NROTC just to see if it is for me.

The response from @5Day is accurate. Pursuing NROTC as a college programmer and dropping before ever activating a scholarship or advanced standing will have no impact on a future OCS application.

Concur on the recommendation to take a strong look at NROTC vice waiting and hoping for OCS down the road. They are both outstanding options, but NROTC will offer a midshipman tremendous opportunities to develop their leadership skillset over four years, which I believe is an advantage when compared to the OCS path.
 

Tengo Yankee

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Thanks for all of the responses. It looks like I will pursue a commission through NROTC. I have a couple follow-up questions:
1) Will I be able to do summer trainings and summer cruises before I am granted "advanced standing," which happens junior year?
2) Will I be able to hold leadership billets as a college program Midshipman, or are scholarship recipients given preference?
 

NavyNOLA

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Thanks for all of the responses. It looks like I will pursue a commission through NROTC. I have a couple follow-up questions:
1) Will I be able to do summer trainings and summer cruises before I am granted "advanced standing," which happens junior year?
2) Will I be able to hold leadership billets as a college program Midshipman, or are scholarship recipients given preference?

1) No. A scholarship or advanced standing is required before attending cruise.
2) Yes. No (generally speaking).
 

nrotc86

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I concur with all statements made thus far. My last shore tour was general officer recruitment in the northeast. We turned away many super qualified Ivy candidates for reasons previously noted. The only variation being applicants in minority status.... If you want to be a URL Naval Officer continue along the CP path. Only 3 year active commitment for non-aviation...
 

Tengo Yankee

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Only 3 year active commitment for non-aviation...
After the 3 year active duty commitment, am I required to remain in the reserves? If so, for how long? And, can the reserves pull me from a civilian job and put me in AD at any moment?
 

Capt MJ

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After the 3 year active duty commitment, am I required to remain in the reserves? If so, for how long? And, can the reserves pull me from a civilian job and put me in AD at any moment?

To start your research:
https://www.navy.com/about/about-reserve/roles-responsibilities



Reserves ordered to active duty, whether for regular training or operational needs, have many protections under the law with regard to their jobs. States have ESGR staffs, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Many employers make an effort to be known as Guard/Reserve-friendly, and there are "top employers" lists which come out. Military members get regular briefs on their rights and responsibilities

There is also a difference between active Reserve and inactive Reserve.

There has been so much Reserve and Guard call-up since 2001, there is plenty of primary and secondary source material to research.

I also recommend being open to the journey. Many career officers swore their plan was "five and dive" or "three and flee." They stayed for an entire career. Many who swore "I'm career, gonna go all the way," step away, which is also perfectly fine. You have no idea who you will be and what you will prioritize 7-10 years from now, or what life will throw in your path.

It's good to ask questions; knowledge is power. You can dig deeper by extracting google search string phrases above and have the satisfaction of finding answers to basic questions.
 

5Day

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NUPOC is another alternate way to comission into the Nayy if you are interested in subs! If you want subs it is perfect for you. Check out their web site and this thread. https://www.serviceacademyforums.co...er-candidate-program-nupoc.51941/#post-512000. Since NUPOC is not a scholarship, it is pay, it would be like double dipping. You would actually make money by going to college. No ROTC classes or drills. You lead a normal college life. You have a summer cruse and you have a Navy commission as a Sub officer when you graduate. You could even college program for a year or 2 and stay non-contracted to see which route you would want to take.
 

SpadGuy

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Suppose you graduate from ROTC, if not commissioned for some reasons, work for one year somewhere, do you still have to go through OCS to enlist?
 

Tengo Yankee

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NUPOC is another alternate way to comission into the Nayy if you are interested in subs! If you want subs it is perfect for you. Check out their web site and this thread. https://www.serviceacademyforums.co...er-candidate-program-nupoc.51941/#post-512000. Since NUPOC is not a scholarship, it is pay, it would be like double dipping. You would actually make money by going to college. No ROTC classes or drills. You lead a normal college life. You have a summer cruse and you have a Navy commission as a Sub officer when you graduate. You could even college program for a year or 2 and stay non-contracted to see which route you would want to take.
I do not think NUPOC would work for me because I will not be a Nuclear Engineering or Physics major. Would they take Economics or Computer Science or Computer Engineering major though?
 

5Day

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You do not need to be a nuc or physics major. They will teach you all of that. A tier 1 or 2 major would be best, computer engineering and computer science are tier 2, Quantitative Economics is tier 2, not Economics. You you will need very good math skills. Check out this post https://www.serviceacademyforums.co...er-candidate-program-nupoc.51941/#post-512000 You may want to contact the originater of the thread Brian Linville, USNA '10, Nuclear Officer Accessions Manager. He is not active on this forum so you will have to figure out how to get in touch with him. Google gave me his linked in profile. I am sure he can give you all the information you would want.
 

Brian8715

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I'm not active on here often, but I check in once a month or so.

To answer your question, your major is looked at but is not critical to being selected for NUPOC. You must have completed two semesters each of Calculus and Calculus-based physics (irrespective of major) prior to coming to our final interviews at Naval Reactors. We also take a bit of a harder look at SAT/ACT Math scores and your performance on some practice technical interviews for those without non-technical majors. At the end of the day, if you're well on the right side of the intelligence and motivation bell curves, the Nuclear Navy wants you.

Check out this site I built to provide more information: https://nupocaccessions.blogspot.com . There is also a lot of info put out by Big Navy on NUPOC (which I link to on my site), but I found it to be lacking when it came to providing relevant data to someone making a decision. CompSci or CompEng would be acceptable for instructor positions as well if your grades and test scores were up to snuff (though I think the value proposition is stronger for the operational positions, frankly -- personal and somewhat biased opinion).

Best,
Brian Linville
 
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