No high school ROTC - National Guard instead?

Laurantwins

Member
DS is a 16 year old high school sophomore who will be 17 in June. His goal is to become a military officer, and his Plan A is the USMA. He's ranked 15th in his class, takes AP classes, plays baseball & football. He's on Student Council and founded a Bass Fishing Team at his high school. What he doesn't have is ROTC, which is not available at his school.

He is thinking about joining the National Guard, after learning that he could do so at age 17. His thinking is that this would give him military experience and make him a stronger candidate. He said that if he doesn't get into USMA, he'd be able to join an ROTC program at a college (his Plan B is VMI, Plan C is Texas A&M) while still being in the National Guard.

Is this realistically feasible?
 

jkim123

Member
DS is a 16 year old high school sophomore who will be 17 in June. His goal is to become a military officer, and his Plan A is the USMA. He's ranked 15th in his class, takes AP classes, plays baseball & football. He's on Student Council and founded a Bass Fishing Team at his high school. What he doesn't have is ROTC, which is not available at his school.

He is thinking about joining the National Guard, after learning that he could do so at age 17. His thinking is that this would give him military experience and make him a stronger candidate. He said that if he doesn't get into USMA, he'd be able to join an ROTC program at a college (his Plan B is VMI, Plan C is Texas A&M) while still being in the National Guard.

Is this realistically feasible?
Yes
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
Talk to an ROO at one of the colleges. National Guard and ROTC can be done, but it's not necessarily straight forward. Make sure you and your DS understand the process and what he might be committing himself to.
 

Laurantwins

Member
Thank you for the responses. His goal is to be an active duty officer after college. I'm worried that joining the National Guard will commit him to the National Guard after college, and that active duty won't be an option for him.
 

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
Thank you for the responses. His goal is to be an active duty officer after college. I'm worried that joining the National Guard will commit him to the National Guard after college, and that active duty won't be an option for him.
Make sure you do as @kinnem says and speak to a college AROTC ROO and not a local recruiter. They have different missions.
 

UHBlackhawk

Member
Your DS can actually enlist in the National Guard during his junior year of high school. Have him ask about the split training option. He would go to basic training between his junior and senior year, then AIT after he graduates.
1. While he would be in the National Guard he can NOT be deployed until he graduates from high school and finishes AIT.
He would, of course, have to drill one weekend a month. But he would be paid.
2. Being a member of the National guard opens up another nomination route to West Point. An appointment to West Point trumps his enlistment. However, if he drops out of West Point he still would owe his enlistment.
3. I'm not sure how they do ROTC and Guard/Reserve now. When I went to college they had something called SMP (simultaneous membership program). You drilled with your Guard unit getting paid as an E-5 while also in ROTC. If you get commissioned active duty via ROTC it again trumps your enlistment.
4. Moving between states/areas with the Guard/Reserves is easy. So if he goes away to college he can just transfer to a nearby unit.
 

AROTC Parent

5-Year Member
National Guard during HS will interfere with weekend HS athletics and part time work if your son is already doing those activities.
 

UHBlackhawk

Member
National Guard during HS will interfere with weekend HS athletics and part time work if your son is already doing those activities.
While not a guarantee, most Guard units will work around this. When I played college sports my unit let me split out those Saturday drills.
 

No1Fanof2

Member
Our school has a NJROTC program and over the years I have seen kids not part of the program receive appointments to various service academies. I have seen a few only join their last or last 2 years receive appointments. Only one of the COs went into a SA and it was via through prep school. (Others did receive the full NORTC scholarships or just became successful college students) The kids in our NJROTC program were a little more knowledgeable once going in and could have received a nomination because our program was a distinguished unit.

Your son has every opportunity to have the national guard as back up plan I just don't see it necessary to sign him or even advising him to do it at 16. We had a couple who went that route too at our school and I would say if they could do it all over they would have went a different route. My DD changed her mind by the time she was your sons age from USNA to CGA. Her once expansive list of back up plans list senior year was basically all or nothing. AND there was nothing I could do to change it. He is on the right track. Go to boys state, become student body president, captain of the teams, keep up the grades he will have a larger net to cast.
 

5Day

Member
What is the ultimate goal? Many cadets do not participate in JROTC, and there are a lot of other ways to show leadership. Sea Cadets, Civil Air Patrol, Boy Scouts just to name a few.

And +1 Boys State
 
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