Not Sure What to Commission

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Engineer13, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. Engineer13

    Engineer13 New Member

    Apr 19, 2018
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    I don't normally ask questions but I'm a sucker for info. So I am a mechanical engineer currently in Army ROTC as a 5 year scholarship kid. Going through my engineering curriculum, I have found that I enjoy Thermodynamics and converting heat to work but I also really enjoy explosives. My plan was to branch engineering no matter what, with a backup of armor. What I'm having trouble deciding is national guard or active duty. If I go national guard, I feel like my time will just be wasted and I'll just want to leave after I serve my time. If I go active, I'm afraid I'll lose the skills I'm learning as a student to apply after my service. Does any engineer alumni and/or engineer officer have any insight to this? It's basically a cross between using my degree right away or using my commission right away. If I could be a thermodynamic engineer in the Army, all the more hooah
  2. THParent

    THParent Member

    Oct 15, 2017
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    "I have found that I enjoy Thermodynamics and converting heat to work but I also really enjoy explosives."
    Have you ever thought that it may be because they are the same thing?

    I can say from experience that what you learn in college almost never translates into the real world of a 9 to 5 job, and later a career.
    What matters out in The World is experience and leadership ability.
    So if you do active-duty Army, I wouldn't worry about losing the skills you're learning now as a student.
    There's nothing wrong with the National Guard (some of them may take offense to the suggestion that your time will be wasted there) as they are the oldest military branch and have participated in every military action this country has ever been involved in. I would say that you should keep an open mind and learn more about both.

    When you receive a commission, it's not about you. It's more about what the needs are of the branch you serve. You will most likely end up doing something that has absolutely nothing to do with your degree. While you're doing that, you will be learning how to be a better leader and take on more and more responsibility as you promote. After your service, your degree may get you in the door to a job/career that still has absolutely nothing to do with your degree, but it (hopefully) will be something that you want to do. You will land that job because you have that degree, but more so because you have that leadership experience.

    Executive summary: Keep your mind open to possibilities.
    theroyz71, tlatrice, Fishpart and 4 others like this.