NROTC and AFROTC Majors and Pilot Slots

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by WhiskeyPapa, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. WhiskeyPapa

    WhiskeyPapa New Member

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    I have decided to go to NROTC as a Computer Science and Engineering major at a large midwestern university with hopes of getting a pilot slot upon graduation. I decided to go with this program instead of AFROTC because the Navy has jobs that I find more interesting in the event that I do not receive a pilot slot for whatever reason. However I still have a question. Given my major, am I correct in assuming the needs of the Air Force would have likely directed me towards a Cyberspace Defense job, and not towards getting a pilot slot had I gone with the AFROTC?
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    One can never say for certain, but in general the job you do in the military has absolutely nothing to do with your college major. There are English majors who are pilots. There are History majors who are technical communications officers. There are Engineering majors who are Infantry officers.

    There are jobs that might be a better fit for your major if pilot doesn't come through, if that's what interests you. However the needs of the service and your position on the OML is what will decide where you go and what job you do, aside from any physical restrictions you might have.
     
  3. Tbpxece

    Tbpxece Member

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    Broadly speaking, the USAF prefers STEM degrees (they call them technical degrees) for non-RPA pilots and CSO's. Non-STEM degrees are not a disqualifier, but STEM degree-holders are given a little more preference.

    Other than that, the USAF does have some majors that seem to be a near-sure lock for certain jobs (i.e. CE, Cyberspace, OSI, Linguist, etc.) if the applicant is not being considered for pilot/CSO/ALO/CRO. I don't have any specific proof of this other than observation and discussions with officers in those career fields.

    For a computer science and engineering, it is possible you would have been pushed towards Cyberspace, but it is just as possible you would've been pushed towards 62E (Developmental Engineer). With a degree like that, it really depends on the needs of the USAF at that time and how strong of a candidate you were.
     
  4. FutureAFDad

    FutureAFDad New Member

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    This question, 'how does major influence USAF decisions?' is a common one on this board. I'm not a AFROTC cadet (can't speak to knowledge about NROTC) just close to someone that is currently and has gone through AFROTC HSSP scholarship process and looking to be rated pilot. This may not be applicable since you've chosen NROTC but perhaps it will help others re: AFROTC.

    The AFROTC HSSP scholarship board has a very, very strong preference to STEM majors. Your chances of receiving a scholarship (and USAF contract) out of HS are much greater for a STEM major.

    Once in an AFROTC detachment, you'll compete in your Freshman and Sophomore years for an EA to POC - attend field training at Maxwell between Sophomore and Junior year - and if you are an HSSP cadet or have been put on ICSP you have signed a contract by now and are nearly guaranteed for an EA and future commissioning. Then just do well at MAX and the last two years of school. Sophomore year is when you will take the AFOQT (standardized test like SAT), the results are a main piece of your future AF job. This with performance within detachment and academics and some degrees drive matching you with your career desire and the needs of the USAF. You will get to, later in the process, submit a wish list of top three jobs and those with the best performance are more likely to get their wishes.

    During your Junior year, if you've expressed an interest in Pilot or other rated jobs (note: you'll declare this before FT at Maxwell as part of the EA decision detachment makes), you will submit a package to a rated board. The rated board decides on whether you are rated for Pilot, CSO, ABM or RPA. There are multiple parts to the PCSM score that is submitted to this board after first semester of Junior year, MAJOR IS NOT ONE THEM. AFOQT scores, PT scores, Commanders ranking, Field Training performance and GPA are all part of the formula. Just GPA, not major. A 3.8 in Art History is better than a 3.2 in MechEng, you probably are not on HSSP or ICSP as an Art History major though... but you can still earn an EA and rated (even pilot) job. I don't believe, through the person that has been told many times by AFROTC, the rated board even sees the major the candidate is studying.

    Further in your career, if you've achieved, pilot there is a preference (requirement?)major. If you want to go NASA you have to be a test pilot first and only STEM majors become test pilots.

    Summary and suggestion- For scholarship advantage STEM is key. For pilot and any other job preference within the USAF and post USAF career, choose your major based on what you feel you will enjoy. If you enjoy it, you're more likely to do well in it and high performers (academics and all the other pieces of ROTC) have the best chances of receiving their job preferences.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    I am going to throw in a different twist and say go NROTC. The reality is either way you will at least serve 4 yrs AD. If you go pilot for the AF it is 10 yrs once you wing. However, here is the thing. Let's assume you get pilot. There has never been a class that 100% wing. It is more likely that less than 70% will wing. The AF will more often reclassify you into a non-rated position. You have stated you would be happier in the Navy over the AF. To me that is more important in the what if scenario.
    ~ In my DS's UPT class started with 28 for the T6 (1st phase). 21 made it to the T1/38s (2nd phase). They added in the wash backs from earlier classes, which brought them back up to 28. They winged 21. One of his friends that was in his wedding washed out 1 month prior to winging. He was re-classified to Cyber. Another friend was re-classified to intel.

    You are just at the starting line and there will be a lot of hurdles in front of you to clear for the next 5-6 yrs until you wing and if you don't wing you will owe 4 yrs of 52 weeks a yr stationed wherever that service determines.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Just to straighten out what may be a misconception by some, NROTC also has a strong preference for STEM majors and 85% for people awarded scholarships will be STEM majors. The Marine Option doesn't care what your major is. Yes, Marines fly too.
     
  7. CitadelN88

    CitadelN88 Banned

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    Unless there are radical changes newly minted Naval Officers are for the most part assigned to the Unrestricted Line. This mean's you're going to drive a ship , fly a plane, whatever it is you do in a submarine , eat snakes / kill terrorists or take apart bombs and kill terrorist.

    If you get put in the surface community your actual job within that community is pretty much randomly assigned. Granted it was a zillion years ago but I spent 2 - 3 months in engineering officer of the watch school reported to my ship as was promptly told to report to the First Lieutenant as Deck Division officer only ever got into engineering spaces just long enough to get the gouge on what's going on down there before assuming the watch on the bridge or in CIC.

    I'd get some insight on what you want to do and how can you get from here to there in the Navy.
     
  8. Tex232

    Tex232 Member

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    You probably would have gotten cyberspace or developmental engineering, although it’s possible you would have gotten something completely different. Either way you probably would have been bored. I’d say you made the right choice with the Navy. Granted, not every job in the Navy is interesting, but I think you’ll get to see and do more in the Navy as an on-flyer than you would in the Air Force. Basically, if you don’t fly in the Air Force, you’re more than likely going to be sitting behind a desk for 8 hours a day. And in my opinion being at the helm of a ship beats sitting at a desk at corporate AF.
     
  9. Tbpxece

    Tbpxece Member

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    This really is not an accurate statement of typical duty for non-rated AF officers. Great stereotype, but not at all accurate. :)
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    And even pilots will spend large periods of time sitting behind a desk. They are not out there flying every day or even every year.
     
  11. Tex232

    Tex232 Member

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    Its just my personal experience. Its what I do as a non-rated officer and its the life of most officers I know who are also non-rated. Sure there are exceptions (i.e. STO, CRO, other "battlefield airmen", etc.) but in most cases you will be leading personnel and/or operating a weapons system from behind a desk. For example, even an SF officer (one of the most deployable AFSC's in the AF) will spend the majority of their time completing tasks such as writing EPR bullets for enlisted men under their command. Just my two cents.
     
  12. Humey

    Humey Member

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    My son is a Air Force pilot trainee (UPT) but I was also concerned about AFROTC as i also thought if you dont get a pilot spot, there are more interesting jobs in the Navy than there are in the AF. Honestly, unless you really wanted to be a Missileer, receving that job isnt probably going to make anyone happy. They had to give that position a bonus in pay in order to make it attractive.
     
  13. Tbpxece

    Tbpxece Member

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    You can get a lot of PME and graduate work done, though.

    @Tex232 , fair enough-- can't argue with your experience. I hope that changes for you. There are certainly a lot of O positions out there that aren't tethered to a desk or require wings.
     
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  14. ryangreg429

    ryangreg429 New Member

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    Some critical academic majors may have a cap on the number who are selected for rated duty. For example, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Meteorology. Current cap on EE and Meteorology is 25% as opposed to normal 43% Tech major selection for rated position. If “capped out” and you are later given a Non-Rated-Line AFSC which does not mandate that academic major, you will be cleared to compete for a rated slot
     
  15. Humey

    Humey Member

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    Yes that is true. Lots of time to study. Although I can guarantee you that you my son wouldnt have done graduate work after just finishing four years in college. I think he will continue his studying once he settles down
     
  16. Tex232

    Tex232 Member

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    They usually also have to pull a few people a year on an involuntary basis to serve in that position. A girl I know got that job and it was nowhere on her wish list. My job is by no means interesting but it must really blow to be a missilleer. There’s a few things you don’t have to try in life to know it sucks, and that job is one of them.
     
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  17. Tbpxece

    Tbpxece Member

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    I hate to beat up on Space Command, what with their pending transition over to the Space Force, so I'll say there are a number of O jobs I am glad I do not have. :)