NROTC Marine Option - My take

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by USMC8001, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. USMC8001

    USMC8001 New Member

    Jan 28, 2015
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    Good evening,

    I thought I would make thread detailing what to expect for everyone that seems to wish they had more answers rather than questions. I am a Marine Option, OCS graduate and set to commission in a few months. There are a lot of questions it seems so ask away and I will answer with my own experience. The rest is some of the stuff I saw get answered by people that might not have the correct take or have been construed in a way that is ambiguous.

    First, I got assigned a college that wasn't on my list on my application, so that presented the first look at the Marine Corps way. I ran with the opportunity given and now I am thankful that I did. So if you get a college that is not on your top five (or three I forgot how many you get to pick) don't deny it. I was skeptical, nervous, homesick at first, but going somewhere different and far away from home has blessed me in more ways then I can begin to describe. It is probably better that I got a random college, met new people, vast culture shock and new experiences have helped just as much as my studies.

    Also, I had a "criminal record" aka I was a punk teenager that got into some trouble. I have seen a lot of parents and potential candidates ask if it matters or is a deal breaker, or if you are looked down upon. It doesn't matter as much as you think it does. Obviously, it also depends on the severity of the crime. DUIs and drug cases are a different level compared to a few of minor traffic offenses or a class C. Of course, it is different when you get accepted and held to a higher standard, but for those in the application process don't let it keep you up at night. You do a lot of explaining away for the rest of your time in NROTC though. So get used to it, but it is NOT an automatic DQ. Far from it actually. But do keep any record that has to do with your case(s) accessible because they do help alleviate the process. Also, keep a written record as to what happened, the case number, the court decision, and other documents as this seems to be included on a lot of documents and for some guys it's tough to remember events that happened years ago. As Chesty put it "Take me to the Brig. I want to see the real Marines." (Just kidding, don't go to jail)

    Daily life depends on the unit, but making friends across the whole NROTC network, it is usually similar. You get up early most days and go PT or attend lab. Your rest of the day is filled with classes and whatever you decide to do in your free time. Some weekends are taken up by training which helps tremendously by getting you ready for the rigors of OCS. Maximize your free time and realize that college is fun and more of what you make of it. I joined a fraternity, made great friends in NROTC and outside of it, and did a lot of the regular college civilian 'stuff' (spring break, parties, joining different clubs, part-time jobs).

    My biggest college/NROTC advice though is that time management is critical. Make sure you get your studies done and obligations taken care of before you partake in the fun college life, or else it is seriously easy to get caught up in it. The scholarship will be lost incredibly quick if you can't manage your time and I have seen it claim more of my friends. We started with around 20 freshmen and less than half will graduate and commission with me. Most of those students had problems managing their free time, let the college life get to them, failed because of poor study habits, etc. School is your first priority and you can't get that commission without the degree. So let that be the source of motivation to stay in some nights while your friends go out and get back when you are getting ready for PT and really hit the books. If you can effectively manage your time you will set yourself up for success, I promise.

    Give me some questions for all those future NROTC Midshipmen that I know lurk around here and want to know what happens when you get to your unit and I will do my best to answer. Also, if you are going to OCS this summer and want a different viewpoint then your usual encounters, I can give you some tips to make it a little less worse.
    rocatlin, Lawman32RPD, Sampia and 3 others like this.
  2. SteveWember

    SteveWember Member

    Mar 5, 2014
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    I have received and accepted a Marine Option Scholarship to Colorado Boulder. Thanks for this post, it helped clear up some things I will be encountering in my next 4 years!

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
  3. FutureDevilDog

    FutureDevilDog New Member

    Jul 30, 2015
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    Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it. I'm leaving for FNSO in a week and I'm really wondering how the "college life" and NROTC life coexist. I've heard a lot of mixed things from different people, such as you can't go to any parties, always consumed with nrotc commitments, ect. Can you shine any light on this at all? Thanks a ton

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