OCS next to NROTC


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Apr 8, 2008
I was wondering how different it is coming out of ROTC compared to going through OCS? Is someone who goes through OCS at a disadvantage compared to those who went through rotc? What are the differences of life after commission for both? Also is ocs obligation the same as rotc, because i've heard its only four years active total compared to rotc's 4 active/ 4 reserve?
Hi ig21 -

I'm a mom and have never served. My son is NROTC. Are you in high school?

If you go NROTC you will not have to complete OCS to get a commission. But you will have NROTC obligations all through college.

Here's a link to to the Official Training Command for OCS:


Check out the FAQ's tab on the left side. I had only a few minutes to give a cursory read.

I have often heard that enlisted and other officers don't really care how you got your commission as long as you are truly competent. Your performance in the fleet, good or bad, will reflect on your SA, NROTC unit or OCS training.

OCS does appear to offer that intense make or break experience that some people desire.
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I think the better question you need to ask is in what capacity do you want to serve...i.e. flying?

When you go through OCS it maybe harder to get the career path that you want and thus, ROTC maybe easier.

As far as promotability when you are commissioned, it is how you perform during AD service, we know many OCS grads that have made commander and O-5, while at the same time we know several AFA grads who were passed over. As you get further in your career it is about your abilities and not the source of the commissioning.

I suggest talking to the ROTC det commander to determine your chances of getting what you want and compared it to OCS officials