OCS or ROTC?

ommegang

New Member
I have recently just started college and I am curious as to whether I should enjoy college as it is and go to OCS after college or join the AROTC to prepare for life a military career after college. Any facts, opinions or anecdotes would be really helpful!
 

Ex.BT.USN

5-Year Member
There will be many thoughts to this and mine thought is only that of the experience our DS had.
My DS was an academy candidate as well as NROTC. He was awarded NROTC. In his freshman year he reapplied to the Academy. He went through the entire process and before even knowing if he was selected he realized he loved the college he was attending. He realized that for him he had a win, win. He retained his NROTC scholarship but also had the chance to experience regular college life. So it's not good to answer a question with a question but do you think you can handle both hats? If your answer is yes then go for it. Remember in the end only you know you. Hope this helps!
 

clarksonarmy

Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army
5-Year Member
OCS is the officer producing program that makes up the shortfall in production by USMA and ROTC. So if you wait and try to go the OCS route you will have the least control over the outcome. Additionally, if you try ROTC now you can try it out before making a commitment. If you enlist for OCS and things don't work out or you change your mind you still have an enlisted obligation. This is a no brainer. There is no good reason to forgo ROTC with the plan of trying for OCS.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
I have recently just started college and I am curious as to whether I should enjoy college as it is and go to OCS after college or join the AROTC to prepare for life a military career after college. Any facts, opinions or anecdotes would be really helpful!
"...and go to OCS after college..."
It's not as easy as it sounds. OCS/OTS programs are used as an adjustment valve, depending on how many officers are being produced from an SA, ROTC, enlisted commissioning and other programs. It's highly competitive, with more applicants than acceptances, and the Service cherry-picks who they want to fill various officer recruiting goals. They open up the OCS valve as they need to, or close it off by reducing class size or eliminating a class.

Why not try ROTC? You will learn a lot and figure out earlier if this is for you. It will develop time management, self-discipline and leadership skills. You could always go the college programmer route at first.
 

ommegang

New Member
Thank you all so very much you have been very helpful. My only problem with ROTC is I don't know which branch to enter yet, It is a choice between Navy, Army Or Air Force and all appeal to me. I'm not sure if I want to enter one which I will end up regretting not picking another. But if OCS programs are that probabilistic then I will join a ROTC.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Thank you all so very much you have been very helpful. My only problem with ROTC is I don't know which branch to enter yet, It is a choice between Navy, Army Or Air Force and all appeal to me. I'm not sure if I want to enter one which I will end up regretting not picking another. But if OCS programs are that probabilistic then I will join a ROTC.
You are very welcome. These are all just our opinions rooted in our own perspective. Keep researching. It is sometimes helpful to work backwards. If you don't like the idea of being on the water out of sight of land for long periods and not for recreational purposes, many parts of the Navy will not appeal to you. Part of being an adult is learning to make the best choice you can and let go of the roads not taken. Focus on the actual career paths during the obligated service period and beyond. Then the commissioning path is easier to figure out.

OCS is certainly an option, but it's like waiting for the last possible exit off the highway. If you don't make it, there aren't that many more chances. If you know you are leaning toward serving, dive in!
 
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Ex.BT.USN

5-Year Member
Well now that's an easy question to answer. Go Navy, beat Army....as well as the others!
I'm going to get some push back on that last comment.
On a serious note do some resource / research on each. Stop by each unit at the school, kick some tires and ask some questions.
 

Humey

Member
There is nothing in Rotc that will stop you from enjoying college. In reality, it will add to your experience.
 

MohawkArmyROTC

Recruiting Operations Officer
As far as what branch to join, what kind of job do you want to in the Military? They can help point you towards one over the other. What is your college major, and are you looking to compete for a scholarship?
 

eljay60

AFROTC parent, former ANC in USAR
What options are available on your campus? That may limit your research. From my one-rat-study (DS) there weren't many colleges that offered all 3. There are cross-town options, but that can be a challenge logistically depending on your location. For instance, in Michigan, only UofM offers NROTC, although it is a cross-town option with Eastern Michigan.
 

USMA 1994

Member
Everyone knows the last two words of the National Anthem are "Beat Navy" but in all seriousness you decision about branch needs to be based on what you think you would like to do in the armed services.

The services have three different missions and their officers generally have a different focus.

Generally speaking with the risk of everyone talking about the differences and exceptions, this is what most officers do in their careers.

Army Officers lead troops on the ground who are in direct contact with the enemy or leading soldiers supporting those troops.
Air Force Officers are pilots are preforming roles supporting those pilots
Naval Officers are pilots or technical leaders on a ship.
 

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
Army Officers lead troops on the ground who are in direct contact with the enemy or leading soldiers supporting those troops.
Air Force Officers are pilots are preforming roles supporting those pilots
Naval Officers are pilots or technical leaders on a ship.
Uh oh....Hoops, Kinnem and USMC Grunt will be on your case pretty quick! :rolleyes:
 

USMA 1994

Member
Army Officers lead troops on the ground who are in direct contact with the enemy or leading soldiers supporting those troops.
Air Force Officers are pilots are preforming roles supporting those pilots
Naval Officers are pilots or technical leaders on a ship.
Uh oh....Hoops, Kinnem and USMC Grunt will be on your case pretty quick! :rolleyes:
I forgot to add that while the Marines are still just a part of the Navy, their officers perform duties similar Army Officers so they are a little better than just the squids.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
I forgot to add that while the Marines are still just a part of the Navy, their officers perform duties similar Army Officers so they are a little better than just the squids.
Oh my, run for cover. The Marine Corps is in the Department of the Navy as an armed service, just as the Navy is an armed service in the DON. Marines are not "in the Navy." Add a few festive words and that's how it was explained to me by a terrifyingly vocal Marine CSM when I was a squidlet.
 

USMCGrunt

5-Year Member
Oh my, run for cover. The Marine Corps is in the Department of the Navy as an armed service, just as the Navy is an armed service in the DON. Marines are not "in the Navy." Add a few festive words and that's how it was explained to me by a terrifyingly vocal Marine CSM when I was a squidlet.
Thanks Capt MJ. I didn't want to go all technical on the poster.

But to get more granular, I thought the Navy was the water transportation element of the US Marine Corps!
 
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