Discussion in 'ROTC' started by masmithrpg, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. masmithrpg

    masmithrpg New Member

    Sep 9, 2015
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    I am wondering if someone can help me understand the OML and Branching for cadets.
    I have a freshman cadet who has always wanted to join the ROTC. However, now he is reconsidering and its because of the military cuts. He says he is enjoying the corps but feels like his chance of branching into his choice is going to be next to impossible. He says he is already at a disadvantage because he is not a STEM student and apparently they get extra points that he cannot get.

    He says he is not sure he wants to commit to 4 yrs of ROTC and 8 years of service if he can't get into the field he wants. I don't understand all that goes into this and what the branching means exactly.

    I guess what i'm really trying to understand if what it really means if he does not make that x% that gets their choice. I don't want him to have regrets about this, and want to make sure he is fully informed

    Thanks for your time
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Oct 21, 2010
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    As far as the OML goes, he would just need to make up points elsewhere.... most likely with a higher GPA. Keep in mind that STEM majors generally have a lower GPA do to the difficulty and time demand of their course work.

    As far as not getting his first choice, regardless of OML, its a real possibility. It all depends on the needs of the Army at that time. Many do not get their first choice. Many do. There are no guarantees. If he truly can't live with doing something else in the Army then he might be right to consider dropping. Or he can try doing so damn well that getting what he wants is not an issue. It's up to him!

    I assume he's not on scholarship?
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
  3. MemberLG

    MemberLG 5-Year Member

    Jan 4, 2011
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    As I understand it OML is made up of various things, such as major, GPA, advance camp performance, AFPT, and etc. Branching is combination of OML and the needs of the Army. Another factor is going active duty vs reserves or National Guard. So in theory, if a cadet is high enough on the OML, he or she will get their choice of active or reserve duty and branch. So OML is like a NFL draft, based on your OML you get whatever branch/active duty/reserve duty avaiable left. I have to sidetrack, but I heard many cases of ROTC cadets wanting active duty but not getting it. I have haven't heard ROTC cadets being force into active duty against their preferences.

    Not to ramble but this kid needs to consider if his other options are any better or guranteed. Is he going to get what he want if he doesn't do ROTC?
  4. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army 5-Year Member

    Mar 8, 2010
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    Here's what I tell all Cadets with these thoughts running through their heads...You aren't going into a are going to be a middle level manager in our corporation. You are going to have many different jobs during your career, so if you are joining to do one particular thing for your entire career you need to look elsewhere. You are also going to have opportunities to lead at variously levels during your time.
    In my short career, over 11 years I was a:
    Training Company Executive Officer
    Personnel Officer
    Training scheduler
    Communications Platoon Leader
    Battalion Operations Officer
    Supply Officer
    Company Commander

    He's only a freshman and he doesn't know what he doesn't know.
  5. nofodad

    nofodad 5-Year Member

    Dec 21, 2011
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    It's a your best, control what you can control don't get arrested and the Army will have the final say. That's not just true for one cadet, but for all cadets.
  6. k2rider

    k2rider 5-Year Member

    Jan 31, 2010
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    Unless the branch he wants to go into is Aviation, you have to figure everybody has a decent shot at anything he/she wants. *Basically*, at the end of his junior year, your son will have a total score based on GPA, APFT, PMS recommendation and then there are add'l points for volunteering at events run at school (security at a local charity 5K or concerts on campus, Honor Guard at football games/events), participating in Ranger Challenge, going to CULP and lastly, your test scores at CLC (the new LDAC, the Summer between junior & senior year).

    One other thing, my son has changed his mind several times in the 3+ years he has been at school. He went in wanting to go the military police route. He came home at Christmas and wanted to go Infantry. By the time Spring Break rolled around, it was Artillery. His sophomore year, the unit was able to go out and drive around in the Army Stryker vehicles and that solidified his branching choice for Armor so he could do the Armored Calvary thing. That lasted about (6) months and after going to CULP in Guyana on a "military training" mission, he's been all about going Infantry. He has stuck with that choice and made it his 1st choice for branching. I guess we'll find out how that goes in the next 60-90 days.
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

    Feb 10, 2010
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    All great advice above.

    I guess this would be my perspective.

    Cadets that join ROTC or attend WP with the number one goal of becoming an Army Officer have the greatest satisfaction when they finally commission. Most cadets have an idea of what they would like to branch when they start, as others have said that idea seems to change for many as they progress through ROTC, There is nothing wrong with having a goal, just don't have tunnel vision or there could be disappointment when it comes to branching.

    Clarkson said it best, an Officer enters the Army as a mid level manager. An example, my older son branched Aviation, for many cadets that brings up the idea of wearing Aviators, being a Top Gun and having the Rightous Brothers playing your theme song as you spend every moment soaring through the clouds, Far from it. In a year my son may fly 160 hours, most of his time is being a platoon leader for his troop. This means he does almost the same thing every other LT does in every other branch, which brings you back to being a middle manager.

    The best thing a cadet can do is work hard in school and ROTC, give themselves all the opportunity they can, and keep the number one goal of becoming an Army Officer first and branch second.

    As a side note, the Army has retired the helicopter my son flys, there is no word he will be able to transition to a new helicopter. To be proactive he is going to Civil Affairs Selection in April, if thinks work out like he thinks he will be done with Aviation and will become a Civil Affairs Officer. Things change all the time in the military, what branch you start out with may not be the one you end with.

    Another thing to remember is that if your son stays in longer then his obligation he will move on to more staff and command positions and he'll again be doing the same work that he would in other branches.

    Remember, the only constant in the Military is change.

    Best of luck to your son.
  8. runslikeajohndeere

    runslikeajohndeere 5-Year Member

    Feb 6, 2012
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    DS has reconsidered branches as years progressed. Have your cadet talk to as many officers as possible and keep perspective that there are some real positives. Do some more research.

    Work on ways to boost OML that are offered (or created).
  9. -Bull-

    -Bull- 5-Year Member

    Mar 13, 2009
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    He won't get anything guaranteed while in ROTC or the big Army. It's just not going to happen. He can do his best to put himself in a position to have a good shot at what he wants, he can ADSO for a branch, but still nothing is guaranteed. This is where it varies a lot from the enlisted side and their contracts. Hopefully if he sticks with it, he'll find value in leading Americas sons and daughters, and not solely on what field he is leading those soldiers in.

    And just like the others said, regardless of branch you're going to spend 70%+ of your time on your additional duties, not your primary job. I'm an artilleryman, but since I've been at my unit I've spent very few hours doing artillery stuff and I pick up additional duties every time I walk into the office. It's part of the game
    Azmomm likes this.

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