Questions regarding VMI

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by luke5891, May 14, 2019.

  1. luke5891

    luke5891 Member

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    In preparation for matriculation on August 17, I was wondering if anybody could share some insight on the questions I have.

    1) I am currently wearing a Garmin Fenix 3 Watch, mainly for GPS tracking/pacing on my runs. The cadet handbook states, "Watch, black, athletic style recommended." Would my watch fit this description, and be allowed given that it has GPS tracking? Furthermore, is it worth brining a semi expensive watch, or is it likely to get wrecked during hell week and beyond.

    2) Does a conditionally appointed student receive a full appointment only after submitting his final transcript/graduating? I received a conditional appointment in January, and have submitted all necessary medical and school documents, excluding my final transcript, and just want to make sure I am not behind the curve on a full appointment.

    3) What is the separation between NROTC and NROTC-MO at VMI (and I guess in general as well), are certain classes/training required for both, or are the programs relatively autonomous. Moreover, what sorts of training can be expected from NROTC-MO Freshman through Senior year?
     
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  2. Dadof2

    Dadof2 Member

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    @luke5891 - I only have a few minutes to respond right now but I'm sure you are anxious for feedback so I'll attempt at least a partial response. I assume from the way you phrased question 3 that you will be NROTC-MO? Are you on scholarship? Please advise on this and I (and probably others) will be able to provide more information.

    1) In general, your best bet on deciding anything like this is refer to the packing list and bring only items that are on the list and match the description of the item on the list as closely as possible. Do not do or bring anything that could make you stand out. Not sure you can wear a watch during hell week. I recall my DS telling me that the only way he knew the time during hell week was if they ran past a clock somewhere. You can always bring a simple, rugged and inexpensive watch (again, as close as possible to what the list describes) and have something different sent to you later if you need it. In time, you'll figure out what you can and should have.

    2) Not sure on this, but a call to admissions would probably answer your question.

    3) NROTC-MO is part of NROTC, so they are together but somewhat different paths especially in later years of your cadetship. Summer training depends on whether or not you are on scholarship. VMI is a little different from many colleges where NROTC-MO can be a very small group within NROTC. At VMI the number of MO is big enough that they do some meaningful training that can be very helpful in preparing for future Marine training like OCS.

    Best of luck and congratulations on choosing a challenging path.
     
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  3. BlueBulldog

    BlueBulldog Banned

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    I'd get the cheapest junker watch you can find initially
     
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  4. emwvmi01

    emwvmi01 5-Year Member

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    Reinforcing the above on 1 and 3

    1. Good rule of thumb in general is a good cheap reliable watch for any military training. It probably changes from year to year but I think during cadre week at VMI they still don't allow watches which is rather disconcerting. You get it back in time for classes to start.

    3. NROTC vs NROTC MO. I think the classes are the same but different labs for the first year or two. By the time you get to your second class year the Marine Option Mids are doing their own classes and labs with the MOIs. The PNS at VMI is a USMC O6 so quite a bit of oversight for the Marines. They also run a special program prior to heading to Quantico called Bulldog prep which is focused on getting candidates in top physical and mental condition for their summer training. For years and I think it still holds the only candidates dropped they were sending were medical drops and at least three times in the last 10 years they have had to the top performing MO option nationally. That is a result though of the Bulldog program serving as a siphon before they would send a candidate.
     
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  5. luke5891

    luke5891 Member

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    Yes, I will be in NROTC - MO and I am on Scholarship. Sorry, probably should have mentioned that earlier.
    Thank you for the response.
     
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  6. Dadof2

    Dadof2 Member

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    Well, congratulations on your scholarship. Choosing VMI was a wise choice with your decision to go NROTC-MO. If you put in the effort, VMI and your NROTC-MO training will prepare you well. As @emwvmi01 stated, the Bulldog program is great preparation for OCS. Bulldog is serious training.

    To expand on your question 3 training question now knowing that you are on scholarship: IF things remain the same as recent years, your first summer after Rat year you will do CORTRAMID for summer training. This is the same for NROTC and NROTC-MO. The training is about one week in each community - Navy ships, Navy subs, Navy aviation, Marine Corps. The following summers your training will be Marine focused. Summer after 3/C year you will probably do something with Marines for a couple of weeks, but this has been uncertain the last year or two. This used to be the time for mountain warfare training, but that stopped a couple of years ago. The summer after your 2/C year you will attend OCS.
     
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  7. turtlerunnernc

    turtlerunnernc Member

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    congratulations on your appointment. Yes, the appointment is conditional pending final transcripts and turning the medical packet etc. I don't recall my son ever receiving anything official about his appointment other than the conditional, but I could be wrong.

    as long as your Garmin is black there is no problem. My son has been wearing a Garmin there for a couple years. I would not take a nice watch, at least not during the ratline.

    I can't answer your other question as my cadet was Army ROTC

    Best of luck to you. Run a lot between now and then. stick to the packing list - do not deviate.
     
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  8. Whats_my_MOS

    Whats_my_MOS Member

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    Congratulations on your appointment! Just make sure you stay abreast of the situation and get the office what they need when they need it. As for the watch, I would recommend leaving it at home or in the trunk room until after breakout. I understand it doesn't hook up to a phone, but it looks like it does at first glance; and well, you know what they say about perception. As a Rat in the fall of 2017, we weren't even allowed to wear watches when we were with cadre for the entire Ratline, for both training and mealtimes.

    As for the separation, between NROTC NO and MO, its interesting. The Battallion of Midshipmen is divided into Navy Company and Marine Company. Navy and Marines take different classes up until senior year, and the two companies PT separately. During control days, the Battallion will often brief together, then the companies will split for other service-specific activities.

    I hope this helps!
     
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  9. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    NROTC MO are “cray cray”

    I thank God they are on our side.
     
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  10. NotSpecified

    NotSpecified New Member

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    I'm using a Garmin Fenix 3HR. You will not be allowed to wear a watch during the whole hell week and the time you spend with cadre during the ratline in the school year. I bought a cheap $12 watch from Amazon in early September to wear daily for two reasons. Firstly, rats are not allowed to wear smartwatches. I've seen my BR wearing apple watch and got yelled at, but I've also seen many of my BRs wearing Garmin watches and nobody cared. Sport watches like Garmin is in the gray zone but upperclassmen could give you a hard time if they want to. Just to be safe, don't wear it before the breakout. Secondly, yes there are some events during the school year that might destroy your watch band, but by the time you start doing them, I think you will be able to figure out its time to take your watch off.

    See you in August. Be prepared and best of luck!
     
  11. Landy91

    Landy91 Member

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    Luke,
    I’d recommend buying a black non-flashy Casio GShock. Make sure you show up in plain clothes and comfortable athletic shoes on day one.
    I’d also further recommend that you not focus too much on watches, etc. but instead focus on your physical fitness and mental preparedness...
    You’re about to embark on the toughest military college experience in America and the biggest challenge in your life, thus far.
    Keep your head down, ammo dry, and grades up!
    Good Luck!