Random Question about NROTC Application


IAmNumber 1191
Mar 17, 2017
When one applies for NROTC (I know this is true for Navy but I'm not sure about Marine option), they select their desired job (for lack of a better word) in the Navy upon commission (submarines, special warfare, aviation, etc.) They are also asked to write a short essay about why they selected this field. However, the freshman summer cruise (CONTRAMID) exposes you to all fields of the Navy, where you spend a week with naval aviators, surface warfare, submarines, and Marines.

This leads me to believe that you do not necessarily have to declare what you intend to pursue until much later. If this is the case, why do they even ask what you want to pursue in the application at all? Does it have any bearing on who gets the scholarship? If not, why do they have such a section?
You are correct that you do not request which Navy community you wish to be assigned to until (I believe) near the end of your junior year. And you are right, you may go in thinking you want to be a pilot, but end up loving subs. I suspect the reason they ask this question is to see how well you express yourself in writing, your thought process and how much research you have done to learn about the Navy. I am confident the community you select has no bearing on your scholarship chances.
+1 to ProudDad17. Just to complete the "open" topic, Marines (generally) do not rank their MOS preferences until in TBS (their first school) after commissioning and they won't know what MOS they are assigned until very close to finishing TBS. Aviation contracts, which can be obtained as early as sophomore year in NROTC, are the exception to this. There may be other exceptions I'm unaware of (but I doubt it). The NROTC application is the same regardless of whether Navy option or Marine option is selected (at least back in the day) so Marines would respond to the same essay question.
That choice you make on your application has zero bearing on future service assignment. It allows the boards to see how educated you are on the community you choose and how well you can write when talking about it.