ROTC and Fraternities


Nov 16, 2016
Is anybody on this forum in both ROTC and a fraternity? I received a 3 yr AD to UW Seattle and am considering rushing. Pros/cons/thoughts?
Make sure you keep your priorities straight, there were several cadets in my unit that couldn't handle both and some decided a fraternity is what they wanted more.

Also this doesn't need to be said but there are rules and regulations being in ROTC, don't risk your potential career in the military for a social organization.

On the other hand if you are able to juggle both commitments there is no reason not to, you should definitely have other things outside of ROTC to help you take your mind off it. Fraternities should be accomadating to your academics and ROTC obligations first. (should)
DS has been in his fraternity since freshman year. Those guys are his "brothers". He moved into philanthropy and leadership roles in his fraternity. Those roles contribute to OML points.
That's the positive side.....
There's several participants in the forums whose kids have done both. In fact for one, younger DS joined the same fraternity as older DS. I bet if you do a search on fraternity you'll find plenty of posts on this topic. It comes up every year.
Careful of the frat the "social" culture that surrounds the ones you look at. Some like to have parties on weekdays as well as weekends, particularly Thursday nights due to no classes on Friday. That could interfere with studies as well as sleep. As with anything, do your research and see what fits you and your goals.
Against my wishes, both DS's joined fraternities. I'm a commodity trader by profession and look at every situation in terms of risk and reward. The only reward is for those seeking a ready made social circle. The risk is incalculable even for a kid who wants to be on the straight and narrow.

DS #1 (AROTC at Big State U) joined for one reason only. He could live in the house cheaply and his bed was a 1 minute jog from where his battalion mustered for PT. His "brotherhood" was his fellow MS#'s.

Fraternities are a great place for still adolescent males to probe the depths of their weaknesses and to discover the power of forbearance. DS#1 survived and is thriving. DS #2 complains but won't quit.
A little bit of the other side, I'm an MSI in AROTC and joined first semester. I went far away from home and it was a really hard adjustment for me. Joining a fraternity was a huge help. There's a lot of academic help within because of the standards we hold, and our Philanthropy got me connected to the community that made it much easier to be away from home. Not to mention that I love my brothers.
Every young man or women will need to find their place as they go off to college. For some it will be their ROTC counterparts, other may find a "home" in a youth ministry or a DIV I or Club team while others may find it in an academic a group. There are many good points to all of these options but it will ultimately depend on the individual. From personal experience you can make good grades, participate and do well in ROTC as well as have other social circles. My DD is a pre-med major with a 3.5, ranked in the top 20% of her ROTC class, competes on a DIV I track team and also has an active social circle with the local youth ministry. Learning to mature, prioritize and still live a happy and active existence is probably the most important thing that college teaches. There are many life lesson to be learned through these experiences.
My son is in AFROTC and I wanted him to join a fraternity. I was in one when I was in college and I consider it to be a important part of being in college. He decided not to so which is fine. However, he isnt missing much. First his has his detachment and secondly one of his closest friend is in a fraternity so he gets invited to all the parties. Third and most important, he belongs to the Arnold Air Society that is a Air Force honorary society that one needs to qualify to get in. It may as well be a fraternity as they have parties, have their own houses and do charitable events. What little he has told me about getting in to the society and what they do, it is pretty much a fraternity. While he has friends in the detachment, he really hangs out with his Arnold Air buddies and lives in one of their houses.
DS joined a fraternity his sophomore year on his on his own dime. Has done very well and loved every minute of it. Made lifelong friends and connections.
Is anybody on this forum in both ROTC and a fraternity? I received a 3 yr AD to UW Seattle and am considering rushing. Pros/cons/thoughts?

Just got back from visiting both sons and wanted to weigh in on your question.

I think I'm the one Kinnem was referencing regarding having two son's in the same Fraternity.

In my view, it is very much school dependent, there were some schools where neither son would have joined a fraternity and some where they would have based on the reputations of the Greek system at each school. As it turned out the Greek System was well regarded (For the most part) at the school they both chose. The older son did a lot of research on each house and ended up at the house that in my opinion was the best he could have selected, the younger son followed into the same house. Both son's had there period of adjustment, 95% of the men in the house didn't have the same issues as a ROTC cadet, no need to get up early for PT. Both had to get used to being able to just say no to late nights and get some sleep. Of course we did hear stories of them both sometimes getting just a couple hours sleep before PT, but they learned to manage what they could handle.

My younger son was very involved in school outside of ROTC, student government, Fraternity leadership positions and sports. He has often said that he learned more about organizational leadership and conflict resolution during his term as the University's Inter Fraternal Council (IFC) President then he did in his ROTC classes.

The house they both selected had the best GPA average on campus for all 7 years our sons were there, the average stayed right around 3.4 each semester, the house was heavy with Business and Engineering majors so it was no easy task. The House took grades seriously and if they dipped below a 3.0 they had to move out of the house. This made them work harder and together to help each other succeed. The house was big into university leadership, at one point the School President, Vice President, IFC President, and about 45% of the school senators were all from their House.

My point comes back to the fact that not all Greek systems or Houses are created equal. Just make sure you do some research into the system and each house in that system. Make sure you ask a lot of questions during rush, what is the average GPA in the house, what is the alcohol restrictions, have they had any major violations in the past 3 years, and how will they receive a ROTC cadet and will they understand the limits ROTC will put on your son as far as early mornings, missing some events due to ROTC. If it's the right house a fraternity can be a very rewarding experience. One thing to remember is that for most houses, to remain a member in good standing you only have to live in the house for two years, many move out off campus after two years, which is just about the time ROTC becomes more demanding. This way you don't have to deal with the late nights or parties while they are trying to prepare for summer training and the demands of leadership positions in ROTC. It all comes down to time management and how well you can handle multiple comes in all forms, and it's not all from ROTC.

I noticed you're going to the UW, great school, I live in Seattle....Go Huskies!!! The UW has a great Greek system, just make sure you check out a lot of houses and pick one that is well respected and has not had a bunch of violations and you'll be good. Oh and one more thing, a MIP can really ruin your day so make sure you don't go crazy if you join a Fraternity, I am not naive, just keep it in the house and use your head.
Last edited:
My DS is on a 4 yr AROTC scholarship and just finished his freshman year - joined a fraternity and rushed 2nd semester and was initiated last week. He is also in the honors program so he has a tough academic load. Said this semester was really difficult trying to balance classes, ROTC and being a pledge but he said it was worth it.
Speaking of UW frats, when I went to Seattle U, there was a Frat we could go to who had set up a huge plastic replica of a WA state drivers license with the spot for the photo cut out. Students could then step into that spot and a frat guy would take a photo, laminate it, and voila - a WA state license that said the holder was 21. But this was only used to have fun fooling people, not for ID purposes...
Just make sure you do some research into the system and each house in that system.


Don't believe the rush week "We take academics seriously". DS #2 was made Scholarship Chair of his fraternity only to watch all the rules get changed. Remember these are adolescent boys doing things like this:

there was a Frat we could go to who had set up a huge plastic replica of a WA state drivers license with the spot for the photo cut out.

Gotta love the resourcefulness.