ROTC as incoming college junior


New Member
May 10, 2017
I'm going to be plainly honest. I'm beginning my research here (besides website scoping) because I don't know where else to get good info and moreover, the info they don't tell you. I have a very promising career in political communications already ahead of me, but my financial situation is proving to be a greater achilles heel than I ever expected. I became unexpectedly financially independent too.

I've predominantly been looking at the air force since much of that (as I've been told) involves more intelligence and less boots-on-the-ground involvement. I'm an avid verbal and written communicator, political analysist, and decision maker. Upon graduation, I will be sufficient in Portuguese. I don't know what kind of job that would land me. Ideally, I'd like to serve in the ROTC for my remaining undergrad (2.5 years) and graduate study (2-3) years and then pursue a civilian career. I know that's not always the case, but what are my chances? Also, what are the summer commitments, as I would like to continue interning (summer 2017 is with CSPAN to give an idea)? What other commitments should I be aware of?

And being frank, under the Trump Administration, what are the odds of deployment? I'm willing to serve my country, but I'll be honest. I didn't vote for Trump and do fear the battles we may be fighting.

Last, I am a woman. Compared to other branches, what are rates of sexual assault in the air force?

I also expect there are questions I didn't think to ask. I speak with a recruiter in a couple days (just casually), so knowing what kinds of questions besides these would be great. Thank you!
Admittedly not responding to many of your questions, and looking at what your skills and desires are, have you looked at Federal agencies and their various internships, and after that, recent college graduate positions at the lower rungs of the white collar ladder?

NSA, FBI, CIA, DOS, DOD, DOAF/N/A, HLS and more, have analyst roles, communications roles. The Federal Civil Service has many employment benefits, as well as tuition assistance for advanced education, and is an honorable way to serve. No battles required. Your language and communications skills, and analytical bent, would be of interest to several agencies.

Try Google search strings:
- Recent graduate program (fill in agency or Departmenr)
- Federal Pathways program (fill in Agency or Department)

Here's a sample:

Candidly, there are roles in the Armed Forces that might suit you, but it is ALWAYS the needs of that particular Service that will drive where you are placed and what you will do. I didn't dive into the rest of your questions, because I believe you still have much research to do in primary sources to understand how ROTC works. If you are looking to participate in ROTC, commission and go active duty, graduate school for most newly commissioned officers occurs a few years later in the career. are considering going straight Reserve from the get-go, but I wasn't sure.
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Just to be frank, it seems like a lot of what you want to do is very individually focused. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it does mean that ROTC and the military might not be the best choice for you. Again, just my honest opinion. You mention graduate school after ROTC. Typically, the Air Force won't give educational delays for non-tech or non-critical language majors. So expect to put your life on hold for about four years after graduation to serve as an officer. For summer training, you will give up about a month one of the summers before graduation to do LEAD.

As for being afraid of the Trump administration and where it may send you, as someone who also didn't vote for him, you kind of need to accept that you're signing up to go wherever the military sends you. Whether that's a desk in Washington or a firebase in Syria.

As for scholarships, while they certainly are in good supply at the moment, they are not a guarantee. Truthfully, if I were in it for the money alone I would probably have dropped by now since a lot of the training can be tedious and repetitive. It's the friends I've made and experiences I've had that have meant the most to me. Again, just my two cents. If your ultimate goal is to serve your country or at the very least develop yourself as a leader, then maybe it is the right choice.

Just be aware you will have to make ROTC and your military career the centerpiece of your life and everything else, including your promising career in political communications as you stated, will have to come second to any ROTC commitments.
Instead of answering your questions, I'll be honest and tell you that I don't believe military service is the path for you. So many red flags. Besides, as a rising junior, the ROTC ship has (just about) sailed.
My son who is in AFROTC, told me that at least in Air Force, they are going to initiate a two year ROTC program. I have no idea what it entails or if he understood correctly

"So many red flags. Besides, as a rising junior, the ROTC ship has (just about) sailed."
I am the mother of a daughter who is a ROTC cadet with the Army. So I will not speak directly to a lot of your questions as I have very little insight on AFROTC. The only things I can add is experience that my daughter has shared with me. The first is that some of the AFROTC cadets are switching to Army at her school because the possibility of getting a campus based scholarship is greater with the Army than AF, and they have been AF cadets since freshman year. The second thing that she has shared with me are that the cadets she goes to school with that are doing it for the scholarship are miserable. They wished they had a way out but feel like they cannot afford school without it and also cannot afford to pay back what they would owe. The ones that are doing it because they want to be officers are doing well and seem to enjoy it. In my opinion, this path is a difficult one if being an officer is not the reason. There is literally no control on your part what you will branch to, meaning what job you will do, and educational delays are rare and usually reserved for those going on to be doctors, at least with the Army. All hat being said, if you go this path, it is very unlikely that you will get any scholarship before you have participated on campus, and again for Army there is no such thing as a one year scholarship sp it might be too late for a two year. Talking to the unit on campus is where you want to start, a recruiter is for enlisting usually, and their job is to recruit you, not to o the colleges jobs for them. For Army, the person on campus would be the ROO, or Operations Recruiting Officer. I am not sure who you would seek out for AF. The one way you could get instant educational help would be to join the national guard or reserves, but keep in mind that is a job not a scholarship that you would start now.

I agree that there are Federal Civil Service paths that might be a good fit, it just might take some research to figure out if there are options to help your financial situation that way.

Good luck and keep asking questions, if you keep seeking for the right answers you just might come up with the perfect solution for you!