ROTC Experience/Tips/Advice

GoArmy22

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Nov 29, 2016
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137
Hello everyone,

I am doing AROTC at my state university while reapplying to USMA. I have already talked to a few people on here, but if anyone else could provide their insight on how ROTC went for them (especially their freshman year), things to expect, what to prepare during the summer before, if it was easy to acclimate socially and/or physically, etc., that would be great. Right now I am working out 3-4 days a week and am practicing the elements of both the CFA and PFT because I don't want to be "that kid". I'm also working on strengthening my ACL/knee as I have been recently cleared and want to prevent re-injury. Any advice/information would help.
 
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ArmycadetMS19

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Jun 3, 2017
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good initative with the PT.

A few tips from a "new" MSII, rising MSIII:

1) show up to everything "Early". In the army, if you're early you're on time. if you're on time you're late. if you're late, you're (screwed).
2) maintain high GPA
3) join a healthy amount of ECs for OML
4) have fun.

USMA is a lot more intense than AROTC, to say the least
 

GoArmy22

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Nov 29, 2016
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Thank you @ArmycadetMS19 for the advice. I know ROTC varies in different schools, but what about AROTC made it less intense for you? Was it easy to acclimate socially/physically (that is also one of my other concerns)?
 

ArmycadetMS19

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Jun 3, 2017
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Physically, if you're just practicing Pushups, situps, and running, you'll be fine. This isn't the marines lol.
Socially, every BN is different, but you'll find your place eventually.

I just know that AROTC is way less intense than say West Point because the military component is really only found during 1) PT, 2) LLAB, 3) the MS classes you have to take. Those dont take up an awful lot of time; the rest of your time is yours for socializing, studying, etc. At Service Academies, i imagine that everything is much more locked-on. You'll never have room inspections by someone in your platoon or equivalent in the middle of the night in AROTC. Service Academies? Those are expected lol
 

k2rider

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Thank you @ArmycadetMS19 for the advice. I know ROTC varies in different schools, but what about AROTC made it less intense for you? Was it easy to acclimate socially/physically (that is also one of my other concerns)?

I'm not in AROTC but both my kids were. ROTC *in general* is more similar to a strict club in college while the USMA is run exactly like you would expect when your life is controlled by an autocratic system. There tell you when to wake up, when to study, when to go to bed, what to wear every day, yada, yada, yada.
 

GoArmy22

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Nov 29, 2016
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That makes sense. I have a lot of insight on USMA but I didn't know if AROTC was just as strict; that analogy was perfect. I wasn't sure about how much time ROTC would take from my regular college courses either as it was also a concern.
 

ArmycadetMS19

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Jun 3, 2017
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as long as you don't slack off, procrastinate too much, or drink underage or get into any other trouble, you'll be good. Keep that in mind when you're reapplying to USMA.

Good luck man!
 

ArmycadetMS19

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Jun 3, 2017
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We're all rooting for you!

One last tip: it couldn't hurt to get to know your cadre really well, even though you'll (hopefully) be gone in a year. They could help you with reapplying to SAs, or even if not, it's always nice to have them on your side.
 

sheriff3

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Jan 14, 2013
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AROTC is much closer to a "normal " college experience than one of the academies. That being said , with extra freedoms comes additional temptations. Unlike WP you and only you will decide when you do your homework, PT, set your own curfew and decide what you put into your body. While most will agree an academy is more strict and structured I think most will also agree you as an ROTC cadet will need to have greater self discipline and motivation.
 

GoArmy22

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Nov 29, 2016
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@sheriff3 That makes a lot of sense. I went to orientation and realized that I could gain a ton of weight if I don't adjust what I'm eating, so I'm trying to prevent that issue from the start as well.
 

USMAROTCFamily

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Jan 11, 2013
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AROTC is much closer to a "normal " college experience than one of the academies. That being said , with extra freedoms comes additional temptations. Unlike WP you and only you will decide when you do your homework, PT, set your own curfew and decide what you put into your body. While most will agree an academy is more strict and structured I think most will also agree you as an ROTC cadet will need to have greater self discipline and motivation.
This is so true. My DH is a West Point grad who had an assignment as AROTC Cadre at a university. After getting to know his cadets well, and seeing how they juggled their academics, AROTC Duties, extracurriculars, jobs, etc., he said the same thing as what you posted sheriff3. He said that he doubted he would have made it through AROTC, especially as a STEM major, because nobody was there to tell them what to do and when, all of the time.
 
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