ROTC to USMA

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Spartan917, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. Spartan917

    Spartan917 Member

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    So, for starters, I’m currently a high school senior who wasn’t able to get my ducks in a row and apply for a nomination in time for several personal reasons. Looking forward now, though, I still have an interest in attending.

    I’m currently in the process of applying for an ROTC scholarship, the only things left I need to do being the PMS interview and PFT. I do have one reservation regarding receiving a scholarship though, that being my ineligibility to participate in SMP (joining guard while in ROTC) upon receipt of one. The reason being that being enlisted in the guard would, by most accounts, essentially offer me a “free” nomination (contingent on endorsement by company commander+).

    I feel that I’m fairly competitive for both the scholarship and the good state school (UMich) I’ll hopefully be attending come fall. The Academy has recently become something of a dream of mine though and while I feel like sacrificing a 4-year would normally be quite inadvisable, would the potential benefit of highly increased odds of admission at USMA be worth it?

    I’d like to assess active duty should I ultimately continue with ROTC, which for obvious reasons gives me pause when considering SMP for both the sacrifice of the 4-year and the lack of additional potential scholarships (GRFD, Minuteman, etc.) that in normal cases serve to make it more appealing to the average cadet.

    As of right now I’m fairly certain I truly want to attend USMA over a civilian college, but obviously things can change in a year, especially given ROTC will be the first time I actually experience a military environment to some extent.

    Thanks for any and all advice.
     
  2. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    If your ultimate goal is to become a commissioned officer and serve on active duty, going ROTC seems to provide the best path. You’ll start experiencing cadet life, and if you take to it and achieve good grades with a plebe-like curriculum, you’ll be in good position to apply to USMA a year from now. If you get offer of appointment, you’re on your way. If not, you’re still on track to that commission via ROTC. And, of course, the door remains open to applying to USMA in your sophomore year.
     
  3. usmajy

    usmajy Member

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    Important thing to note: you are not considered a “soldier” applicant unless you have attended basic training, which means you also do not get the commander’s endorsement, as this is only for soldier applicants. I had this same thought process as you, but I contacted admissions and they corrected me. By all means, you should still do SMP with NG if you wish, but know that it won’t necessarily help you with your USMA application and it will not give you a nomination before you complete basic. Personally, I think it’s a great idea if you want to experience the Army a little more than your non-SMP ROTC peers (and get more money too), but it can also be a hassle if you have a tough schedule/academic load.
     
  4. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    It might be possible to attend basic training between your senior year of high school and freshman year of college if you do the split training option. Basically, you are signing up to do basic in the summer after your senior year of high school and AIT after your freshman year of college. If accepted to West Point that would preempt AIT. But to do so you would want to check into it now and anticipate going to basic right after graduation. Also, if your high school graduates late June the timing might be tough.
    Both ROTC and enlisted/SMP have advantages. And SMP is training you to be an officer.
     
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  5. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    You are still eligible for a service connected nomination if you are enrolled in ROTC. You do not have to be on scholarship to receive the nomination for the ROTC PMS. While my good friend @UHBlackhawk could tell you how his DD enlisted and was later accepted to West Point, the path with fewer roadblocks would be ROTC in college.
     
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  6. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    BTW, for those who don’t know SMP is a hybrid enlisted/ROTC program with the National Guard or Reserves. I went this route in college. I was initially a PFC 11B, but then became a cadet in the National Guard after enrolling in ROTC and was paid as an E-5 when I drilled but wore cadet rank. I spent one year shadowing the CO, the second year as a platoon leader. Upon graduation I was commissioned active duty.
    I don’t know if those who go SMP can get an ROTC nomination in addition to a service nomination but I imagine you can. Something to look into.
    Mileage may vary.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018