The Other Side of the Process

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Prospective Marine, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. Prospective Marine

    Prospective Marine New Member

    Apr 29, 2013
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    Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

    I used this site a considerable amount when I was applying for the NROTC Marine Option Scholarship, because, frankly, this was the best help that I could find anywhere. And I want to be able to help some of y'all who are in the same shoes I was in two years ago.

    First off, congratulations. The fact that you are trying enter into one of the most revered professions America has to offer says an enormous amount about your character and internal fortitude. You are willing to undergo all kinds of physical and mental strain because you have deemed leading young men and women to be a worthy cause. That's not something many of our collective peers are willing to say.

    That being said, you gotta get there first. The application process is lengthy. You do your school work, get some decent letters of recommendation, kill the PFT/PRT/AFT/whatever it is, and demonstrate you are the type of kid who the Navy/Marine Corps/Army/Air Force would be willing to shell out $180,000 for your college of choice. One thing that is key to remember is that nobody on this site can tell you if you are going to get a scholarship or not. Yeah, people can make suggestions or assumptions based on stats, but until you get a call from your OSO, nothing is guaranteed. Advice is a wonderful thing to have, but at the end of the day, don't plan on taking one person's advice to the bank.

    DoDMERB is an absolute (I'm going to stay professional and not swear on this forum). That is all I will say about that. Stay on top of it if you need a waiver, because Concorde will not hound you for supplementary information. I had to get one, and it took way longer than I ever wanted because I didn't stay on top of it.

    One of the great things about ROTC is this: you're able to be a normal kid. No offense to any Academy folks, but there's something to be said for being in a civilian environment for your education. In any given class, there are bound to be kids who will question your decision, and make you stand up for your beliefs. You will be undoubtedly challenged by people who have very different morals and goals from you; this'll become evident when you're walking to drill at 0600 and you pass your drunk hall-mate who got plastered last night. Being in this kind of environment will make you set your moral compass, and enable you to start knowing who you are as a person.

    The training schedule can be a bear. Yes, I realize I do not speak for all units, but from who I've talked to, most units do stuff at least two or three times a week (if you're trying to be a Marine option, you WILL be doing events 5 days a week. Trust me.) It's early in the morning, and you will be dead by the time you get to the middle of the semester. That being said, it is a blast. Whether you are swimming, rucking, running, pushing, pulling, crunching, drilling or whatever, most evolutions you will do are a good deal of fun. Bonus: by the time you drag yourself to your first lecture of the day, you've already gotten in your workout. Invest in a good coffee thermos.

    Whether you enter as a new cadet or midshipman, you are going to be making some friends for life. Being surrounded by a group of like-minded, motivated individuals is the best way to meet new people in collage. Some of my high school friends had serious trouble adjusting to an environment in which they didn't know people. The people who I know that have done ROTC have very rarely (like even more rare than the Cubs winning a World Series) felt left out or had a lack of support.

    The things you get to do in training is some Call of Duty level stuff. In San Diego for CORTRAMID this past summer, I was tear-gassed, shot a .50 caliber sniper rifle, flew a training plane, and drove a submarine. Imagine telling your friends with boring internships you got paid to drive a billion dollar vehicle.

    I'm going to end with the most important part: you are training to become an officer in the United States Armed Forces. You each have your own reasons, desires, and motivations. Never lose track of them. Things are going to get tough; you'll get sick, you'll miss home, your dog, your friends, your bed, your GySgt just screamed at you because you responded wrong. Never. Quit. It'll all be worth it one day. Every last second.

    I wish you all the absolute best of luck. If you have any questions about the process, Marine Option life, or whatever, just shoot me a message.

    Very Respectfully,

    Prospective Marine
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

    Feb 10, 2010
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    I just wanted to add something to this section, if you're in ROTC at a traditional university, make sure you take the effort to get to know people outside of ROTC as well. Depending on how much time you have, get involved with activities outside ROTC when you can. College will be a big part of your life, make sure you experience as much as you can, having a life outside ROTC is a good thing and the networking can benefit you down the road. Soak it all in, this will be a great time in your life.

    Great post by the way.
    jersey2016, nofodad, Sampia and 4 others like this.
  3. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

    Mar 14, 2014
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    Fabulous post, Prospective! And really good points added by Jcleppe (as always)

    My DS has adjusted incredibly well to AROTC at a large State University. He is enjoying the college football games, variety of clubs, and the whole college experience. What is really great is how his upper classmen in AROTC have taken the MS-I's and really made them feel as part of a team. DS said that if anything was giving them trouble: homesickness, keeping grades up, or other issues, they are there for him, and they really mean it! This is the cadre leadership that I had hoped for him!

    He loves his college life and is thoroughly enjoying his squad and battalion (Well, maybe not the 0500 PT sessions). :biggrin:
    Jcleppe likes this.
  4. nofodad

    nofodad 5-Year Member

    Dec 21, 2011
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    We just came back from a visit with nofoson and he said that the hardest part of AROTC by far was freshman year and living in the dorm of 3-400 and being the only cadet. Not a lot of sleep. Once he moved off campus with other cadets he was able to get a lot more rest. To follow up on govikings post DS' battalion had a mentoring program which was incredibly valuable his MS1 year. He is currently mentoring a combination of 8 or so MSIs and IIs.
    AROTC-dad likes this.

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