What are my chances at Army or Air Force ROTC?


New Member
Jul 22, 2023
Leadership-wise, and academics-wise, I'm relatively sure I fit the bill.

I have a 4.0 GPA and 1590 SAT. I am also chair of my local city youth council, through which I have spearheaded various local economic development efforts, and co-president of my school's economic forum, where we debate topics in economics, politics, and sociology. Outside of that, I've been playing the violin for 11 years, I mentor underclassmen at my school, and I have been a researcher at my city's economic development department for 2 years.

The problem is the physical component. I believe I will barely pass the physical test, but I have not participated in any organized sports throughout school. While I have been playing basketball recreationally throughout my life, the farthest I've gotten has been helping the younger kids in my neighborhood train for the middle school basketball team.

I'm planning on majoring in mathematics or economics. Let me know if I have a shot.
No one here can accurately “chance” you because there too many variables and unknowns. Do you have a shot? Of course. Is it 1% or 99%? That’s anyone’s guess.

Your GPA is great. Remember, though, that the SAs consider your total transcript in the context of your school profile. They prefer candidates who’ve taken the hardest classes their school has to offer — especially in STEM and English — and excelled. Your test score puts you squarely in the top 25% of candidates, according to recent class profiles.

As for fitness, that’s not simply about sports. The SAs value participation in high-level team sports because it develops teamwork, leadership, persistence, discipline, perseverance and time management. All those aspects are vital for military leadership. That said, about 10% of every SA class did not participate in varsity sports. But they did show those desired aspects via other means.

Physical fitness is another matter, and it’s mainly measured via the CFA. How do you perform there? The military is a highly physical endeavor. Officers lead from the front, and their men and women should have little reason to doubt them. Physical fitness is an important and easily discerned measuring stick, in their eyes. For someone who aspires to an officer’s commission, physical fitness must become a regular part of your life.
No one here can tell you if you have a shot.

Physical fitness and an active lifestyle are a big part of military culture. For Army, in particular. Operating in harsh conditions, with a lot of gear, doing demanding physical things as you lead your people - all part of the deal. Physical fitness is critical. Get up from your laptop, take that fine brain of yours and figure out if the path of military service and officer leadership is for you, and what you are going to do about your physical fitness. Asking questions of internet strangers will not advance that goal significantly.

Have you researched the required physical fitness tests for those ROTC paths? Did a self-assessment? Developed a training program? The CFA is used for some of the service academies; if you’re looking at those, same kind of research.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
- Yoda

If it’s the idea of service that appeals to you, and we can see that in your community work, consider federal service as a civilian. All the major federal departments and agencies have student programs and scholarships. Google “ [agency or department name] student programs.” Physical fitness isn’t a critical element of federal service.

An example:

And welcome new member of half an hour!
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Is your question about being able to join the ROTC unit at your chosen college? If so, then I think your chances are 100%. OK, 95% if 100% freaks some people out. All you have to do is sign up. Even if you can’t pass a PT test at the beginning, members of the unit will be willing to help you improve your fitness so that you are able to stay.
As Capt MJ mentioned above, the military is looking for a culture of fitness in the cadets' lifestyles. Army and USMC are more focused on fitness, while USAF and USN are more focused on major.

A 17 year old boy in reasonable shape should be able to do 20 push ups and run a mile in under 8 minutes. You have 4-6 months to improve those scores to around the average for each service. Start with 5-6 sets of pushups per day and eventually get to 100-200 pushups per day by Halloween. For running, start with a mile 3 times per week and work up to around 10 miles per week and you should be fine.