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Army ROTC experience

1989Mom1989Mom Posts: 14Registered User New Member
Can anyone please share their experience and insight of the Army ROTC progam? My son is a senior and he is considering an Army ROTC 4 year scholarship to a college in southern California. We are aware of the active duty commitment he must make after college, but we are curious about the issues they don't tell you - both positive and negative. All of the kids we've talked to seem to like the program. Can anyone please help educate me? Thank you - I'm just a concerned Mom.
Post edited by 1989Mom on

Replies to: Army ROTC experience

  • JustAMomOf4JustAMomOf4 Posts: 4,563Registered User Senior Member
    What specifically are you concerned about? Have you visited with him?
    Are you concerned about his service upon commissioning? His college life and how ROTC will fit into that?

    The obligation is and 8 year obligation of which 4 years is active duty - unlike USMA where 5 years is Active duty.
  • 1989Mom1989Mom Posts: 14Registered User New Member
    Hi JustAMomOf4! Wow! You deserve a medal for raising 4 kids! Thanks for looking at my post. I guess I would like to hear other parents and students opinion of the program and what they liked or disliked. My son is very interested in the military and we support that. The obligation part we're fully aware about. My son is interested in the field of Armor. A friend of mine, a Marine Corp Reservist told me my son should obtain a letter from Army ROTC insuring that he will be assigned to Armor as an active duty assignment so the Army doesn't just assign him anywhere. Is the Army pretty good with honoring their requested assignment? Thank you again for your help!
  • JustAMomOf4JustAMomOf4 Posts: 4,563Registered User Senior Member
    You are not getting a letter from Army ROTC guaranteeing any branch of service.
    When you are commissioned you serve the needs of the Army at the pleasure of the commander in chief. That said - the branch into one commissions is assigned by merit.
    Those who rank at the top get their first choice. Merit is determined mostly by college gpa, and performance at LDAC - Leader Development and Assessment Course which all Army ROTC cadets take at Ft Lewis the summer before their senior year.
    Sometime in the fall of senior year cadets rank their branch preference - there are some programs in the Army that will allow a cadet to get their branch of choice for extra obligation.

    I would encourage your son to go to Home to see the wide variety of branch selection available in the Army.
    Also keep in mind that 4 years is a long time in a young adult's life - long enough to have other learning experiences that will cause him to want to serve in another branch. I suggest going in with eyes wide open.

    I encourage him as well, to talk with the Professor of Military Science about is desires and options available. Ask how many cadets get their first choice - this will indicate they were well prepared for LDAC and performed well there.
  • 1989Mom1989Mom Posts: 14Registered User New Member
    Thanks for the info JustaMom! My S also likes the Navy, but has not heard anything on his NROTC scholarship yet. It's been "No decision has been made" for awhile and time is running out. Has anyone ever heard of a student going through his college freshman year as a Army ROTC cadet before successfully competing for a 3 year NROTC scholarship? Is that even possible?
  • julyaugustusjulyaugustus Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    My son has a 4 year ROTC scholarship to a very fine private university. He loves the school and also loves the cadet experience. He is now in his 3rd year and is in charge of a whole company "3 platoons" or about 100 cadets. He views many of these cadets as an extended family
    Many of his friends are not ROTC students and they respect him for what he is doing. When he first accepted the scholarship we told him that if he did not like it, he could drop out after the first year. The Army lets you do that without having to pay them back. Even with the 3 times a week at 6:30am workouts (he hates waking up in the morning) he stiil thrives. The only downside is many majors do not accept Military science as credit toward a degree, so your son or daughter may have to work a little harder than usual. Most engineering and business degrees accept Military science, but many arts and science and art degrees do not.
  • jhopjhop Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    if someone joins ROTC and accepts the scholarship, then drops out after a year, is there a required amount of time for service even if the person decides the army/military is not for them? I know you said that the army wouldn't make the person pay them back, but would they require them to serve in some way, shape or form?
  • JustAMomOf4JustAMomOf4 Posts: 4,563Registered User Senior Member
    No and no.

    Four year scholarship winners have until the first day of class of their sophomore year to withdraw without any penalty of any kind - either service or monetary.
  • jhopjhop Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    so what if that person is currently freshman, joins ROTC at the beginning of their soph year and goes under scholarship and by the end of the year the person decides that ROTC is no longer for them. is there any monetary/service commitment there?
  • mrgreenapplemrgreenapple Posts: 415Registered User Member
    You can get a guarenteed branch for an additional 3 year obligation. So if your son really wants armor then he can get it.
  • swimboyswimboy Posts: 75Registered User Junior Member
    Grnapple:
    You mean Additional Duty Service Obligation (adso)?
    If you adso, you are still not guaranteed the branch. It can increase your chances, but something like infantry or aviation or any other competitive branch in the army still rejects a lot of adso cadets.
    Although if you are lucky enough, you could opt to do the Army Branch Detail program...

    Jhop:
    As far as I know, the free one year try out only applies to freshmen 4 year scholarship winners.

    There are a lot of cadets that don't get contracted during their freshman year. However, if you are squared away by the end of your soph year, in order to continue through the rotc program, you need to get contracted by the beginning of your Jr. year in college. Basically, if a cadet is able to hash out with the bs of rotc, they will be contracted eventually by their jr. year as long as they meet the minimum requirements-- physical, physical test, medical, academics etc.
  • AnonagronAnonagron Posts: 163Registered User Junior Member
    1989Mom also asked about the possibility of switching ROTC programs after one year. I do know that the scholarship applications are handled very differently between branches, but I do not know how easy it would be to switch from one to another after one year.

    At least last year, Air Force had one application - and the applicant chose an approved college to attend that offered AFROTC. Army has one application that is "shared", but each college the candidate applied to independently contacted the candidate to offer or deny an AROTC scholarship. The candidate's top 10 schools can be listed on the Army application, and the schools contact the applicant if they are interested in extending an offer.

    Our experience was that full Air Force scholarships are harder to obtain and the highest-paying (full tuition plus extra expenses) go to those who are entering an engineering field. Full Army scholarships were generally more plentiful, but that also depended on the school. I do not have experience with the Navy, but from what I gather, their process is similar to Army ROTC.

    I would contact the Military Science instructors at the school that your son is most interested in attending and ask specifically if a candidate can switch from one branch to another at the end of the year. I believe it would probably be easiest to do this at a university where both branches have programs rather than switching schools too. If a transfer is involved, you may lose credits. I have no idea how many schools have multiple branch ROTC programs, but I do know my alma mater had both Air Force and Army. Navy may have been there too, but I don't remember seeing Naval uniforms.

    Good luck!
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