ROTC help needed

<p>I am hoping to learn quickly what the largest and best Marine Corps ROTC programs are out there. My son is now experiencing the 1 week summer session at USNA. As a back-up, we are seeking ROTC as an alternative to USNA. A full time military envirnoment is best for him- not 6 hours a week in a liberal environment where the military life is not embraced. Anyone who can give me any advice would truly be appreciated! Thank you very much.</p>

<p>I can't speak for all ROTC programs, but the one my son attends (NROTC-Marine Option) at an SEC school is more than 6 hours/wk, the school environment is not liberal and all ROTC programs are fully embraced by the university and the student body. You son may also want to look at Texas A&M, VMI, Virginia Tech, and The Citadel. As far as largest - look to any of the larger state schools for the larger units. As far as best, each of the Marine ROTC units offer the same programs/classes/PT/etc. There is no "grading" of units, just opinions.</p>

<p>My nephew is going to be a sophomore at Missouri. He plans to go the Marine Option. He loves it. It is not a liberal campus, and ROTC is very accepted there.</p>

<p>My nephew loves it at Mizzou.</p>

<p>Also check out Norwich University in Vermont, the oldest private military college in the country and birthplace of ROTC. Members of the Corps of Cadets live the military lifestyle full-time.</p>

<p>IMHO, VMI and THE Citadel would be a great alternative to ROTC at a traditional campus. </p>

<p>Did the AFROTC route after declining appointments to the Air Force and Naval academies decades ago. Even though I went to a fairly conservative college, received a great education, I never felt entirely in sync with the other students on campus. I understand your concern.</p>

<p>The guys I met from VMI and THE Citadel during Summer training prior to my junior year were some of the most colorful guys I ever met. Stand up guys, real gentlemen and very committed to the Southern tradition of military service. They were all going Marine.</p>

<p>IIRC it was possible to transfer to the service academies after a successful freshman year at both colleges.</p>

<p>TEXAS A&M !!! The largest ROTC program outside of the service academies. Lots of happy Marines from there. The Corps of Cadets live in its own section of campus, have their own dining hall and are very, very gung ho. They wear uniforms to class every day and assemble twice a day. It's not for everyone but you can't beat the enthusiasm and brotherhood for those to whom it appeals.</p>

<p>Thanks, everyone for your advice. Much appreciated! Hope to see more comments.</p>

<p>I second Texas A&M..those that are involved with the Corp there are extemely passionate about it.</p>

<p>Can you tell me more about A&M? Do they train there on campus or elsewhere?</p>

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A full time military envirnoment is best for him- not 6 hours a week in a liberal environment where the military life is not embraced...

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<p>My husband retired earlier this week after 20+ years of active duty in the USMC and he began his career in ROTC. </p>

<p>If the full time military enviroment is what your son is looking for, then that's great. But if he has any concerns about his military career and having gone to a more liberal college, he need not worry. Looking ahead, Admirals and Generals now come from all kinds of colleges, including, for example, UC Berkeley. </p>

<p>Best of luck to your son and to your family.</p>

<p>It is on campus. They have thier own barracks etc. and it is a really big deal to be accepted into the program.. I am sure if you visit thier website or even the A&M board here on CC, you will get lots of specific information. It is very well respected in Texas! Oh, and A&M is probably one of the most conservative universities in Texas.</p>

<p>Thanks pug and SWT. I've spent an hour on A&M site. Is Texas the best U. that most closely resembles academy life? It reads like Tuesday is the only day they do military training/education. We're from MD and I'm reading that admission for out-of-staters to Tx A&M is real tough due to some TX admiission law: admission to USNA is real tough for MD'ers. What I understand is the applicant files for a scholarhip and gives his top 3 school choices and NROTC decides where they' ll give you a scholarhip to. I'm concerned that he won't get a scholarship or get one to a college that won't be a good fit/not have his major of choice. He's talking about a distant future in politics after he retires (as a general!) to go into politics (future Secretary of Defense?!?) so he's looking possibly poly sci as a major. His composite ACT score is 29 so that makes him smarter than me lol. I don't feel comfortable in this whole process at all. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!</p>

<p>also-- new to this entire process as well as to this board</p>

<p>Texas A&M also recruits for NM finalists if your son did well on the PSAT.</p>

<p>Although most Marines would probably come out of the Naval Academy, I think that your son attended USMA or USAFA, he could also go into the Marines. It might be worth looking in to.</p>

<p>Texas A&M is not too hard for out of state students to get into. (I think the majority of the impact the Texas admissions law has had - making it hard for OOS students and IS students who are not highly ranked in their high schools - has been on the UT in Austin.) With that 29 ACT score and his good grades, I think your son will not have trouble being admitted there. Also, I think it would be a great fit for your son.</p>

<p>Can't speak to the Texas admissions law, but I do know Texas A&M. The tradition of their Corps of Cadets is second to none. Back in the day every student there was in the Corps, giving an academy-like environment--not the for the last few decades, but the mindset among the Corps is very still similar. Their traditions are the cornerstone of almost all Aggie traditions. Members of the Corps are respected on campus and quite happy. Combining the traditions of A&M AND the traditions of the Marine Corps--these guys are beyond 'gung ho'!!</p>

<p>I know one Marine officer in his 50's who served with both USNA-trained Marines and those trained at A&M. His opinion, which he swears is shared by many, is that the Aggies were better Marines!</p>

<p>There is a Service Academies forum under the Colleges section of this board. The parents and students that post there can help with a lot of your questions regarding the academies and ROTC in general. Good luck.</p>

<p>U.S</a>. Service Academies - College Confidential</p>

<p>When I attended A&M thirty years ago, you could get in with a nice B High school average. That is no longer the case -- it has gotten much bigger and much more competitive. Tell S to work on those grades! </p>

<p>The Corps of Cadets is ABSOLUTELY an every day experience (weekends too). The cadets live together, eat together, attend functions together and muster twice a day together. They attend classes in uniform. Uniforms are kept sharp. Haircuts are short . No facial hair (maybe that one is different now but I doubt it). There may be a particular Tuesday activity, but, believe me, it is on top of Corps life. </p>

<p>I do not doubt that Aggies make better officers. A&M is a very, very pragmatic place. You are expected to make things work -- which is different than having theories of "how things ought to be." There's also not the air of elitism that can come from a West Pointer or Annapolis grad (sometimes it is good to come from Nowhere, TX and not have doors automatically opened for you). </p>

<p>While there certainly are conservatives there, it is an enormous college and there are lots of international students and lots of folks from many walks of life. I never felt like I couldn't express my opinions.</p>

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I do not doubt that Aggies make better officers...

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<p>No, they don't. Although you'd never convince an Aggie of that! </p>

<p>Excellent officers come from all walks of life, as do officers who do poorly. That's why an officers undergrad degree no longer factors into the promotion process. It used to be that to make Admiral or General, a service academy degree was nearly required but those days are long past. </p>

<p>USMCMom, If your son's overriding goal is to become a General, I would not recommend the USMC. I would argue that in no other branch of the service is the gap as wide between officers who excel as warriors and those who excel at the pentagon. </p>

<p>The Marine Corps is dangerous; your son needs to be ready to do the right thing by his Marines which may very well mean making a career ending decision as far as those in Washington, DC are concerned. I do not mean covering up unlawful behavior or anything like that, I mean living up to the values of the Corps. Yes, some warriors make it to the highest ranks but mostly it's the Marines who have good political skills and those Marines are, broadly speaking, not well respected by their peers during the 20+ years it takes to make general. </p>

<p>The only reason to join the USMC is if a person feels called to be a Marine. It's a difficult life, there are easier roads in other branches of the service. Not to say being on active duty in a different branch is easy, not at all, but people join the Marines because they are driven beyond what even the other branches of the armed services expect. It's not good or bad, it just is.</p>