Engineering in Military

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by EMU1337, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. EMU1337 macrumors member

    EMU1337

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #1
    I'm currently pursuing my B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering and I was looking at possibly going into the military after I graduate. I wanted to do one of the Engineering Officer programs, probably civil engineering or nuclear in either the Army or Navy. I'm wondering if anyone has done anything similar to this, and if so could you give me more info. Did you like it, was it worth it, was the pay good, did they pay for your college? I would rather ask these questions here rather than a recruiting office, because they're not biased as much, and I don't want to get bombarded with emails, letters, and calls from recruiters. Also I was wondering what is your rank after completing these engineering officer programs, because they never say on the sites? I guess I'm kinda new to the whole idea of military experience, so some insight would be nice. Thanks ahead of time.
     
  2. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #2
    Where are you going? Does the school have a ROTC program?
     
  3. EMU1337 thread starter macrumors member

    EMU1337

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #3
    My school does have ROTC, but I'm not sure I really want to do that. I would rather wait to join after I completed college. I guess I've really never looked into ROTC because of this, I would rather stay focused on school and get good grades.
     
  4. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #4
    Entry after graduation would be through OCS with a commission as an O-1 (Army/Air Force/Marine 2nd LT, Navy Ensign). Minimum obligation is about 6-8 years for officers, and you can resign your commission after that, but you also "serve at the pleasure" of the Commander in Chief, so you can be sacked at any time. First promotion will be 18-24 months in, second promotion 24-36 months after that.

    Although you may have a particular degree, virtually any BA/BS is all that's needed for a commission, though an Engineering degree will obviously be a track to a Restricted Line or Staff Officer (Navy terms), and depending on the program type, possibly direct commission to O-2. Restricted Line/Staff are narrowly focused, and typically not command-eligible, but conversions to Unrestricted Line are possible.

    It really depends on what you want to do and the environment you want to work in. Talk to the recruiters of all the branches; they're going to move you to officer accession specialists anyway. The storefront guys are for enlistments, not commissions. They're just sales/HR folks, and not overly evil. ;)
     
  5. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #5
    Talk to one of the ROTC people. The only way to receive a commission if you don't go to a service academy or go through ROTC is Officer Candidate School. (There are a couple of other ways that don't apply--battlefield commission, direct commissions for lawyers, doctors, and chaplains.)

    With ROTC, there's a scholarship--I don't know the amount--and you participate in some basic military training. I have no idea on whether they'll pay for college--although there is a loan forgiveness program--after you graduate.

    As for pay, etc., you can look all that up online. Typically, you'd be commissioned as a second lieutenant (in the Army) or an ensign (in the Navy). That's an O-1, and you'd be promoted to O-2 in two years (typically) and then O-3 two years after that.

    The Navy used to have (and still might) one of the finest nuclear engineering schools on the planet. I'm ex-Army, so don't know much about it, but I think the Navy's record on reactor safety etc. is incredibly good.

    As for whether it's "worth" it--only you can say. I did non-scholarship ROTC in college and then spent three years in the Army--infantry, after taking a couple of years off in between. For me, yes, it was worth it. Great experience for the most part.
     
  6. ToddW macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    #6
    I would highly recommend ROTC at your school. It is a better way to get through OCS. I would also recommend the Airforce/Engineering route. I had some school mates who did that and they are going to be set when they get out with any DoD job that is out there, or for any defense contractor for that matter.
     
  7. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #7
    If you want to go nuke, Navy's your best choice (and not just because I'm in it). OCS is restricted to candidates who already have college degrees, and I would imagine that the number of nuke officers coming out of there is very small.

    In ROTC, if you want to go nuke, you'll spend your junior and senior year prepping with your unit's nuke power officer - typically an O-3 (LT). For power school, you'll have a series of applications to fill out for a board, and then you'll have an interview in front of, I believe, two captains or admirals.

    There is a scholarship for (Navy) ROTC - I can't speak to Army, which covers tuition, books, and some personal spending (I get paid $250/month as a 4/C; that number goes up by $50 every class year). When you're on cruises during the summer, typically for a month or so, you draw active duty pay - it usually comes to about $800 for the month.

    In the Navy, as an O-1 nuke, your base pay is going to be about $30,000 a year. This doesn't include housing, clothing, or food allowances. If you go submarine (as most nuke officers will), then you will draw a bonus for that.

    Going backwards a little bit: if you're selected for Nuclear Power School, you receive an immediate $15,000 bonus - money straight into your bank account. There will be other opportunities for extra money as your career advances.

    Did I miss anything? Feel free to PM me with any other questions you might have.
     
  8. EMU1337 thread starter macrumors member

    EMU1337

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #8
    Thanks for all the input guys, its helped clarify a lot of things.
     

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