ROTC... Experiences and Input Wanted!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Luftwaffles, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Luftwaffles macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    #1
    So here I am going through my freshman year in college. I flirted with joining the US Air National Guard, briefly considered enlisting in the Air Force and later applying for commission, but for some time have wanted to get my four-year degree in Computer Science and make a living doing what I love most.

    And yesterday, after speaking to my father about my roommate who was going to go Navy Reserves, a light clicked on in my head - Air Force ROTC!

    My dad gave me loads of advice and told me exactly who I should talk to, and being a USAF Academy grad and retired Major himself, he needed absolutely no convincing and was very supportive. I'm 99% positive I want to do this, and if my schedule allows for it I'll take the plunge. Before I enroll though, I'd like to hear the servicemen/women and vets of MR chime in...

    Were you commissioned through ROTC? If not, do you wish you had joined? How would you rate your experience? Did you have some downtime to kick back and relax and be a college kid?

    All input is welcome!
     
  2. bassproguy07 macrumors 6502a

    bassproguy07

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    #2
    go talk to a recruiter, they can give you the most information on becoming an officer, and the best ways to go about that. ROTC programs can be good and bad, a lot of the guys I know in the Corps at A&M like the corps but dont think they want to do military for the rest of their lives.
     
  3. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #3
    +1 ^^^ I spent (11) years in the USMC, with every intention of attending the Naval Academy or OCS (Officer Candidate School), but never had the opportunity since my MOS (Military Occupational Skill) was considered to be critical, due to the small number of Marines trained and retained by the Corps in my field. We were constantly in the field and saw very little time "in the rear with the gear." Traveling abroad as a MSG (Marine Security Guard/Embassy Guard) meant there was very little time to pursue my goal of attending the Naval Academy or OCS. Stay in school, I always say; continue with ROTC, and God forbid that you would give a thought to "enlisting!"

    Marine Corps officers are "hard corps" and enjoy their jobs. They are sometimes oblivious to anything resembling "mutual respect" and feel they deserve unearned respect. Though I never showed disrespect for officers, there were a few that I gave advice to that didn't receive my expert advice, but that advice that accomplished the mission w/o all the bell and whistles. In the Corps there's this thing called "silent contempt" that's where an officer would give an order, and I would delay the order to my Marines or I would pause, before carrying out that order; or even a look that infers that I disagree with the order; a non-crisp salute; all of this falls under the unspoken misconduct.

    I worked with many Air Force officers, during their survival, escape and evade training, which really helps, should they get shot down in enemy territory. They were very friendly, and kept asking about my first name; (they were a little too chummy for me) but they called everyone by their first name. Must have been an Air Force thing. I told them "my first name was Senior Drill Instructor!" LOL You'll like the Air Force atmosphere, since it is most like a civilian job than any of the other branches of service. Promotion in the Air Force is extremely tough, with a majority of the officers retiring at the rank of Major/04, but promotion really depends on your particular MOS, and how many are in your MOS Air Force wide. Do your time and have a good time, b/c some people take their rank a little too seriously and have a difficult time adjusting back to civilian life. The expectations of a mature officer are extremely high; you'll grow up quite a bit faster than your civilian counterparts and time will fly (no pun intended) and it'll be over in no time. Sounds like your Dad would be your best council regarding the Air Force. Good luck with your service selection... Semper fi, do or die, gung-ho, gung-ho, gung-ho! :cool:
     
  4. mpshay macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #4
    I got my commission via Navy ROTC in 1993 (spent a couple years as an enlisted Sailor before being accepted into the ROTC program) and I'm still in the Navy. Not sure about all the differences between AF & USN ROTC programs. We were in the same Building at U of Michigan but did not have a ton of interaction. At the time I was going through the program you did not incur a commitment until your second year. If that is still the case, no real downside to giving it a try for a year.

    Good Luck.
     
  5. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #5
    Don't go in the Navy ROTC. From what I have heard from talking to Navy ROTC students here at Riddle is that they are tougher on you then the other ROTC's.
     
  6. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #6
    That they are; we do things a little differently than the Army and Air Force. From what I understand, you're not technically "in" either of those services until you begin your junior year of school; in Navy ROTC, you're contracted from the beginning and hold a reservist appointment through your four years.

    From what I've seen of Air Force, the training is comparatively a joke - and that's ok. We're more hardcore because we train Marine officers as well, but the Air Force as a whole is a much more relaxed organization.

    As to your specific question about free time, even in NROTC as a sophomore and platoon commander (that's another difference, some Navy units give even underclassmen leadership billets, whereas you'll have to wait until at least junior year in AFROTC), I have a decent amount of free time. Nothing like a "normal" college student, but certainly enough to have a fun time at school.

    There's actually an AFROTC cadet on my hall, if you'd like to PM me some questions I'd be glad to ask him about them.
     
  7. buffalo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs / Ohio
    #7
    StealthRider... nice to see someone representing the 'nati. ;)


    I have no military or ROTC experience. I am, however, an applicant to AFA, USNA, and for AFROTC and NROTC scholarships. So, either an academy or ROTC is in my future. Thus, from my perspective, I would highly encourage it. Service to the nation is something you can keep for a lifetime, and the leadership you develop while in ROTC/military will carry with you after you have fulfilled your obligation. Unless you go to some place like Texas A&M where the Corps of Cadets is super hard core, ROTC will allow you to prepare to serve as an officer in the military while also allowing you to have a somewhat normal college experience.
     
  8. bassproguy07 macrumors 6502a

    bassproguy07

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    #8
    I am hoping to do MSG on my second tour, right now I will either be Field artillery, Tank crewman, or AAV or EFV crewman. I wont find out till bootcamp though which is in 18 days
     
  9. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #9
    Ooh-rahh! Congrats on your decision to serve in "the suck!" (that's what we old "salts" call the USMC). I was a scout observer tasked with calling-in artillery (SP/self-propelled and tanks), naval gunfire and airstrikes, so I understand working with artillery and tank units quite well. I strongly recommend a strong and very regimented physical training program over the next couple of weeks; running (3) miles, while working on your stamina, and developing your ability to complete (20) pull-ups and (80) sit-ups. Though these are just the basic physical skills you'll need to be prepared for bootcamp, you'll find that these skills will help when you go on your first "Force March" of about 50 miles over two days, with very little rest between the two days. Mentally, there are several things you can do in preparation such as determining your ability to operate with maybe 2-3 hours sleep. Read a short essay or two, then write your own essay after reading the essays, allthewhile operating under the stress of little sleep and having to think critically and put it all on paper, so that someone can read and understand your critical thinking and writing skills. Marine Corps Bootcamp stresses Teamwork, while breaking the individualism in each of us and building "Esprit de Corps" which means: a common spirit of comradeship, enthusiasm, and devotion to a cause among the members of a group. Leadership will develop during Bootcamp and it can take many forms, such as becoming a squad leader, or a platoon leader and even a good follower of orders. Being able to spit shine your boots, or fold your t-shirts, boxers, socks and towels, better than anyone else can propel you into a leadership role when the Drill Instructor selects you to assist him with training other recruits during your free time. Always take advantage of those seemingly small tasks that may seem mundane and pointless and give 110%; it'll payoff in the long run. I was a squad leader during Bootcamp because I paid close attention to detail, kept myself and my entire platoon squared away appearance-wise, could field strip my M-14 and clean it then put it back together faster than anyone had ever witnessed, I could run three miles in under 17 minutes, and most importantly, I qualified as an Expert Rifleman with a score of 247 out of 250 on the Rifle Range, which pretty much wrote my ticket to switch my MOS from 0311 (Basic Infantryman) to 0861 (Artillery Scout Observer) b/c I could run fast and shoot straighter than 99.9% of my peers. Well, I better not write too much more, feel free to PM me and I can get you my email to you. Stay MOTIVATED, Semper fi...:cool:
     
  10. bassproguy07 macrumors 6502a

    bassproguy07

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    #10
    thanks for the tips and advice! I am so pumped for bootcamp its not even funny, I am counting down the days until I ship. I am not in bad shape but not great, my recruiters got me a 15 day membership to 24 hour fitness so I can start working out more and more. They arent even going to let me leave unless I can do what is needed to make bootcamp a breeze. I have heard such bad stories about recruiters, but all the ones in my town are great, they really want quality kids as marines and they work with you to make you good before you leave which I think is good. Thanks again for your advice, OOH RAH!
     
  11. Luftwaffles thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    #11
    Thanks for all the input, I'm definitely pumped for AFROTC and can't wait to get started. :)

    One of the Det Captains I spoke to made it very clear that ROTC isn't supposed to make up the entirety of my life and that they'd work with me when it comes to playing in the marching band (6:30 PT followed by 7:00/7:30 band practice...). My entire family is incredibly supportive as well. I can't wait to button up my dress blues and get to work. :)

    Thanks for the input!
     

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