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In a pile of brass
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the grades and ACT scroes to get a full ROTC scholarship more than likely, and definitely get a very large portion of my college payed at the least, but i have some doubts....

I have noticed that almost everyone who is anyone in the military is a west pointe grad. so what would be the point in doing ROTC if there isnt really much of a chance for far advancement in a military career?

Even ROTC programs are mostly run by West Pointe graduates. If ROTC leaders are as good as valuable as West Pointe graduates and are supposed to be the best, like all their stuff says, why are they never anywhere near the top?

Seeing all this has really made me think twice about ROTC...
 

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In a pile of brass
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
woops, my bad, also: If there are any ROTC people here, can you share your opinions on the matter?
 

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that's like, your opinion
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Villanova ROTC grad here... ROTC commissionees far outnumber academy grads, i think we had 3000 in my year group, probably less than 750 of those from the academy... OCS puts a large number though as well. i made 1LT in 18 months and CPT in 36... which is perfectly on par with academy guys.

your concerns regarding career progression won't be important until you are looking at getting a promotion to O6 or O7, so unless you plan on putting 20+ years in i wouldnt worry about it.

with the economy the way it is right now, and the fact that we are drawing down in Iraq and the 'Stan I think ROTC will be a good financial decision with relatively little risk. I graduated in '04 and was in iraq from August '05-July '06... then kirkuk from August '07-November '08. its a personal choice, so don't let me sway you....

but please learn how to spell West Point... without the "e" on the end, its a good thing that wasn't an SAT/ACT question eh.

don't necessarily look at it as a business decision... if you want to serve, get in there and serve, if not, don't. It's that simple.
 

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Banned
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I'm not in ROTC but I am doing Marine NROTC in the fall, so I can't be too much help but from what I hear most (or at least a large number) are not West Point graduates. Of course I don't know as much for the Army but the school I'm going to apparently has some of the highest performing cadets during training. Don't have doubts man if its what you wanna do then by all means do it. Good luck with whatever you do.
 

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Combat Veteran
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1 in 100,000 officers make it to the rank of general, maybe. Get the education spend the 4 year obligated duty and hit the public sector 4 years ahead of your peers. Just pick a major that will be useful in the long run. The world is full of outta work lauguage arts grads, computer programmers and business management grads.
 

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Colin Powel was an ROTC grad if i'm not mistaken,,the first to rise to CJCS,,i'd go for the free ride my friend, you'll always regret it if you don't,,,and remember, most of greatest military leaders graduaded near the end of their west point classes,,ie Custer, Patton, Grant...
 

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Think of it this way. My brother is an academy grad, and I was ROTC myself. We both did 6 years after graduation, to fulfill our obligation. When I got out we were both 0-3s and were both looking at O-4 soon after. He stayed in and I got out, but right as I was leaving I found out that I had picked up O-4 if I stayed in. Understandably we are in different services, and that in itself is means different promotions and circumstance, but I will say that ROTC is just as strong as ROTC until the O-5/6 level, where so-called 'ring-knockers' are coveted. It all depends on what your goals are, but you can be just as successful as a ROTC grad if you marry the military, and keep your priorities straight.
 

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In a pile of brass
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Villanova ROTC grad here... ROTC commissionees far outnumber academy grads, i think we had 3000 in my year group, probably less than 750 of those from the academy... OCS puts a large number though as well. i made 1LT in 18 months and CPT in 36... which is perfectly on par with academy guys.

your concerns regarding career progression won't be important until you are looking at getting a promotion to O6 or O7, so unless you plan on putting 20+ years in i wouldnt worry about it.

with the economy the way it is right now, and the fact that we are drawing down in Iraq and the 'Stan I think ROTC will be a good financial decision with relatively little risk. I graduated in '04 and was in iraq from August '05-July '06... then kirkuk from August '07-November '08. its a personal choice, so don't let me sway you....

but please learn how to spell West Point... without the "e" on the end, its a good thing that wasn't an SAT/ACT question eh.

don't necessarily look at it as a business decision... if you want to serve, get in there and serve, if not, don't. It's that simple.
I didnt think that was right, but my iphone was smacking me in the face with a big "hey your wrong" every time i wrote "West Point".

But yes, its more of a mental motivaton to serve. That being said, i want to do it so it will benefit me in the greatest way (not to sound selfish, thats life).

Seeing how the private sector is going to hell, i was planning on doing around 20 years in the army so i could get a pension and never have to worry about a job.

I guess i could start a cultural african basket weaving school and get government money for that :thumb:, or maybe i could find some other way to live off tax payer dollars :cool:.

But in all seriousness, its just something ive always wanted to do, but i always wanted a career in it. It just doesnt seem right that even ROTC programs are run by West Point grads and not ROTC people...
 

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In a pile of brass
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Think of it this way. My brother is an academy grad, and I was ROTC myself. We both did 6 years after graduation, to fulfill our obligation. When I got out we were both 0-3s and were both looking at O-4 soon after. He stayed in and I got out, but right as I was leaving I found out that I had picked up O-4 if I stayed in. Understandably we are in different services, and that in itself is means different promotions and circumstance, but I will say that ROTC is just as strong as ROTC until the O-5/6 level, where so-called 'ring-knockers' are coveted. It all depends on what your goals are, but you can be just as successful as a ROTC grad if you marry the military, and keep your priorities straight.
I had really planned on doing ROTC, doing a few tours of duty to prove myself as a leader, then climbing the ranks as high as i could!

So im really disappointed Iraq is closing and Afghanistan will wind down before i get out there. That means i will just be another waste of tax payer dollars that will sit around and not get used.

I want to do something big with my life, and you just cant do that pushing paper around in an office some where, know what i mean?
 

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Garbage Collector
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Go ROTC and get them to pay for your school.

Branch infantry if you want do something besides push paper.

Everything else in the Army is just support for the infantry, whose job is to locate, close with, and destroy the enemy.

Go to Ranger school, get in the Q Course- don't just be another zero, be a leader.

From my experiences as senior enlisted, the officers that had the best positions were 1LT and Captains, they get to lead and not become pencil pushing politicians.

Most of the Officers I worked for were ROTC grads the absolute best ones were prior enlisted, the few ring knockers I knew came off as uppity and slimey- perfect for later life political careers. The academy ring only matters to senior officers and political types, the troops couldn't care less how you got commissioned if you are a good leader.

Serve because you have a desire to serve, not for how it will look on a corporate resume. It is not a checkmark on a to do list.
 

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I had really planned on doing ROTC, doing a few tours of duty to prove myself as a leader, then climbing the ranks as high as i could!

So im really disappointed Iraq is closing and Afghanistan will wind down before i get out there. That means i will just be another waste of tax payer dollars that will sit around and not get used.

I want to do something big with my life, and you just cant do that pushing paper around in an office some where, know what i mean?
Don't make the assumption that if you don't get to Iraq or Afghanistan all you would be doing is pushing papers. It all depends on your military specialty. Go into a combat position or a few select others, make your goal special units and you will stay busy, even in "peacetime". I lost a lot of friends on "training missions" in places you never heard of during peacetime.
 

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Contego Libertas
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While I was in, I turned down West Point, because I wanted to stay enlisted and personally did not care for the "Academy" style of education....even though it is supposed to be a good one....one of the best.

As far as "Pointers" teaching ROTC, it is no different really than Regular Army teaching National Guard. Those who have been through it, teach it. I would concentrate more on the educational benefit instead of where it comes from, unless you are into "Politically motivated" positions. All officers go through the "War College" once they reach a certain rank if I'm not mistaken. It doesn't matter whether they were "Pointers", ROTC, or OCS.

My Platoon Leader from my second unit was a major in our third. He was an E-7 that became a "90 day wonder"(OCS). Of ALL the Platoon leaders I had he was by far the best.(You followed him because you WANTED to follow him) I did have one REALLY good PL who was a "Pointer", he became a General after I got out. General Vincent Brooks Was my PL in Bragg(1/504 82nd). He was a Military Spokesman when the US went to Iraq the first time. Even as an LT we knew he would be a general one day. Other officers deferred to him because of him being a "Pointer".(even some who outranked him) It was not JUST because he was a "Pointer" either, but because he was a REALLY good product of the Academy. He knew his S***, and He led his troops well, the way a leader SHOULD lead.

Another "Pointer" we had was about as useful as a box of rocks. We had to watch out for him to make sure he didn't get us in trouble. Maybe one of the worst PL's I ever had. How he made it through any college is beyond me.

This is a view from someone who was an enlisted looking at those above him in the Chain of Command. So keep that in mind. I had good officers that were OCS, ROTC, and "Pointers". I had bad officers that were OCS, ROTC, And "Pointers". The School does not make the man, IMO. Some were born to lead, some were trained to lead. Good was good, bad was bad, no matter where they were trained. No matter which route you take, strive to be the best Leader you can. Be Fair and Just, learn how to do it right, and you'll be fine.
 

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In a pile of brass
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all for the advice. But another question if it isn't too much trouble. For those of you who did ROTC, how did it actually prepare you to lead men and not get them killed?

I guess the real question is; what can i do to prepare myself to lead men and do what needs to be done, and not just get a bunch of people killed my first time out.

I just want to make sure i do it right.
 

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Thank you all for the advice. But another question if it isn't too much trouble. For those of you who did ROTC, how did it actually prepare you to lead men and not get them killed?

I guess the real question is; what can i do to prepare myself to lead men and do what needs to be done, and not just get a bunch of people killed my first time out.

I just want to make sure i do it right.
Take advantage of every training opportunity you can, listen to your NCOs but be able to make your own decision, put your troops before yourself.
 

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Garbage Collector
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Thank you all for the advice. But another question if it isn't too much trouble. For those of you who did ROTC, how did it actually prepare you to lead men and not get them killed?

I guess the real question is; what can i do to prepare myself to lead men and do what needs to be done, and not just get a bunch of people killed my first time out.

I just want to make sure i do it right.
School will teach you theory, only experience teaches leaders.

My last Platoon Leader had just turned 5 years old the same year that I first enlisted, so he tapped into the experience of the NCO's and learned how to lead instead of just giving orders.
 

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I was in ROTC in the early 90's ,one thing I would say is that all programs are not the same.There are big differences between schools and CO's. The CO that was there when I was ,was a good guy but he never really seemed to click with the cadets.A few years later the post was assumed by Col.Dave Grossman(google him and get his books),He was a totaly different story,really turned what seemed a dying program around.The class sizes went from 4-7 when I was there to over 50 in a few years,they got more rescources and developed a real sense of esprit d'corp.You need to visit the school you are considering, talk with the staff and cadets.Get a feel for the program.

As far as leading men,well there are libraries on the subject,but the two best words are FOLLOW ME. You have to lead by example,learn your job,learn everything anyone will teach you,teach anything anyone will learn,realize your rank is not power it is responsibility,above all let your guys do their job once you tell them to do it.
 

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that's like, your opinion
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Thank you all for the advice. But another question if it isn't too much trouble. For those of you who did ROTC, how did it actually prepare you to lead men and not get them killed?

I guess the real question is; what can i do to prepare myself to lead men and do what needs to be done, and not just get a bunch of people killed my first time out.

I just want to make sure i do it right.
your first NCO will sign a hand recipt for you, pull the silver spoon out of your butt hole and teach you what you need to know to do your job well, your leadership skills will develop over time, neither ROTC nor the Academy will prepare you for really leading soldiers.

whatever you do, don't adopt the cold war mentality of officers being gods (unfortunately these ideas are indoctrinated at the academies) and all must do as they say no matter how poorly informed you are, that will get people killed... involve yourself as much as possible... time allowing always assess the situation and get feedback from you nco's, try to be democratic when you can be, and decisive when you dont have the time. Learn as much as you can and always know there is more room for improvement.
 

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that's like, your opinion
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Seeing how the private sector is going to hell, i was planning on doing around 20 years in the army so i could get a pension and never have to worry about a job.

But in all seriousness, its just something ive always wanted to do, but i always wanted a career in it. It just doesnt seem right that even ROTC programs are run by West Point grads and not ROTC people...
Trust me, you will still be working after you secure a pension... my old man put in 26 years then retired in '01 or '02 and he is still working his butt off. our national debt problem will be around long after you retire, and probably after you die too. unless you seriously reduce expenses in your lifestyle when you retire you will need to keep working.

don't assume that all rotc programs are run by pointers... they are not, i think my professor of military sciences were rotc guys for the most part.
 

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In a pile of brass
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you all so much. Be decisive when necessary and nice when possible seems to be the general rule.

I'm just trying to live up to the family legacy... My cousin was the most recent to go in and he is a "Pointer". From everything I heard from his friends over there, he was a perfect leader, lead by example, and did multiple tours with teh 7th cav while only losing one man to a broken leg.

Im going to try to do even better than that.
 

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Come and Take It!
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I have the grades and ACT scroes to get a full ROTC scholarship more than likely, and definitely get a very large portion of my college payed at the least, but i have some doubts....

I have noticed that almost everyone who is anyone in the military is a west pointe grad. so what would be the point in doing ROTC if there isnt really much of a chance for far advancement in a military career?

I have been through it the Service academies account for a small percentage of the officers ROTC brings in most of the rest. Academy Grads are commissioned in the Regular Army from West Point....ROTC officers Commissioned as Reserve Officers. The ROTC Grads that make it to high rank excel at their jobs and get teh goveted reccomendation on their performance reports to "Promoote and Augment" (the augment part refers being augmented into the Regular Army, Air Force Navy, Marines...etc). TheReserve Officers I saw that aded it past Major got the Regular augmentation by the time they were Captain, they got their masters degree on their own time and completed (in my case) the Air War College (for the Army it would be the War College) by correspondence and later in residence

Even ROTC programs are mostly run by West Pointe graduates. If ROTC leaders are as good as valuable as West Pointe graduates and are supposed to be the best, like all their stuff says, why are they never anywhere near the top?

Not really true the comandant of Cadets is usually a retired Colonel...he could have acheived that rank from many of the officer programs.

Seeing all this has really made me think twice about ROTC...
Rotc is a good way to go but you have to excell. I would reccomend a college like VMI or even a Jr. College Like NMMI to kick off your ROTC....these schools have "old boy clubs" just ast active and influential as West Point Grads.
 
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