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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.
 

· 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.
 

· 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.
 

· that's like, your opinion
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I'd really rather not do reserve or national guard. No offense to anyone who did either. They just wouldnt be my thing!

Cant you ask to be put on active duty and sent to the middle east after ROTC?
that is just where the commission comes though.... the reserves... you will end up being active duty regular army anyway... someone else explained it in their post as well.
 

· that's like, your opinion
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If you are wondering if there is favoritism towards service academy grads over ROTC commissioned officers in the military, the answer is yes. During the daddy bush drawdown, ROTC candidates were essentially locked out of USAF flight slots which were reserved for the academy folks. If you want to make a career out of the military and can get to a service academy do it. Otherwise, Lt.Col is more than likely where it will stop for you.

A more important question is whether or not you should even consider entering the military until you know who will be the CIC in January 2013.

...and if you do end up going in remember a wise officer uses his ears a heck of a lot more than his mouth...and this is an enlisted man's army. We are just there to help them along the way.
Reductions in force (RIFs) are another scenario completely, though there is an element of truth to it during "slow" military times. old mil might be right in that another RIF might be coming in 2013, but probably not on the scale of the one that went on in 1992... there are still alot of threats out there nowadays and our garrison footprint will have grown in both iraq and afghanistan (i know the embassy in baghdad is supposed to be able to support 5000 people, that would probably mean a full brigade combat team might be housed there).

anyway back to you original post, although your test scores/grades might support getting into an academy, have you put any effort into obtaining a congressional nomination yet??? this is one of the limiting factors you will have to consider.
 
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