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  • Army ROTC

    I discovered an interesting offer on my school's website today:
    http://www.umass.edu/armyrotc/pages/scholarships.htm

    Basically, if I enlist for eight years and go to a paid internship, the Army will pay for my tuition. One of the enlistment options is, "Accept a commission to serve on active duty or reserve duty (Army Reserve, or Army National Guard) upon completion of the required academic and ROTC courses." So what exactly does reserve duty entail? What are the chances that I'll end up fighting? Also, does this imply being a soldier, or can reserve duty include other responsibilities?

    I figured this is a good place to ask, since quite a few TG members are in the military.
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
    I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
    Feel free to quote me. ~

  • #2
    Re: Army ROTC

    Originally posted by ednos View Post
    So what exactly does reserve duty entail?
    If you join the Army Reserve, after your initial training, you are required to attend your unitís regularly scheduled drill once a month and its annual training for two weeks in the summer. The monthly drills are conducted over a weekend and usually entail reporting to your unit sometime Friday evening and being released on Sunday. They usually include a series of drills to help maintain the unitís preparedness level and job-related qualifications. Annual training is an extended version of a drill held over two weeks at a local military base.

    Originally posted by ednos View Post
    What are the chances that I'll end up fighting?
    The chances of your unit being deployed into combat depends on its designation and the Armyís needs. If you are in an infantry unit and the Army needs infantrymen, then the odds of you being called up for active duty may be high. However, if you are in a supply company and the Army does not need additional truck drivers, then the odds are low.

    Originally posted by ednos View Post
    Also, does this imply being a soldier, or can reserve duty include other responsibilities?
    Everyone in the Army is a soldier. But, if you mean can someone be in the Army Reserves and not be in a combat unit, then the answer is yes. A large portion of the Reservesí units have more of a supporting role and include administrative, transportation, and supply companies.

    Originally posted by ednos View Post
    I figured this is a good place to ask, since quite a few TG members are in the military.
    If you live in Massachusetts and are planning to attend a state college or university, I highly recommend looking into the Army or Air National Guard, as well. Both provide 100% free tuition to these schools for Guardsmen. In fact, I received my first degree for practically nothing by serving in the Guard within my own hometown.

    I served in the Army for four years, the Reserves for two, and the Massachusetts Army National Guard for an additional four years, so I have a bit of experience with the differences between them and what serving in each entails. If you have any additional questions, I would be happy to try and answer them for you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Army ROTC

      I don't have first-hand experience, but one of my friends was in the Army National Guard, infantry.

      As far as being called up, his unit was sent overseas twice within his last two years of service. Once they were sent over to a non-Iraq area for security purposes, and the second time his unit was sent over into the fighting in Iraq. He luckily got out of that due to health reasons.

      Not to scare you, but don't think that your "specific" job duties will be what you're actually doing. Another guy I know of is a truck mechanic, but he's out on combat patrols like a regular infantryman.

      Concerning tuition, I urge you to read the fine print very carefully. My friend that got out due to health reasons has other family in the army/guard, and their contracts limit their tuition reimbursement to certain majors/programs. So just be careful, you don't want to get screwed. On top of that note, read the rest of your contract very carefully and have an attorney look at it too if necessary. You want to make sure you're actually signing up for what you think you are.
      [squadl]
      "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Army ROTC

        Originally posted by Pfeil2281 View Post
        If you live in Massachusetts and are planning to attend a state college or university, I highly recommend looking into the Army or Air National Guard, as well. Both provide 100% free tuition to these schools for Guardsmen.
        I do live in Massachusetts and I currently attend UMass Amherst. The problem is that I will not be able to afford to continue my education beyond sophomore year if I don't get a position as an RA or some hefty scholarship. I'm trying to evaluate the plausibility of joining the ROTC program (i.e., is it worth it, or is it better to put school off for a few years?).

        Originally posted by Pfeil2281 View Post
        In fact, I received my first degree for practically nothing by serving in the Guard within my own hometown.
        First degree? Did you do a lot of schooling?
        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
        I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
        Feel free to quote me. ~

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Army ROTC

          Non-military, but I'm fairly sure you could join the ROTC without commitment first. Then you can negotiate with the Military about picking up the tab in exchange for active duty when you know more about it.

          I definitely wouldn't commit to 8 years right away.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Army ROTC

            I was a Federal Cadet Army ROTC, committed Junior year of High School. You can join ROTC as a fresh or soph with no commitment, but they make you commit before your Junior year starts, because that is when things get serious. Every summer from then on has you at random places, from armor school, to air assault school, etc. (BTW, Air Assault school sucks if you aren't good at math. Stupid loads) ;)

            Goodluck with your decision. It is a tough one, and really think it through. The 8 year commitment isn't all in Active, if you don't want it to be. After 3-4 years active, you can finish up in the Reserve/Guard.

            Once you are committed, it is serious stuff though. If you decided to not follow through, or your grades drop, you have to minimum: pay back all your stipend/education costs, and maximum is join as a private work it off.

            Take this seriously, and don't look at it from a money point of view, or you will regret it later on. If you have serious questions about it, feel free to contact me; goodluck!
            Last edited by boudreux; 02-16-2007, 04:21 PM. Reason: stupid puncuation ;)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Army ROTC

              Originally posted by ednos View Post
              I'm trying to evaluate the plausibility of joining the ROTC program (i.e., is it worth it, or is it better to put school off for a few years?).
              If you are interested in serving in the military as an officer, then the ROTC program is a great opportunity to have some of the costs of school defrayed by the Army. I would not, however, recommend it to anyone not already interested in joining the military.

              Originally posted by ednos View Post
              First degree? Did you do a lot of schooling?
              I initially attended The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina, where I was a member of their Army ROTC program. During my sophomore year, I transferred to the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and used the National Guardís tuition program to pay for school. Several years later, I am back at UMass-Lowell pursuing another degree, but am no longer in the military and paying through the nose.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Army ROTC

                Well simple as this, if you want to serve your country in the army, then by all means go for it. I joined the Air Force Reserves about 6 years ago and have never looked back. I did it so that I could do my small part while getting my education. We got activated for a year, right after 9/11, then I volunteered for 4 more years active duty. The benefits are just extra goodies that I wasn't concerned about when I joined. I was surprised I would be getting GI Bill benefits. What was nice about active duty was that they gave me 100% Tuition Assistance, so I've been working on my degree at the same time. This spring is my last semester to get my degree. And the 6 years have FLOWN by. Plan on getting activated and doing some cruddy work every once in a while, but I think it's all been worthwhile. Remember, service before self. If you believe in that, then go for it. People who join JUST for the benefits or the money end up hating it.
                "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Army ROTC

                  Ednos, I can give you a little insight because I was in ROTC and my ex-Fiance was as well.

                  Firstly, if you go ROTC, you wont necessarily end up in the National Guard. Secondly, the commitment isnt 8 years, it's 4 years active and 4 years inactive ready reserve (which means you're not on active duty, but the army can call you up and reactivate you if they need you, which is very very unlikely). You CAN go straight reserve and do 8 years as a reservist, but your chances of getting it are slim as theyre piping people directly to active duty these days because manpower is a little low. Also, its not an enlistment. You'll be commissioned as an Officer. You'll be making about 5x as much as enlisted personnel do your first day on the job after you graduate and people will be saluting YOU. You'll graduate as a 2nd Lieutennant. However, never think that this makes you better than ANY enlisted personnel. Chances are, they have 20x the experience and knowledge about everything that you do. Learn from them and respect them and you'll be a fine officer.

                  ROTC is a great program to be in. All ROTC units provide scholarships which cover the full cost of tuition as well as a monthly living stipend that ranges roughly between 300 and 500 dollars a month. Depending on the unit you join (you'd have to check with the unit itself to know for sure), some offer other benefits such as covering the cost of books and/or health insurance on campus. When I was in ROTC at the University of Colorado i got both of those.

                  Heres the rundown on how ROTC works:

                  -In addition to your regular classes, you will be required to take one military science class per semester that is taught by Army personnel attached to the ROTC unit.

                  -PT (physical training) is mandatory at most ROTC units. All scholarship cadets are required at least once per semester to pass a physical fitness test, the standards for which can be found here. Failure to pass either the classes or the APFT will result in your scholarship being jeopardized or dropped.

                  -Usually at least once a week you are required to wear your uniform ALL DAY when you're on campus. If you dont have any classes that day, stay away from campus and you can wear civvies.

                  -You will be required to attend any mandatory ROTC functions, such as the Military Ball or any other activities that they have.

                  -Most ROTC units run a series of FTX's (field training exercises) every year and you will be required to attend them. They usually run over weekends and are wont allow you to be at home for the duration of the exercise. However, they will NOT interfere with your classes.

                  -If you get a scholarship and decide to drop it after the end of your sophomore year, you have two options (if your CO will give you the option of the first): immediate financial restitution for the full price of your scholarship or immediate enlistment in the Army. Make sure you think on that one before you go in.

                  -At the end of your third year, you'll be putting in requests for branch and status, which means that you're requesting a specific job and either active duty army, active duty national guard, reserve army, or reserve guard. Your chances of getting what you want are dependent on several factors: your GPA, your APFT scores, your personnel evaluations from the officers at the ROTC unit, and most importantly what the army NEEDS. If you request medical service branch and you have no medical background, youre not going to get it short of a miracle. If your GPA or other scores are low, expect to be put wherever the army feels like.

                  Overall, ROTC is a good way to pay for college. You get money to live on, at least 8 easy A's to add to your GPA if you take the full 4 year scholarship, and a guaranteed job after you graduate.

                  As far as your other questions go, they were answered pretty accurately thus far. Your chances of seeing combat are completely dependent on your job in the army, or what's called your MOS. If you're infantry, expect to have a gun in your hand. If you're a doctor, expect to be in a hospital. It's all fairly straightforward.

                  Everyone in the army and national guard is a soldier. Being a soldier has nothing to do with being infantry. My ex is a nurse and she's still a soldier.

                  If i had to give you a recommendation, I'd tell you to shoot for the scholarship and just go active duty for four years after college unless you have some million dollar job lined up that cant wait. It gets you in, out and done in 4 short years. Plus, you may find that you actually LIKE military service and wind up being a career officer. Its not a bad life. Trust me, my whole family was and is active duty lifers. The benefits to taking the scholarship heavily outweigh trying to balance full time work and school and dont even ask about putting off school as thats one of the worst things you can possibly do, ask anyone who's done it.

                  Best of luck to you man!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Army ROTC

                    Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                    dont even ask about putting off school as thats one of the worst things you can possibly do, ask anyone who's done it.
                    I dunno, I took off college for two years between my freshman and sophomore year, and I think it was good for me. Holding a full-time job and paying bills gives you a bit of a different outlook on life, and I wound up going with a completely different major program the second time around, which I like a lot better.

                    Putting off school indefinately, on the other hand, is unequivocally bad.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Army ROTC

                      Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                      Putting off school indefinately, on the other hand, is unequivocally bad.
                      Thats what I was referring to. He's already in school and asked if we thought it would be better to just put it off "for a few years", which translates to "until I have the money/wherewithal to get back into school" which translates directly to "put school off indefinitely".

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                      • #12
                        Re: Army ROTC

                        Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                        -Usually at least once a week you are required to wear your uniform ALL DAY when you're on campus. If you dont have any classes that day, stay away from campus and you can wear civvies.
                        Is this true all over? I know here at the U of I they do this, but it's "mandatory," as in no one gets punished for not doing it and they really don't push it much either. Lots of people still wear the uniform, but I know of some that just blow it off.

                        Of course, our ROTC programs here are generally a mess anyway.
                        [squadl]
                        "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Army ROTC

                          Every school i've ever heard of it's mandatory in the sense that if you dont, you're in deep kim-chee. For instance, if you didnt wear uniform on thursdays at Colorado, you had to stand watch an extra 3 times a week and report for uniform inspection every day at 0700 for 2 weeks. At IUP, where my fiance went, you got administrative counseling that went on your record and had to do colors duty every day for 2 weeks (both raising and lowering duty every day).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Army ROTC

                            Army ROTC at UIUC is pretty much a joke. The Air Force ROTC there is quite good though. I did ROTC at WIU, one of the top 5 in the country. (multiple McArthur awards in the past decade) Uniform days are to show pride, and help you cross that line to where you feel more a part of the military, and just not a student playing army.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Army ROTC

                              Now I'm scared to death of it; I'm not sure if I could handle another life-changing experience. I'm glad I asked, though.
                              The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
                              I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
                              Feel free to quote me. ~

                              Comment

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