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Posted: 2/13/2006 8:25:38 PM EDT
I'm enlisted and I haven' been through neither. These are my perceptions of each from my own observations and what participants tell me:

Accelerated OCS
Cons:
8 weeks of suck
do you really want to do basic training over again?
Pros:
get it over with and get to real training

Regular OCS
Cons:
18 months of semi-suck!
Pros
You can have a life while you're at it... somewhat

ROTC
Cons:
You gotta pay for it (tuition, I'm already using MGIB for ugrad)
Pros:
Have fun while doing Army stuff
Airborne school
College girls

Please chime in, and feel free to correct me if anything I posted is wrong.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:41:23 PM EDT
Back in the mid Eighties we had to sign paperwork to the effect that the school and the Army weren't responsible if we got hurt in training.
Play it safe and don't go for any advanced training and you'll score too low to get the post you want OR go for all the training you can to boost your score and if you get hurt you're out w/ nothing. Drop below minimum grade point average, you're out of school and enlisted.
Went on an FTX to Benning and a senior busted her elbow on the confidence course, there went her slot in the 82nd.
That said, we had plenty of enlisted in the SMP whatever that was.In the Reserves while in College.
Don't ever let on you're ROTC while on any training, you get treated like a red headed stepchild.
Do they still have ROTC cadets wear female insignia on their uniforms @ school?

IMO go Advanced OCS
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:57:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2006 9:01:07 PM EDT by Manic_Moran]
You need to have a degree for a comission, last I checked. At least, more specifically, for the Army, you need to have most of a degree for a comission (90 credits), and a full degree to hit Captain. 60 credits needed to get into OCS.

If you are not currently in posession of a degree, ROTC seems to make a hell of a lot more sense. Let Uncle Sam pay for it.

[ETA: Just saw the 18-month option, I'm guessing you're Guard. If you have a choice, do the accelerated programme. Trust me. 18 months of OCS drills will suck. It took me all of three drills before I figured out I wanted to get it over with, and volunteered for the fast track]

NTM
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 11:13:23 PM EDT
I don't have my degree yet but am late enough in my progress that it's too late for ROTC.

So it's either OCS or ROTC and grad school.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 7:46:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2006 7:49:21 AM EDT by TANGOCHASER]
ROTC is now being divided into Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC), I, II, and III. BOLC I is ROTC at a university. BOLC II is nothing but Warrior Tasks to get you prepared for a deployment. A lot of field time and light fighter tactics. BOLC III is OBC but condensed as the tactical common core stuff is now covered in BOLC II. It is just the branch specific stuff.

This BOLC system will be fully operational NLT Summer 06. I've seen the results of the first BOLC II course and it will make better officers at their first assignment. The LTs will actually know what they are doing and the transition to a PLT LDR should be easier.

Talk to the ROTC Recruiting Operations Officer (ROO) about scholarships. There are so many options on paying for college it makes my head spin. We have one cadet that figured out the system and is actually making $49,000 a year to attend college. Even after he pays tuition at his "high cost" school, he makes over $15,000. He's using a combination of state, guard and scholarship plans.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 8:08:05 AM EDT
I'm a ROO for an ROTC program. IM me if you want details on how to make it work. Are you active duty? If so, you need to check out the AD Green to Gold program. If you're ARNG/USAR, there are other options.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 6:54:57 AM EDT
No "state option"?

Btw, Federal OCS is not 18months. Its around 14weeks I believe.

The 18mo. option is a State Option.



Do not go ROTC.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 9:41:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tyman:
Do not go ROTC.



Elaboration please?
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 10:46:35 AM EDT


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally Posted By tyman:
Do not go ROTC.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Yeah, please elaborate.
I am an SMI for the ROTC program at Minnesota State University, mankato.

Link Posted: 2/16/2006 6:02:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 6:12:07 PM EDT
+1 for ROTC.

I did AF ROTC and I thought it was a great commissioning source. While some of it was kind of childish, it has great benefits while you are in, and the end result is the same.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 1:58:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally Posted By tyman:
Do not go ROTC.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Yeah, please elaborate.
I am an SMI for the ROTC program at Minnesota State University, mankato.





No real world Military experience = makes for horrible leaders...in this day and age.

95% of all lieutenants/captains who have been through ROTC are complete dicks because they think their shit doesnt stink.
80% of OCS officers that were enlisted before, know what it's like to be an actual soldier from Day 1 and how the Military works. So they are more apt to listen to their enlisted soldiers/NCO's instead of blowing them off.

They are green, and dont really know anything once they get to their unit. They can make bad mistakes sometimes (IE not listen to their driver in a Bradley simulator and get everyone killed )


I think ROTC is on par with Military academies like West Point in as far as teaching a person what the military is actually like. They dont.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 7:57:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tyman:
I think ROTC is on par with Military academies like West Point in as far as teaching a person what the military is actually like. They dont.



That's what I think everytime I see a ROTC kid walk by, they have no idea what the Army is like .

Even at BCT we would watch the ROTC company accross the pit that's there for their first leadership course or whatever they call it. I don't think they ever got smoked and they had weekends off.

But if I did ROTC, I would have already been at least 3 years enlisted so hopefully I wouldn't as naive as the typical college kid. That's if I do it, still haven't decided which I want to persue...
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 9:28:42 AM EDT

Posted by tyman,

No real world Military experience = makes for horrible leaders...in this day and age.

95% of all lieutenants/captains who have been through ROTC are complete dicks because they think their shit doesnt stink.
80% of OCS officers that were enlisted before, know what it's like to be an actual soldier from Day 1 and how the Military works. So they are more apt to listen to their enlisted soldiers/NCO's instead of blowing them off.

They are green, and dont really know anything once they get to their unit. They can make bad mistakes sometimes (IE not listen to their driver in a Bradley simulator and get everyone killed )

I think ROTC is on par with Military academies like West Point in as far as teaching a person what the military is actually like. They dont.



Times change. There is a big push, at least in Western Region, to make the training more relevant to real world. We encourage all our cadets to join a local guard or reserve unit and do the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP). The cadets are assigned duties as a LT and get paid as an E5. This goes a long way to helping their real world knowledge of the military.

The new Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) is designed to make sure the new LTs know what they are doing and ready for deployment as soon as they hit their first duty assignment. BOLC will be fully operational by summer 07. BOLC I is ROTC. BOLC II is nothing but infantry tactics, based on current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, at FT. Sill, OK or FT. Campbell, KY. BOLC III is the branch portion of the existing OBC.

Don't rely on what your think you know about ROTC as it is changing for the better as we speak. If you have seen weak ROTC cadets at your university, it is probably because the ROTC program is weak. ROTC porgams vary in professionalism as much as any organization. There are good ones and bad ones. Statistics like those posted above are very subjective and that's just one person's experience.

I tell all my war stories to the upper classmen so they can get their heads in the game early. I want my cadets to be fully informed of the lifestyle and sacrifices they will face as a leader in todays Army. If they bolt and leave the program, I don't care. I want them to go in with both eyes open. If they still decide they want to be a leader in the Army, I've done my job and sent the very best leader I can to the soldiers in the field.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 10:21:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/21/2006 12:08:45 PM EDT by GTLandser]
To reveal my bias, I am in ROTC.

Just from reading your post it sounds like you already favor the ROTC option. Do you really want to be an officer? You know what the other side of the house is like. Do you see yourself doing that for 15 more years? Again, just based on the way you first considered the pros and cons, you already seem to like ROTC. So you'd have to do grad school. But have you ever SEEN the chicks that typically get into business programs? Our campus is basically divided into thirds; engineers, non-engineers, and management majors, who presumably fill in our MBA program. Guess which are the hot ones?

ROTC is going to have a mixture of people. A few I know are my personal heroes and best friends. They will make superb officers and leaders in my opinion, and that of our cadre. Another handful, I swear by God I will conspire to see that they never get a commission....but I don't have any direct control over that really, so it's just a vain hope they'll injure themselves or something. Point being though, in your case, you could have blast, play the ROTC game and eval well, and then be an officer. Sounds like a pretty sweet path to me.

On another note, I am glad to see some input from cadre in ROTC, I shall bear that in mind if I have any questions....

ETA: ....Because it's nice to compare programs. We only do lab for 1.5 hours, PT 3 hours a week, and class 3 hours. We do a maximum of 96 hours of training a semester, and this semester all 96 of those hours will be on one big FTX, a sort of "mini LDAC"--it remains to be seen how beneficial it will be, but I'm willing to try it. Of course we are encouraged to PT on our own, but that depends on school. Most of my friends average 5 hours of sleep a night because their majors are incredibly hard. We do know stuff that is important for LDAC, but we definitely won't be doing much real soldiering until BOLC II, sounds like....
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 5:57:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:

Posted by tyman,

No real world Military experience = makes for horrible leaders...in this day and age.

95% of all lieutenants/captains who have been through ROTC are complete dicks because they think their shit doesnt stink.
80% of OCS officers that were enlisted before, know what it's like to be an actual soldier from Day 1 and how the Military works. So they are more apt to listen to their enlisted soldiers/NCO's instead of blowing them off.

They are green, and dont really know anything once they get to their unit. They can make bad mistakes sometimes (IE not listen to their driver in a Bradley simulator and get everyone killed )

I think ROTC is on par with Military academies like West Point in as far as teaching a person what the military is actually like. They dont.



Times change. There is a big push, at least in Western Region, to make the training more relevant to real world. We encourage all our cadets to join a local guard or reserve unit and do the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP). The cadets are assigned duties as a LT and get paid as an E5. This goes a long way to helping their real world knowledge of the military.

The new Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) is designed to make sure the new LTs know what they are doing and ready for deployment as soon as they hit their first duty assignment. BOLC will be fully operational by summer 07. BOLC I is ROTC. BOLC II is nothing but infantry tactics, based on current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, at FT. Sill, OK or FT. Campbell, KY. BOLC III is the branch portion of the existing OBC.

Don't rely on what your think you know about ROTC as it is changing for the better as we speak. If you have seen weak ROTC cadets at your university, it is probably because the ROTC program is weak. ROTC porgams vary in professionalism as much as any organization. There are good ones and bad ones. Statistics like those posted above are very subjective and that's just one person's experience.

I tell all my war stories to the upper classmen so they can get their heads in the game early. I want my cadets to be fully informed of the lifestyle and sacrifices they will face as a leader in todays Army. If they bolt and leave the program, I don't care. I want them to go in with both eyes open. If they still decide they want to be a leader in the Army, I've done my job and sent the very best leader I can to the soldiers in the field.



You can "hype" and "preach" your ROTC program all you want.

As an enlisted soldier who has these "leaders" over him, I see what they can or cant do.....what they are or arent capable of.
Also, I have OCS officers over me as well.
You can pick out the ROTC officers out from the OCS officers easy than spotting water when you're flying over an ocean.

On the general, they are weaker and more timid because of not knowing exactly how it works. There is no substitute for getting out with your men during drill or in the field for 3weeks at a time.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 6:01:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By foogoo:

Originally Posted By tyman:
I think ROTC is on par with Military academies like West Point in as far as teaching a person what the military is actually like. They dont.



That's what I think everytime I see a ROTC kid walk by, they have no idea what the Army is like .

Even at BCT we would watch the ROTC company accross the pit that's there for their first leadership course or whatever they call it. I don't think they ever got smoked and they had weekends off.

But if I did ROTC, I would have already been at least 3 years enlisted so hopefully I wouldn't as naive as the typical college kid. That's if I do it, still haven't decided which I want to persue...



So then why not just do OCS anyway?

You will be more highly looked upon if you do. Most senior enlisted and other officers often snicker at officers that have been through ROTC rather than OCS. Kinda like, "Went through ROTC? Pfft, pussy. Been through OCS? Nice..."
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 6:36:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:53:36 PM EDT
ROTC= Federal recongnition and a chance at active duty. It sucks because you are always doing somthing for them on campus like PT etc. State OCS = very easy and only 1 weekend a month except for AT and fort lewis. More money with ROTC. Federal OCS is hard but they make good officers. In my opinion there is no need to suffer if one doenst have to. And to those that say ROTC sucks and doesnt make good officers look at Colin Powell.

Go ROTC save the suffering if you want active. If you want guard you go with a little less money but you get outa doing military stuff outside of drill. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 3:03:22 PM EDT
I am biased toward ROTC since that is the way I went. I attended ROTC at Cal State San Bernardino while I was at UC Riverside. The Army paid for three years of school, and I even got $100 a month (before deductions for MREs which we had to pay for on FTXs).

If you have access to AKO check out the main page, there are several ROTC recruiting adds.

Don’t worry about some of the remarks about where you get your commission and the notion people can pick out an officer based on their commissioning source. No one cares. ROTC will let you get a “real” degree, give you a chance to do Army things while in school, and it will give you a chance to practice leadership. When you get your commission you will have a chance to continue serving a great Nation and a great Army (active, guard or reserve). So, my recommendation is: take all that enlisted experience with you to ROTC and earn your gold bar. IM if you have any questions.
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 12:22:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
Interesting take on the OCS/ROTC.
In my experience, its the OCS types who think they know everything about being an officer because they were an E4 who got a degree while in a fuck off unit.
They don't listen to their NCOs, don't think they need to study their profession, and then are worthless past platoon leader because they suddenly realize their time as an E4 did nothing to prepare them for asst S-3. Then they blame ROTC and academy grads for being geeks and torpedoing their career.
Not all, of course.
I have seen good and bad from all commissioning sources. But the worst 3 or 4 all came from OCS.




You arent Infantry, are you?


And yes, people do care. Like I said, you can pick out the OCS officers from the ROTC ones very easily.
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 9:43:21 AM EDT

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted by tyman,

No real world Military experience = makes for horrible leaders...in this day and age.

95% of all lieutenants/captains who have been through ROTC are complete dicks because they think their shit doesnt stink.
80% of OCS officers that were enlisted before, know what it's like to be an actual soldier from Day 1 and how the Military works. So they are more apt to listen to their enlisted soldiers/NCO's instead of blowing them off.

They are green, and dont really know anything once they get to their unit. They can make bad mistakes sometimes (IE not listen to their driver in a Bradley simulator and get everyone killed )

I think ROTC is on par with Military academies like West Point in as far as teaching a person what the military is actually like. They dont.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Times change. There is a big push, at least in Western Region, to make the training more relevant to real world. We encourage all our cadets to join a local guard or reserve unit and do the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP). The cadets are assigned duties as a LT and get paid as an E5. This goes a long way to helping their real world knowledge of the military.

The new Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) is designed to make sure the new LTs know what they are doing and ready for deployment as soon as they hit their first duty assignment. BOLC will be fully operational by summer 07. BOLC I is ROTC. BOLC II is nothing but infantry tactics, based on current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, at FT. Sill, OK or FT. Campbell, KY. BOLC III is the branch portion of the existing OBC.

Don't rely on what your think you know about ROTC as it is changing for the better as we speak. If you have seen weak ROTC cadets at your university, it is probably because the ROTC program is weak. ROTC porgams vary in professionalism as much as any organization. There are good ones and bad ones. Statistics like those posted above are very subjective and that's just one person's experience.

I tell all my war stories to the upper classmen so they can get their heads in the game early. I want my cadets to be fully informed of the lifestyle and sacrifices they will face as a leader in todays Army. If they bolt and leave the program, I don't care. I want them to go in with both eyes open. If they still decide they want to be a leader in the Army, I've done my job and sent the very best leader I can to the soldiers in the field.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can "hype" and "preach" your ROTC program all you want.

As an enlisted soldier who has these "leaders" over him, I see what they can or cant do.....what they are or arent capable of.
Also, I have OCS officers over me as well.
You can pick out the ROTC officers out from the OCS officers easy than spotting water when you're flying over an ocean.

On the general, they are weaker and more timid because of not knowing exactly how it works. There is no substitute for getting out with your men during drill or in the field for 3weeks at a time.



Tyman,

You completely missed my point. You are basing your comments on what you have seen on active duty recently. I am telling you the new BOLC system will produce better officers and in the very near future. I am enlisted (MSG, 24 years) and have seen the weak officers you speak about. I am doing everything I can to weed out the weak ones here in my program. I believe in mentoring the ROTC cadets but if they continue to show strong character weakness'. I will recommend they be told to find another line of work.

The weak officers you speak of, are not weak becuase they attended ROTC. They are weak because they lack the professional morals, values, and ethics we teach in ROTC and we practice in the field. OCS and West Point will not give you character, morals, values and ethics you don't already possess.
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 10:12:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted by tyman,

No real world Military experience = makes for horrible leaders...in this day and age.

95% of all lieutenants/captains who have been through ROTC are complete dicks because they think their shit doesnt stink.
80% of OCS officers that were enlisted before, know what it's like to be an actual soldier from Day 1 and how the Military works. So they are more apt to listen to their enlisted soldiers/NCO's instead of blowing them off.

They are green, and dont really know anything once they get to their unit. They can make bad mistakes sometimes (IE not listen to their driver in a Bradley simulator and get everyone killed )

I think ROTC is on par with Military academies like West Point in as far as teaching a person what the military is actually like. They dont.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Times change. There is a big push, at least in Western Region, to make the training more relevant to real world. We encourage all our cadets to join a local guard or reserve unit and do the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP). The cadets are assigned duties as a LT and get paid as an E5. This goes a long way to helping their real world knowledge of the military.

The new Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) is designed to make sure the new LTs know what they are doing and ready for deployment as soon as they hit their first duty assignment. BOLC will be fully operational by summer 07. BOLC I is ROTC. BOLC II is nothing but infantry tactics, based on current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, at FT. Sill, OK or FT. Campbell, KY. BOLC III is the branch portion of the existing OBC.

Don't rely on what your think you know about ROTC as it is changing for the better as we speak. If you have seen weak ROTC cadets at your university, it is probably because the ROTC program is weak. ROTC porgams vary in professionalism as much as any organization. There are good ones and bad ones. Statistics like those posted above are very subjective and that's just one person's experience.

I tell all my war stories to the upper classmen so they can get their heads in the game early. I want my cadets to be fully informed of the lifestyle and sacrifices they will face as a leader in todays Army. If they bolt and leave the program, I don't care. I want them to go in with both eyes open. If they still decide they want to be a leader in the Army, I've done my job and sent the very best leader I can to the soldiers in the field.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can "hype" and "preach" your ROTC program all you want.

As an enlisted soldier who has these "leaders" over him, I see what they can or cant do.....what they are or arent capable of.
Also, I have OCS officers over me as well.
You can pick out the ROTC officers out from the OCS officers easy than spotting water when you're flying over an ocean.

On the general, they are weaker and more timid because of not knowing exactly how it works. There is no substitute for getting out with your men during drill or in the field for 3weeks at a time.



Tyman,

You completely missed my point. You are basing your comments on what you have seen on active duty recently. I am telling you the new BOLC system will produce better officers and in the very near future. I am enlisted (MSG, 24 years) and have seen the weak officers you speak about. I am doing everything I can to weed out the weak ones here in my program. I believe in mentoring the ROTC cadets but if they continue to show strong character weakness'. I will recommend they be told to find another line of work.

The weak officers you speak of, are not weak becuase they attended ROTC. They are weak because they lack the professional morals, values, and ethics we teach in ROTC and we practice in the field. OCS and West Point will not give you character, morals, values and ethics you don't already possess.



I'm glad you try to weed out the weak ones nowadays. However, how often are you guys in the field over the course of a school year? Under actual stressful conditions in training? Do you guys have a webpage for your ROTC program that shows/details what you guys actually do?

The biggest problem I have with ROTC is that there is too much 'show and flash' or rather "Drill and Ceremony" in it versus actual training and learning how to be an officer. Have you guys changed that also?
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 9:56:23 PM EDT
This is a no-brainer in my book. Go to ROTC.

You only need to do two years since you've been to basic already. OCS is faster, but ROTC will allow you to get your grad degree, and still serve in your NG/USAR unit at the same time. During that SMP time, you'll be making money from ROTC and your unit at least at the E-5 pay grade, or higher depending on your grade now.

In the end, you'll be a 2LT with experience in a unit, and have a grad degree, a REAL home life, and have a pretty well set future really.

I'd go ROTC. No sense in hating life while you get it done.

The only people that ever asked where (and more importantly to them, when) I got my commission were USMA grads at OBC.

I enlisted at 17 into the USAR, went ROTC and ended up commanding the HHD of the Infantry Battalion I was in. I then went to AVOBC and active duty and flew helicopters for seven years. Now I'm a fat old man, but I still have enough common sense to take the best route. ROTC will give you everything you need (ie. a commission), and grad school, unit experience, and home life at the same time. It's the best option for you IMHO.

Link Posted: 2/20/2006 3:51:01 AM EDT
I can speak from a little experience. I am a ROTC grad, actually from the program that TangoChaser is teaching in.

I had no prior army experience when I received my commission. I think the generalizations of OCS/ROTC are off base. I guess I could do some generalizations about the NCO corp but I won't it doesn't serve any purpose. I don't think either commissioning source makes that much better of an Officer, as it has been said before it is the person who determines what type of officer they are going to be. The key to being a young LT is willing to learn, listen and be humble. If you put into practice what your NCOs and Os teach you, you should be fine regardless if you are prior service. Most of the Os I have issues with are OCS, they are more arrogant and don't like to listen as they have "prior service". It is the NCOs job in the PLT/Company to train and educate the young LTs, unfortunatly most times they spend their time mocking the LT and taking every opportunity they can to tell them how bad Os are and all their bad experiences with Os. That does alot for confidence and willingness to learn. Granted some LTs derserve their reputation but many just need that mentorship from a senior NCO to square them away.

I get sick of hearing about how Officers suck etc, I guess I could spend my time when talking to my NCOs about how many bad NCOs are out there but it is pointless.

I would recommend ROTC for a commissioning source, get you a "real" degree, get some time off from active duty, recharge and have fun then when you get your bar you'll be ready for the challenges ahead as a junior officer. Also your prior experience will be a benifit to those cadets who have none and you can help them with understanding the army and army life.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 7:54:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/20/2006 7:56:17 AM EDT by TANGOCHASER]

However, how often are you guys in the field over the course of a school year?

We have leadership Lab for 2 hours every week (field time). We have 2 FTXs in the fall and 2 in the spring.The seniors cadets get a 3 hour class once a week taught by the Professor of Military Science.


Under actual stressful conditions in training?

The cadets are not soldiers, they are students. The level of training is to FM 7-8 standards but the stress level is not the same as active duty training, nor should it be during BOLC I. The cadets are students first and need to graduate to commission. The stressful training is now done during BOLC II, after they graduate college and get their commission.


Do you guys have a webpage for your ROTC program that shows/details what you guys actually do?

No. Most students (non-military) reading it would not understand the tasks anyway. We teach all the patrolling tasks listed in the FM 7-8 along with swimming, map reading, land navigation, rappelling, ropes course, room clearing and a few other leadership subjects. These standards have to be met the same as on active duty. If the training you have witnessed is 'show and flash' or rather "Drill and Ceremony", then blame the senior NCO in that program as he is the Commadant of Cadets and is responsible for making sure the training is to standard.

Cadets in BOLC I, college ROTC, are taught and tested on their ability to execute the 16 Officer Leadership dimensions.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 12:37:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:

However, how often are you guys in the field over the course of a school year?

We have leadership Lab for 2 hours every week (field time). We have 2 FTXs in the fall and 2 in the spring.The seniors cadets get a 3 hour class once a week taught by the Professor of Military Science.


Under actual stressful conditions in training?

The cadets are not soldiers, they are students. The level of training is to FM 7-8 standards but the stress level is not the same as active duty training, nor should it be during BOLC I. The cadets are students first and need to graduate to commission. The stressful training is now done during BOLC II, after they graduate college and get their commission.


Do you guys have a webpage for your ROTC program that shows/details what you guys actually do?

No. Most students (non-military) reading it would not understand the tasks anyway. We teach all the patrolling tasks listed in the FM 7-8 along with swimming, map reading, land navigation, rappelling, ropes course, room clearing and a few other leadership subjects. These standards have to be met the same as on active duty. If the training you have witnessed is 'show and flash' or rather "Drill and Ceremony", then blame the senior NCO in that program as he is the Commadant of Cadets and is responsible for making sure the training is to standard.

Cadets in BOLC I, college ROTC, are taught and tested on their ability to execute the 16 Officer Leadership dimensions.



Hmmm......


So, basically...in your program, the cadet learns how to do some things but not under actual stressful conditions (basic training like) so they dont get a grasp of what it's really like in the real world until they reach BOLC2; which is after they are graduated and in a different style of program?


On a side note, if it works like you preach it should, then good for you. But I've seen nadda so far to make me believe otherwise. 'Course I'm just a lowly E-4 with 3.5years of service.
What school is this at?
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 1:03:15 PM EDT
Tyman, if you think ROTC is so bad, er, nevermind. Not worth the argument. You're not understanding what Tangochaser is saying. Read what he says, apply a little comprehension and you might be able to figure out what he's trying to tell you.

Also, if you make the general assumption that all OCS officers are good and all ROTC officers are bad, you haven't been around that many officers. You get all types no matter what the commissioning source. I've been in long enough to see good and bad OCS officers, ROTC officers, and USMA officers. I've also seen good and bad NCO's. One of the worst was my former 1SG. He and I went head to head and he lost. He knew I was trying to fire him and he decided to quit the game. Unfortunately, he hurt the morale and opinions of a lot of Soldiers before he left.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 1:15:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By redleg13a:
Tyman, if you think ROTC is so bad, er, nevermind. Not worth the argument. You're not understanding what Tangochaser is saying. Read what he says, apply a little comprehension and you might be able to figure out what he's trying to tell you.

Also, if you make the general assumption that all OCS officers are good and all ROTC officers are bad, you haven't been around that many officers. You get all types no matter what the commissioning source. I've been in long enough to see good and bad OCS officers, ROTC officers, and USMA officers. I've also seen good and bad NCO's. One of the worst was my former 1SG. He and I went head to head and he lost. He knew I was trying to fire him and he decided to quit the game. Unfortunately, he hurt the morale and opinions of a lot of Soldiers before he left.



Lol. One of the first things I said was that "a majority of....." not "All the OCS officers are good....blah" nor "All ROTC officers suck......blah".

If you're good (by my definition/standards), I have no problem with where you come from. You'll be made fun of and ribbed coming from ROTC but it's in good fun.
If you're bad, no one cares where you came from. It's just you/your personality and how you view things and you sucking so bad.

Link Posted: 2/20/2006 8:16:28 PM EDT

So, basically...in your program, the cadet learns how to do some things but not under actual stressful conditions (basic training like) so they dont get a grasp of what it's really like in the real world until they reach BOLC2; which is after they are graduated and in a different style of program?


Correct. There is a lot of stress during their summer camp during their 3rd year in the program but it doesn't reach basic training levels. It is quite stressful to them as they are still college students. The new BOLC system is designed to send a LT to his first duty assignment, ready to deploy if need be.


On a side note, if it works like you preach it should, then good for you. But I've seen nadda so far to make me believe otherwise. 'Course I'm just a lowly E-4 with 3.5years of service.
What school is this at?



I am at Minnesota State University at Mankato, MN. I've been told since I've been here that we evaluate the cadets based on "whats reasonably expected of a cadet". I intend to raise that bar while I am here.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 6:06:08 AM EDT
FWIW, my school has a webpage for ROTC, although there isn't much info about the program. The cadre profiles are interesting however http://army.ucla.edu

After reading all the comments and thinking about it, I think there would be no reason why I wouldn't go ROTC if I went to grad school. If I don't however, obviously have a choice but OCS if I don't go to grad school..

I am also seriously considering going to pharmacy school after my BS so there's another source of commission, that's if I decide to join the Medical Corp.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 8:29:11 AM EDT
MSU-Mankato has a ROTC section on the school website. The design of the web page is being dictated by higher, in an effort to standardize the ROTC web sites, so what you see is what we are allowed to show.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 10:13:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:

So, basically...in your program, the cadet learns how to do some things but not under actual stressful conditions (basic training like) so they dont get a grasp of what it's really like in the real world until they reach BOLC2; which is after they are graduated and in a different style of program?


Correct. There is a lot of stress during their summer camp during their 3rd year in the program but it doesn't reach basic training levels. It is quite stressful to them as they are still college students. The new BOLC system is designed to send a LT to his first duty assignment, ready to deploy if need be.


On a side note, if it works like you preach it should, then good for you. But I've seen nadda so far to make me believe otherwise. 'Course I'm just a lowly E-4 with 3.5years of service.
What school is this at?



I am at Minnesota State University at Mankato, MN. I've been told since I've been here that we evaluate the cadets based on "whats reasonably expected of a cadet". I intend to raise that bar while I am here.



I see...

It's too bad you arent closer to me (from Kansas), I would have liked to have checked out your program over the course of a day or two as an observer (if you guys allow that, I dunno if even for active Military) to see how it is done and maybe point out some things that someone outside the program would see.

Keep up the good work.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 10:49:51 AM EDT
I think the "all ROTC produced officers suck” is too much of a generalization. You have to understand that there are 270 odd ROTC programs today. Some are extremely good, some are bad. I had the pleasure of being a training officer for an ROTC program from 2001-2004. My NCO counterpart and I worked hard to train the cadets to understand the importance of being a competent leader. We tried to ensure each cadet with the following skillsets: physical fitness, understand the OPORD, land navigation, and decent decision making. Plus the intangibles such as the Army Values, unit before self, humility, etc. You have exactly 3 hrs of classroom instruction, 6 hrs of PT, and 2 hrs of lab a week to try to get all of this done. Plus what ever time you could snag them during the week. Much of the intangibles are easy for them to see if the cadre demonstrates them. ROTC can not spit out a fully trained 2LT, but character, discipline, etc is usually formed in ROTC not the BOLC II/OBC.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 10:59:27 AM EDT

I see...

It's too bad you arent closer to me (from Kansas), I would have liked to have checked out your program over the course of a day or two as an observer (if you guys allow that, I dunno if even for active Military) to see how it is done and maybe point out some things that someone outside the program would see.

Keep up the good work.



Let me get this strait. A specialist with 3.5 years wants to trouble shoot a ROTC program and tell a LTC (1 combat tour) and a MSG (2 combat and 1 peacekeeping tour) how to do it better.

OOKKAAYY.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 11:33:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:

I see...

It's too bad you arent closer to me (from Kansas), I would have liked to have checked out your program over the course of a day or two as an observer (if you guys allow that, I dunno if even for active Military) to see how it is done and maybe point out some things that someone outside the program would see.

Keep up the good work.



Let me get this strait. A specialist with 3.5 years wants to trouble shoot a ROTC program and tell a LTC (1 combat tour) and a MSG (2 combat and 1 peacekeeping tour) how to do it better.

OOKKAAYY.



I was thinking the same thing.

Tyman strikes me as the classic 21-22 year old kid who still thinks he knows everything. (That's actually the precise type that makes bad officers, regardless of commissioning type, but that's beside the point.)

Give him 5 years, and he'll probably have a completely different point of view.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 11:45:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ASUsax:

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:

I see...

It's too bad you arent closer to me (from Kansas), I would have liked to have checked out your program over the course of a day or two as an observer (if you guys allow that, I dunno if even for active Military) to see how it is done and maybe point out some things that someone outside the program would see.

Keep up the good work.



Let me get this strait. A specialist with 3.5 years wants to trouble shoot a ROTC program and tell a LTC (1 combat tour) and a MSG (2 combat and 1 peacekeeping tour) how to do it better.

OOKKAAYY.



I was thinking the same thing.

Tyman strikes me as the classic 21-22 year old kid who still thinks he knows everything. (That's actually the precise type that makes bad officers, regardless of commissioning type, but that's beside the point.)

Give him 5 years, and he'll probably have a completely different point of view.



After he is done with Tangochaser he can stop by redleg13a's program then pop up to my company and let me know where I failing as a Company CDR. We will see if we can then get him on the SECDEF's callender as well and we can get this whole GWOT wrapped up.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 12:02:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/21/2006 12:03:10 PM EDT by GTLandser]

Originally Posted By OrionSix:

Originally Posted By ASUsax:

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:

I see...

It's too bad you arent closer to me (from Kansas), I would have liked to have checked out your program over the course of a day or two as an observer (if you guys allow that, I dunno if even for active Military) to see how it is done and maybe point out some things that someone outside the program would see.

Keep up the good work.



Let me get this strait. A specialist with 3.5 years wants to trouble shoot a ROTC program and tell a LTC (1 combat tour) and a MSG (2 combat and 1 peacekeeping tour) how to do it better.

OOKKAAYY.



I was thinking the same thing.

Tyman strikes me as the classic 21-22 year old kid who still thinks he knows everything. (That's actually the precise type that makes bad officers, regardless of commissioning type, but that's beside the point.)

Give him 5 years, and he'll probably have a completely different point of view.



After he is done with Tangochaser he can stop by redleg13a's program then pop up to my company and let me know where I failing as a Company CDR. We will see if we can then get him on the SECDEF's callender as well and we can get this whole GWOT wrapped up.



Touche, Jim.
Link Posted: 2/21/2006 5:18:17 PM EDT
TANGO,

I have heard alot of differing things on what BOLC II is all about. From what I read on the training calendars it looks to be like weapons training for the majority of the time mixed in with FTXs. Is this true? It also appears to be another gentlements style course as well. I dont reamym have an idea of what its like, could you maybe explain it alittle better ,as I will be going to it in the reasonably near future.

Link Posted: 2/22/2006 2:36:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:

I see...

It's too bad you arent closer to me (from Kansas), I would have liked to have checked out your program over the course of a day or two as an observer (if you guys allow that, I dunno if even for active Military) to see how it is done and maybe point out some things that someone outside the program would see.

Keep up the good work.



Let me get this strait. A specialist with 3.5 years wants to trouble shoot a ROTC program and tell a LTC (1 combat tour) and a MSG (2 combat and 1 peacekeeping tour) how to do it better.

OOKKAAYY.



So you know everything there is to know?

Everyone knows that insiders dont always see things that someone from an outside perspective would see.


But hey, since you guys know all, whatever I guess.
I forget that since you've been in the military 20 years, you know everything there is to know.....especially on old school stuff.


It's just too bad they dont teach reading comprehension at your ROTC program.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 2:38:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OrionSix:

Originally Posted By ASUsax:

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:

I see...

It's too bad you arent closer to me (from Kansas), I would have liked to have checked out your program over the course of a day or two as an observer (if you guys allow that, I dunno if even for active Military) to see how it is done and maybe point out some things that someone outside the program would see.

Keep up the good work.



Let me get this strait. A specialist with 3.5 years wants to trouble shoot a ROTC program and tell a LTC (1 combat tour) and a MSG (2 combat and 1 peacekeeping tour) how to do it better.

OOKKAAYY.



I was thinking the same thing.

Tyman strikes me as the classic 21-22 year old kid who still thinks he knows everything. (That's actually the precise type that makes bad officers, regardless of commissioning type, but that's beside the point.)

Give him 5 years, and he'll probably have a completely different point of view.



After he is done with Tangochaser he can stop by redleg13a's program then pop up to my company and let me know where I failing as a Company CDR. We will see if we can then get him on the SECDEF's callender as well and we can get this whole GWOT wrapped up.



I dont mess with Engineer stuff, I'm 11B primary.

And already talked to Rumsfeld. Nice guy, thanked us a ton for being here. Even wished us a Merry Christmas. Thanks though, sir.

Plus, never said once that I knew everything or that I could fix anything. Once again, they must not teach reading comprehension in OCS/ROTC. Pity.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 8:20:01 AM EDT

TANGO,

I have heard alot of differing things on what BOLC II is all about. From what I read on the training calendars it looks to be like weapons training for the majority of the time mixed in with FTXs. Is this true? It also appears to be another gentlements style course as well. I dont reamym have an idea of what its like, could you maybe explain it alittle better ,as I will be going to it in the reasonably near future.



As it has been briefed to me, BOLC II will be heavy training on those Warrior Tasks required for current operations. Warrior Tasks are additional tasks added to the Common Tasks (CTT) we taught soldiers for years. In the past, officers were not required to be tested on CTT tasks but that has since changed and all soldiers must now be trained on Warrior Tasks.

I don't know specifically what is covered but I suspect it will be tasks required if you deploy to Iraq/Afghanistan after OBC and assignment to your first duty station. Think of it as LDAC STX lanes on steroids.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 8:38:25 AM EDT

Tyman,

So you know everything there is to know?

Everyone knows that insiders dont always see things that someone from an outside perspective would see.

But hey, since you guys know all, whatever I guess.
I forget that since you've been in the military 20 years, you know everything there is to know.....especially on old school stuff.

It's just too bad they dont teach reading comprehension at your ROTC program.



You made the assumption I've been out here as an instructor so long, I lost my perpsective of the real Army. I came straight from Iraq to this assignment and have been here less than a year. You do not know the the Cadet Command mission statement nor the regulations that govern ROTC cadets so your entire knowledge is based on limited personnal experience with ROTC officers. Given that ROTC provide over 70% or the officers to the Army, the chance that you might come across a less than stellar ROTC commisioned officer is pretty good. Statistics will tell you that.

I don't know everything there is to know but I have been training soldiers for combat for 21 years. I know "what right looks like". I was teaching things during the cold war no one thought was important and now I have been vindicated as the skills I was training on in the '80s are now required for every soldier in the Army. My "old school" is now the Army "new school" when it comes to training.

Now, since we high jacked this thread enough and it has started to deteriorate into personnal attacks, I will not engage in furthur debate with you.

To summarize my entire posts, starting this year, ROTC will produce better officers than the Army has ever seen. The training is 3 tiered, designed to get a new LT ready for deployment immediately after reaching his fisrt duty assignment if need be. Gone are the days of "The most dangerous thing is a 2LT with a map" assumptions about the officer corps.

Foogoo, I hope I helped to answer your questions and if want/need furthur, unbiased, correct info on ROTC, please feel free to IM or email me.

TangoChaser Out!
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 11:31:42 AM EDT
Leadership is something you have or your don't. It can't be taught. So whichever comissioning source, it doesn't really matter. Most of the "army" training is going to happen at OBC anyhow. The one noticeable difference is physical fitness. Different sources seem to produce different fitness levels.
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 12:42:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NoSkill:
Leadership is something you have or your don't. It can't be taught. So whichever comissioning source, it doesn't really matter. Most of the "army" training is going to happen at OBC anyhow. The one noticeable difference is physical fitness. Different sources seem to produce different fitness levels.



I disagree to a certain point. Not everyone that joins the military is a natural leader, but they are then taught through example and experience. Some never get it, some quickly adapt and excel and then you have everything in between.

My own 2 cents.
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 7:43:30 PM EDT
Being an Early Commision Program LT, I have seen a couple different ROTC programs. What makes or breaks an ROTC program is the CADRE. If the program has a crappy PMS, then the program will produce far more poorly prepared LT's than not. I say this, because being a good officer solely depends on the soldier and not the Commissioning source. On the other hand, if the Cadre is solid, and well-rounded, then they will better prepare LT's for what they have ahead of them. Both of the school's I saw, both had bad PMS'. One was getting ready to retire, and told my commissioning class that, "I don't care how many of you I take with me." Luckily for us, the rest of the Cadre were top-notch and took care to train and mentor us. At the other school, the PMS was just checking his next block on the way to the top. In order to "look" tough, he would kick out good cadets, for small issues, like needing a minor waiver for something, and to top it off, would blackball them by putting an O-5 memorandum in their file. Whether or not you're a good officer depends on your ability to LEAD your soldiers. Leading your platoon doesn't mean jumping in and changing things, or trying to prove how big your d*** is from the start. If you take care of your men, be willing to defend them at the cost of your own career, and genuinely care for their welfare, you'll be a successful officer. To me, my men are everything. They're MINE, and nobody f***s with them without coming through me. I've seen some s****y OCS officers too. I think former NCO's tend to make the best officers, as they have already been in a leadership role, and understand the reality of it. That's just my opinion. One problem that many prior service soldiers have with ROTC, is you have to take about 10 steps back. Guys that have been deployed are back to Square 1, and have to work with cadets that have never been in, and don't know any basics, i.e. patrolling, security, land nav, etc. It's hard for some to adjust to "Cadetland". On the contrary, I knew some direct commissioning guys at IOBC. They'd spent over a year in TRADOC. OSUT, OCS, IOBC, Ranger, and all the little schools in between. They were frustrated because of it. If you already have a degree, or are close to getting one, I would recommend OCS. If you have a ways to go, ROTC will probably be better, and you'll just have to suck it up. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 8:08:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/25/2006 8:09:45 PM EDT by usma89]
First off I would caution listening to someone like tyman, seems a little bitter to me. I had guys in my platoon/company/squad like that and they never lasted. We peered them out(I would not expect a leg/non RIP to know what that is)
The best small unit officers are made over time by great NCO's. However, if you are a dick before going to OCS/ROTC you will most likely be a dick after. The best platoon leader I ever met was an OCS officer, Al Grubb 5th ID, the worst was an OCS guy. The worst could not stop thinking like an E4, went out drinking with his soldiers and got arrested. He is no longer in the Army.

If I were you I would go to ROTC and have as much fun as possible.

Take my advice with a grain of salt. If you do become an officer here is my advice:
Leadership is not the same as command, learn the difference
Make sure you have a good platoon sgt, listen to him and learn. If you do not have a good one, fire him and get a good one. (My thanks to SFC Skeen)
Take care of your men at all cost. If there is a problem, take care of it in house if at all possible. See last comment.
Let your men do their job
Go to Ranger school if you are going combat arms.
Make sure that your soldiers two levels down can do your job
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 8:57:36 PM EDT
Foogoo, it sounds like you're in the guard. Unless you've got a year or less remaining to your degree, I'd recommend you go the ROTC route. Especially if you have two or more years remaining.

If you've got less than a year, go the 8wk fast-track route.



Regarding good vs bad ROTC/USMA/OCS officers, I've seen it all, just about. Believe it or not, the only side I haven't seen is the OCS grad who was a good officer ...

My company has ROTC and USMA officers. We have good ROTC officers, and bad ones. We have good USMA officers, and bad ones.

When I was in the guard, we had some OCS grads who were good leaders, but bad officers. They treated their officer job as if they were still NCOs. Biggest things: they micromanaged a lot and put their noses into NCO business too much. They fraternized with Joe too much, too.
We also had some OCS grads who were just bad leaders all around. Too timid, didn't make decisions, no confidence, and just let NCOs run all over them.

Ultimately, I think it's a combination of the soldier, and those who trained him to be a leader. I figure it's probably about 50/50.
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