I was wondering if it would be a wise or dumb decision to go with the split option program, im a junior in HS and that means i would be going to bootcamp this summer,then comeback and finish senior year. After highschool i want to do ROTC in college and become an officer. any thoughts?
Any experience you can get prior to commissioning as a junior Officer is a good thing. My recommendation is this:
1. Enlist as a 11X in the ARNG.
2. Do 2 years as an enlisted soldier, then contract as an SMP Cadet.
3. Spend the next 4 years as an SMP Cadet learning as much as you can.
4. Commission into your branch of choice.
You'll have 5-6 years time in service when you commission, with the majority of that being infantry experience. It'll give you a leg up when you get to LDAC, and give you something in common with your soldiers. If I were to do it all over again, that's exactly how I would do it.
thanks i appreciate it
I've viewed this post several times and each time I chose not to comment; however, I feel that you may want to have alternative advice. The response you received from Crazyhorse21 is indeed rational, but I find it hard to be beneficial. Of course, allow me to justify my difference in opinion rather than stating that matter of fact.
The Split-Option is appealing to those in high school, but as a future Officer, it could truly be irrelevant.
Your experience, likely capped out at three years, would be one weekend a month/two weeks a year of the MOS that you select. This may or may not be Infantry; however, your exposure and experience will be limited. The fallacy of being in USAR/USNG is that Soldiers tend to register for MLSC courses with a false sense of military superiority based on the minimal experience that they have.
Basic Combat Training will break you down and teach you how to follow directions. At the core of BCT, it is about basic proficiency and discipline; AIT is about learning a skill/trade.
If you contract into the ROTC as soon as possible, you'd only have Initial Entry Training experience (which is nothing) before you SMP as a 09R (Cadet) with your unit. Although you'd only have to do the Advanced Course because of your experience, I found the academic science similar to this scale:
E1-E4----->MS I Year
E5-------->MS II Year
E5-E6----->MS III Year
So if you don't make E5 by the time you contract, you'd lose the tactical/academic knowledge advantage by the end of your MS I year. Since alot of MS II Year stuff is material similar to the Warrior Leader Course at the NCO Academy, if you were an E5 you'd lose your advantage when entering the Advanced Course (based on USAR/USNG E5). With this in mind, why even delay your University study and Commission at 22 with 0 Yrs Service than 24 with 2 Yrs Service (where none of it counts towards active retirement)?
I've spoken to many Cadets in my BDE and the general agreement is that you only get a few stellar Soldiers turned Cadets and even more dirtbag performers, even though they when through BCT/AIT/WLC/Deployment. This realization dims the accomplishments of BCT/AIT/etc to the other Cadets that sees a Soldier/Cadet late to PT, poor oratory skills, inability to plan properly, ate up OPORDs, horrible PT score, etc.
Ultimately, you MUST ask yourself: "Do I want to lead soldiers or do I want to be led?"
With enough preparation and commitment, you can do fine at the Assessment Course (LDAC). Alot of high performers never had a day of enlisted service at all.
Mustangs are great (Prior NCOs turned Officer), but mainly from experienced Soldiers from the USAR/USNG or from AD. However, you don't have to be a Mustang to be great.
Think on it and figure out if it will benefit you in the long run. You may or may not want to Tuition Assistance (TA) or the GI Bill SL-Res ($500/month), or something to do on weekends. But more importantly, realize that this must be a decision that comes from your desires and your desired endstate...
First and foremost, have you ever led soldiers before? I see a lot of opinion and misinformation in your post, without a lot of substance.
Your time in the ARNG/USAR counts both towards your retirement and your TIS even in the active component. I had 3 years TIS when I went to BOLC, which meant I had LT pay maxed the entire time. I was making about $1,000 more a month than most of my classmates. People who transfer from the RC to AD may lose their TIG in their rank, but they still get paid for their TIS. Additionally you accrue retirement points as an IDT member of the Reserve component. Any active duty you do still counts towards retirement. BCT, AIT, WLC, deployments, etc.
Stating that an MSII Cadet performs at the level of a ARNG NCO is ludicrous. I know plenty of NCO's who would take serious issue with that statement. How would the OP would lose a "tactical advantage" by being a jr Infantry NCO over being a scholarship Cadet? An NCO does lead soldiers, contrary to your statement. Furthermore, saying the majority of prior service Cadets are dirtbags is again baseless opinion and reprehensible. They're Soldiers and deserve your respect, you haven't earned that title yet.
The only part of your post I agree with is this: "you don't have to be a Mustang to be great."
Plenty of Officers come into the Army with little to no experience, and do well. Gen. Casey, our current CSA, had no experience outside of ROTC prior to commissioning. Neither did Gen. Patton, Gen Macarthur, or Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The non-prior service Cadets had a similar attitude that I see here when I went through. Saying that you're a better officer because you don't have enlisted experience is a bunch of bunk. Having technical experience even at the Jr. level ,while not required, can do nothing but help you succeed. Your soldiers won't care if you were Cadet of the month or if you were on the Ranger Challenge team. They will care about your technical proficiency and your ability to lead. The real world is far far different from ROTC.
thanks for both of your opinions they helped alot. I deff. want to lead and while in rotc if i were to get deployed and get enlisted experience, wouldnt that help me out anyways once i do become an officer? So id know and beable to relate to my soldiers? i still have a lot of learning to do but i think it would just make a better officer?
I'm glad you are reading my post and actually agreeing on the fact that I mentioned that I provided my opinion in my opening paragraph. Absolutely, I did advise him that it was indeed an opinion. There is neither a challenge nor argument there.
The time in ARNG/USAR does not count for AD Retirement benefits. The Reserve Component has its own retirement animal. Currently, a Soldier must obtain at least 50 retirement points per year and drill for the 20 to begin withdrawing benefits at age 60. However, with AD, after 20 years of Active Duty service, the Soldier is authorized payments the following month after retirement at half of base pay. This is what I was referring to, not to what you were inferring to.
I mentioned nothing about pay,
I did not state that at MS II Cadet performs at the level of an ARNG NCO, please read my material to confirm that I wrote the academic science is similar. Yes, I will say the material that was taught in the MS II Class Curriculum is equivalent to that taught in the NCO Academy's Warrior Leader Course (WLC). I went through both, have both training plans/schedules, powerpoint accesses, and practical exercise notes. I find it offensive that I'd be challenge or questioned by someone who is improperly reading and interpreting simple information that doesn't require any "further reading into."
I said the ACADEMIC SCIENCE is similar between MS II Course and WLC, nothing about an MS Cadet PERFORMING (professionally) at a level of a Reserve Component NCO.
Of course you know plenty of NCOs that would have an issue with that; however, it is a non-issue due to the fact that it wasn't a premise in my conclusion; it is irrelevant now.
Plenty of E5s enter ROTC at different schools and admit to never having composed an OPORD, running only two STX lanes (not even as SL) at WLC, and never having led a section as a PL. This is obviously a situation where there would be no tactical advantage, hence, I stand by my point.
Once again, (from your furthermore paragraph) you misinterpret or misread my statements. I never said the majority of prior service Cadets are dirtbags, I claim that based on the peers that I have spoken to, more PS Cadets are dirtbag performers than studs. This is another awful twist on words.
I understand the real world is different than ROTC, just like practicing medicine is different than going to medical school, and practicing law is different than going to law school.
However, I take issue that you have taken my words out of context, misinterpreted it, and created an argument attacking points that I never defended. Please, at a minimum, dissect the points you disagree with and address them directly.
I feel that I write clearly when I make posts onto this site and with an adequate review of my previous post, I feel I maintain that same quality. Crazyhorse21, re-read my post and then consider that half your post is moot when juxtaposed with mine.
I say that would be wise. I enjoyed basic and AIT. I have friends I still talk to and some of them I'm sure I'll see again.
I'm proud of my accomplishments as a soldier, so far all of them from being a Reservist.
Basic is great training for any soldier, and from the new changes I have read about I think it would be kinda fun!
Any way you cut it, you will still have the chance to join ROTC at the end of the day. But you will never be able to go back.
I don't know if my enlisted training helped me in ROTC or not...frankly I don't care. I had a good time and feel like I gained something from the experience that I will carry with me for life. It was cool to meet a WWII veteran who went to basic at Ft. Jackson like I did. And it was also great to be able to talk to a Vietnam Vet about us having the same MOS and how the technology has changed. It did give me the feeling like I was a part of something larger and that made me feel like I could do anything, even become an officer.
Raymond, I'll expand some on my first post. This is what I recomend:
Enlist as an 11x in the ARNG. You'll go to BCT this summer than AIT the following after graduating high school. You'll spend some time at RSP and drilling with your unit prior to go to college.
You can apply for ROTC scholarships at this point, or you can attend the classes as a non-scholarship Cadet. There is nothing wrong with being a non-scholarship Cadet. In my graduating class, 8 out of 10 of us were non-scholarship. I went to the only public school in my Cadet Battalion. The other schools were both private and all scholarship Cadets.
Anyways, as an MSI contracted or otherwise, you'll go to an ROTC class and usually one lab each month. In addition you'll drill with your unit as a jr. enlisted. If you contract immediately into ROTC, I strongly recommend the SMP program. You'll continue to drill with your unit as a Cadet, and continue to gain experience. As a Cadet in a line company, you won't be doing the same things you did as a PVT. You're there to learn how to be an officer. You'll miss out on some of the Hooah stuff, but you'll still learn a lot. If you have a good commander he'll give you plenty to do and mentor you. Regardless of which path you take, things will pretty much be the same through your MSII year.
As an MSIII you're required to contract to continue the program. It's at this point things get more difficult. MSI and MSII years are pretty much cake, this is where the rubber meets the road. You'll be expected to drive training and begin to act like a platoon leader. Training will be focused on small unit tactics and Operations Orders. Your instructors are going to groom you for LDAC, your last big evaluation before commissioning. If you perform well as a Cadet in your guard unit, you can expect to get increasing responsibility. I ran a Company TOC during our AT, with six soldiers under me.
LDAC itself isn't bad, just drive on and get it done. If you can make it through Infantry OSUT, LDAC will seem like a breeze in comparison. My biggest frustration was dealing with my peers and popularity contests. A good goal to shoot for at LDAC is RECONDO. You can find the criteria online, it'll give you a little bump in your OML rank your senior year. Basic soldier skills will help you accomplish this. (If you're wondering I missed RECONDO by 1 situp. Who takes away situps away on a PT test anyways?)
MSIV year you serve as part of the Cadet Battalion Staff. It's not something you need to worry about much at this point. As an MSIV again you may see increasing responsibility in your ARNG unit. As an MSIV I was an acting Platoon leader for our HHC Scout detachment. After I commissioned I served as an XO until I went to BOLC.
Hopefully this gives you a bigger picture of what I was getting at. Over the 2 1/2 years I was in ROTC I gained a ton of practical knowledge from being an enlisted soldier and SMP Cadet. Did me knowing how to do an MRS update on an M1A1 help me at LDAC? Not really, but other things did. I learned a lot about dealing with hardship and general leadership during that time. Even if you go right from OSUT to ROTC, knowing the basics like how to wear your uniform and clean your rifle will give you a leg up as an MSI. Any and all experience you can get as a Cadet will help you down the road. I missed out on a Mountain Warfare slot as an MSII because I couldn't afford to take the time off. I still regret missing it.
While I am by no means the end all be all when it comes to jr. officers, I've served as a Scout platoon leader, Tank platoon leader, Infantry Company XO, and acting Company Commander. Currently I'm a tank PL and I'm still learning every day I put the uniform on. If you have any questions feel free to continue to ask, or shoot me a PM. I'm more than happy to give advice to those who ask for it.
Chemistry, I've got better things to do than to argue rhetoric with you. Suffice it to say I think you're a windbag. If you want to have a debate on the merits of prior service, start your own thread.
all i gotta say is BLUFF(bottom line up front)
benefits of not doing split ops
benefits of doing split ops,
& to add my personal opinion to what has been stated above on weither prior enlisted were dirtbags or amazing cadets, its all about the person in question, not a group. for my personal situation, i would say with 100% certainty that both the several best cadets and a few of our worst cadets are prior enlisted. enlisting will not make you successful, only give extra tools to aid in success.
to sum it all up, if you would like a some extra money, military experience, be in better shape and a lot of crazy stories, i would reccomend the split op. just remember you got one life to live, make it count, no regrets. if you want a few more years to enjoy childhood and less responsability, these are the years to do so, not later. by then its too late.
Im in the same boat as Raymond8448. Based on both arguements I think I should do the slpit option program, im going to start going to the army workouts to start preparing so im not so out of shape because it would deff be worth trying to get in shape so basic isnt as hard as it would be if i was reall physically unfit. Im just wondering if i would get paid my senior year after i went to basic.
|Powered by Social Strata|