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#4580244 - 11/20/17 04:46 PM Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad?
SumpChump Offline


Registered: 02/11/14
Posts: 1976
Loc: Upper Midwest by the Lakes USA
Son in HS exploring military as career, was leaning Air Force and now Army. Main point is...Thinking going via ROTC. Anyone have recent experience in such matters themselves or as a parent?

The good the bad and the ugly? Let me know.

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#4580250 - 11/20/17 04:50 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
bdcardinal Online   content


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 11007
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
Is he looking to do JROTC in high school or ROTC in college?
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#4580251 - 11/20/17 04:50 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
rooflessVW Online   content


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 4074
Loc: North Carolina
JROTC is just another high school class, albeit with some actual structure. He'll either have the discipline for it, or he won't.

As an Army Veteran, tell him to go Air Force and to go into a technical field. Aviation has served me well outside the service.

If he's doing ROTC in college, I'd remind him to listen carefully to his senior enlisted and to follow their lead.
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#4580253 - 11/20/17 04:51 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21203
Loc: Orlando, FL
Good decision.

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#4580254 - 11/20/17 04:53 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3970
Loc: New England
Daughter's BF is AF ROTC at college.
Haven't talked to him about it in detail, but I'm pretty sure every Saturday is all ROTC for him. Gives the DD more time to study, so I like it.
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#4580265 - 11/20/17 05:04 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
E150GT Online   content


Registered: 03/11/12
Posts: 1108
Loc: San Antonio, TX
i was in JROTC for my freshman year in HS. Learned nothing. College is probably a much different story
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#4580271 - 11/20/17 05:13 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: E150GT]
Al Offline


Registered: 06/08/02
Posts: 18039
Loc: Elizabethtown, Pa
Originally Posted By: E150GT
i was in JROTC for my freshman year in HS. Learned nothing. College is probably a much different story

Grandson was in for 3 years out of several hundred he was the 4th highest "officer" It was great for him. He signed up for the Marines a couple months ago. Probably depends on the program and the individual. He did mention the overwhelming of folks were jerks.
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#4580282 - 11/20/17 05:23 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 10306
Loc: Illinois
Experience isn't recent, but I was an Army ROTC scholarship student back in the 1980s.

They paid my tuition and books and provided a $100/month stipend. I had to come up with living expenses. Went to a 6 week camp at Ft Riley the summer between my Jr and Sr year.

Commissioned as an officer. I served 4 years active duty and 4 years IRR (Individual Ready Reserve.)

It was a good experience for me. At that time, there were no caps on tuition. Today, I believe the scholarships are capped.

If you don't take a scholarship right away, you can try ROTC with no commitment the first two years, IIRC. I believe once you take a scholarship and/or continue the program in your Junior year, you incur some commitment.

So the good is you can try it for the first two years without commitment as long as you don't take a scholarship. If you take the scholarship or continue on in your Junior year, you owe at least three years.
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#4580286 - 11/20/17 05:25 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
car51 Online   content


Registered: 03/12/15
Posts: 10257
Loc: Southwest PA
Iíd recommend he go to the U.S.NAVY as I did and thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus, Astro14 and my stepdad and flyNavyP3 will tell you the NAVY has better pilots
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#4580296 - 11/20/17 05:34 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
Indydriver Offline


Registered: 03/20/11
Posts: 2153
Loc: Indiana
Nephew was a junior in college when the 9/11 attack happen. He was royally urinated off and wanted to enlist right then and there. His father didnít want to see him waste his college work so made the deal- finish school then do what you want with blessing. After graduation, he walked into an Army recruiting office and signed up. They told him,Ēyouíre a college graduate, you can go into officer training schoolĒ. He said no, he didnít want to be a book-learned soldier, he wanted to learn it from the ground up. And he did. He became a paratrooper stationed in Italy.

He survived his first combat tour in Afghanistan so they made him a corporal. They sent him back as a platoon Sargeant for tour #2. He survived that so they sent him to Ft. Bending as a master Sargeant to train the newbies. He got tired of that and went to Ranger school and became one of this countryís elite badasses. Heís been on many missions he canít talk about. He has finally decided to return stateside and take a desk job, yielding to his mid-30ís body that has been through a lot. He has constant back pain from numerous paratroop jumps. But, heís survived it all and made a career of it. Hopefully the second half is much safer and less strenuous. These are the young men out there doing the job for us. Iím very proud of him.


Edited by Indydriver (11/20/17 05:36 PM)
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#4580326 - 11/20/17 06:15 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
LoneRanger Offline


Registered: 07/02/07
Posts: 4060
Loc: Midwest USA
Son did the full JROTC program in HS from Freshman through Senior yr. He finished as Battalion XO. JROTC helped keep his GPA up, honestly. He received some good counsel from the retired Army NCO (E8 Msgt) that was the #2 of the program. He chose to join Army NG and enlisted December of his senior yr. Chose college program in force at the time which was a six yr nat'l guard hitch in exchange for $20K in bonuses and college tuition reimburse as long as he maintained 2.5 GPA (I think). All in all serving served him very well as much in the process of going from boy to man as financially.

I would encourage the OP not to discourage his son from college ROTC. Different than JROTC not even comparable since finishing ROTC earns a commission as 2nd Lt or Ensign, but still a good experience. In my opinion of course. I did a year of (non-scholarship walk-on) Navy ROTC at Purdue Univ in the 80's and enjoyed it but ultimately it wasn't for me and my degree and career field choice went a different direction than military.
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#4580342 - 11/20/17 06:29 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7164
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
My best friend recently died. His 19 year old son has well above average intelligence, he's tall and good looking, articulate, a capable worker, a newly minted private pilot and more. This guy is head and shoulders above the average kid. However, he also makes a string of seemingly endless bad choices, hangs with the wrong people and so on and has an attitude a mile long.

He also inherited money and does not really need to work, ever. I see his life going two ways. One involving repeated visits by law enforcement, court cases, rapidly depleting funds, contentious relationships, decades of child support and so on. OR one involving career focus, heading towards flying the F22 (for example) , and more.

More than anything, I believe that if he could focus on an Air Force career via ROTC, he could do absolutely anything he wanted. Rather than rely on dad's money, he has the opportunity to forge his own way towards awesomeness. To be one of mankind's best.

I hope your son gets good guidance, makes good choices and succeeds beyond all expectations.

As I wind down my aviation career, I recognize the value of those good choices made years ago. The value of focus, and determination. The value of education, discipline and the resulting opportunity. I've succeeded where others failed, not because of luck, but due to knowing what I wanted and making sure I got it. In the end, I've had the best of the best!



Edited by Cujet (11/20/17 06:30 PM)
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#4580350 - 11/20/17 06:40 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10589
Loc: Buffalo, NY
I work with a lot of ex-military folks. Some as young as mid-late 20s. IMO the benefits they get afterward are excellent. Paid tuition, etc. I'd be happy if my children chose to go this route.
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#4580368 - 11/20/17 06:52 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
HondaBroMike Offline


Registered: 11/02/17
Posts: 312
Originally Posted By: SumpChump
Son in HS exploring military as career, was leaning Air Force and now Army. Main point is...Thinking going via ROTC. Anyone have recent experience in such matters themselves or as a parent?

The good the bad and the ugly? Let me know.



isn't everyone joining up with Uncle Tom?
It's ALL GOOD (imo, no bad or ugly)
They should take anyone up to 50 years old, imo.


Edited by HondaBroMike (11/20/17 06:58 PM)
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#4580383 - 11/20/17 07:02 PM Re: Oh boy.... teen son wants to go ROTC.... good/bad? [Re: SumpChump]
TinyVoices Offline


Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 485
Loc: Vienna, VA
Definitely not my thing but I had some friends who did it in high school and had positive experiences for sure.
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