• Please take a moment and update your account profile. If you have an updated account profile with basic information on why you are on Air Warriors it will help other people respond to your posts. How do you update your profile you ask?

    Go here:

    Edit Account Details and Profile

Dropping Army ROTC contract for Marine Air Contract?

justin.chebahta

Registered User
I am currently a contracted cadet in my universities Army ROTC program (SMP more specifically meaning that I am in a National Guard unit as well). I just saw a Marine Corps recruiter during a job fair the other day here on campus and so I spoke with him for awhile. Apparently, it is possible to secure a pilot slot (obviously after meeting physical/testing standards, etc.) in the Marines through a very interesting OCS program that I was not aware of. They will pay for tuition and a lot of other goodies through this program but without all the hassle of dealing with ROTC during the school semester as the training takes place over the summer. Now, I was unaware of this program until recently as the SSgt informed me that their advertising is limited. I was just wondering if it is at all possible to get out of my ROTC contract and get into this program? In the Army, I have no guarantee of getting a flight slot even after passing the test/meeting standards...I just get thrown in the grab bag. I've always been more interested in fixed wing aviation anyhow. I have good PT scores, 20/20 vision, and have taken some ASTB practice tests and know they wont be a problem. I would just like to get a feel for if it is even possible or not to go from green to the Corps. Sorry for the long post and thank you for your time.

EDIT: The Staff Sergeant I spoke to was an OSO and not a traditional enlisted recruiter if that helps. Thanks again.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
Back in 1981 I was a contracted (non-scholarship) Army ROTC senior and SMP participant. I kicked ass through the program and at summer camp and was recommended for a regular commission (big deal back then), had a pilot slot (with a waiver for my glasses) and branched Armor (no Aviation branch back then - Armor flew the Cobras). Around November of that year, a new Captain transferred in and was assigned as the senior class adviser. He didn't like me. By Christmas, I was no pilot slot, nor regular commission, re-branched to Medical Service Corps and recommend for reserve duty only (no active duty).

I went to the PMS and cried Bull ****. He said 2 choices - live with it or quit ROTC. Even though I was a contract student, since I was non-scholarship, he had the option of discharging me free and clear from ROTC. I quit to apply for Navy NFO. There just happened to be a Navy officer recruiter visiting the campus as this was going on and he sold me on NFO.

However, even though I quit ROTC, I still had the SMP commitment. Actually I had an earlier commitment from joining the National Guard straight out of High School that turned into my being SMP when I contracted with ROTC the beginning of my junior year. It took me nearly 2 years and an Army IG to get accepted into the Navy during which I had to remain in the ARNG. (Which is another story involving the ROTC Captain killing a female cadet and himself shortly after he ran me out of ROTC.)

When I got accepted to Navy Aviation OCS, the ARNG was required to discharge me so that I could enlist in the Navy Reserve (all OCS candidates do this upon accepting). That ended the ARNG for me. Even if I had dropped out of OCS (which would have automatically discharged me from the Navy Reserve), I would have been free and clear of the ARNG.

So barring whatever changes of the last 25 years, if you are non-scholarship I believe you can get out of the ROTC. Once you are accepted by the Marines, I believe you can get out of the ARNG. But I would be very careful how you approach this. You will burn bridges behind you. You might end up with nothing or end up with a ARNG commitment that sees you mobilized and off to Iraq.

If he is willing, the Marine OSO should be able to research the various regulations or find the answers from the Army without spilling the beans on you identity.

It's a hard choice you. Good luck.
 
I was contracted and enlisted into ARNG and going to do SMP at my college before I had a change of heart. I was going to ship to basic this past summer, but was able to secure a DD368 and flight contract into Marine OCS as a Jr. As long as you have not taken any money from the scholarship like HAL said, you should be fine. But let me tell you this it was harder getting a release from the ARNG than it was getting accepted in OCS. Good luck.
 

jet_ifr

Registered User
Chewie,

Currently I'm a gold bar recruiter at a midwestern university. Before you start down the road of ending your Army ROTC experience, there are a few things you should consider.

First, according to your profile it says that you have 3 semesters left. I take it you're an MSIII, which means you're headed to LDAC at Ft. Lewis this summer. Are you currently a GRFD cadet (guaranteed reserve forces duty - which means that upon graduation and commissioning you're automatically designated a reservist)? If so, you'll have a tough time (almost impossible) getting out of the GRFD scholarship.

Alternatively, are you receiving state tuition assistance from your guard program? If so, that makes things a little easier. If you withdraw from ROTC from a non-scholarship status you're simply "returned" to your guard unit for administrative purposes (but that opens you to deployable status).

Also, it's easier to get out of ROTC prior to attending LDAC...once you've completed LDAC the Army views you as "commissionable," and barring a DUI or permanent medical disqualification the Army will try VERY hard to hold onto you.

Second, assuming you're a MSIII, it is possible to secure a position with an aviation unit prior to next year's branching board. Here's how...find an aviation unit in your local area (either your home state or a neighboring state), find out what they fly, and contact your Army National Guard Officer Strength Manager (I've got the list for all 50 states if you need it)....ask him to find out which unit has open 2LT slots, and ask to be considered for those units upcoming pilot boards.

You'll interview with a board, typically composed of the BN CMDR, the Co CMDR & a couple of the senior warrant officers. Normally they'll give you an indication on the spot whether they'd like to select you. If they select you, you'll get a letter called a "by name request" which tells the accessions board that a unit anticipates you in their operations chain.

[Caveat...currently I'm Active Duty branched Aviation, but prior to last year's accessions board I interviewed with a med service UH-60 unit in my home state....they accepted me but they didn't have any commissioned officer flight school slots for the next 2 years....only warrant officer slots. Long story short I decided to go Active].

Lastly, I'm not trying to sway you either direction....long ago I attended PLC in undergrad....but went through ROTC during grad school. Think long and hard about what you want to do.....you're within sight of the finish line with ROTC, and it's possible to work the system to your favor.

Either reply here with questions or PM me.
 

justin.chebahta

Registered User
First of all, thank you very much for your prompt and informative responses. HAL, that situation sounds very much like mine. I went into Nat'l Guard, turned SMP, etc. etc. I am NOT a scholarship cadet and have not received any scholarship money. My tuition has only been paid through the tuition assistance program through the National Guard. Flying fixed wing has always been my goal, I've never been all that excited about being in the Army but if would still rather serve in the military than not. That being said, if I can get out and into Marine OCS and get what I want too, then no harm no foul right? Going along with what HAL said, I dont want to get out of my contract only to remain enlisted in my Guard unit and get deployed before I even get to graduate or end up with no chance to serve as an officer at all. I want to be very careful and make sure everything is in line with the Marines before I switch over.

@Jet_ifr You're correct, I am an MSIII and will/should be attending LDAC this upcoming summer. Also, I am NOT a GRFD cadet. That is an option I am looking into if I cannot fly for the Marines. I am currently in contact with a Major my father served with from an aviation unit near here. If I decide to go GRFD the Major would be more than willing to give me a paragraph/line number to his unit apparently (not quite sure exactly what that means yet).

I guess my question now is what order do I need to do things in since it is possible to get out of ROTC? I do not want to alert my PMS too early only to piss him off if I do stay in the program and end up having a very hellish next couple of semesters. Do I contact the OSO and work everything with him first then if/when its time to get out of my contract begin working with my ROTC program? Thanks again for all of your help.
 

justin.chebahta

Registered User
After speaking with the OSO I got the impression that he was less than enthusiastic about helping me. He said it was not possible to get out of my Army ROTC contract to his understanding because if I did not follow through with becoming an officer I would owe them time as an enlisted soldier. I was explaining to him how I am a non-scholarship SMP cadet and that I would be released back to my unit if I were to be released from ROTC. He said he would do some research and get back to me. Is there anything I can do or information I can give him to help him out so I dont just get swept under the rug? Thanks.
 

jet_ifr

Registered User
Chewie,

First, I assume you haven't talked to your PMS about your prospective decision, and you're weighing your options. Here's where to look for the information for your OSO:

http://www.rightsite.usaac.army.mil/

That site contains most of the relevant regulations about cadet command, releasing SMP cadets, and the ROTC dissenrollment process.

Tread lightly through the next steps, get firm guidance from your OSO about what is available on the USMC side, and make sure that you'll get exactly what you need/want prior to going to your PMS with "hey sir/maam, I'm leaving your program for the Marines."

Be proactive and do the appropriate research prior to posing complicated questions to your OSO. As attorneys say, never ask a question you don't already know the answer to....

Good luck.

EDIT - One more thing on the GRFD...assuming you've already contracted with ROTC (since you're a MSIII), you won't be able to change your current enlistment contract to a GRFD scholarship. GRFD Cadets are assigned a control number for accessions purposes (which removes them from the "normal" accessions process) immediately at contracting, and their scholarships are paid from State Funds. This gives GRFD Cadets quasi-priority at accessions, essentially the State already has it's finger on them for planning purposes. In order to secure a GRFD control number you would have to disenroll from your current ROTC contract, and reenroll under a GRFD contract. [Essentially impossible because the Cadet Command Commander has to rubber stamp the dissenrollment request, and he'd say "What the F*%$?" when it passed across his desk attached to a State GRFD approval request]. This information came directly from my PMS this evening...and he was interested why the F I was asking.
 

justin.chebahta

Registered User
jet_ifr,

Thanks for that link, was very informative. Thats interesting that I cannot switch my contract to GFRD. I was instructed that I could switch to GFRD anytime before I went to LDAC, thank you for that bit of info, definately could save me from making a choice based on incorrect information. I'll give it another go with the OSO, thank you for your prompt help sir.
 

jet_ifr

Registered User
Chewie,

One last thing about the GRFD issue. If it turns out that your OSO can't help you and you decide to stay in the Reserve component after you graduate/commission, here's the easy way...

After you complete LDAC you'll go through branch accessions. Prior to the accessions process (e.g., next summer after LDAC) get the "by name request" letter from the aviation unit you're in contact with, and simply check the block on the accessions "dream sheet" that your instructor gives you.

Once your packet goes up to the accessions board you're removed from the normal accessions pool (~3300 MSIV cadets nation wide) because of your Reserve request. You'll be put in the Reserve accessions pool, and since you'll have a "by name request" for an aviation unit, you'll be branched AV and eventually will be headed to flight school (usually within a year).

99 times out of 100 the cadet gets the component they desire, and their branch of choice (which in your case would be Reserve/Guard and AV).

The dead horse has been beaten enough.

Good luck.
 

justin.chebahta

Registered User
Well, I haven't posted in this thread in darn near a year but I'm reviving it because my problem has resurfaced. I have just recently completed the Army ROTC summer training known as "LDAC" that is a requirement for commissioning and takes place between the junior and senior year of college (so yes, I will be starting up my senior year here in a few weeks). I passed my AFAST (the army flight exam), completed my flight physical with no problems, and did really well at LDAC this summer (scoring an overall "E" which is the highest grade you can attain). During branch orientation I heard rumors of there being problems attending flight school (long waiting list, etc). Upon returning home this summer, I confirmed my fears with the local staff at my school as well as a recently commission friend of mine who is gold bar recruiting at our university (he is currently attempting to become an Army aviator as well). Apparently, although he has his by name request into an aviaton unit (as do I), the problem is that the national guard has a limited number of slots and the waiting list can be from 2-3 years. I believe that if you do not become branch qualified within 2 years, your commission is snatched back and you are booted out of the surface. Obviously, this means I either need to have a miracle happen or being looking at driving tanks instead. I could try and manuever my contract back to active duty but the problem is that my GPA is barely 3.0 and is not very competitive and is the main factor in branch selection for the Army active duty side of things. For example, my buddy here at school is a "recreations studies" major with a near 4.0 and will far surpass me in the accessions board. This type of "working the system" (not to talk down on other majors), really makes my chance of aviation slim for the Army. My question is again, is it possible to secure an air contract for Marine OCS? I heard that the PLC is being abolished or something and that was the program I was looking at last year. Well, any help/advice will be greatly appreciated since I have exhausted all options here with the Army but it just seems to get dimmer and dimmer, leaving me ever more frustrated and hopeless. Thank you all for your help before and your time and expertise now!

EDIT: Just to be clear, I am still not a scholarship cadet (although, obviously, I am contracted). I have not received any sort of scholarship money, only my stipend and tuition assistance from my state through the national guard's tuition assistance program. I managed to get my contract to a guaranteed reserve (guard) contract, however, it was still non-scholarship (gotta keep the options open).
 
Well, I haven't posted in this thread in darn near a year but I'm reviving it because my problem has resurfaced. I have just recently completed the Army ROTC summer training known as "LDAC" that is a requirement for commissioning and takes place between the junior and senior year of college (so yes, I will be starting up my senior year here in a few weeks). I passed my AFAST (the army flight exam), completed my flight physical with no problems, and did really well at LDAC this summer (scoring an overall "E" which is the highest grade you can attain). During branch orientation I heard rumors of there being problems attending flight school (long waiting list, etc). Upon returning home this summer, I confirmed my fears with the local staff at my school as well as a recently commission friend of mine who is gold bar recruiting at our university (he is currently attempting to become an Army aviator as well). Apparently, although he has his by name request into an aviaton unit (as do I), the problem is that the national guard has a limited number of slots and the waiting list can be from 2-3 years. I believe that if you do not become branch qualified within 2 years, your commission is snatched back and you are booted out of the surface. Obviously, this means I either need to have a miracle happen or being looking at driving tanks instead. I could try and manuever my contract back to active duty but the problem is that my GPA is barely 3.0 and is not very competitive and is the main factor in branch selection for the Army active duty side of things. For example, my buddy here at school is a "recreations studies" major with a near 4.0 and will far surpass me in the accessions board. This type of "working the system" (not to talk down on other majors), really makes my chance of aviation slim for the Army. My question is again, is it possible to secure an air contract for Marine OCS? I heard that the PLC is being abolished or something and that was the program I was looking at last year. Well, any help/advice will be greatly appreciated since I have exhausted all options here with the Army but it just seems to get dimmer and dimmer, leaving me ever more frustrated and hopeless. Thank you all for your help before and your time and expertise now
If you still want to, try to see if they will let you go active instead and then branch aviation. Since you did well at LDAC and assuming you did well at your ROTC unit you might have people willing to goto bat for you...talk to them about going active and branching. Its a little late in the game but you never know.

Or.... go talk to an OSO, I am sure the local enlisted Marine recruiter can you hook you up. Since you haven't graduated yet and just finished LDAC, you will be looking at going to OCC after you graduate.
 

BarrettRC8

VMFA
pilot
My question is again, is it possible to secure an air contract for Marine OCS?

EDIT: Just to be clear, I am still not a scholarship cadet (although, obviously, I am contracted). I have not received any sort of scholarship money, only my stipend and tuition assistance from my state through the national guard's tuition assistance program. I managed to get my contract to a guaranteed reserve (guard) contract, however, it was still non-scholarship (gotta keep the options open).
I was a contracted, on scholarship, Army ROTC cadet and I got out after attending LDAC and doing rather well (read #3 in Regiment). It was extremely difficult and took over a year for the paper work to finally go through but I was eventually released and am leaving for OCC-196 with an air slot. So yes, it is possible; however it will be really difficult especially considering that you've done well in ROTC.
 

justin.chebahta

Registered User
@Ryan_Cunningham: Well I assumed there would be a slew of paperwork to do but you have at least given me a glimmer of hope. Where do you recommend I start? What documents/forms are required? Should I get the ball rolling with an OSO first and then begin withdrawing from ROTC once we can finalize things better? Thanks again for all of your help!
 

Steve Wilkins

Teaching pigs to dance, one pig at a time.
None
Site Admin
Contributor
With the exception of Ryan's retarded Seminole avatar, this is a pretty good thread. Gonna make it a sticky.
 
Top