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(Opinion) AFROTC vs. PLC Air

Air Force or Marine Corps Aviation?

  • Air Force

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Marine Corps

    Votes: 7 77.8%

  • Total voters
    9

Ian K.

Officer Candidate
Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to start by thanking everyone who answers questions and shares their experiences of military aviation and their lives as officers on this forum. I have been reading here over the last few months and it has helped me greatly in every step of the application process for PLC Air.

To provide some background, I joined the AFROTC Detachment at my university this fall and have participated this past semester as a non-contracted cadet. My immediate family has no military history, and extended family mostly have experience in the United States Navy. Due to my own lack of experience or knowledge, I chose the Air Force based on the recommendations of others and my perception of which ROTC program aligned with my academic interests the best. I have thoroughly enjoyed AFROTC this semester and am considered a good cadet in my detachment. That said, the local USMC Officer Selection Officer visited us during Lead Lab one day and told us about the PLC program, an alternative to the ROTC program. The OSO's promises of a guaranteed flight contract and a (relatively) open college curriculum, ie. no ROTC classes, weekly obligations, or academic major requirements, seduced me. I began the process of applying for the PLC Air program, and before I knew it I was contracted and selected for OCS this summer.

Now I am faced with a choice. I was medically disqualified from competing for a scholarship this semester in AFROTC (DoDMERB paperwork snafu), so I am non-contracted and therefore not obligated to stay. I have plans to serve regardless, but I had my eye on a scholarship from day one to take the financial burden of school off of my parents. For AFROTC, I would be competing for a 2 year scholarship, which I gather is the most difficult to win but will cover most of my education from here on out. The PLC program offers payment for OCS (~$3200 x 2 summers), FAP (~$350 per month), and MCTAP (~$5300 per year). All together, the PLC program would cover a little over half of my remaining tuition, while the AFROTC scholarship would cover about 80%.

When all is said and done, there are arguable positives and negatives to both choices. If I am not offered a scholarship this semester in AFROTC, the PLC program offers a better financial incentive and frees my schedule. If I were to win a scholarship in AFROTC, I would be financially clear to finish my degree but have no direct control over my final occupational assignment, because of the AFSC selection process out of AFROTC. I already know about selection for OCS, but I'll have to wait for the end of the semester to know about an AFROTC scholarship.

My question for you all is simple - if you were in my shoes, what would you do and why? I would also greatly appreciate input from any Marine Aviators out there - how was/is your experience in the Corps as an Aviator and as an Officer of Marines?

Please let me know if I can clarify anything, and thank you in advance.

V/R
Candidate K.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
So the USMC is offering you a guaranteed flight contract? and the AFROTC if you get a scholarship you may or may not get to fly (probably more may not by the numbers) and you are trying to figure it out? If your long term goal is to fly then go with what you have in hand (USMC) rather than roll the dice on the USAF, if you go USAF and don't get to fly you will be kicking yourself in the butt later.
 

Christian

Active Member
Take the PLC contract and commit to it. I was in a similar situation before I entered college. The Army gave me a 3.5-year ROTC scholarship during my senior of high school, but I declined and went the Navy ROTC route as a non-contract midshipmen in hopes of picking up something. (Didn't pick up a 4 year Navy scholarship)

Ended up not getting a contract/side-load a scholarship, 2 years after starting as a freshman; I was involved with billets, got a long with my peers/staff, and my overall stats weren't all that bad. Just my timing was really bad when it came to selection. So now I'm here using this website as a resource for my Navy OCS application, which I submitted not too long ago.

And it's funny, since I went on a similar forum years ago to ask other people of "what route should I go." Ultimately its up to you, but I wouldn't waste a perfectly good opportunity.

It will suck looking back on it if you end up with wasting both opportunities.

And if the PLC gig doesn't work out, there will always be other options available to you if you really want it.
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
Go with what you know is the best deal. You've got accepted to PLC, start working out for it and never look back.

Theres a good chance that Air Force scholarship may not ever come and even if it does more a flying slot is likely another dice roll.
 

Ian K.

Officer Candidate
Good Evening All,

Thank you for your input!

NavyOffRec - You are correct. The USMC has offered a guaranteed flight contract, and I would have to contract this Spring and wait until Spring of 2018 to know if I were selected for flight with the Air Force.

Christian - It's good to know that someone else has been in a similar place. My resources have been AFROTC cadets / cadre, Marine Option Midshipmen, and the OSO, who all want to pull me into their respective programs. The best of both worlds would be to apply for a scholarship through NROTC and walk in with the flight contract, but my OSO tells me that is not possible.

zippy - The more I consider it, the more I agree. I can minimize the variables of my career going forward if I commit to the PLC program now that I have the contract and selection.

Pags - Thanks for the picture and the laugh. It really helps to consider career decisions when you can condense them into a meme.

My OSO has instructed me to go ahead and keep my options open until the Air Force makes a decision about a scholarship (end of Spring). I am permitted to be enrolled in both, so I suppose it will simply come down to extra PT and military studies classes every week. I am required to finish next semester with AFROTC regardless, as I have been appointed to a cadet staff position within the detachment.
That said, I am confident I have a more secure future going with the Corps. I will likely commit to attend OCS and handle any financial issues later on as they come. Even with the financial incentive, the USAF would add a number of variables to the candidacy process that could negatively impact my career later on.
Thank you all for the reality check, and have a good evening.

Very Respectfully,
Candidate K.
 

DocT

Dean of Students
pilot
Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to start by thanking everyone who answers questions and shares their experiences of military aviation and their lives as officers on this forum. I have been reading here over the last few months and it has helped me greatly in every step of the application process for PLC Air.

To provide some background, I joined the AFROTC Detachment at my university this fall and have participated this past semester as a non-contracted cadet. My immediate family has no military history, and extended family mostly have experience in the United States Navy. Due to my own lack of experience or knowledge, I chose the Air Force based on the recommendations of others and my perception of which ROTC program aligned with my academic interests the best. I have thoroughly enjoyed AFROTC this semester and am considered a good cadet in my detachment. That said, the local USMC Officer Selection Officer visited us during Lead Lab one day and told us about the PLC program, an alternative to the ROTC program. The OSO's promises of a guaranteed flight contract and a (relatively) open college curriculum, ie. no ROTC classes, weekly obligations, or academic major requirements, seduced me. I began the process of applying for the PLC Air program, and before I knew it I was contracted and selected for OCS this summer.

Now I am faced with a choice. I was medically disqualified from competing for a scholarship this semester in AFROTC (DoDMERB paperwork snafu), so I am non-contracted and therefore not obligated to stay. I have plans to serve regardless, but I had my eye on a scholarship from day one to take the financial burden of school off of my parents. For AFROTC, I would be competing for a 2 year scholarship, which I gather is the most difficult to win but will cover most of my education from here on out. The PLC program offers payment for OCS (~$3200 x 2 summers), FAP (~$350 per month), and MCTAP (~$5300 per year). All together, the PLC program would cover a little over half of my remaining tuition, while the AFROTC scholarship would cover about 80%.

When all is said and done, there are arguable positives and negatives to both choices. If I am not offered a scholarship this semester in AFROTC, the PLC program offers a better financial incentive and frees my schedule. If I were to win a scholarship in AFROTC, I would be financially clear to finish my degree but have no direct control over my final occupational assignment, because of the AFSC selection process out of AFROTC. I already know about selection for OCS, but I'll have to wait for the end of the semester to know about an AFROTC scholarship.

My question for you all is simple - if you were in my shoes, what would you do and why? I would also greatly appreciate input from any Marine Aviators out there - how was/is your experience in the Corps as an Aviator and as an Officer of Marines?

Please let me know if I can clarify anything, and thank you in advance.

V/R
Candidate K.
My info is over a decade old so take it for what it is....Unless you really need it I'd be wary of the taking the tuition assistance. That resets your pay entry base date to the day you go on active duty instead of the day you first report to OCS. That will cost you a lot of money over the life of your flight contract.
 
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