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ROTC crosstown/commute questions


Guest WSteig

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Is there any disadvantage to using the crosstown program to attend ROTC offered at a school you're not attending? Would there be any pressure on the commander to boost the kids going to their "home" school over someone attending elsewhere?

And also, does the Air Force take into account the quality/difficulty of the institutions where ROTC is offered? For instance, a cadet ranking in the middle of his detachment at MIT is likely to be a better candidate for a pilot slot than a cadet in the top of his detachment at a less selective school. Is this factor weighed at all?

[ 25 September 2003, 20:26: Message edited by: WSteig ]

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Guest HighFlyer55

I am at a school with a cross-town agreement and the cadre doesnt favor/push kids simply because the go to a host school. Being at a cross town school has its advantages and disadvantages. You have to get up earlier than the other cadet for morning PT, also depending on how far away you are from the Det, you have to make travel arrangements. I am in a strange situation because i am the only cadet at my cross-town school, so i dont get to hang out with all the other cadets as often. How-ever these are just minor things and if you truely wanna be an AF officer you will overcome them.

As far as taking into account the school you attend, i dont know much about it other than they do take into consideration your major.

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The only thing I am aware of is the modification to your relative standing score based on your unit commander ranking.

Meaning with the RSS equation someone who is 1/1 had to compete a lot less and therefore will earn less points than someone who scored 1/100 cadets.

The same thing goes for being 2/2... they will receive more points than someone who is 100/100 because the difference is larger.

The board has the option of accepting the order of merit list or they can chose who they please, no one knows.

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If the Air Force doesn't distinguish between the overall caliber of the ROTC detachments then isn't that a big loop hole? Conceivably, if someone was really desperate to get a pilot slot, they could pick the biggest ROTC unit at the least selective college and stand a good chance of easily progressing to the top of their class and getting the highest RSS score possible.

[ 26 September 2003, 16:50: Message edited by: WSteig ]

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Guest pcampbell

WSteig, the problem with your reasoning is that the least selective schools have small dets. Very selective schools seem to have big dets. The exception is really technical schools like MIT, but how many of those guys want to be pilots.

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It's funny that you mention MIT because I think that I'm going to make Tufts my top choice college, and they have a crosstown agreement with MIT. I'm really not a math/science person and, while I won't make a decision on college based purely on the ROTC unit, I'm afraid I'm going to end up in a detachment with a bunch of hard-core engineer types and thus lose out on a pilot slot. Is this a realistic fear, or am I just being silly? Also, if anyone has info on the MIT ROTC program I'd be much oblidged.

[ 29 September 2003, 14:15: Message edited by: WSteig ]

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Guest Ghostrider

From what my cadre told me, the RSS is on a percentile scoring method. Everyone who is #1 in their det is scored the same, regardless if you came from a det with 100 people or 2 people. I also heard that majors don't play a factor.

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  • 2 years later...
Guest AdamSanes

How far is too far to travel to the detachment (taking into consideration how often you have to travel to the det. because i don't know). Would like advice from someone who is in ROTC or knows about it.

Thanks

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Yes you can- if you mean attending a distance learning center like one found on a AFB or similar, and then attending a school with a crosstown agreement. Even if it was all internet mediated, I'm sure it's possible. We had a cadet drive 1.5 hours just to get to the Det last year. Probably would be killer though, considering the 2 PT sessions, LLAB, and AS Class.

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I don't know about the distance learning aspect, but I'll throw in my two cents about travelling to the detachment. I went to Det 045 at San Jose State University, but went to school at Santa Clara University. It was only about a 15 minute drive, so it wasn't too bad making the early classes. We also had guys who commuted from Stanford (30-45 minute drive) and another smaller school that I can't remember off the top of my school. We had one guy who commuted from a school that was actually about a 45-60 minute drive from over the hill.

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We have a number of cros-town cadets that drive about 45 minutes to get to our Det., but only on Tuesdays when we have LLab. They get their AS classes by appointment (usually on Tues. also) and just e-mail a PT log every week saying what they did. Not a big deal!

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We have guys driving up from Colo Springs (1.5 hrs or so) every Thu for LLAB and AS class. They just turn in memos for PT and the POC cadets do their other class via teleconference. I'm sure it sucks on Thu to have to do a 3 hr round trip, but all in all the whole thing is relatively manageable.

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If you're on scholarship, you'll get $400 a month by the time you're a senior and somewhere around $350 per semester for books...all of this in addition to tuition being paid for. So if you get a scholarship, then the driving time might be worth it considering you're getting a free education and getting paid to do it (something you won't have if you go through college yourself and try the OTS route). Just something to think about.

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I drive an hour through a mountain pass to my university/det every damn day of the week. It sucks, but it is cheaper than living near my school. The $400/month I get doesn't cover gas, but it helps. On the flip side, I got a scholarship and haven't had to pay a cent for my college education (read: no debt upon graduation!).

Personally, AFROTC works for me. It is easier to get in, easier to get a pilot slot, and you can get your school paid for. OTS is hard to get into, your school does not get paid for (unless you've got the GI bill or something), and there aren't nearly as many pilot slots availible.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest ShortThrow

I'm a cross town cadet. I drive about 25-30 minutes. I don't mind it at all besides the gas money :( . We have lots of crosstowners at my det, I think the farthest is probably 1.2 hours, although he lives near the det but goes to school 3 days a week an hour away, go figure.

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  • 10 months later...
Guest markkyle66

It's my second semester of college/rotc and I'm kind of being stretched thin...but dealing with it. I'm a crosstown student and its just over an hour for me to get to my school minus leaving that campus for UF and dealing with parking before I can get to bus into campus for ROTC. I'd move to campus but I can't really afford it. I'm ok for now but I'm not sure if I can juggle school and dealing with this once I enter POC. I'd ask for some leeway from them... but I don't want to be one of those guys. It would really help if I didn't have to go on sundays :mad: Any advice?

[ 29. January 2007, 06:12: Message edited by: Toro ]

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In 90% of cases, you don't have to go on Sundays. That's typically an "extra" training day, and is not required by AFROTC regs, unless your Det/CC has made it no-bull mandatory for some reason. Talk to your APAS about what is mandatory or not, and explain your situation. With any luck they will be understanding and try to help you out.

Keep your head in the books and keep pushing. Its worth it in the end.

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Guest ShortThrow

Go talk to your cadre about your situation, they can do a lot to help you out.

There are guys at my det. that have to drive an hour also and the cadre allows them to do their own PT(and log it) at the own schools and I think they have worked it out where they both only have to be there on class/llab days and no other time periods. They are both POC, actually one just commissioned, so you can do it.

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Never done the cross town thing but we have a handfull of cadets that come into Corvallis from no more than an hour away. Most of them end up moving into town since the benifits outway the cost.

Like Toast said, if you are willing to get in a little debt, work hard and really want it, it's worth it in the end.

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Guest ShortThrow

It all depends on your cadre. My PAS is truly a great guy who really cares about the AF and wants people who want to be there; he also doesn't give a shit about force shaping(not his exact words). The bottom line is your colonel(of whoever) has A LOT of wiggle room when it comes to cadets' time commitments. You might have to do some convincing with them once FTP hits you, but it isn't that much . I don't think I had/have any extra mandatory things.

I sure hope they wouldn't look down on you for asking for help/advice. Seems to me that you're worried about keeping up your grades and keeping your pocketbook from becoming desperately empty. They should respect those two things and see that you need to do what's best for you and that you do in fact still want to be there, but you're worried that you might not have the capacity to do what needs to be done the way things are set up for you now.

I guess I would say that if you can show him/her that you are dedicated to being a cadet and want to be your best and that you can do so while minimizing your time necessary on campus without sacrificing any performance I'd say you have a good shot.

Have you thought about transferring schools at all though? I'm a crosstowner myself and It's only about 35 minutes one way for me but I'm transfering anyways. I just hate having to get up that much earlier and having to drive over an hour for some stupid little paper work. That's just me though.

You could also take a semester(or year) off of ROTC to figure everything out for yourself and if it doesn't work out there's always OTS.

You can PM me if you have any specific questions you feel I could answer.

Best of luck.

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Guest blaschko

One of our past wing commanders was a cross-town cadet, so it definitely is possible, you just have to make it work. Also, prioritize what you drive down for, you don't have to do EVERYTHING. Remember, you're not majoring in ROTC. The most important thing is to keep your grades up. But I honestly think if you're having troubles now and not adjusting well, that you should consider transferring. Another thing to try is staying overnight at a ROTC buddy's place so you're getting the most out of each drive.

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1. Suck it up. How bad do you want to fly in the AF? What are you willing to do to achieve that dream? Think about that, seriously.

2. That being said...how far off from affording the transfer are you? Student loans ARE NOT a bad deal and in this case, maybe well worth it. You can pay them off pretty decently with O pay, so personally, I wouldn't worry too much about that. Also, see if you can work something out to do PT at your school (how many are at your school? Even 4 or 5 dudes working out twice a week can make for some "ROTC-approved" PT). Third, find a cadre member you get along with and who isn't a douche shoe (hopefully that exists in your Det) and talk to them about this. They should be there to help you.

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Guest salokin

Not sure how your schedule is, but another idea is to talk to your proffs. I had it worked out where I could miss 1 of 2 classes with ROTC, 1 of 2 classes in linear algebra, and 1 of 3 classes in both modern physics and quantum mechanics (every week). It sucked, but it was the only way to get all the classes I needed. It took a lot of convincing on both sides. I commute an hour and 40 minutes one way...and I'll commission in May (cross-towner for almost 3 years). Yeah, the gas sucks, the drive sucks, everything sucks...but don't lose sight of your priorities...flying, good grades, etc...whatever is more important to you is what you should concentrate on. Find a support system and find the loopholes.

[ 21. January 2007, 13:17: Message edited by: salokin ]

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Originally posted by brabus:

1. Suck it up. How bad do you want to fly in the AF? What are you willing to do to achieve that dream? Think about that, seriously.

Originally posted by Tertle:

The bottom line is your colonel has A LOT of wiggle room when it comes to cadets' time commitments.

The above two points will decide your outcome.

I'm a x-town student/cadet. I've commuted all four years of college and all three years of ROTC.

It's do-able but it all depends on you and your Cadre.

1. You're going to have to make sacrifices no matter what but how bad do you want to fly? The benefit of an airforce career and pilot slot will outweigh the inconvenience if you want it bad enough.

2. You're Cadre SHOULD do everything in their power to help you out if they see and know that you're comitted. Keep your grades up and meet whatever suspenses they give you. This will help to communicate to them that you're committed, and in my opinion that will be one of the biggest issues in their eyes. They see alot cadets come in and out of the program.

As far as PT, they may let you submit a memo stating that you're doing PT on your own if you're a certain distance (time) from the Det. Ask them about it. Also, see if there are any other options for attending class is you have work or especially if you have class conflicts. I'm pretty sure that they have to honor any class conflicts withs ROTC class but it will go a long way if you're putting in the effort to get to class. Once they know you're comitted to the program they may give you more leeway in the future.

I don't think they'll care that you comunicate your situation to them and ask what other options there may be as long as your not just making excuses and once again as long as they know that you're comitted to the program. FTP semester will be one of those semesters that they use to "slim down" the program to see who really wants to be there and who they should work with, so make sure they know just how much you do want to be there.

If all else fails see number 1 and just know that it's all do-able and well worth it in the end.

What kind of x-town programs do they have in place now? PT? Class? LLAB (Alt LLAB)?

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