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172 wannabe

Standing out in ROTC?

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Starting this semester, I'm going to be enrolling in AFROTC and competing for a scholarship/to get contracted. I am looking for any advice from those who have "been there done that" on what to do in order to stand out to the cadre and help my chances of getting a scholarship- and ultimately a pilot slot. If it makes any difference, I will be entering this semester as a sophomore with a 3.88 GPA, my major is Political Science, and I have a Private Pilot’s License.

I did a search but didn't find a complete answer to my question, so if this information has been posted somewhere please flame me and I will look harder.

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You know... I am nobody. I am merely a pre-OTS USAFR know nothing. However, I will say that this is one of the most respectful first posts I've read in months.

I don't have anything pertinent to ROTC to add, but I hope AFROTC goes well for you! Good luck!

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Brother the best thing you can do is work hard. Keep your grades up, do well on the fitness test and approach things with a humble attitude. Your cadre will likely want to get to know you since you'll be "competing" with folks they already know for field training, career fields, etc. When they do, be honest about your goals but dont be the pilot or nothing kid. Show them you are willing to work and be a team player and things will be fine.

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Starting this semester, I'm going to be enrolling in AFROTC and competing for a scholarship/to get contracted. I am looking for any advice from those who have "been there done that" on what to do in order to stand out to the cadre and help my chances of getting a scholarship- and ultimately a pilot slot. If it makes any difference, I will be entering this semester as a sophomore with a 3.88 GPA, my major is Political Science, and I have a Private Pilot’s License.

I did a search but didn't find a complete answer to my question, so if this information has been posted somewhere please flame me and I will look harder.

172 Wannabe,

I was selected for a scholarship/contracting in the Spring semester of my 100 year and it was largely because of my majors (both tech),GPA, and SAT scores. It will be a lot harder to get the scholarship now being a non-tech major unfortunately. We have a lot of non-tech students through the crosstown schools and only one of them was selected last year because he agreed to switch his major from political science to meteorology. That is not to say it is impossible, I am just saying it is going to be difficult.

As far as standing out goes, your GPA and performance in LLab will do that for you so long as you maintain your grades and do what you're supposed to. I feel like some students go to great lengths to stand out to the cadre and it ends up being detrimental to their ranking because they put their peers down. You will make a lasting impression by sincerely helping out your classmates. Each month before finals I would set up tutor sessions in our Det lounge for anyone that needed help, or get everyone together to study the FT manual before a quiz your 200 year. Also, volunteer your time to the Det if you are available. I did not have a whole lot of time, but I participated in Drill Team.

Brother the best thing you can do is work hard. Keep your grades up, do well on the fitness test and approach things with a humble attitude. Your cadre will likely want to get to know you since you'll be "competing" with folks they already know for field training, career fields, etc. When they do, be honest about your goals but dont be the pilot or nothing kid. Show them you are willing to work and be a team player and things will be fine.

Yes, this! In China we called it the empty rice bowl approach. There are a number of cadets that go into ROTC thinking they know everything there is to know about the military and their arrogance is cancerous to the class. Help everyone out and do not boast any knowledge you come with, remember that you are all a team.

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I know nothing about scholarships since I've never actively pursued one (and will never get one) so I can't add anything there. FYI there are plenty of cadets who have done just fine and made it to UPT without a scholarship.

Going off of what Masshole said, standing out is as simple as doing things that make your name known throughout Wing in a positive way. Being a good dude is good for starters. Help out your buddies but don't make it look like you're only trying to help them for the sake of making yourself look better. Raise your hand high and often and ask intelligent questions/make helpful statements. Knowing your basic stuff is also huge. All the minor things they ask you to memorize is chump change that takes very little time to learn and will definitely help you stand out. Also, having a solid understanding of drill will put you far ahead of 90% of the 100s and even some of the 200s if you work at it. Don't just know the difference between a flank and a column, know what feet you pivot on and what the parts of the command are, etc. All of this can be found in the AFMAN 36-2203. You'll probably never use any of this again, but it helps bigtime in ROTC.

If your schedule permits, do as many extra curricular events as you can such as Drill Team/Color Guard and Arnold Air. Volunteer for as many events as possible and go on every base visit. Later on down the line, ask your POC if you can plan an event which will look very good on your part and work hard to make it run smooth. This will show initiative which is something they really look for in new GMC. I realize that not everybody has that much time to participate but the point is to make it look like you want to be there (which doesn't require you to do everything).

Personally, I absolutely love this air force stuff, so I try to make it known how much I truly enjoy being there. I know a boatload about aircraft and air force knowledge to the point where I'm the go-to person for questions on aircraft history, pilot training, etc.. I talk alot in class and on base visits (probably too much) but it helps remind the cadre and upper class cadets that the program matters to me. I try to help my flightmates whenever I can on anything they need and whenever anybody asks for volunteers I'm usually the first to go biscep to forehead. Lastly, I try my best to show up to LLAB with a positive mental attitude, demonstrate how much I want to be there and succeed. If you work hard, be a good bro, and don't sweat the small stuff the rest will work itself out.

Thats all I got. Best of luck to you!

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...Also, having a solid understanding of drill will put you far ahead of 90% of the 100s and even some of the 200s if you work at it. Don't just know the difference between a flank and a column, know what feet you pivot on and what the parts of the command are, etc. All of this can be found in the AFMAN 36-2203. You'll probably never use any of this again, but it helps bigtime in ROTC.

FTFY. I've been in 7 years and I've marched in formation exactly zero times since OTS. I've stood in a formation maybe three times, two of those being unit pictures.

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Everything said above is solid advice. I just commissioned out of ROTC, going to upt in January. Never got a scholarship, I came in as a 250. Make friends with everyone, if you stay in the program you are going to be spending a lot of time with these dudes/dude-ets. Be yourself, never try to through anyone under the bus to get ahead, do everything you can to help others. Memorize as much of the knowledge as possible, and show up to your wings extra activities. Kick ass with grades, and get in the gym and get in best shape as you can. Try to latch on to a solid 200 and POC outside of AF time and get as much knowledge from them as you can. I owe my career to a kick ass guy who was a year ahead of me and helped me out whenever I needed. You will learn more about how to make it through the program by hanging out and drinking a beer with some solid 200s and upperclassman than you ever will from reading a manual. Make sure you talk to POC/cadre about the best times to take your afoqt and tbas.

Lastly, make friends with people who are not in ROTC, and do plenty of non ROTC activities. People who make ROTC their entire college life either burn out or become douches who miss out on some of the best years of their life. Drink some beer, meet some ladies, and have fun in school. Good luck

P.S. you probably won't ever march on AD as said above, you might once or twice as upper class man (POC), but with all the budget cuts marching and power points are about the only thing ROTC has money for anymore, so as much as it sucks, get good at it if means that what it takes to get to upt.

Edit for bad grammar. To much beer, not enough English class.

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Thank you everyone for your insightful replies. You all have really helped me out with figuring out what I need to do and I will definitely be coming back to this thread occasionally to review the advice given.

Earle P- I've been lurking around here for a while and I've seen way too many people come on here asking for advice, only to come off as master douche######s, to not learn from their mistakes. Good luck to you as well.

Edited by 172 wannabe

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All i remember is that all the tools who spent all their time at ROTC sucking up had a hard time keeping up their grades. I did what I had to in ROTC and nothing more, studied my ASS off to get higher grades than the rest and stuck to my technical degree while the rest all switched majors to basket weaving. Had no problem getting scholarship, pilot slot etc based on grades/major alone. Some dudes tend to forget the whole grades thing..and getting a 3.0 is not cutting it...3.8+ is where i would want to be any day of the week in this climate.

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FTFY. I've been in 7 years and I've marched in formation exactly zero times since OTS. I've stood in a formation maybe three times, two of those being unit pictures.

Guess you have never been to McChord. We got to march in formation one Saturday.

Words

Whatever! I graduated with a 2.6 in basket weaving and it has not hurt my career one bit.

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Whatever! I graduated with a 2.6 in basket weaving and it has not hurt my career one bit.

That might've gotten you by in say, 2005, but good luck getting an EA now with those grades. Hell, you can't even be in the program anymore with a GPA below a 2.5.

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Why would he need an EA if he's already graduated? I'm pretty sure it was a joke anyways.

I wasn't talking to Butters, but even if it was a joke I was being serious. I've seen more than one cadet get removed for having a GPA below a 2.5. Depending on the Det cadre might have varying levels of strictness on the standard but in general if your GPA is below that number you can't compete for FT and therefore cannot stay in the program. And even if someone did manage to get barely above a 2.5 theres no way they're getting an EA. It sucks for us cadets that the AF is trying to cut down on officers right now, but I guess thats the way things are.. timing is everything right?

Edit: Can't spell good

Edited by Justanothercadet

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I wasn't talking to Butters, but even if it was a joke I was being serious. I've seen more than one cadet get removed for having a GPA below a 2.5. Depending on the Det cadre might have varying levels of strictness on the standard but in general if your GPA is below that number you can't compete for FT and therefore cannot stay in the program. And even if someone did manage to get barely above a 2.5 theres no way they're getting an EA. It sucks for us cadets that the AF is trying to cut down on officers right now, but I guess thats the way things are.. timing is everything right?

Edit: Can't spell good

That makes more sense. I agree with what you said about your GPA though. I know a few people that have dropped out because of grades and a low GPA isn't going to get you an EA.

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That makes more sense. I agree with what you said about your GPA though. I know a few people that have dropped out because of grades and a low GPA isn't going to get you an EA.

WTF is an EA? He said a bad GPA will hurt your career, it will not. It may now keep you from graduating or continuing in ROTC, but once you graduate they do not put your GPA on your OPRs.

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WTF is an EA? He said a bad GPA will hurt your career, it will not. It may now keep you from graduating or continuing in ROTC, but once you graduate they do not put your GPA on your OPRs.

Enrollment Allocation... essentially your golden ticket into Field Training.

Is there any proven correlation between a bad GPA in college and poor academic performance in UPT, or is it apples and oranges?

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UPT academics are not hard. They dont really require critical thinking or problem solving like a college course should. They more test how motivated you are to spend time studying. I would say there wouldn't be much of a correlation because you have people at both ends of the motivation spectrum on both ends of the GPA spectrum.

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Is there any proven correlation between a bad GPA in college and poor academic performance in UPT, or is it apples and oranges?

Doesn't matter. Having a good GPA is part of the fee for the ticket to the game, along with the rest of the stuff that's written all over this board. Gotta pay the price to get into the game. Once you're in the game, the cost of the ticket doesn't matter because it's awesome.

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