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2014 ROTC Field training length cut short, thoughts on this?


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Honestly, I don't really care how long/short it is (within reason) as long as I get to go. Its just another stepping stone to becoming an officer, nothing more. That being said, it depends on the cadet. Some might benefit from a longer FT session (those with no prior military exp) while others its better this way (prior enlisted). I would say 28 days was OK as long as they realized that the game they play isn't a great indicator of AD performance. I don't see a problem with 23 days, its significantly shorter than everybody else but if it accomplishes the training I'm all for it.

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I think the primary benefit of being treated like shit is to weed out those who don't really want to be there or can't handle stress. 3 weeks will probably work about as well as 4 for that purpose.

While this might be true for the other commissioning programs, I would argue that FT doesn't necessarily serve that purpose in ROTC. Cadets who show up on TD-0 have already fought hard for 1-3 years to be there and generally know that this is what they want. We already know beforehand what to expect and have been previously exposed to the high-stress environment through FTP. FT isn't a place for cadets to go and learn whether or not they can hack it, thats what the GMC program is for. If local detachments aren't adequately preparing cadets for FT thats the dets fault, not the FTU staff's. In other words, if you get to Maxwell and find that "this isn't for you" you never should've applied to begin with.

And besides Det CCs don't want cadets going to FT unless they're confident that they will succeed due to the extremely limited number of slots available.

Edited by Justanothercadet
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While this might be true for the other commissioning programs, I would argue that FT doesn't necessarily serve that purpose in ROTC. Cadets who show up on TD-0 have already fought hard for 1-3 years to be there and generally know that this is what they want. We already know beforehand what to expect and have been previously exposed to the high-stress environment through FTP. FT isn't a place for cadets to go and learn whether or not they can hack it, thats what the GMC program is for. If local detachments aren't adequately preparing cadets for FT thats the dets fault, not the FTU staff's. In other words, if you get to Maxwell and find that "this isn't for you" you never should've applied to begin with.

And besides Det CCs don't want cadets going to FT unless they're confident that they will succeed due to the extremely limited number of slots available.

Granted its been a few years since I graduated ROTC...but I wouldn't characterize my first 1-3 years as "fighting hard". Especially when compared to life on active duty.

I agree with you, though, that if it takes someone 1-3 years to realize "its not for them"...then something is wrong. That's a lot of wasted time/effort/money on the AF's part.

Edited by VTguy
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Granted its been a few years since I graduated ROTC...but I wouldn't characterize my first 1-3 years as "fighting hard". Especially when compared to life on active duty.

I agree with you, though, that if it takes someone 1-3 years to realize "its not for them"...then something is wrong. That's a lot of wasted time/effort/money on the AF's part.

I get where you're coming from, especially regarding AD. But, I'm assuming its been atleast 3-5 years since you've graduated - based on everything I've heard the atmosphere here has changed dramatically since you've been in. If I have my timing right, you were applying for Field Training back when almost everybody went, as long as you met the requirements and had a half-way decent GPA (pre-2009 when the cuts started). Its not the same anymore. Cadets can no longer just skate by anymore and go to FT, we are constantly having to go neck and neck for high commanders rankings and keep up with the ever rising GPA requirements. Scholarships are drying up, opportunities for extra programs like soaring and incentive rides have vanished, and at this rate I bet its only a matter of time before non-tech majors will no longer have a place in ROTC. New GMC are showing up day one being told that the odds are they won't be able to finish the program.

Atleast for me, I'm biased because the amount of work I've had to do just to be able to compete for EA is probably more than most people have to do their entire cadet career. I've fought tooth and nail for half a decade to be where I am today, and I still might not make it through the program. But I'm actually excited for FT, because when I feel like quitting all I have to do is remember how hard I worked to be there.

So, when I say that we've been "fighting hard" of course some people have different experiences than others, but in general its an uphill battle for cadets today.

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So to summarize...you're a cadet and you have not yet been to field training, yet you feel confident enough in your vast experience to comment on what it takes to succeed at field training, the purpose of field training, how to prepare appropriately for field training, the appropriate length of field training, who should apply to field training, the true purpose of the GMC program, and what constitutes a "high stress" environment. Did I miss anything?

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So to summarize...you're a cadet and you have not yet been to field training, yet you feel confident enough in your vast experience to comment on what it takes to succeed at field training, the purpose of field training, how to prepare appropriately for field training, the appropriate length of field training, who should apply to field training, the true purpose of the GMC program, and what constitutes a "high stress" environment. Did I miss anything?

Normally I refrain from responding to call-outs like this, but seriously? So after reading my comments this is all you got from it? Other than the "what it takes to succeed" part (which I get requires having gone through) I don't see how any of those subjects can't be discussed by someone whose done their homework. Most of what I said comes based off information gathered from dozens of folks who've graduated FT or is public knowledge. I've been around longer than most GMC and I've also been exposed to certain aspects of FT at maxwell so I'm not blindly guessing as your comment might suggest.

I fail to see what the problem is with having some SA as a cadet and looking beyond the basics.

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Wait...what?

Pipe down, don't get in the way.

I heart this thread.

Please, continue.

Agreed. Glad I checked the ROTC "lounge" for the second time ever.

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But I'm actually excited for FT, because when I feel like quitting all I have to do is remember how hard I worked to be there.

After you go to FT, you'll realize just how dumb this statement is. Meaning it is highly unlikely you'll have to draw on that emotional reserve, unless you're A) an incredible pussy or B) tempted to bail because of the overwhelming lameness.

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After you go to FT, you'll realize just how dumb this statement is. Meaning it is highly unlikely you'll have to draw on that emotional reserve, unless you're A) an incredible ###### or B) tempted to bail because of the overwhelming lameness.

Maybe I will, maybe I won't. Like anything else its more difficult for some people than others. Some said it was 28 days of hell, others have said it was so easy they couldn't believe they were actually at FT. It ultimately depends on the individual (with some luck of the draw for CTAs and FTOs) and most importantly their attitude. If you show up already convinced that you'll hate it for being a waste of time and going full retard than you probably will. Or, you can show up with the mindset that you'll make the best of it, help your teammates do the same, and if theres even a .01% chance that it might make you a better officer you'll weave through the BS to find it.

Yup...waste of a summer month...

Its a means to an end, nothing more. Just play the game and go home. But, if it means getting a shot at being a pilot than its worth it to me.

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Honestly, I was worried about this guy. But then he got some feedback, applied it and appears to have a more appropriate attitude. He may have a shot after all. Good luck, justanothercadet, and don't lock your knees when you're standing at attention. A couple of guys at FT did that while I was at Maxwell for OTS. They ended up unconscious with a face full of pavement and got sent home.

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Its a means to an end, nothing more. Just play the game and go home. But, if it means getting a shot at being a pilot than its worth it to me.

Touche. Just don't take it too seriosuly. Try to have fun and get to know the other dudes in your flight. You'll probably see some of them again at some point in your career.

Keep it all in perspective. 10 years from now when you look back at your last 1-2 years of college, I guarantee you won't be saying "Wow I'm so f***ing glad I rocked FT". Just try to enjoy college while you still can. Good luck.

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