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BroadwayJoe

I'm a Sophmore In College Is It Too Eaarly To Judge?

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I'm a Sophmore in College currently. I'm still debating on whether or not to go the ROTC route or the Guard/Reserve Route.

Academics:

3.5 GPA, Business Administration (I struggled a little bit in my math courses, I am hoping to boost my GPA up to 3.67 or 3.7. My Program GPA is 3.7 though).

Team Work:

I've played Roller Hockey off and on since I was a kid, I started playing Ice Hockey a few years ago. (After I transfer to the state school, I hope to join the Club Teams for both roller and ice).

I worked in a Tire Change/Hot Rod/Off Road shop. Also have Lawncare Experience from a previous job and worked at a Flea Market prior to that. Regarding the Auto Shop experenice, It helped me earn the following attributes

- Working In High Stress Environment

-Getting Used to overcoming problems as a team.

-I'm used to paying attention to small details (making sure parts fit, ordering the correct parts based off numbers, make sure all measurements are align correctly).

Right Now I am looking for a new job. Perhaps hoping to get a job at one of the local FBO's (there a 5 in my area) since the shop I worked at closed down during the summer.

In the future I will take the AFOQT and hopefully earn some flying hours.

How does everything look regarding the first 2 years of college?

 

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Stay the course!  Keep that GPA up.  Get involved in some extra curricular activities on campus.  I would suggest doing some volunteer work whether it be on campus or off campus.  In my experience guard units like to see community involvement.  Whether to pursue ROTC or Guard/Reserve is all on your shoulders...whether you want to go AD for 10 years or have a little more flexibility. 

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I can speak to the ROTC side of this. If you're a sophomore then that would make this fall your first semester of sophomore year, which means you might already be too late for AFROTC, unless you can talk to the cadre at your school's detachment and figure something out with them. Normally you'll go to Field Training (FT) the summer after your sophomore year, by which point you've had AT least two but IDEALLY four semesters of ROTC under your belt. If your school doesn't have strict requirements about how many years you can stay (mine does) and you can work out some sort of extended five-year thing, then you might be able to swing it.

Your GPA is just fine, but might not be super competitive for the In-College Scholarship Program. From your post, however, it doesn't seem clear whether you think it's absolutely necessary to have scholarship. You don't need it to be in the program, I don't think it can boost your chances of getting into FT, and once you graduate FT you'll have at least some stipend from the AF for the following two years, regardless of scholarship status. You only need a 2.25 per TGPA and 2.5 CGPA (or maybe vice versa) to be retained as either scholarship or non-scholarship, and it looks like you don't have to worry about that. 

The only foreseeable issue someone in your situation might have is not getting an Enrollment Allocation (EA, gets you into FT) because of your major. In the past there have historically been problems for non-tech majors getting EAs, but since you plan to go Rated that issue is more or less nullified. Just make sure that, if you do join your school's Det, the cadre know that you want to and that you sign the proper forms denoting Rated intent.

So if you can figure out what the school's policy on number of years is and talk to your cadre, there's nothing stopping you from joining. In that case, you could start your first (AS100) year of AFROTC next semester, compete for an EA in the 2017-2018 school year, go to FT summer 2018, and then graduate and commission May 2020. That might put you a year behind where you were but it's not bad. This is, of course, assuming you definitely want to go AD without going through OTS -- you'll get the ten-year ADSC and everything, meaning you wouldn't be able to Palace Chase or otherwise get out until around 2030. Ask around on other boards what the older guys think. I'm about to graduate and commission so it's too late for me to change anything, and don't have a lick of AD experience to share with you. Let me know if you have any more questions, and good luck!

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On October 3, 2016 at 7:04 PM, BroadwayJoe said:

 I'm still debating on whether or not to go the ROTC route...

"Still debating" sounds like this has been going on for some time. 

What has the ROTC officer cadre at your school told you?

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On 10/3/2016 at 10:04 PM, BroadwayJoe said:

I'm a Sophmore in College currently. I'm still debating on whether or not to go the ROTC route or the Guard/Reserve Route.

3.5 GPA, Business Administration (I struggled a little bit in my math courses, I am hoping to boost my GPA up to 3.67 or 3.7. My Program GPA is 3.7 though).

How does everything look regarding the first 2 years of college?

It's been a hot minute since I dealt with ROTC stuff. If you're already a Sophomore in college, then you can join ROTC... but you'll be spending an extra year in college as a result. I think Ulysses touched on that. The reason why, is that you'd enter AFROTC as an AS250 Cadet. It's a fancy name for "he who has a lot of catching up to do".

The timeline for someone entering late goes like this: Enter as an AS250. Learn two years worth of Air Force ROTC stuff in one year (it's not that hard or complicated...) apply/go to Field Training. Come back, spend 2 years learning leadership the big blue way. The two years of learning after Field Training is a requirement. So, in your case you'd be doing your catching up (AS250) your Junior year since this year is largely over. Then, you would have to spend your Senior year (and a following Super Senior year) doing ROTC stuff before you can commission. 

Side note: You're going to start out behind your class in one key factor. Commander's Ranking. He/she has to learn about you (and like you) in a year, where they've had two years of knowing everyone else. If you get a bad Commander's Ranking, kiss the pilot slot/dream job/fancy title goodbye.

As for how everything looks? Looks pretty good to me. ROTC won't like your "non-tech" major, but that's par for the course. I assume that you're on here because you want to fly. If so, good for you, but let me spare you some heartbreak. AFROTC can't guarantee that you'll fly anything. Well, I take that back. They can virtually guarantee that there's a box in the middle of a desert with a joystick and a LCD for you. RPA slots are plentiful, I saw most of the kids who wanted to fly jets get stuck with them. 

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On 10/10/2016 at 1:36 PM, Kiloalpha said:

As for how everything looks? Looks pretty good to me. ROTC won't like your "non-tech" major, but that's par for the course. I assume that you're on here because you want to fly. If so, good for you, but let me spare you some heartbreak. AFROTC can't guarantee that you'll fly anything. Well, I take that back. They can virtually guarantee that there's a box in the middle of a desert with a joystick and a LCD for you. RPA slots are plentiful, I saw most of the kids who wanted to fly jets get stuck with them. 

This is correct. When I did my FC1 recently, 100% of the many ROTC cadets that were there were going to RPA's and they were happy about it because their other colleagues were being sent into non-flying related fields. If I was still in college I would never even consider ROTC based on that one fact alone. Instead, just apply to guard/reserve and get the plane and location you like. 

Edited by bb17
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On 10/10/2016 at 11:52 AM, HuggyU2 said:

"Still debating" sounds like this has been going on for some time. 

What has the ROTC officer cadre at your school told you?

I'm at community college I don't have any ROTC at my school. I should have mentioned that in my OP. I apologize.

I put in this thread in the ROTC forum

 I forgot to put it here.

I was wondering if it's possible when I transfer to a University to start ROTC as a junior or is it too late and OTS is my only option? My high school GPA wasn't great (3.0 even), I took a few gap years of working full time and I've been trying to turn everything around since then. Would all that be looked down on by the Air Force versus someone who had excellent High School GPA, went to college straight out of high school and did well?

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On 10/10/2016 at 2:36 PM, Kiloalpha said:

It's been a hot minute since I dealt with ROTC stuff. If you're already a Sophomore in college, then you can join ROTC... but you'll be spending an extra year in college as a result. I think Ulysses touched on that. The reason why, is that you'd enter AFROTC as an AS250 Cadet. It's a fancy name for "he who has a lot of catching up to do".

The timeline for someone entering late goes like this: Enter as an AS250. Learn two years worth of Air Force ROTC stuff in one year (it's not that hard or complicated...) apply/go to Field Training. Come back, spend 2 years learning leadership the big blue way. The two years of learning after Field Training is a requirement. So, in your case you'd be doing your catching up (AS250) your Junior year since this year is largely over. Then, you would have to spend your Senior year (and a following Super Senior year) doing ROTC stuff before you can commission. 

Side note: You're going to start out behind your class in one key factor. Commander's Ranking. He/she has to learn about you (and like you) in a year, where they've had two years of knowing everyone else. If you get a bad Commander's Ranking, kiss the pilot slot/dream job/fancy title goodbye.

As for how everything looks? Looks pretty good to me. ROTC won't like your "non-tech" major, but that's par for the course. I assume that you're on here because you want to fly. If so, good for you, but let me spare you some heartbreak. AFROTC can't guarantee that you'll fly anything. Well, I take that back. They can virtually guarantee that there's a box in the middle of a desert with a joystick and a LCD for you. RPA slots are plentiful, I saw most of the kids who wanted to fly jets get stuck with them. 

So does having a Business Major look bad for wanting a pilot slot? Does it have to be an Engineering major?  How does the selection work for AFROTC?

In a few months I am going to meet with the University I want to transfer too. I will definitely make sure to swing by the ROTC building to ask them some questions.

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23 hours ago, bb17 said:

This is correct. When I did my FC1 recently, 100% of the many ROTC cadets that were there were going to RPA's and they were happy about it because their other colleagues were being sent into non-flying related fields. If I was still in college I would never even consider ROTC based on that one fact alone. Instead, just apply to guard/reserve and get the plane and location you like. 

This is another newbie question. How does the Guard work. I can apply to another state right? (I really don't like the state I currently live in). So I'm guessing I take the AFOQT and the TABS, I apply to a Guard unit after I have my degree and hopefully get an interview and get hired?  I read the Baseops article and it sounded simple (not easy but simple) I was wondering if there was more too it.

What you said is one of the reasons I am still going back and forth. Since I am 75% done with my associates this is the time where I should really start deciding.

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1 hour ago, BroadwayJoe said:

So does having a Business Major look bad for wanting a pilot slot? Does it have to be an Engineering major?  How does the selection work for AFROTC?

In a few months I am going to meet with the University I want to transfer too. I will definitely make sure to swing by the ROTC building to ask them some questions.

It doesn't look bad... but the AF doesn't like non-tech majors. I think if you're applying for rated slots (pilot) it's not supposed to matter. I was shooting for a pilot spot and I kind of got the ol' nudge nudge to change. YMMV.

It could be computer science, engineering, things like that. I'm sure a google search or a call to a random detachment could give you more detail.

Selection for what? You get "selected" a few times.

Stop by or call an AFROTC Detachment. More than likely you'll get a senior enlisted who knows the answers to any questions you have. Might even get lucky and talk straight to the Commander himself.

57 minutes ago, BroadwayJoe said:

This is another newbie question. How does the Guard work. I can apply to another state right? (I really don't like the state I currently live in). So I'm guessing I take the AFOQT and the TABS, I apply to a Guard unit after I have my degree and hopefully get an interview and get hired?  I read the Baseops article and it sounded simple (not easy but simple) I was wondering if there was more too it.

What you said is one of the reasons I am still going back and forth. Since I am 75% done with my associates this is the time where I should really start deciding.

You've pretty much got the gist of it. Each unit hires. You have to apply to each unit individually.

 

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1 hour ago, BroadwayJoe said:

So does having a Business Major look bad for wanting a pilot slot?

Nope.  Lots of us have business degrees.  Some pilots even have art, history, or theatre degrees.  GPA is more important than major in most cases.  

 

Caveat: if you want to become a test pilot, you need to have an engineering degree.  And test does open other doors if that's you cup of tea.

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You're asking a lot of questions. I'll be more direct...

- I find it incredible that you're "seriously" considering this, yet you haven't called the ROTC Det at a major university to get first-hand answers.  Why not?  They may be 100 miles away... but I'm guessing you have a phone. Maybe a car.  Invest in your future and go find out in person.  

- much of what you're asking has been posted here already. Many times. Try reading through the forums and doing your due diligence in discovering what's there. You'll find answers to things you might not even have considered asking. 

Edited by HuggyU2
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10 hours ago, BroadwayJoe said:

This is another newbie question. How does the Guard work. I can apply to another state right? (I really don't like the state I currently live in). So I'm guessing I take the AFOQT and the TABS, I apply to a Guard unit after I have my degree and hopefully get an interview and get hired?  I read the Baseops article and it sounded simple (not easy but simple) I was wondering if there was more too it.

What you said is one of the reasons I am still going back and forth. Since I am 75% done with my associates this is the time where I should really start deciding.

If you're already in college and want to fly... go ROTC (call them NOW)... If you're wanting to fly, but you are willing to decrease your chances of getting a slot sooner... finish up your degree without doing ROTC, then you can apply to guard (or reserve) units in the hopes of one of the units saying "Wow, this guy really fits in with us".... You're still going to have to go to basic/OTS/SERE/etc/etc...

Basically, want a preview of the AF lifestyle now, and probably the quickest (not easiest) route to wings? Get on the phone with an ROTC recruiter ASAP....

Edited by tk1313

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On 10/12/2016 at 8:51 PM, BroadwayJoe said:

This is another newbie question. How does the Guard work. I can apply to another state right? (I really don't like the state I currently live in). So I'm guessing I take the AFOQT and the TABS, I apply to a Guard unit after I have my degree and hopefully get an interview and get hired?  I read the Baseops article and it sounded simple (not easy but simple) I was wondering if there was more too it.

What you said is one of the reasons I am still going back and forth. Since I am 75% done with my associates this is the time where I should really start deciding.

Well I am 32 so I took the longest possible route to the AF and then some. Basically the process of applying to AFRC and ANG is the same - you take the same tests (AFOQT/TBAS), same physicals (MEPS and FC1). You put together a similar application package and send it off to the units you are interested in. Doesn't matter what state you are in. I've interviewed at ANG and AFRC units and that is basically the same as well. Really the only difference in the hiring process is that with ANG your package gets submitted to the guard bureau for approval and with AFRC your package gets submitted to the reserve board - in both cases after the unit sponsors you. 

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