6 answers

Best Military College Option?

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I want to become an officer in the military. I don't want to enlist. ROTC only pays the last two years of my college. That being said, what's my best option?
1.) Attend college then go to OCS: (Would attend college with my friends out of state, but the college is more expensive)
2.) Attend ROTC in college: (Attend in-state=super cheap, plus I might get a band scholarship)
3.) Military Academy: (Completely free, but hard to get into)
4.) The Citadel- Corps of Cadets (ROTC): (They're interested in me, but they're expensive)
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6 answers

John’s Answer

Updated

I went to the US Naval Academy (Class of '86 ;) and when I was in your shoes, the most helpful thing I did was talk to a school counselor about my desire. They helped me understand what I would need to do to get accepted, put me in touch with a Blue & Gold officer (previous graduates who volunteer their time in recruiting for USNA) and helped me create an action plan to prepare for my application (what classes to take in high school, what activities to participate in, etc...). It was also helpful to have someone to talk to during the time between my decision to prepare & apply and when I was actually accepted. I was accepted straight out of high school. One of my roommates at USNA was prior enlisted (enlisted & then applied later) and one attended the Marine Military Academy (1 year program) prior to getting accepted. You have to pay tuition to attend, but they have a summer camp that would give you a taste of what you will experience in the military. As Andrei said, each Academy has a prep school and I would check them all out online to see what opportunities they have to offer. The US service academies are hard to get into and they have a pretty high attrition rate. Attending a prep school can increase your chance of getting accepted and getting a taste of what to expect is a good way to check your commitment level and increase your chances of success once you get in. Best of luck to you in your decision, Christian.

 https://www.mma-tx.org/Summer-Camp/

John recommends the following next steps:

  • Contact your school guidance counselor
  • Research the prep schools for summer programs
  • Research the academies to see which one best fits your interests
  • Create an action plan

Mark’s Answer

Updated

The US service academies (West Point, Air Force Academy, Annapolis, or the Coast Guard Academy) are exceedingly competitive, and usually require a congressional appointment. If you are looking for a military specific college, there are several opportunities outside of the big four, universities like VMI, Citadel, or Texas A&M. I would recommend you look at what schools give you the education you want, because ROTC will also put you on the path the military service, without the high challenge of gaining a nomination.

Andrei’s Answer

Updated

Hello Christian,

You did not mention why you want to be an officer in the military or what you hope to do in the future. To oversimplify it, an officer is like saying a manager, but you did not specify if you want to manage a Walmart, Hotel or Restaurant, each one has its own set of challenges and education requirements. Your destination will determine your route there. Naval Academy is a great place, but if you don't like boats or being out at sea for extended period of time, it may not be a good choice for you. Navy used to have a BOOST program, where you enlist, go to college and then OCS, ask a recruiter if it is still available and get the details. The Congressional nomination for the Military academies is more of a formality, if the academy accepts your application, they will help you get this last step. Don't forget that all 3 Academies have a Prep School, with slightly less requirements, that may be an option for you. ROTC is an option as well, and the cost of 2 years of college, is a small price for your life time dream. There are scholarships, grants, financial aid and loans that can help make it manageable.

Your next step should be to do some soul searching and figure out why you want to go this route and what you hope to gain from it. Discuss it with a guidance counselor and find your strengths and interests. There are many ways to get there, but you need to have a destination in order to plan your journey. Good luck.

Conor’s Answer

Updated

If you are sure that being an officer is what you want, then you should aim for Westpoint. If you are not successful, don't be deterred. You can attend college and continue to apply, meanwhile working on the areas you fell down in. I was an officer (retired at Captain rank), and can only say good things about my experience. Many of my contemporaries made it having failed at the first attempt.

Judy’s Answer

Updated

Citadel comes to mind, but also very competitive as West Point and others are. I would suggest a couple of things to start with if you haven't done them already. Research the colleges that you would be interested in . Here's a good website to start with: https://www.google.com/search?q=top+military+colleges&rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS819US819&oq=top+military+colleges&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.10987j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8  -- That might help you in defining the next step. 

Do you want a college education and a military job after you get your degree? Some may require you serve after graduation. Here's a good article that you might find helpful: 

https://blog.prepscholar.com/us-military-colleges

Judy recommends the following next steps:

  • Citadel comes to mind, but also very competitive as West Point and others are. I would suggest a couple of things to start with if you haven't done them already. Research the colleges that you would be interested in . Here's a good website to start with: https://www.google.com/search?q=top+military+colleges&rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS819US819&oq=top+military+colleges&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.10987j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 -- That might help you in defining the next step. Do you want a college education and a military job after you get your degree? Some may require you serve after graduation. Here's a good article that you might find helpful: https://blog.prepscholar.com/us-military-colleges
Updated
From the options you listed, it's hard to say which one would work the best for you not knowing your financial situation and academic ability. But, you might want to talk with a recruiter your local armed forces center. Also, if you're in high school, some schools have Junior ROTC. And some college ROTC programs, if you are academically adept, offer exams (I think) that you may be able to test and get right into OCS. There's also Sea Scouts, but you're in Boise Idaho so not sure you'd be interested in that.

Sammy’s Answer

Updated

West Point. But it's very competitive.