MILITARY OFFICER CAREER INFORMATION PACKET FOR MILITARY SERVICE ACADEMIES AND ROTC SCHOLARSHIPS

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1 MILITARY OFFICER CAREER INFORMATION PACKET FOR MILITARY SERVICE ACADEMIES AND ROTC SCHOLARSHIPS

2 Dear Student, Thank you for your interest in becoming a military officer. The purpose of this information packet is to provide you with the initial information needed to begin your quest. Although the scope of this packet can by no means include all the information you will require to make a program decision, the packet will at least provide you with some sources to continue your program research. Before I start, I feel it is important to provide some basic information about military officers and the various officer programs. Military officers are the commanders, leaders, managers, and directors of our military. The military creates officer through four commissioning programs Service Academies, Reserve Officer Training Corps programs (ROTC), National Guard/Reserve and Officer Candidate School (OCS). The latter, OCS, requires an individual to have a college degree and pass an aptitude test before the individual can apply for program consideration. Since this packet is directed towards high school and college students who are looking for education options for their college degree, I will not cover OCS programs in this packet. SERVICE ACADEMIES COMMISSIONS Service Academies are generally the smallest commissioning source for all branches of the service. Often thought of as premier commissioning programs for the military, they provide recipients a fully funded education program including tuition, text books, lab fees, boarding, meals, uniforms, and a salary. There are five service academies in all. The Air Force Academy, the United States Military Academy at West Point, the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, and the Merchant Marine Academy all fall under the Department of Defense. The Coast Guard Academy is the only academy that falls under a separate cabinet position it falls under the Department of Homeland Defense. Since these institutions are military institutions you are in the military 24/7 while attending. Upon graduation from one of the Service Academies, members are commissioned as a second lieutenant/ensign in that particular branch of the service. Service commitment requirements are a minimum of 5 years after graduation and can be longer depending on a selection into certain specialty career fields. In applying to Service Academies that fall under the Department of Defense it is important to understand a few terms. The first is called a nomination. Nominations can be thought of as political invitations to possibly attend a Service Academy. An applicant must write a letter to the various congressional sources requesting consideration for a nomination (see attached sample letter and refer to a Service Academy catalog for guidance). The next term is an appointment. An appointment means you have been accepted to attend a particular Service Academy. Most important, an individual must have a nomination in order to receive an appointment* (see note). The final term to understand is the letter of assurance. The letter of assurance is a conditional appointment offer, by the particular Service Academy, providing the individual meets all the admission requirements and receives a nomination to the particular academy. Therefore, applying to Service Academies, with the exception of the Coast Guard Academy, is a two-step process applying for the congressional nomination and applying to the institution. ROTC COMMISSIONS ROTC programs are the largest commissioning source for the military and offer the most flexibility. Offered at college campuses all across the country, one can generally find an ROTC program at any state universities and most large private colleges/universities. Generally, a student participates in ROTC classes/activities one day a week in conjunction with a normal class schedule. In addition to the academic year participation, ROTC members are required to conduct some summer training in order to complete training/commissioning requirements. ROTC is offered through the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Basically, ROTC members are part time military participants until graduation and the acceptance of their commission. There is no requirement for an individual to have participated in Junior ROTC in order to become an ROTC member at the college level. Members who graduate from ROTC programs receive a commission as a second lieutenant/ensign, however commissioning could be up to one year after graduation depending on manning needs for the military. Graduates from ROTC have a minimum 4-year service commitment once they receive their commission. Like all programs, the service commitment may be longer depending on career field selection. ROTC offers college scholarships/tuition assistance in two basic forms scholarships for graduating high school students and in college scholarships for participating ROTC members. ROTC scholarships for high school students vary from 2-4 years and cover tuition, books, and lab fees. Dollar amounts vary as well from a few thousand dollars per year to unlimited depending on tuition cost. Although ROTC does not cover boarding cost, some colleges/university offer additional scholarships incentives towards boarding for individuals who receive ROTC scholarships (check with the institution to determine extra incentive offers). In the event a high school individual applies and fails to receive a scholarship there is nothing that precludes the individual from enrolling in ROTC at a participating college/university and applying for scholarships through the in college scholarship program.

3 GUARD/RESERVE COMMISSIONS Since guard and reserve units attain the majority of their officers from those leaving active duty, commissioning opportunities are relatively limited for high school and college students. Most guard and reserve units do have programs available separate from the active duty for commissioning officers. Although these programs vary greatly from unit to unit, many take the form of enlisting in the unit and participating in the monthly drill requirements in exchange for some tuition assistance. Once the member has completed a degree they are sent for additional officer training in order to receive a commission in the guard/reserves. This approach is very similar to the Officer Candidate School program offered by the active duty with the exception that the member is already attached with a specific unit. It is important to note that under this guard/reserve approach the member is enlisted during his time spent at college and is subject to all the training and requirements of an enlisted individual to include possible mobilization/deployment if the unit is called upon for duty. Both the guard and reserves have recruiters separate from each other and the active duty. Since recruiters often approach with a pressure sales approach it is important to talk with a recruiter specific to the guard or reserves in order to attain accurate information about guard/reserve commissioning opportunities. Applications are generally done through the individual units based on the unit s manpower needs. Before closing, I would like to make some general suggestions and recommendations to help with your success: - Meet with your admissions liaison officer and advise your guidance counselor of your career desires start early! - If you intend on going to college out of high school and have prepared yourself for college, then by all means GO TO COLLEGE! Do not except a delayed enlistment program with the promise of giving you college money later. - Apply to all military officer-commissioning programs. There is no commitment to apply! Keep all of your education opportunities open. Prep School offers can be generated from applying to Service Academies and are affiliated with a specific Service Academy. Prep School offers almost insure the individual will be attending the affiliated Service Academy the following year. - Get organized! Create files on all the programs you are applying for and keep track of application deadlines. - Take the ACT and SAT college board test as many times as you can afford too and begin a practice program to help you achieve the highest scores possible. - Get involved with community service, leadership building, and organized athletic programs. - Create a nice typed resume including all of your extra curricular activities, work experience, leadership attributes, community service, athletic, and academic accomplishments. - Begin a regular exercise program (weight training, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and running). - Research each program carefully and when making a final selection choose the program that best fits your educational and career goals. Look beyond just the educational benefits a program offers and be sure you are comfortable with the service commitment you will incur upon graduation. The application process to the various programs can be very long and involved; however, the rewards are well worth it! I wish you the best of luck in attaining your goals and dreams.

4 SAMPLE LETTER FOR REQUESTING CONGRESSIONAL NOMINATIONS (Each applicant should request a nomination from their U.S. Congressman, both U.S. Senators, and the Vice President) Date Honorable (name of appropriate authority) (Address of appropriate authority) Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. (name) OR Dear Senator (name) OR Mr. Vice President I want to attend a Service Academy and serve as an officer in the military. The (appropriate academy) is my first choice of service academies to attend. My remaining order of preference for service academies is as follows: (list remaining service academies in order of preference) My pertinent data is: Name (print as recorded on birth certificate or court order if name has changed): Social Security Number: Permanent address (street, city, state, and zip code): Temporary address (if applicable): Permanent phone number to include area code: Temporary phone number (if applicable): Name of father: Name of mother: Date and place of birth (spell out month): Name and complete address of High School: Date of graduation: Approximate grade point average (GPA), rank-in-class and PSAT, PACT/PLAN, ATP (SAT), and ACT if you have taken these test. Include verbal and math scores for the PSAT and ATP (SAT) tests, the composite for the PLAN, and English, reading, math, and science reasoning scores for the ACT test. Extracurricular activities: Reasons for wanting to attend a service academy and particularly your first preference choice: Thank you for considering me as one of your nominees for a service academy. I look forward to hearing from your office soon. Sincerely Signature (Note: After congressional sources receive this letter they will send the applicant a nomination application packet.)

5 TIME LINE/CHECKLIST FOR SERVICE ACADEMIES AND ROTC SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS TIME PERIOD ACTION REQUIRED COMPLETION DATE Spring of Sophomore year - Contact your admissions Liaison Officer Through Junior year - Familiarize yourself with academy catalogs And program web sites - Take ACT & SAT test as often as possible (Starting spring of Sophomore year) - Apply for summer seminar leadership programs At all service academies (fall Junior year) - Send congressional nomination request letters (Spring of Junior year) - Request applications to all service academies (Spring of Junior year) Summer before senior year - Request ROTC scholarship applications - Complete congressional nomination packets by 15 Sep. of senior year. (nomination not required for Coast Guard Academy). - Participate in summer program at service academies if selected - Receive complete application/candidate kits from From all service academies. - Begin an exercise regiment if not already in progress Fall of senior year - Complete/return all information in application kits For ROTC Scholarships and Service Academies. - Try and visit the service academies and schools of interest offering ROTC. - Continue taking ACT and SAT test - Prepare for congressional nomination interviews - Schedule and complete medical exam - Schedule and complete candidate/rotc fitness test - Interview with congressional panels for nomination consideration. - Congressional nominations are announced (late Nov. to middle Dec.) Winter of senior year - Schedule and conduct interview with liaison officer/ program evaluation official. - Continue exercise program for basic training - Continue updating admissions data/test scores until final program deadline. Spring of senior year - Academy appointments/rotc scholarships are offered - Prep School offers are awarded (awarded through the admissions offices of the service academies - Visit service academy or ROTC program prior to making final program decision. - Return letters of acceptance (you may accept an ROTC scholarship and later decline it for service academy) - Continue exercise program for basic training/program entry Note: Some events may occur earlier for those highly qualified individuals who begin application at the earliest possible date.

6 HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM PLANNING GUIDE FOR SERVICE ACADEMIES AND ROTC PROGRAMS Freshman Year English/Literature Government Algebra Geography Earth/Natural Sciences Typing Junior Year English Composition/Literature U.S. History Algebra II/Trigonometry Chemistry Additional Computer Skills Foreign Language (level II) Basic Economics Sophomore Year English/Literature World History/Social Studies Geometry Biology Basic Computer Skills Foreign Language Senior Year College Prep English/Literature Political Science/World Politics Analytical Geometry/Pre Calculus/Calculus Chemistry II Physics Advanced Computer Skills Foreign Language (level III) Students should involve themselves in athletic programs/organized sports programs though out their high school years. Students should also participate in leadership development programs and community service programs. The following is a list of some leadership/community service programs available to students. Boy Scouts of America Girl Scouts of America Civil Air Patrol Explorers 4-H clubs Future Farmers of America Student Council/Student Government Junior Achievement Local Church Groups Boys/Girls State Junior ROTC Sports Camps/Youth Instruction Volunteer State Park and Recreation Volunteer YMCA Programs Hospital/Senior Center Volunteer Crisis/Charity Organization Volunteer

7 MILITARY OFFICER PROGRAM ADDRESSES/WEB SITES United States Air Force Academy HQ USAFA/RRS 2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 200 USAFA, CO or Army ROTC 4 year online scholarship site United States Military Academy, West Point Director of Admissions 600 Thayer Road West Point, N.Y United States Naval Academy Candidate Guidance Office 117 Decatur Road Annapolis, Md or United States Merchant Marine Academy United States Coast Guard Academy Navy and Marine Corps ROTC Director of Admissions College Scholarship Program New London, CT Navy Recruiting Command, Code N. Randolf Street Arlington, VA x306 Headquarters Air Force ROTC/RROO Department of the Army 551 E. Maxwell Blvd., Bldg. 500 HQ ROTC Cadet Command Maxwell AFB, AL Fort Monroe, VA Air Force Guard/Reserves Navy Reserves Army Guard

8 REQUIRED DOCUMENTS: 1. SAT/ACT scores (if a student lists the appropriate military as a recipient at the testing agency scores will be sent to that ROTC Command directly). For example if a student is interested in getting into an Air Force ROTC program list Air Force ROTC at the testing site and your scores will automatically be sent to the Air Force Cadet Command directly for scholarship consideration. 2. Transcripts 3. Evidence of extracurricular participation. Successful Applicants: 1. Take the SAT/ACT early and several times. Your highest score will be considered in the scholarship process. 2. Important factors that are considered in your packet are, SAT/ACT scores, GPA, Extracurricular activities, and your interview. 3. Applicants must fill in the portion of the application that asks why the want to pursue a future as a military officer. 4. Letters of recommendation are not necessary but can help your chances being selected for a scholarship. THERE ARE NORMALLY THREE (3) SCHOLARSHIP ROUNDS OF CONSIDERATION AND THEY ARE: On or around these dates each year. 1 ST ROUND 15 OCTOBER 2 ND ROUND 10 FEBRUARY 3 RD ROUND 15 APRIL

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