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  • Unconventional path to officer

    I want to be a Marine Officer, and I plan on doing it in a rather unique way if I do not get accepted to the Naval Academy or NROTC Scholarship. I am going to enlist in the National Guard, and use state tuition assistance to pay for college while doing College Program NROTC for the first two years and applying to PLC, then taking the commission when I graduate and the National Guard obligation ends. I was considering USMCR but the college benefits would come nowhere near what the National Guard can get and what college costs. I talked to the National Guard and they said I could do the non-scholarship NROTC while enlisted and also the PLC course since it has no obligation. What do you guys think about this plan?

  • #2
    Re: Unconventional path to officer

    Have you discussed this with the NROTC commander at your college? I am no expert on the ROTC of the other services, but I know that (1) they have nothing like the SMP program that the ARNG has, and (2) at your junior year they will want to put you under a contract of some kind. I fear that this contract may violate your pre-existing ARNG contract, which would mean that either (a) the Guard will discharge you, losing all your benefits (and may even require paying back some), or (b) the NROTC won't contract you. Legally you cannot serve in two military components at the same time.

    This path has some potential dangers. I recommend that you get a formal ruling in writing from your NROTC commander that accepts not only the concept, but your timeline and milestones.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Unconventional path to officer

      The school I intend to complete NROTC does not have a unit yet, but they are currently adding one and by the time I attend it should be in place. The person from the Guard I spoke with said that as long as I am not contracted with NROTC it is fine and I can do both. I saw an Army document that said I would be discharged for contracting with another branch's ROTC and that if I did not complete that then I would be subject to being reenlisted, but I do not plan to do this junior year unless I get a scholarship (the way the State's tuition assistance is set up I would not have to pay it back), if I do not get a scholarship after 2 years I will not continue with NROTC and I will apply for PLC, which has no obligation. I know of an Army Reservist that did PLC so I know I can do it while in the Guard. Once my contract for the Guard ends and I graduate I would then commission and go to TBS. Through my first and second years at college I plan on reapplying to the service academies (under Army Regulation 612Ė205 I would be able to under similar circumstances as getting a ROTC from another service).

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Unconventional path to officer

        here is an excerpt from that regulation
        c. Processing members of the Army National Guard (ARNG). On
        notification that a member of the ARNG has been admitted to an
        academy, the proper State adjutant general willó
        (1) Discharge the member from the ARNG.
        (2) Issue orders reassigning the member, as a Reserve of the
        Army, to the proper holding facility with duty stations as shown in
        table 1.
        (3) Send to the holding detachment copies of the reassignment
        orders together with the memberís DA Form 201.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Unconventional path to officer

          That regulation paragraph deals with acceptance into a military academy (e.g., West Point, Annapolis), not another service's ROTC. I fear that you may paint yourself into a corner, so please get your plan approved in writing from your NROTC commander.

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          • #6
            Re: Unconventional path to officer

            yeah, I saw another document that related to ROTC but I can't find it again, I know I might need a DD Form 368 for a conditional release to contract in NROTC, but non-contract is just like another college class, the NROTC program I intend to attend is not in place yet, so should I contact a different one for guidance?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Unconventional path to officer

              Originally posted by Conor Fallon View Post
              the NROTC program I intend to attend is not in place yet, so should I contact a different one for guidance?
              They must have a regional office, to which any nearby NROTC program can direct you. Best wishes.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Unconventional path to officer

                Couple of key point you seem to be missing with Guard Tuition Assistance... A) You have to be either MOSQ'd or in an officer producing program (OCS or ROTC) and B) Accepting FTA requires a service obligation (which you probably wouldn't know about unless you have used it before).

                Point being, the guard is not going to foot the bill for your education and then release you to the Navy or USMC. Also, PLC would require you to sign the the Marines when you are done and again, the Guard still owns you at that point.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Unconventional path to officer

                  PLC is non obligational for both parties, the USMC does not have to offer you a commission and you do not have to take one. I do intend to be MOS Qualified by doing OSUT and starting school in the spring and getting my gen-ed requirements done. The people from the RI Guard that I talked to said that the only commitment for the state tuition program (5 free classes a semester free) is the initial one from the enlistment. I talked to NROTC today and they said I could do the first 2 years of NROTC but I cannot do it on scholarship. The state education benefits is what I will be using, but even the FTA says that I only need to be in the Guard while taking the courses.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Unconventional path to officer

                    Originally posted by Conor Fallon View Post
                    The people from the RI Guard that I talked to said that the only commitment for the state tuition program (5 free classes a semester free) is the initial one from the enlistment.
                    The initial one from enlistment is 6 years...so wouldnt that mean you have a 6 year commitment?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Unconventional path to officer

                      "PLC is non obligational for both parties, the USMC does not have to offer you a commission and you do not have to take one"

                      So, why do it then? If they do offer it, you can't accept and how would that look to them if you turn it down?
                      And what RSP NCO said above is correct. By taking the state TA, you are bound to the service commitment.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Unconventional path to officer

                        When I finish college I will be done with the contract minus IRR time, Rhode Island does not require a minimum length commitment for state TA (the only minimum lengths are the contract itself), and I only would need the state TA, so I could do a 4 year contact and start school in the spring after training and then go the next four years. I would be able to accept the commission, and even if I did have time left of the contract and they wouldn't release me I could deffer it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Unconventional path to officer

                          Originally posted by Conor Fallon View Post
                          When I finish college I will be done with the contract minus IRR time, Rhode Island does not require a minimum length commitment for state TA (the only minimum lengths are the contract itself), and I only would need the state TA, so I could do a 4 year contact and start school in the spring after training and then go the next four years. I would be able to accept the commission, and even if I did have time left of the contract and they wouldn't release me I could deffer it.
                          If you were factoring the GI Bill into your benefits then your plan will not work. You must enlist for 6 years to get the GI Bill.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Unconventional path to officer

                            I was not factoring the GI Bill, I was factoring in the Rhode Island National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program and the Rhode Island National Guard State Tuition Exemption Program.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Unconventional path to officer

                              Dont mean to threadjack here but I have the same question. Couldn't someone join the guard then do PLC during two summers(along with AT i'd suppose), and then accept the commission into the USMC after that? Wouldn't the Guard have to release you since you'd be becoming an officer? I always thought they had to release you to a commissioning source(OCS,PLC,ROTC,etc.)?

                              Comment

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