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Getting some consternation from my family about ROTC SMP...

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  • Getting some consternation from my family about ROTC SMP...

    Hey all, I'm a college freshman in ROTC that's looking to go the non scholarship SMP route and go to Basic (or is it OSUT?) this summer as a 19D. I've been researching and studying up on this for the better part of a year now and I'm ready to sign the papers here soon. My family is definitely not on board. They're afraid that I'm going to regret the decision and that I'm going to hate the next chunk of my life because of this. They're also afraid that if I were to get deployed, I'd lose my job. They also say that it's gonna hurt my chances of getting a job in the first place because of the chance of being deployed. On top of this, I'm just receiving general "horror stories" from people in my family. My aunt has said for instance that the guard is looked down upon as a bunch of idiots by the higher ups when you're deployed, that sexual harassment is rampant (I'm a 6'2'' linebacker, I don't think I'll have any issues with that...), and all kinds of other keep away stories.

    I'm aware that yes, there will be times when the National Guard will completely ****. I'm sure 12 months in Afghanistan isn't exactly milk and cookies and I'm well aware that I will get shot at, yelled at by officers and the target of many many bad guys.

    I don't know what I'm really asking. I know that I'm going to do it anyways, ultimately. I'm 18, it's my decision to make and I feel more than prepared to make this commitment. I guess what I'm asking for is guidance, personal stories, some kind of validation, help, anything?

  • #2
    Re: Getting some consternation from my family about ROTC SMP...

    Originally posted by RaiderInBlue47 View Post
    Hey all, I'm a college freshman in ROTC that's looking to go the non scholarship SMP route and go to Basic (or is it OSUT?) this summer as a 19D. I've been researching and studying up on this for the better part of a year now and I'm ready to sign the papers here soon. My family is definitely not on board. They're afraid that I'm going to regret the decision and that I'm going to hate the next chunk of my life because of this. They're also afraid that if I were to get deployed, I'd lose my job. They also say that it's gonna hurt my chances of getting a job in the first place because of the chance of being deployed. On top of this, I'm just receiving general "horror stories" from people in my family. My aunt has said for instance that the guard is looked down upon as a bunch of idiots by the higher ups when you're deployed, that sexual harassment is rampant (I'm a 6'2'' linebacker, I don't think I'll have any issues with that...), and all kinds of other keep away stories.

    I'm aware that yes, there will be times when the National Guard will completely ****. I'm sure 12 months in Afghanistan isn't exactly milk and cookies and I'm well aware that I will get shot at, yelled at by officers and the target of many many bad guys.

    I don't know what I'm really asking. I know that I'm going to do it anyways, ultimately. I'm 18, it's my decision to make and I feel more than prepared to make this commitment. I guess what I'm asking for is guidance, personal stories, some kind of validation, help, anything?
    First and foremost...do what you are doing. Educate yourself as much as you can about the Guard, Military, and what we do.

    Second, can the civilian job vs Guard lifestyle be complicated, yes. But there are numerous organizations and laws in place to protect you, assist you, and keep you employed. In addition, you will learn the in ands outs of what to tell employers. We are not obligated to disclose out Guard service while interviewing. (I'm not saying lie, but at the end of the day if that ace needs to stay in your pocket to put food on your table, so be it)

    Third, Deployments are slowing down....Extremely it's not what it use to be. However, I am not saying you won't go.

    Fourth; many, many MANY have been deployed and never been shot or shot at....so be prepared, but no need for thoughts like "it will happen".

    Fifth, although they are your family and you love them, how much personal experience do they have?? Take their horror stories with a grain of salt. You can't beat the benefits, its an honorable thing to do, and in the end you come out on top of most civilians with no service. I know I have.

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    • #3
      Re: Getting some consternation from my family about ROTC SMP...

      And one more thing, the stigma of the Guard being a second rate service is far from accurate anymore. There are still stereotypes as there are with anything, but I feel for the most part we are treated equal. Its all about how you portray yourself.

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      • #4
        Re: Getting some consternation from my family about ROTC SMP...

        Do your SMP ROTC. You're on a good trajectory, stick with it.

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        • #5
          Re: Getting some consternation from my family about ROTC SMP...

          As far as the stigma of being in the Guard - my entire platoon at 11B OSUT was NG, and a few other DS's did give us **** about it, but our ones never did. Also, we had some of the best individual PT scores and marksmanship for the entire company, and placed high in several events (won the Obstacle Course and Company Inspection, came 2nd in the Combatives and overall PT/Marksmanship scores). At Airborne School I was never looked down on for being Guard by any of the Instructors or fellow students.

          As for the harassment rumors etc...there's ALWAYS someone who's cousin's friend's dad's co-worker's buddy experienced some awful thing as a result of the military, and they'll quote it as gospel truth. You'll even get this during Basic - constant rumors going around (we were told from that ANYONE who went to Ft Hood would be raped, over 300 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne died in one day in Afganistan, etc etc).

          At the end of the day, you have to do what is right for you - and as a legal adult you can make those decisions, so you don't regret them down the line. Your family should and will be there for you, despite the tough love they're giving you right now. My parents weren't exactly thrilled about me going into the Guard, but when I saw my Dad (my Mum wasn't able to make it) on the Graduation field, I could tell his heart was soaring with pride, and he even bought a "My Son Defends Freedom in the US Army" T shirt!!

          Best of luck!

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          • #6
            Re: Getting some consternation from my family about ROTC SMP...

            Oh and on a final note - don't worry about the conflict with your civilian career. I got my current job entirely because of the Guard - I haven't worked as an Engineer for 3 years, and upon returning from OSUT, went to a Guard/Reserve only job fair, met a company I never would have applied for, and got hired on as an Engineer 2 months later, making more than double my old salary (as a Security Supervisor) and a LOT better benefits.

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