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Trying to Build a Character

PotomacBob

I have a first story in mind, and have questions about a character. He went through Navy ROTC at Georgia Tech, graduated with top grades as an electrical engineer. He had an academic scholarship, so doesn't owe the Navy anything for that. My question is - if anybody here knows - what will be his obligation to the Navy in terms of years, and what sort of assignment is he likely to get. Will he have to go through some officer boot-camp - if so where. I've looked online at school and Navy resources, but cannot find anything that fills the bill. I appreciate any help anyone can offer.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

I looked into a lot of this for one of my stories (Survivor: Moving On) and found the wikipedia articles on ROTC and the various colleges useful:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_Officers%27_Training_Corps

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Reserve_Officers_Training_Corps

My understanding from the research is there would be a service requirement unless some extra special arrangements are made, because most of the ROTC courses aren't funded as part of the normal college courses and you can only attend if you sign the relevant Return of Service papers. I also had the impression if the service didn't fund the entire college training you could reduce the time, but I couldn't find any specifics on that.

Another thing to keep in mind is the not all colleges have an ROTC and some have had them for only certain years.

edit to add:

www.rotc.gatech.edu/

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

From:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Reserve_Officers_Training_Corps

Under the modern U.S. Naval ROTC system, graduates become active duty officers, rather than reserve officers, and are required to serve a term of 5 years for the Navy Option and 4 years for the Marine and Nurse Options. The Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps commissions individuals into either the United States Navy as an Ensign or the United States Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant. While attending college, these prospective officer candidates are known as Midshipmen. Whereas Naval Academy Midshipmen are on active duty, NROTC Midshipmen are in the Navy Reserve but are on active duty for periods of training during the summer. The primary difference is that NROTC Midshipmen attend an ordinary civilian college or university, whereas Naval Academy Midshipmen attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, which is a much more regimented, military environment.

Scholarship Midshipmen are those who applied to the Navy for an ROTC scholarship (during their senior year of high school, or during early college studies). Some NROTC students have served as enlisted men or women in the Navy or Marine Corps. The highly selective application process involves an extensive written application and an interview with a Navy representative. Applicants must also pass an entrance medical examination process. The Navy pays tuition for Scholarship Midshipmen, educational fees (i.e. lab fees), as well as a stipend for books. All Midshipmen fall under one of three types: Navy Option, Navy Nurse Option, or Marine Option. The Navy does not pay for room and board; however, some schools will offer scholarships to cover at least a portion of room and board. In addition to tuition, the Navy pays a monthly stipend during the school year. As of 2011, the stipend was $250 per month for first-year Midshipmen, with a $50 increase each year after that (i.e. $300/month for sophomores, and so on).

College Program Midshipmen are those who join Naval ROTC without a scholarship. They complete all activities and requirements of scholarship midshipmen and if they continue in the program for four years will also be commissioned as Ensigns or Second Lieutenants. They will often be offered a scholarship by the Navy if they perform well academically and within the ROTC program. Because of the technical nature of the Navy, students entering college without a 4-year scholarship who are planning to major in a technical field, such as engineering, science, or math, are more competitive for the scholarships.

Enlisted Marines participate in ROTC through the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) and are referred to by their rank or by the name of the program, "MECEP." (pronounced mee-sep) MECEP Marines do not have their school paid for by the Marine Corps and generally use the Montgomery GI Bill or the Post-9/11 GI Bill to pay for school. They continue to receive pay in accordance with their rank, however any promotions while they are attending school are considered non-competitive and will be revoked if they fail out of the commissioning program.

The normal, "baseline" service commitment for Scholarship NROTC graduates is eight years, with no less than five served on active duty.[4] The exact commitment will depend on which warfare community a Midshipman is selected for. For example, Navy and Marine pilots are generally committed to eight years after their date of winging. Because the training for a Naval Aviator is extensive, this can lead to a commitment of up to 10 years. Naval Flight Officers usually serve a six-year commitment and Submarine Officers usually serve a five-year commitment.

Commitment is also based on whether a midshipman is enrolled in the scholarship or college program. Those midshipmen who are in the college program typically only owe three years of active duty service.

Once a naval officer completes their active duty commitment, they must serve the rest of their three years in some portion of the Navy Reserve.

I would suspect in the situation you mention the person could get away with an arrangement for say a year of active service and 3 years of reserve, of maybe something like 5 years of reserve only. You really need to speak to a service recruiting people for a definitive answer - or you can fudge it the way I did.

I had my guy attend most, but not all, of the courses and he was a member of the state militia where he came from, so they counted that in his favour to approve him doing the ROTC classes.

The Outsider

@PotomacBob

Bob, something you may want to add as a decision point for your character is this: When I was in Army ROTC in the early 90s, non-scholarship cadets could take the first two years of the program without obligation; they could just walk away after that (after returning issued items of course). Before you could begin the third year of the program, however, you had to sign a contract saying you would accept a commission if one was offered. Not sure if NROTC is the same, but I can't imagine it's that different.

As Ernest said above, the commitment owed can vary. When you decide which career path your new naval officer will follow, you might try looking up where that occurs for officers also. Bases where these schools occur can change, though not too frequently. It does take some digging as I'm sure you've learned and government websites are often not helpful, accessible, or can be contradictory.

I try not to fall back on a "it's my story/universe so I don't need to be that accurate," but I understand wanting to be as accurate as possible (and not alienate detail-oriented readers).

Crumbly Writer

As far as Navel Book Camps, both potential officers and regular sailors attend the same ones (if you don't pass book camp, you're out on your ass). There are various regional boot camps (East Coast, Mississippi Basin and West Coast). The only one I'm familiar with is in Great Lakes, IL (about 40 due north of Chicago).

I do know that Norfolk, VA does not have one (and it's the main East Coast Naval port/Naval Duty station). The Marines (who are often treated as a subset of the Navy) have one at Camp Lejeune, NC (I lived there too).

I'm familiar with cadet life at both Baimbridge (a pre-college course institution for those who don't qualify for the Naval Academy right away) and Annapolis. In both the Naval academies and ROTC, they typically get an 'introductory' tour, where they travel by ship to the Caribbean, often performing service work for the inhabitants on the various islands. (My father and brother were both in the Navy, while my sister is in the Army. My father also served with the Marines in Vietnam.)

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


The Marines (who are often treated as a subset of the Navy) have one at Camp Lejeune, NC (I lived there too).


The Marine Corps has a second boot camp at Camp Pendleton, CA (around 40 miles north of San Diego).

Generally speaking, Marine recruits from states on the eastern shore of the Mississippi river and west of there go to Camp Pendleton rather than Camp Lejeune.

Replies:   The Outsider
Crumbly Writer

Another option to consider (especially given the time span you set the story in) is that often ROTC candidates are often looked down on by the other college students, which causes a lot of social and emotional issues. They're basically treated like pariahs. It's nowhere near as bad now as it was during Vietnam, but there are still significant stresses.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

As far as Navel Book Camps

The cadets dress in Navel Orange, and carry their Books in back packs. And don't wear boots because it is a Book Camp.

Sorry my proof-reader gene kicked in, I suggest Naval Boot Camps.

richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

ROTC

In the 1960s there was a ditty, with a tune "ROTC, ROTC sounds like bull-shit to me, to me." Cadet Captain Bader was in charge of the Pershing Rifles, and he dealt with being called Master nearly every meeting.

StarFleet Carl

@PotomacBob

He went through Navy ROTC at Georgia Tech, graduated with top grades as an electrical engineer. He had an academic scholarship, so doesn't owe the Navy anything for that. My question is - if anybody here knows - what will be his obligation to the Navy in terms of years, and what sort of assignment is he likely to get. Will he have to go through some officer boot-camp - if so where.


I'm the one who bugged Ernest about ROTC (probably among others) with the ROTC information he dug up and posted here. Basically it's pretty simple, though.

Your first two years of ROTC you do not have to commit. You can take the classes, attend all the functions, and life is good. You hit year three, if they offer you a commission, you have to take it. It IS possible that you might have a medical condition come up that would prevent it. (Yeah, I may be speaking from experience here on that one.)

Naval OCS is in Rhode Island, at Newport. But as a Naval ROTC cadet, this is what your Midshipman would do (straight from Wikipedia):
NROTC students who are on scholarship participate in a summer cruise in the fleet, to get hands-on training with real Navy personnel and equipment. After their freshman year, Midshipmen (both Navy and Marine) either travel to San Diego or Norfolk for CORTRAMID (Career Orientation and Training of Midshipmen). The Midshipmen spend a week in each of the three primary Unrestricted Line communities (Surface, Submarine, and Aviation) as well as a week with the Marine Corps to help them decide which community to join when commissioned.

In the next two summers, Navy Option scholarship midshipmen spend time with either a surface ship, submarine, or aviation squadron. Aviation cruises are only available to Midshipmen for their First Class Cruise. For each summer cruise, they select which warfare community they would prefer to train with and are given the opportunity to train around the world. The summer cruise in between the sophomore and junior years is referred to as the second-class cruise. They are assigned an enlisted running mate, from whom they acquire a sense of the enlisted experience. The summer cruise in between the junior and senior years of college (known as the First Class Cruise) is required for commissioning, and it focuses on integrating the midshipman into the officer community. Specialty cruises include EOD cruises, SEAL cruises, FOREX cruises (midshipmen are attached to a foreign country's ship), and Navy Nurse Cruises.

Keep in mind that he would have his choice of branch, presuming he qualified. The Marines are part OF the Navy. So if he wanted to become a Devil Dog, he could.

Replies:   PotomacBob
The Outsider
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Forgive me, but aren't the Marine Corps Recruit Depots at Parris Island, SC and San Diego, CA?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@The Outsider

Forgive me, but aren't the Marine Corps Recruit Depots at Parris Island, SC and San Diego, CA?


Those are intake processing centers for the boot camps at Camp Lejune and Camp Pendleton, both of which are much larger military bases with facilities beyond the boot camps.

Replies:   The Outsider  AmigaClone
The Outsider

@Dominions Son

Ah. Thanks, DS.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


As far as Naval Book Camps, both potential officers and regular sailors attend the same ones (if you don't pass book camp, you're out on your ass). There are various regional boot camps (East Coast, Mississippi Basin and West Coast). The only one I'm familiar with is in Great Lakes, IL (about 40 due north of Chicago).


During one of the BRAC rounds in the 1990's the Navy was reduced to only a single Enlisted Boot Camp, and that one is in Great Lakes as you already mentioned.

Prior to the BRAC changes, there was an Enlisted Bootcamp in San Diego(right next to the MCRD--The old Navy Bootcamp was demolished and turned into housing by 2001) and another existed in Orlando, Florida to my understanding.

The Officers go through a different path, and that one varies wildly. While I remember a few people claiming ROTC when I went through bootcamp in "Great Mistakes," my understanding is they were going to be serving as enlisted and not officers, so I guess they failed to graduate or something else happened. But regardless, "the Officer Pipeline" did not go through Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes.

IIRC, they(the Navy/Marine Corps Officers) have stuff in Pensacola and somewhere in Rhode Island. Probably a couple other places as well.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

IIRC, they(the Navy/Marine Corps Officers) have stuff in Pensacola and somewhere in Rhode Island. Probably a couple other places as well.

There are Naval bases in Rhode Island (I lived there briefly, as that's where the Naval War College (Sr. Officer training) is conducted) and Conn., where the East Coast Submarine fleet is located.

REP

@Not_a_ID

the Navy was reduced to only a single Enlisted Boot Camp, and that one is in Great Lakes


The Marine Corp is part of the Navy, but it was my understanding that the Navy and Marine Corp had separate boot camps. The Great Lakes facility is for Navy recruits and I don't think Marine recruits go to that facility.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@REP

The Marine Corp is part of the Navy, but it was my understanding that the Navy and Marine Corp had separate boot camps. The Great Lakes facility is for Navy recruits and I don't think Marine recruits go to that facility.


Marine Corps is Department of the Navy, but they are not "Navy" just ask them, or most sailors for that matter, although they love to taunt the Marines about it.

Officer training is combined for Navy/Marine Corps up to a certain point.

Enlisted is entirely segregated by branch, has been since at least WW2 if not WW1 or earlier. The Marines still have MCRD San Diego and MCRD Paris Island.

Navy only has NRTC Great Lakes.

AmigaClone

@Dominions Son

Those are intake processing centers for the boot camps at Camp Lejune and Camp Pendleton, both of which are much larger military bases with facilities beyond the boot camps.


Wrong. MCRD San Diego and MCRD Parris Island actually are boot camps. The initials MCRD stand for Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

While physically part of the training for those going to San Diego, occurs at Edson Range in Camp Pendleton the chain of command for either the recruits or their instructors does not pass through the commanding general of Camp Pendleton even when the training platoons are physically there. Those going to Parris Island never leave that base until graduation.

What might have confused Dominions Son is that AFTER boot camp every Marine goes through additional training held at Camp Pendleton and Camp Legune.

While the United States Marine Corps is part of the Department of the Navy, it is NOT part of the US Navy.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@AmigaClone

I washed out, but I've been through Marine Corps basic training at San Diego/Camp Pendleton.

I can't speak for Paris Island, but when I went through it, no actual training happened at MCRD San Diego. Recruits coming into San Diego got medical exams and about half a day of paperwork before we got bused out to Camp Pendleton.

Replies:   AmigaClone
AmigaClone

@Dominions Son

When did you go to San Diego?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@AmigaClone

1987

Not_a_ID

Looking at Google Maps, and remembering a High School Buddies comments about basic in San Diego, it's a safe bet that by the late 90's much of the training happened at the MCRD and not Camp Pendleton. IIRC, it wasn't just him I heard the comments from.

The MCRD sits right next to the municipal (Commercial Aviation) Airport. So they were constantly watching planes come in for landings, or take off from there. Thus providing ample opportunity to wish they were one of the passengers while trapped in that base.

At least it's larger than RTC Great Lakes, and once there, it's highly unusual for a recruit to leave until they've completed training. But even then, that's more space than they're ever going to enjoy while deployed shipboard.

StarFleet Carl

There's a little bit of confusion on here. Boot camp for ENLISTED Marines (My Ass Rides In Navy Equipment, Sir!) is either at SD or PI. OCS (Officer Candidate School) for Marines is at Quantico.

The important thing to remember is this - the Navy brings the troops to the beach, the Marines storm the beach, the Army takes and hold the beach, and the Air Force plays volleyball on the beach.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
PotomacBob

@PotomacBob

So, a guy goes through college with Navy ROTC, and graduates and gets his commission. His training, by then, has included three summers with the Navy. In addition to all that, does he still have to go through some sort of boot camp for officers? If so, where?

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl


OCS (Officer Candidate School) for Marines is at Quantico.


However, ROTC and Naval Academy is "Department of Navy" with Navy as the presumed default selection until they actually choose which of the two branches they want. AFTER that point, they differentiate.

OCS for non-ROTC is a slightly different critter and can vary depending on various factors. However, the initial "OCS Bootcamp" last I heard, was the same for both the Navy and the Marine Corps, and further, it is run by the Marines. IIRC, it runs about 6 weeks, at which point they move on to more specialized training commensurate with their particular "track."

Edit:

http://www.militaryonesource.mil/-/navy-boot-camp-and-officer-candidate-school-what-to-expect?inheritRedirect=true

Says Navy OCS(Too lazy to look for the Marines) runs 12 weeks, and is in Newport, Rhode Island.

Oh, and on an extreme tangential thing since there seem to be a few other vets lurking about. Effective last year, if you were honorably discharged, you are now supposed to have Online AAFES shopping privileges. It isn't just for those who serve, those who are retired, or on disability anymore.

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@Not_a_ID

So, does a guy who got his commission on graduation from college after four years of Navy ROTC stiil have to go to Officer Candidate School?

Replies:   richardshagrin
gruntsgt

As a Marine Recruit, I spent 13 weeks at Parris Island. SC. And yes, Marines are a part of the Dept. of Navy. The MEN'S Dept.!!!!!! But thanks for the rides and the Corpsmen.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
richardshagrin
Updated:

@PotomacBob


does a guy who got his commission on graduation from college after four years of ROTC stiil have to go to Officer Candidate School?


No, OCS (officer candidate school) is for enlisted persons (can't say enlisted men any more), so they can get a commission. Brand new Lieutenants go to their Branch Schools. I went to Signal Officer Training at Fort Gordon (sometimes Fort Garbage) near Augusta (sometimes Disgusta) Georgia. Every Branch, as far as I know, has its own school. When I was there in 1970 the Military Police also had their school at Fort Gordon. Short guys and smart tall guys went into the Signal Corps, Tall not so smart guys went into the MPs.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Michael Loucks

@gruntsgt

As a Marine Recruit, I spent 13 weeks at Parris Island. SC. And yes, Marines are a part of the Dept. of Navy. The MEN'S Dept.!!!!!! But thanks for the rides and the Corpsmen.


"I like all you Navy boys just fine; every time we need to go fight, you always give us a ride."

Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin


No, OCS (officer candidate school) is for enlisted persons (can't say enlisted men any more), so they can get a commission.


from

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Officer_Candidate_School#United_States

In the United States Armed Forces, Officer Candidate School (OCS) or the equivalent is a training program for college graduates and non-commissioned officers, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen to earn commissions as officers. The courses generally last from six to seventeen weeks and include classroom instruction in military subjects, physical training, and leadership.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Officer_Candidates_School_(United_States_Marine_Corps)

OCS is currently located at Brown Field at Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Selection and entry

Entry to the Officer Candidates School comes from several different commissioning programs:[3]

Officer Candidates Course (OCC) for college seniors and graduates
Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) for college students with one or more years left in school
NROTC (Marine Option) in addition to regular NROTC program requirements, NROTC (Marine Option) midshipmen must pass a 6-week OCS course known as "Bulldog" during summer between junior and senior year. "Bulldog" is modeled after the PLC Seniors Course.
Enlisted Commissioning Program (ECP) for enlisted Marines with a college degree
Meritorious Commissioning Program (MCP) for enlisted Marines within 18 months of graduation (No longer an active commissioning program)
Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP)

PotomacBob

@StarFleet Carl

Thank you very much. Am I reading your note correctly? Is it true that an NROTC guy gets a summer cruise INSTEAD of officer candidate school? From the Navy website, it is apparent to me that the commission comes on graduation from college if all four years in ROTC have also been successfully completed. If no OCS is necessary, is some other school necessary, or does this new ensign proceed immediately to his first assignment?

Replies:   Not_a_ID  StarFleetCarl
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@PotomacBob

Am I reading your note correctly? Is it true that an NROTC guy gets a summer cruise INSTEAD of officer candidate school? From the Navy website, it is apparent to me that the commission comes on graduation from college if all four years in ROTC have also been successfully completed. If no OCS is necessary, is some other school necessary, or does this new ensign proceed immediately to his first assignment?


I'm given to understand OCS is primarily a "learn 2 military" course. Someone who has done the full ROTC/Academy pipeline should already have that under their belt.

Enlisted Commissioning Programs are special creatures and can differ based on LDO(Limited Duty, for Navy that means at least an E6 eligible for promotion to E7), Line(Unrestricted), or more specialized(Medical, Dental, Religious).

It is part of why the answers get confused/confusing on "How do you become an officer?" Because there are multiple ways to get there, and they may or may not depend on where you start from. (Such as the difference between an ECP person sent to college, where they basically become ROTC, or an ECP who already has a 4 year degree, and thus requires no schooling.)

All that said. After their "generic" officer inprocessing, they'll be split into different specialties(if not done previously, as per LDO, Medical, Dental, Religious for example) and then sent on for further training relevant to whatever their first assignment is. They are not just simply dropped into a ship or other command with no frame of reference other than very generic training. That might work for the very junior enlisted "undesignated strikers," but that's asking for disaster with a Division Officer, even with an experienced Senior NCO around to give guidance.

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@Not_a_ID

I thank you. I appreciate the help. I think I finally understand. It did not make sense to me that a college grad gets a commission (thus becoming an officer), then after that goes to OCS so they could become an officer.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@PotomacBob

The other thing to bear in mind with the mikitary, or at least the Navy. There is a long-standing joke about "There is a waiver for everything." So seeing people ending up in particular roles via very unusual means is not necessarily unusual in and of itself.

Ie it isn't something you're likely going to encounter on a regular basis, but given enough time, it becomes one of those things you can almost expect to encounter at some point.

Edit: Most likely form such cases will take is people who "Cross Rated" and changed occupational specialties, or people who had their particular specialty "reorganized" out from under them(/their rating).

Of course, then there is that "special" cadre of jokers that any appreciably sized military seems to accumulate who have fun thumbing their noses at the regs and find ways to bend things to their will. In large part because they take doing so as a particular kind of challenge. The usual trade off is while they certainly gain points for eccentricity and the lower ranks may love them, they typically don't progress very high up the totem pole(but that isn't their goal anyhow), or very quickly under normal circumstances.

Replies:   Ross at Play  AmigaClone
Ernest Bywater

The US military officer training system is not simple, however, I think it can be summarised as having three entry points:

1. Military Academy like the Air Force Academy, West Point, etc.

2. ROTC while at college plus the extra relevant service training.

3. Officer Candidate School.

In some cases OCS appears to be the final aspect of the ROTC training, the information isn't very clear. OCS is where enlisted personnel make the jump to officer. However, anyone who does enlists after completing college can be sent to OCS after doing basic training instead of being sent to a unit.

Ross at Play

@Not_a_ID

there is that "special" cadre of jokers that any appreciably sized military seems to accumulate who have fun thumbing their noses at the regs and find ways to bend things to their will.

Sounds like a great idea for a novel, unless, of course, it falls foul of some Catch-22 which says you're not allowed to because somebody else has already done it.

AmigaClone

@Not_a_ID

people who had their particular specialty "reorganized" out from under them


While that didn't happen to me, I know some affected as my MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was phased out less than six months after the end of my IRR (Inactive Ready Reserve) commitment.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@AmigaClone

While that didn't happen to me, I know some affected as my MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was phased out less than six months after the end of my IRR (Inactive Ready Reserve) commitment.


Which is where the rate/rating + NEC(Naval Enlistment Classification -- the Navy's form of MOS) comes into the mix. I knew people impacted by this as the DS rating (Data Systems) was phased out in the mid-late 90's. Thing is, most of them did data entry, while others did maintenance. When they were essentially disbanded as a rate, depending on their NEC, they could become Fire Controlmen, Electronics Technicians, or Radiomen(who were preparing to become IT's (Information Technicians) in a few years).

Well, many/most of the tech oriented DS's didn't want to be Radiomen(RM's), and FC was N/A in most cases. So they became ET's instead. Move forward about three years however, and the soon-to-called IT's start making noise and get many of the former DS duties and responsibilities shifted away from the ET's and into their control.

Created a fun bureaucratic snafu as that transitioned. Because it left many ships with the NEC holder on board being an ET, but the workcenter/division with responsibility for the equipment being the Radiomen. Radiomen who had only been trained as Radiomen at that, so they didn't have much, if any, "of that newfangled IT stuff" in their training.

...and have we ever mentioned how the Navy tends to be a series of tribes-within-tribes. Inter-Departmental Rivalries are one thing, Rivalries between Ratings and even workcenters are another, and the ET's have been the maintainers for equipment used and abused by the Radiomen pretty much since there were Radiomen. So I don't think I need to detail how "enthusiastic" the ET's were about that.

StarFleetCarl

@PotomacBob

Am I reading your note correctly? Is it true that an NROTC guy gets a summer cruise INSTEAD of officer candidate school?


Keep in mind that deployments during the summer (aka the summer cruise) are not sitting on the veranda deck sipping Mai-Tai's. (That's for the Chair Force.) They're working cruises, where you spend weeks doing in depth on the job training. You already know how to do PT (Physical Training), and you're learning in class during the school year about the aspects of the job that involve classroom work. So what you learn during the summer is how to apply what you've learned in the classroom in real world situations.

Mine was Army training, but we were placed in command of the platoon - because as an officer, you're in charge of more than just a squad - and required to lead them on exercises as if we were in combat, with our instructors watching and grading. When I was with my unit (I was National Guard), because we didn't have enough officers, on paper, I was an officer candidate. In reality, I ran Third Platoon. In front during formations, telling the sergeants what our goals were for the weekends and during summer camp training, and letting them do their things. I could get dirty with the troops when we were setting up a decon site if they simply needed an extra hand, but my job was to supervise and try to stay two steps ahead, so that when Job A was done, I already would know what Job B and C were going to be for them. And since the Navy (Did you know that Marines stands for, My Ass Rides in Navy Equipment, Sir!) does most of their thing on or under the water, their officer candidates need to train on ships.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@StarFleetCarl

The midshipmen/ROTC cruise I can recall while on my ship varied depending on their year, and basically consisted of them "shadowing" whatever designated group of persons involved. Up to and including getting the junior most ones to swab the deck. =P

Most of them shadowed at least a Work Center Supervisor(Which I guess would be nearly equivalent to a squad leader), with it progressing up to following the Leading Petty Officer, the Leading Chief Petty Officer, and eventually following the Division Officer around.

richardshagrin
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


The US military officer training system is not simple


This may be an understatement. I got my commission in 1969 by a direct commission. A board of officers interviewed me and approved of my education and experience. The Signal Corps had ended its OCS program a little earlier than they needed and were willing to turn me into a Second Lieutenant. The Army continues to directly commission certain personnel they decide they want. Medical, Ministers of Religion (Chaplins), and some computer specialists may start higher than Second Lieutenant. Something that used to be a Signal Corps function, that appears to involve cryptography and secure communications will directly commission to First Lieutenant rank. Medical doctors used to start as Captains, typically they were in charge of sections of hospitals and needed the rank to tell other personnel who were Lieutenants (Nurses) what to do.

PotomacBob

@Ernest Bywater

In some cases OCS appears to be the final aspect of the ROTC training


Until that sentence, I thought I understood. Naval ROTC students who successfully complete college and successfully complete four years of ROTC in college (including the relevant service training) are given commissions as officers "on graduation." That makes them officers. If they're already officers, why would they need to go to Officer Candidate School "in some cases?" I guess one answer would be "because the Navy said so," but that just seems nonsensical to me.

Not_a_ID

@PotomacBob

If they're already officers, why would they need to go to Officer Candidate School "in some cases?" I guess one answer would be "because the Navy said so," but that just seems nonsensical to me.


Because in "some cases" they didn't do the full Raht-see "process" maybe? If it presumes 4 years, and you joined 2 years in....

Ernest Bywater

@PotomacBob

Bob, I was discussing the whole military structure based on the information I was able to gather over the Internet, which is why I said ... in some cases OCS appears ... Some commission and stick the new officers into the system of graduation from the ROTC program (I suspect the Navy works that way), while some commission and send them off to a short OCS course to fine tune their training. What they actually do has varied over the years, and isn't consistent across all of the services. I gather part of that is the different requirements for basic training and what is given during the summer training courses.

StarFleet Carl

@PotomacBob

Naval ROTC students who successfully complete college and successfully complete four years of ROTC in college (including the relevant service training) are given commissions as officers "on graduation." That makes them officers. If they're already officers, why would they need to go to Officer Candidate School "in some cases?"


I think the confusion here comes from the schooling. If you have completed the ROTC program, then you are commissioned as an officer upon graduation from college. That doesn't mean, though, that you may be going out to serve with the troops and take command of a platoon, squad, or ship at that point. You may need further education in your specialty. For example, when I had planned on going active duty Navy, I was going to have to go to Monterey California for a full year of schooling after graduation. (Top score possible on the qualifying test was 176 when I took it, I got a 155. Minimum qualifying was 95. I figured I was going to be Cat III or Cat IV - and I was really looking forward to finishing school and getting the $25,000 enlistment bonus - in, thank you, 1983!) They were VERY upset when I medicalled out.) There are also 'finishing' schools, as it were, where they teach you more of the basic protocols necessary, some of the things you might not have learned during ROTC. (Officers Club etiquette, uniform stuff, etc.)

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@StarFleet Carl

Thank you. That does make sense to me. New officer goes to specialty training or finishing school before serving with troops. Even after all schooling probably has to follow around a senior NCO to learn the ropes aboard a ship before being turned loose on his own. Right?

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
StarFleet Carl

@PotomacBob

Even after all schooling probably has to follow around a senior NCO to learn the ropes aboard a ship before being turned loose on his own. Right?


The smart ones do. The dumb ones don't. A new nugget (called that because their insignia rank is a gold bar) is notoriously known being a bit stupid. What they have to do ... and it's easy to say here, but typically difficult to do is practice ... is learn HOW to command by delegating authority and at the same time, not becoming a martinet or stuck-up prick because of their rank.

Also, if you're writing about someone serving in the US Navy, get the ranks right. It can get confusing, since they differ from the other branches. Ensign, Lieutenant (jg - for junior grade), Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander, Commander, Captain, Rear Admiral (Lower Half), Rear Admiral (Upper Half), Vice Admiral, Admiral. But also on a ship, there's only one Captain, no matter what his rank. So on a small frigate, the Commanding Officer may have the rank of Lieutenant Commander, but his crew will call him Captain.

http://www.navy.mil/navydata/ranks/officers/o-rank.html
https://www.defense.gov/About/Insignias/Officers/

Replies:   richardshagrin  Not_a_ID
richardshagrin

@StarFleet Carl

Rear Admiral (Lower Half), Rear Admiral (Upper Half), Vice Admiral

It is possible to make jokes about vice and admirals and anal admirals, to speculate about where the upper half and lower half of the rear meet. Not to be a butt about it.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl


Also, if you're writing about someone serving in the US Navy, get the ranks right. It can get confusing, since they differ from the other branches. Ensign, Lieutenant (jg - for junior grade), Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander, Commander, Captain, Rear Admiral (Lower Half), Rear Admiral (Upper Half), Vice Admiral, Admiral. But also on a ship, there's only one Captain, no matter what his rank. So on a small frigate, the Commanding Officer may have the rank of Lieutenant Commander, but his crew will call him Captain.


Oh it gets more fun. "Commodores" still exist in the U.S. Navy on top of all of the above. (Typically they're Squadron Commanders, and it's more of an honorific in the same line as "every ship's commanding officer is called 'Captain' even if that isn't their actual rank.")

I can attest to the officers on my ship discussing orders "from the Commodore" in such a context that I'm certain they were referencing the Squadron Commander.

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