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Old 08-21-2011, 01:40 AM   #1
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What's your opinion of ROTC cadets?

Do you guys consider ROTC cadets (Without prior enlistment) service-member equivalents or nothing worthy of recognition until they receive their commission?


Just BSing around, a friend of mine trolled my comp and asked why I didnt put the Army tag on my profile. Made me curious as to what ROTC cadets are seen as to already active military members. (I've only had bias opinion from former ROTC cadets and ROTC enlisted/officer instructors.)
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:04 AM   #2
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I myself will be joining the ROTC here, but not until my Junior year in 2 semesters. I definitely see your point and the question you're asking.

My opinion is how I treat them currently as a student and not yet an ROTC Cadet. They have my respect for entering the program and wanting to serve in the US Military. However, they're not yet graduated from the program.

A soldier in basic or a Police cadet in the Police Academy can wash out, but that's not nearly as common as the cadet making it all the way through. It is simply something they have yet to accomplish, as I do. I plan on military service and joining the police force, but I don't go up to a Police Officer and start to chit chat like I'm on his level.

Hopefully that helps with your discussion.
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:13 AM   #3
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we have them come to our base every now and again. most are just a bunch of punk kids that think they are already officers and try to act like it and havent even see what the military really is. irritates the piss out of me knowing half of them are going to "grow up" to be nothing but a piss poor excuse for a leader....just my opinion
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hughesc99 View Post
we have them come to our base every now and again. most are just a bunch of punk kids that think they are already officers and try to act like it and havent even see what the military really is. irritates the piss out of me knowing half of them are going to "grow up" to be nothing but a piss poor excuse for a leader....just my opinion
See, that's the general view that I'm getting, hence why I havent put the army tag on.

Thanks for you input though! I have enlisted family members that will beat the shit out of me if I turn into one of those "punk kids that think they're already officers"

I'm just going to use whatever input I get here to add to my "Shit not to do/be" list.
Already seen officers that pissed me off...But I want specifics to avoid the general "ROTC Dipshit wannabe" label...
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:22 AM   #5
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It's all about your attitude...Act like a punk and that is how you'll be viewed. That is one thing I'm not sure cadets get. When I make a run to the store or gas station before work in uniform I can't be screwing around and acting a fool. You not only make yourself look like and ass but your branch also. No one can take you serious as a leader if your just fucking around all the time. Not saying you are or will, this is what I have seen.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:20 AM   #6
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This is a very good question. I have been in the Army for 12 yrs and agree with the above comment just about 100%. I am also currently on recruiting duty so I totally see where the question comes from. I had a future Soldier come back from basic and tell me he feels weird when people tell him thank you, because he has not deployed yet. I informed him that even though he hasn’t deployed he still has made a lot if sacrifices 99% of Americans couldn’t even fathom and he shouldn’t feel weird. I told him since he is going to Bragg, he will deploy soon enough.

As for the cadidiot, ho ahead and put the Army emblem up there. This is just the damn internet! As long as you are not posing as though you are some experienced officer you are ok in my book. You are currently in an Army program, stay motivated, drink water, move out and draw fire!

Oh yeah, if you ever go to a unit for a field exercise sleep with one eye open, we always tape caditiots to the cot and take them some place out in the woods and leave them there!!
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hughesc99 View Post
we have them come to our base every now and again. most are just a bunch of punk kids that think they are already officers and try to act like it and havent even see what the military really is. irritates the piss out of me knowing half of them are going to "grow up" to be nothing but a piss poor excuse for a leader....just my opinion
There are d-bags from every commissioning source. And I would be impressed if you could meet a midgrade officer and guess what commissioning source they came from without any info on their background.

ROTC cadets are just that-cadets. You aren't really contributing anything yet- I know I did some stuff, but fairly insignificant things, to help other units when I was an Academy Cadet.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:30 AM   #8
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I call them cad-idiots. I dont show them respect. Im cool with them but thats it. I really dont care too much for butter bars. I show respect where respect is earned. The same way i earn the repect of my soldiers. I dont demand it i Earn it.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:53 AM   #10
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ROTC Cadets who show up on our installations are there to be exposed to the military, they are there to start to get more of a real world idea of what, exactly, it is that they are supposed to be doing. They have zero experience thus no real idea of what is or is not "douchebaggy" in the military context. College campuses (even the service academies) are, by and large, not places that are well equipped to prepare someone for the military culture. If said cadet, be it ROTC or service academy, is acting like a douche bag it is incumbent on those of us who are on active duty, those of us to whom that cadet is looking for guidance, to correct him or her in a gentle but firm manner, much as you would deal with anyone else that you took from one culture to another. However, we must also keep in mind that what is right may not always be "correct" meaning that what that cadet may have to do/say/whatever in order to successfully complete their training or get the assignment that he or she desires.

Further it is well for us to remember that A) "Butter Bars" are commissioned officers who have been thrown into a fairly shitty position of having to be in charge of people who know a good deal more about what is going on than they (the officer) does. That is not a position I would enjoy and have a fair amount of respect for anyone who voluntarily takes it. B) All of true military learning is experiential and a newly minted 2lt has very little experience. Rest assured no one is King Kong badass right out of whatever initial professional training your branch of service or job field may have.

Having said all of THAT. I treat ROTC cadets, and 2nd LTs for that matter, as I would treat anyone new to the gun club. They may be the butt of some well intentioned jokes but no one learns anything by being disrespected and humiliated. That is not to say there isn't a time for a more... directive mode of instruction only that it is counter productive to go about it like that all of the time, especially if the person you are addressing is A) smarter than you and/or B) is or is going to be (directly or indirectly) your boss. All that does is perpetuate the cycle and re-enforces the "enlisted guys are assholes" mentality. It is our duty to pass down what we know to the next generation and I intend to do that.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeePirate View Post
ROTC Cadets who show up on our installations are there to be exposed to the military, they are there to start to get more of a real world idea of what, exactly, it is that they are supposed to be doing. They have zero experience thus no real idea of what is or is not "douchebaggy" in the military context. College campuses (even the service academies) are, by and large, not places that are well equipped to prepare someone for the military culture. If said cadet, be it ROTC or service academy, is acting like a douche bag it is incumbent on those of us who are on active duty, those of us to whom that cadet is looking for guidance, to correct him or her in a gentle but firm manner, much as you would deal with anyone else that you took from one culture to another. However, we must also keep in mind that what is right may not always be "correct" meaning that what that cadet may have to do/say/whatever in order to successfully complete their training or get the assignment that he or she desires.

Further it is well for us to remember that A) "Butter Bars" are commissioned officers who have been thrown into a fairly shitty position of having to be in charge of people who know a good deal more about what is going on than they (the officer) does. That is not a position I would enjoy and have a fair amount of respect for anyone who voluntarily takes it. B) All of true military learning is experiential and a newly minted 2lt has very little experience. Rest assured no one is King Kong badass right out of whatever initial professional training your branch of service or job field may have.

Having said all of THAT. I treat ROTC cadets, and 2nd LTs for that matter, as I would treat anyone new to the gun club. They may be the butt of some well intentioned jokes but no one learns anything by being disrespected and humiliated. That is not to say there isn't a time for a more... directive mode of instruction only that it is counter productive to go about it like that all of the time, especially if the person you are addressing is A) smarter than you and/or B) is or is going to be (directly or indirectly) your boss. All that does is perpetuate the cycle and re-enforces the "enlisted guys are assholes" mentality. It is our duty to pass down what we know to the next generation and I intend to do that.
IRT the bolded text- I don't really think that's a complete thought. They know very little about some of the technical aspects of the jobs the folks who work for them do. But (at least in my experience) the Soldiers/Sailors/Coasties have plenty of missing skills sets too. I didn't need to be an expert at the care and repair of all the weapons systems on the boat to be a good WEPS. Same with so many other jobs I've had.
We can debate the importance of the admin functions and oversight of a unit- but it has to happen. And many of the technical experts (even senior NCOs) can be woefully unprepared to deal with it. A newly minted 2lt tho...Has spent at least some time in classes about policy and procedure and is given the task of learning/managing the BS so you guys can do what you do.
Everyone has their place-or we wouldn't bother with some of the ranks we have now. There is also an attitude/method of dealing with folks that matters...and I've seen prior enlisted folks mess that up just as bad as an academy or ROTC grad.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunes View Post
IRT the bolded text- I don't really think that's a complete thought. They know very little about some of the technical aspects of the jobs the folks who work for them do. But (at least in my experience) the Soldiers/Sailors/Coasties have plenty of missing skills sets too. I didn't need to be an expert at the care and repair of all the weapons systems on the boat to be a good WEPS. Same with so many other jobs I've had.
We can debate the importance of the admin functions and oversight of a unit- but it has to happen. And many of the technical experts (even senior NCOs) can be woefully unprepared to deal with it. A newly minted 2lt tho...Has spent at least some time in classes about policy and procedure and is given the task of learning/managing the BS so you guys can do what you do.
Everyone has their place-or we wouldn't bother with some of the ranks we have now. There is also an attitude/method of dealing with folks that matters...and I've seen prior enlisted folks mess that up just as bad as an academy or ROTC grad.

You are completely correct. Perhaps our only disconnect in this is our backgrounds. I am not in Coast Guard (although I often wish I had gone that route) and I am not an officer but I strongly suspect that what is required of a new ensign on a cutter is much different from what is required of a new 2lt in an Army or Marine infantry platoon; just as what is expected of a new seaman (is that what y'all call them?) is much different from what is expected of a new private in the same rifle company.

I completely understand the importance of unit oversight and I also am not suggesting that junior officers need to be technical experts in every piece of kit they have on their hand receipt. In MY career field, you can't learn to actually LEAD the unit without being in it. You can get the classes, you can read the manuals but without being on the ground, with the guys, none of that really matters. Manuals, after all, are terrainless, stressless, and environment free. They are also only doctrine which is a framework, not a complete "how to" manual.

Soldiers/sailors/coasties/marines DO have missing skill sets. Hell, EVERYONE does. The biggest lesson in leadership, in fact, is managing \ those missing skill sets in such a matter that the unit, be it weapons section, infantry platoon, tank company, air wing, MEU, battleship, cutter, or boat crew, can work (fight, fly, rescue, whatever) unhindered. THAT is a difficult skill to learn in the classroom as well.

I am not, nor have I ever suggested that the E side of the house has it all figured out (far from it, quite frankly). I am simply suggesting that Cadets of any ilk as well as junior officers have a whole lot to learn and not much time to learn it and that we, in the enlisted ranks, do ourselves and our service, a great disservice by treating cadets and junior officers like a bunch of dickheads.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:10 AM   #13
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Whenever we had Middies or sea cadets onbaord, it was always "c'mover here and let me learn you something." by and large they knew thier place in the pecking order, it was always the kids with the big ego that we really had to deal with.

My last weapons officer came from the academy and he viewed it like this: "I work for the enlisted, enlisted works for the Chief, until I get spun up enough to start working" An excellent viewpoint IMHO. He did everythg with us from maintenance to operations and became an outstanding officer from the perspective he gained.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YankeePirate View Post
You are completely correct. Perhaps our only disconnect in this is our backgrounds. I am not in Coast Guard (although I often wish I had gone that route) and I am not an officer but I strongly suspect that what is required of a new ensign on a cutter is much different from what is required of a new 2lt in an Army or Marine infantry platoon; just as what is expected of a new seaman (is that what y'all call them?) is much different from what is expected of a new private in the same rifle company.

I completely understand the importance of unit oversight and I also am not suggesting that junior officers need to be technical experts in every piece of kit they have on their hand receipt. In MY career field, you can't learn to actually LEAD the unit without being in it. You can get the classes, you can read the manuals but without being on the ground, with the guys, none of that really matters. Manuals, after all, are terrainless, stressless, and environment free. They are also only doctrine which is a framework, not a complete "how to" manual.

Soldiers/sailors/coasties/marines DO have missing skill sets. Hell, EVERYONE does. The biggest lesson in leadership, in fact, is managing \ those missing skill sets in such a matter that the unit, be it weapons section, infantry platoon, tank company, air wing, MEU, battleship, cutter, or boat crew, can work (fight, fly, rescue, whatever) unhindered. THAT is a difficult skill to learn in the classroom as well.

I am not, nor have I ever suggested that the E side of the house has it all figured out (far from it, quite frankly). I am simply suggesting that Cadets of any ilk as well as junior officers have a whole lot to learn and not much time to learn it and that we, in the enlisted ranks, do ourselves and our service, a great disservice by treating cadets and junior officers like a bunch of dickheads.
You are absolutely correct. As a PSG, you are equally worthless if you choose to harrass your PL and not train him. Even though the PSG is USUALLY more experienced, it is always good to have your counterpart on the same wavelength as you when they talk to the CO, BN CDR, ect. There are always, and more often now a days, COs that elect not to listen to their enlisted personnel as much as when I first joined the Army. The inability for some NCOs to do what the hell they are supposed to do is the reason NCOs, in the Army anyway, are losing so much power. As a Commo Chief for a BN I got a new 2LT from West Point. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but he continued to not head my warnings. I had to let him fail and fall on his face in order for him to realize that we were on the same team and seperate we are week, but together we are very strong.

As for prior service Officers, I think they are a lot of the time worse than brand new ones. They a lot of the time can not take off their NCO hat and put on their Officer hat....
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:10 AM   #15
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arvizu9618 View Post
the best officers are almost always prior enlisted, IMHO
That is a VERY broad brush stroke. I've met plenty of horrible priors....Met plenty of horrible academy grads. And met lots of great ones too.

I agree with the statement made before that some prior have trouble letting go of their NCO habits and thinking- cause going from a E-6 or E-7 to a O-1 is a step backwards in "big fish in the pond" status.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:19 PM   #18
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From the perspective of a fairly new 2LT myself, I take the words of Brunes, YankeePirate, and ONEmanWOLFpack as great wisdom, advice, and as appreciation for not lumping all of us together.

When I first got to my unit, I got stuck at Brigade for 3 months before being sent to take over my shop at the Battalion level. I had to learn real quick to not act like the typical 2LT, seeing as how I was the ONLY 2LT at Brigade. With that being said, I started my job with the mindset, and made it publicly known, that I really had very MINIMUM experience when I started (whether it be in the technical systems, or the experience of of leading Soldiers).

I took every opportunity I had to learn from the Soldiers in my shop, whether they were a MAJ, a CPT, a CW2, an E-8 or even an E-4. I knew that even the most junior enlisted Soldier in the shop, knew more about our field than I did. If I had questions (and I had many), I had NO problem asking one of them to take a minute from their work and show me how to do something, or at least explain it. For about a month, I did nothing more than watch, ask questions, and run little meaningless tasks that any brand new E-1 could do. But once I started getting more proficient in things, I was feeling much more comfortable and started taking on taskings that actually mattered, like submitting reports directly to FORSCOM (the kind of thing that I couldn't learn from the enlisted Soldiers).

I never once took my subordinates for granted, barked orders at them, or asked them to do something that I myself wouldn't at least attempt. I earned respect from them because of my ATTITUDE, not because of my all inclusive knowledge. If I asked them to do something, they did it without any grief.

By the time I left Brigade, I had developed a reputation as a young, dependable "go to Officer"; even if I was still one in the making. I took initiative to develop myself and learn from everyone I could, regardless of their rank.

All Cadets are told from the beginning, your PSG and NCO's know more than you do; go into it with the mindset that they will teach you everything. The good Officers understand this and are easy to pick out....and know that we are always still learning from them.


I'll finish with, my NCOIC is my right hand person....she gets shit done, ensures the Soldiers in my shop are completing our tasks, makes my life easier, and mentors/teaches me something every day. Neither side of the house is perfect, and neither side can get the job done all on their own (regardless what they think).




I realized I missed the point of this thread.....if you are a Cadet and are already CONTRACTED, go ahead and proudly display the symbol of your Branch, but don't try and pass off that you are already commissioned. If you have not yet contracted, don't display it.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by SportTractoF150 View Post
blah blah blah blah


I realized I missed the point of this thread.....if you are a Cadet and are already CONTRACTED, go ahead and proudly display the symbol of your Branch, but don't try and pass off that you are already commissioned. If you have not yet contracted, don't display it.
Less talking, more push ups.
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