Posted on Jan 11, 2014
1SG(P) First Sergeant
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Can you tell If a Officer is from West Point? Can a Officer see the difference or does the NCO have a better eye on it. I my self have meet both.
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CPT Battery Commander
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Good Officer's can come from anywhere, and so can bad ones. I can generally tell pretty well what someone's commissioning source is and whether they were ROTC/USMA/OCS, (I was ROTC myself). I've had issues with leaders from each, and I've seen some of the greatest leaders I've ever met from each; as SSG Benavidez said it comes down to the individual. I don't think any commissioning source is better than another, they're just different, and each tend to come with their own set of issues.


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MAJ Joseph Parker
MAJ Joseph Parker
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You are correct 2LT Youngblood! West Point and ROTC have slightly different missions and generally different training standards and methods. They also have different selection standards. Is one "better" than the other? Depends on what one means by "better." We definitely don't want an Army of only West Point Officers, or only ROTC, or only OCS. On the whole, each source provides leaders of character with traits that serve the needs of the Army. Also, each source provides a spectrum of leaders, from poor to brilliant, from early bloomers to late bloomers.
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MAJ Ken Landgren
MAJ Ken Landgren
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I believe the commissioning source has a strong determination in the perception of the military and in itself can be a trap. Otherwise, most get it and learn it with their platoon.
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SFC Equal Opportunity Advisor
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I can usually tell the difference between the two. It's hard to say which is better but I have to say it's the person that makes more the difference than where they were educated from.
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1SG(P) First Sergeant
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From a NCO Point Or my point of view. Its harder to help out or train the new LT then it is a ROTC LT.
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SFC Agr Tng Nco
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SFC Markley, you hit the target with that answer.
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MAJ Joseph Parker
MAJ Joseph Parker
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SSG(P) Joseph B: You are not the only one to notice this! This is because of the difference between the ROTC and Academy selection and training programs. The Academy selection process is aimed at selection and training of young men and women for a LIFETIME of national leadership and service. The numbers selected are small. Generally speaking, academy graduates really start to come into their own in the more senior grades and higher levels of responsibility. This is what they were trained and selected for.  That doesn't mean they won't be a good or even great PLT LDR.
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SSgt Forensic Meteorological Consultant
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SFC Craig. When I worked at Little Rock AFB - we had the Reserve there working in the Base Weather Station. One civilian forecaster was pulling weekend duty when he said that his observers were better than active duty. Except for me he said I was the best of them all.


I say this because you mentioned trainability and to some extent I agree because we had enlisted guys with Masters degrees in Physics and such. Many were resistant to be a forecaster because the observing job was easy outside of bad weather.

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MAJ Joseph Parker
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MSG(P) Matthew Q.: The avenue depends on the student, their qualifications, and their goals. Be careful not to judge the Academies as better than ROTC, etc. They are just different. Each program produces a different kind of leader


First, the academy: Besides the qualifications; the student must want to spend a lifetime of service to the nation and want more than anything else in the world to go to the academy. Otherwise, they just won't be able to make it through. Desire is the essential element. Well rounded and national level leadership, academic, and physical skills are next. However, without the burning desire none of the skills will matter.


Second: ROTC: Basically, the student will need the same skills and desire for a life of service to the nation. ROTC is less rigorous on a daily basis so the desire for service the student needs to succeed is far less intense. The training is excellent and though different than the academy. It provides a junior officer every bit as good if not better than many academy officers. It is also a good avenue for students who don't meet academy academic standards or who can't get an academy appointment to still become an officer. CAUTION: Some ROTC programs are every bit as rigorous as the academy, and the "desire" factor is a greater concern if the student is to succeed. For example, the Citadel.


Finally, I would recommend that the student sit down with a few field grade officers (no slight intended to the company grades out there) and discuss what he or she would like to do in the military and why. Field grades know all the ropes and have the experience to point a young person to the best avenue. They can also write the best recommendations and have contacts at school admissions.


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