I am 17 years old as of now, and college is fast approaching. I am a junior in high school, and have no doubt that I will be accepted into various schools. However, my mother’s side of the family has all completed 10 years in the United States Navy. So, my question is:

-How does the navy/military in general pay for your schooling? Do you attend college while serving, or devote to service after your college career.

-I’ve heard that attending the naval college heeds the benefit of coming out of college as an officer in the navy. How does the school funding work here, and is it as difficult to get into as a school like Westpoint?

Thank you.

Can anyone please supply me with an answer :confused:

The easiest way to become an officer in the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines is just to go to a regular college or university with an ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program. Lots of public and private colleges have those and you can just sign up as a Freshman and take some military classes on top of your regular school work to see if it is for you. As long as you don’t have a scholarship from the military, you can take it or leave it as you choose for the first two years.

I had my own full-ride academic scholarship but I also went to Tulane for undergrad which was pretty heavy on ROTC for a prestigious private school so I decided to give Air Force training a try. I left after a year but it wasn’t because I didn’t like it. I thought it was great. I just didn’t want to commit to such a thing at that time in my life but sometimes wish that I had.

You usually have two years to decide if the military isn’t paying for it and it wasn’t that much of an issue for day to day student life. We did have to wear a military uniform at least one day a week and know the salutes and how to do formations plus additional classroom training but the regular classes were way harder.

There are also very generous ROTC scholarships available that let you go to lots of schools but they are also very competitive and you are somewhat locked into military service straight out of high school. If you know that is what you want to do, it can be a perfect fit. You can go to some great schools along with everyone else but have most of it paid for by Uncle Sam and I even think you get a small monthly allowance. It is possible to bail out on the deal once you commit to it but it takes cash. Some state schools like Texas A&M and many others have a huge ROTC population along with with everyone else. At other schools, the ROTC population is tiny and the overall student body might even be hostile of discriminatory towards the idea. You have to research each school individually but that applies to everything.

If you want to become an Admiral or a General, the military academies are the proven route for that but you can certainly get there through the ways I stated above more pleasantly unless you were born to be G.I. Joe and that is all you ever intend on being. You also need a political appointment to go to those so you and your parents may need connections. The prestige factor for the academies is high but I hear the pain in the ass factor is extreme as well.

If you miss those opportunities, there is Officer Training School. My younger brother passed Coast Guard Officer Training School about one year ago at the age of 26. It almost killed him even coming from being the head of a canine police unit and he only continued on out of fear which was the point but he is stationed in Hawaii now.

After all of that, the easiest way to become an officer in the U.S. military is to go ROTC at a regular school and sign up for the Air Force. Navy isn’t so bad but Coast guard is supposed to be the best deal of all.

Welcome aboard soldier.

Getting impatient and trigger-happy is not a good trait for a military officer. You only gave us one hour and I gave you a long one. You are young but you will learn.



Carry on

You need to talk to a Navy ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corp) recruiter about taking the Navy aptitude test. If you score well enough on it, and have good grades, you can apply for a Navy ROTC scholarship and the Navy will pay your way through college(tuition, fees, book allowance and monthly pay) in exchange for a 4 year commitment to serve on active duty and a 7 year (I think) reserve commitment.

You can go to any college or University that has a Navy ROTC program. My son wore his uniform to class once a week, and had some Navy classes each semester (Calculus and Physics were required but there were tutors to help). He also had physical training several times per week. The first year, there was a mandatory study hall. If you made good grades (above a 3.5 average, as I recall, you got a financial bonus each semester- up to $500.00 for a 4.0) Each summer, he spent 30 on active duty exploring the different aspects of the Navy.

The Navy does not care what you major in. They will train you for what they want you to do. My son majored in Japanese, and he spent his junior year studying at a Japanese university (that took some planning to get the required Navy courses completed, but it was possible).
He graduated from college and was commissioned as an Ensign (lowest officer grade) -the same rank that the Naval Academy grads get commissioned at when they graduate.

My other son applied for and got a Navy ROTC scholarship but he had been accepted at Texas A&M. If you are an ROTC student at A&M, you HAVE TO be in the Corps of Cadets. The Corps of Cadets is a MAJOR time commitment at A&M, but a very prestigious place to come out of as a military officer. He chose not to accept the scholarship because of that time commitment.

For the Naval Academy, you have to be appointed by your congressman.

this is the Navy website that has a section about NROTC (Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps).

If you talk to a Recruiter, they will verbally promise you the moon and the stars. If you don’t get it in WRITING, it won’t happen.

You can check in one of the Maritime Academies. After your second year you can descide on the ROTC option. When you graduate you will have the choice of Navy or Coast Guard. No garentee. If there is a surplus of officers you may not be given a chance at a commission.

You can enlist. Normally after 2 years and with the correct rating you can go to college as a duty assignment. If you maintain grades and complete the two years you will owe the Navy 2 years. At the end of the two years you can go back for another 2 years and complete your degree. Again you will owe 2 more years. To this program there are a lot of if’s and it changes yearly.

Another way is to have a protion of your pay withheld and set aside for college, I believe the Navy matches the amount with in limits. When you get out you can use the money to pay for college. My son did this.

Once you are in the Navy, one of the ways in which the Navy combines “paying for additional schooling” with “fulfilling your duties” is by assigning you to be an OTC instructor in the school where you’re studying. A couple of my students were in that situation.

Remember, this entire idea is not just a financial question. If you commit to the military, you may be committing to a military operation you find repugnant, or worse. For instance a secret bombing of a country we’re not at war with. Or an attack on a country with falsified evidence justifying the attack.

Not saying it’s necessarily a bad idea; just saying it’s not just an easy way to pay for college.

This is not true anymore; the Navy scholarships are getting more restrictive and now the vast majority are only going toward technical majors. Also, each NROTC unit is different when it comes to PT day, drill days, study hall policy. Once you find a school that you like (that has a NROTC program), talk to one of the officers there and find out about the local policies.

Or, as has been suggested, try the other alternative routes.

Note that you don’t have to personally know a congressperson to get into the Naval Academy. I had a student accepted there last year and he discovered that his congresspeople all had avenues by which he could solicit their recommendation, and one was happy to appoint him after reviewing his credentials.

They are, however, very competitive. This particular kid had very solid but not extraordinary test scores, was 7th or so in his class, 4 years of a sport, 4 years theater, Eagle scout, NHS, tip-tip physical shape, top recs, and was extremely personable. He was by no means considered a shoe-in. He has found the academics there very challenging, but loves it.