Be Proactive

The 2009 – 2010 Army ROTC scholarship process is winding down, and I just wanted to comment on the aftermath. This years process involved almost 9000 applicants. The requirements were for the applicant to submit an application, submit transcripts and standardized test scores, and conduct an interview, and take a PT test. This year they postponed the DODMERB Physical until after the offer was made, which is creating some issues. So, how did the successful applicants get their offers, and what caused other applicants to be over looked.

Maintaining communications

As I look at the discussion boards and I read posts from applicants complaining about not hearing from Cadet Command and it makes me wonder. If those applicants had contacted one of the schools on their list and worked with the enrollemnt officer they wouldn’t be complaining. If they had made sure that they weren’t missing emails from enrollemnt officer’s that ended up in their spam folders they wouldn’t be complaining. If they had made a followup call, or sent an email when they faxed in their information they wouldn’t be complaining. If they had double checked with their guidance counselor to make sure their transcripts got sent in they wouldn’t be complaining. There were some issues with the applicant website and timely updates, but a good enrollment officer at one of the schools should have been able to verify that an interview was posted, or scores were receive. In fact, if you are applying next year, and you want to know what your status is, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I may try to convince you to come to the Golden Knight Battalion, but I’ll also tell you whether all your stuff is in.

Start Early

Some applicants had 5 opportunities to be considered for a scholarship. Some waited until the deadline and had one chance. The first board met in October, and some applicant knew they were going to school for free by Christmas. This also gave them the opportunity to apply early decision, which helped them get accepted to their school of choice. It also allowed us to start the DODMERB process earlier and overcome medical issues the popped up. Next year there will be 3 boards, and the first will meet in the October time frame. If you have taken your SAT’s and are a rising Senior you should be starting your application online now at

Complete your application

I looked at the application of one of my applicants who didn’t get an offer and noticed that he had no points in his whole person score for athlete.  The application generates a Scholar/Athlete/Leader (SAL) score based on the information in your application.  This applicant was the captain of his football team, played basketball, and plans to play football in college, but that information didn’t get into his application.  He won’t have a scholarship, and probably won’t participate in ROTC. When you prepare your application do it on line. Don’t count on Cadet Command to input your information from a paper application into the computer accurately. Apply online! In fact I believe this year you will have to apply online. When you apply online make sure you annotate all your scholar/athlete/leader attributes. You have two places on the application where you can add narrative, your personal statement and addition SAL attributes. Use these opportunities to talk about why you want to be an officer, and what makes you qualified to receive the scholarship. Too many applicants don’t put this information in.

Put some thought into what schools you list

I have seen lists of 15 schools on an application. You will not receive offers to all of them. I believe the policy this year was that a scholarship winner would receive an offer for a scholarship to the first 5 schools on their list that had allocations. This year each school was limited in how many offers could be made for their school.  Popular schools, expensive schools, and small programs were out of allocations early in the process.  Allocations opened up late in the process as people were medically disqualified, accepted academy slots, or chose other options.  Applicants  may have not received an offer to the school they really wanted to go to.  they may not have received an offer to the school they were accepted to.  Again, one of the keys was to be in contact with recruiting officers.  You can help you get accepted.  They can advise you on your likelihood of getting an offer.  They can suggest some alternatives.  They, along with the Professor of Military Science will determine whether you are eligible and competitive for campus based scholarships that they control.

Hope this information helps

Need to get this post up…more hints to follow in the future…stay tuned.


Hole in One!!

For those of you that missed the first Annual Golden Knight Battalion golf outing it was a special day. We hope that this senior week, pre-commissioning activity will become an annual tradition. We definitely started our inaugural event with a bang. As was announced in the Watertown Daily News from Saturday, May 8 LTC (RET) Jim Hassett shot a hole in one, while playing with the PMS, LTC Hinrichs, Cadet James Wheeler, and his father Bruce. Friends, Cadets, family members, and Cadre had a great time during the 9 hole, best ball competition held at the Potsdam Town and Country Club. This year, then Cadet, now Lieutenant Matt Wagner put this thing together on the fly, but I’m sure all participants would agree that it’s a keeper. Hope to see you next year on the links.

Game on – High School Juniors – time to apply

I was at a college fair at Adirondack Community College last night, and I talked to a high school junior who had been on line to start the scholarship application process for fall 2011. It’s never too early to get the process started. I usually recommend starting right after taking the SAT’s at the end of your Junior year. But………….NOW’S THE TIME TO GET ON LINE AND CREATE AN ACCOUNT AND START PLUGGING YOUR INFO IN. The worst that can happen is you have to turn down a full ride, 4 year scholarship to any school you can get into that has army ROTC. So, get online and get started!

Here is a free Army resource to help you improve your SAT/ACT/ASVAB scores