Apparently you didn’t get the memo

I sent an email out yesterday to the applicants on my list who hadn’t completed their file to be board ready for the January board. When I started to get response from a couple of the applicants expressing some concern I dug a little deeper into what I could see of their applications and noticed that the initial “Guidance Counselor Letter” which applicants usually receive was missing. I suspected something was up because the questions I was getting are usually answered by this letter. So I queried my higher headquarters and the response was that because of a computer problem these letters weren’t produced for some applicants, and it appeared that there wasn’t going to be an effort on Cadet Commands part to try an alternate way to provide the information.

So, while I refrain from expressing my amazement here is my best effort to provide the information that some of the applicants haven’t (and apparently won’t receive).

Guidance Counselor Letter

I have redacted the contact information from the scholarship processor. If you are an applicant and you didn’t receive this letter you will still receive a missing items letter which will have the contact information of your file processor. I don’t want to publish all the processors contact information here, for fear they will be inundated with calls and emails, but if you don’t have a letter indicating who is working on your file please contact me and I can provide that information to you. As always, you should be working with a recruiting officer from one of your schools of interest, and hopefully they are as helpful as I try to be.

The last page usually list the 5 closest ROTC Battalions to your home with the contact information for the PMS. This list can be used to schedule your interview. If you haven’t received this list you have a couple options. If you know there is a school close to your home you can google “XXXX university Army ROTC” and find the contact information for that school, call and request a scholarship interview. You can call the scholarship processor and ask them for a list of the closest schools. You can also take my advice and interview at one of your top school choices when you visit.

There are currently 5 processors working on close to 10,000 applicants files. It is understandable that they aren’t always as responsive as we think they should be. 273 recruiting officers/enrollment officers should be able to keep everyone on track.

Would like for you to leave a comment if you didn’t receive the Guidance Counselor Letter and you found this helpful.

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Use all the white space

The online scholarship application allows you two areas to provide narrative on your Army ROTC scholarship application. I have already written an article regarding the personal statement, but the other block of white space for you to fill needs some exploring. First off, you need to understand that I have never personally filled out an Army Scholarship application online, so some of my suggestions are based on a little bit of speculation on my part. I do have visibility over the final product though, so my speculation is based on some pretty good information. The field I’m going to talk about shows up as “Applicants Additional SAL Achievements” in the Cadet Command Information Management System.

First off…

Don’t leave this or the personal statement blank!!!

I see it all the time, and Cadet Command will usually tell you that your personal statement is missing. Your applications is your argument for why Cadet Command should pay for your education and make you an Army Officer. So use all the space to make your case. Remember that we are looking for Scholar/Athlete/Leaders, so tell us about your scholar/athlete/leader attributes/accomplishments.

The best way I’ve seen to fill this block is to use your resume, and bulletize your accomplishments. I would suggest either a chronological organization, or organize the achievements by SAL criteria. For example:

2009
-Competed in a triathalon in Hawaii
-Selected to attend the national young leaders forun on national security
-Captain of the varsity chess team
-Voluteered 3 hours a week at the pet shelter
2010
-Boys State participant
-National honors society all 4 years of high school
-Secretary of senior class
-Clarkson University high school leadership award – given to a junior in top 15 percent of class who has outstanding leadership qualities and academic promise

…you get the idea.

This is your opportunity to add anything that you couldn’t add elsewhere, and your chance to expound on something you added elsewhere, but weren’t able to explain fully. Remember that if you were selected to be captain of the football team it might be to your advantage to explain that you led conditioning for 70 players, instead of just checking the block and leaving the board members to wonder what the captain of the football team does at your school.

some other Do’s and Don’ts –

  • Do proofread and have someone else proofread before posting
  • Don’t post the same information in both additional achievements and personal statement (I’ve seen it done)
  • Don’t make stuff up or fabricate your achievements
  • Do tell your story…this is your chance to toot your horn
  • Don’t toot too loud
  • Some phrases to avoid (again, I’ve seen these)

  • I deserve this scholarship because
  • I can’t afford to go to college without this scholarship
  • This scholarship will allow me to earn a degree and make lots of money some day

  • Hope this helps as some of you put the finishing touches on your scholarship, and helps some of you future applicants be more competitive.

    Better check twice…SAT/ACT scores

    Do you think Cadet Command has your SAT scores? Might want to double check

    Here is a heads up regarding SAT/ACT scores and the scholarship application. Here is what was communicated to the Army ROTC recruiting community recently

    Because of a system incompatibility scores sent from College Board will not be “available for upload into the applicants files”.

    What that means for you is that if you are thinking that because you listed Cadet Command to receive your score that they have or will be posted to your file, your scores are probably not in your file. The best ways to check are to access your file status online, or contact the ROO at one of your schools and ask what you are still missing. If you have one of my schools listed I will probably be contacting you to let you know what you are missing, but all ROOs aren’t the same.
    I also suggest you take a screen shot of your score from the SAT or ACT website, paste that into a document, and email it to your processor, and cc that email to usarmy.knox.usacc.mbx.train2lead@mail.mil . I also suggest you check your file online often, at least until you are designated board ready.

    The deadline approaches

    We are inside of 40 days until the Army ROTC scholarship application needs to be started for this year’s senior class.

    The deadline is 10 January!!!

    This deadline is the deadline to get online and submit the initial application.  Once that is done you will still need to do 4 things, and the deadline to do those 4 things is

    28 February!!!

    What are those 4 things you ask.

    Hey…didn’t I write a blog post last year about this time, about the same thing?

    Remember that if you want to get everything in for the second board (by 2 January) you’ll need to factor in the holidays if you still need to schedule an interview with a PMS.

    What seems like routine around here may be totally new to the applicants that are wading into the fray for the first time.  Hopefully the information in this blog helps educate (and entertain) all who are interested in Army ROTC.  Let me know if it helps, and you should always feel free to contact me directly with your questions (just be prepared to tell me if you play hockey, and if you’ve ever considered Clarkson University).