ROTC RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
1. You are not an officer yet. You are only a cadet and you hold no equivalent to an active duty rank.
2. Regardless of the service schools you may have attended (Airborne, Air Assault, etc.), if you have not actually served in an active duty unit then you do not have any operational Army experience to speak of.
3. Although you may be assigned a branch and duty station, you are not yet qualified in that branch and have not yet served in a unit. Don't try to take credit for things you haven't done yet.
4. The veterans on this board have all earned your respect. You need to show them the respect that they have earned as professional soldiers. As a cadet you have not yet done anything to earn respect. The best way to get it here is to listen and learn, not to teach and explain that which you do not yet know.
2LT RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
1. Once you are commissioned, your soldiers will respect your rank by default and will obey your orders because they have to - but this is not leadership. If you listen to your NCO's and soldiers, look out for the needs of your troops, and always display a readiness to learn from their experiences, then you will begin to earn their respect and they will help you to succeed. Fail to do this, and they will ensure that you fail.
2. If you have not attended OBC, are currently in your OBC, or for any other reason have not yet arrived at your unit, you do not have any accomplishments or experience to speak of here. Listen and learn.
3. Above all else, your focus should be on how you can be the best leader possible for your troops. Know yourself, know your weaknesses, strive to improve your weaknesses. Don't try to impress anyone with your strengths, because there will always be someone stronger and better than you in any given area. Strengths can always be made stronger.
ROTC AND 2LT FAQ
- I want to serve as an officer in the 75th Ranger Regiment. What does that mean? - You cannot serve as an officer in the 75th Ranger Regiment without first having completed Ranger School. The sequence of events is 1) get commissioned as an officer 2) graduate Ranger School 3) serve as a Ranger qualified officer and live the Ranger Creed in any unit you are assigned to, then volunteer for service in the 75th Ranger Regiment.
There is no option 40 available for officers and no guarantee that you'll ever get to the Regiment. If your primary goal is to serve in Regiment, then you should terminate your plans to become a commissioned officer and pursue an option 40 enlistment contract.
- How can I get to Regiment as an Infantry officer? - There is no guarantee that as an officer you will ever get to Regiment. Your best bet is to complete Ranger School, and be the best PL in your battalion. After you have proven yourself in your unit, you can submit a 4187 to request reassignment to Regiment, but you must have the support of your chain of command.
- How can I get to Regiment if I'm not Infantry? - Your chances are extremely slim. If you are branch detailed IN make sure you get your Ranger Tab and EIB - that will help you out once you go back to your basic branch. There is no magic key or recipe to follow. You will never just get assigned to Regiment. Do your own research and make your own path. You need to be your own career manager and find and make contacts that can help you.
- What Army schools should I attend as a cadet? - As a cadet your should take advantage of any opportunity you have to be with troops. The best thing you can do is CTLT with an infantry unit. The second best thing you can do is attend Airborne and/or Air Assault schools. Don't brag about having completed these schools - they are not achievements. They are basic training for a combat arms officer and it is expected that you be able to complete these.
- Should I go to Airborne School before Ranger School? Won't that make it more likely for me to get hurt in Ranger School? - As a leader, why would you ever want to do anything halfway? If you have the chance, become airborne qualified before you go to Ranger School.
- I'm on my ROTC Ranger Challenge Team. Doesn't that count for something? - No. All it does is provide you the opportunity to get more training than your fellow cadets. As a leader that is expected of you anyway. It is not an accomplishment.