Thinking of a Military Career?

Making the big decision to join a Uniformed Service of the United States can be a daunting task and one that requires a significant amount of self-assessment.  The institution that you choose can change if you decide to transfer, but signing a military contract is a binding decision that is not easily undone.  That being said, it is an option that many people consider and one that can create a great career…including myself.

Gendrue-command photo-cropped

As you may have guessed by my photo above, I am an officer in the NY Army National Guard and received my degree from Grove City College – so I understand some of the thoughts going through your mind.  My first piece of advice: pray.  While this can be the most important advice for any form of self-assessment, I encourage you to include prayer as your starting point for this decision because of the sacrificial nature of the military commitment.  Before I go further, let me say that I am glad to hear you are interested in Grove City College and I commend your desire to serve this country.


Let me answer the ROTC question right off the bat: Unfortunately, Grove City College does not have an ROTC program or any agreement with another school’s program.  The explanation behind this reality stems from our stance on federal funding.  Grove City College is one of three accredited institutions in the United States that does not accept federal funds (FAFSA, Pell Grants, etc).  As such, we are unable to accept the funds for an ROTC program. Yet, despite this reality, I want to provide you with information that may interest you and share where Grove City College fits into a successful military career.  As I cover some major points, I hope you are equipped to make the decision on how you want to move forward.  I will provide information based on my experience with an understanding of the United States Army but keep in mind that most of the concepts are the same across each branch.
There are three components: Active, Reserve, and National Guard (available only for Army and Air Force).  There are also three major commissioning sources: the US Military Academy at West Point (academies are also available for Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard), ROTC (excluding Coast Guard) and Officer Candidate School (OCS).  ROTC and OCS will allow you to enter into any of the three components but West Point only sends Soldiers into the Active Duty Army.  Although, at this time you do not need to make a decision on which component you are interested in, it is something you will need to consider at some point.  What you should be thinking about now, is which commissioning source you want to attend.  As someone who applied and was accepted to a military service academy, I ended up deciding on a civilian education and the commissioning route after school.  From my experience, the military will become an extremely large part of your life regardless of your component (officers do more work than the “weekend a month and two weeks during the summer” as is usually expected for the Reserve/National Guard), and I wanted to have a civilian college experience.  Some care about that and some do not but it should be on your mind during this decision-making process.
I graduated from Grove City College in May 2013 and shipped out in August 2013 with my Officer Candidate School graduation in February 2014.  OCS is open to all three components and the biggest requirement is a college degree.  My experience as a student at Grove City College fully prepared me to succeed in the OCS program – and I am not just saying that as an Admissions Counselor for the school.  Grove City College has a number of specific leadership development programs and numerous leadership opportunities within our 150+ clubs on campus.  Of course, the natural rigor of the GCC academics will prepare anyone for the challenges of military training and the mental attitude required to succeed.
The biggest thing that I can say about how Grove City College will prepare you for military service is that time spent at the College will solidify your faith.  The Army, and the military in general, is a challenging place to be a Christian and there will be direct confrontations between you and your peers (not always bad as some are curious about it and some are there to support you).  Grove City College strives to prepare its students by developing their ability to communicate effectively what they believe and why they believe it to both skeptics and curious questioners.  In my opinion, and from my personal experience, this aspect is the most important part of how Grove City College will prepare you for military service.


, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes