? asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 1 decade ago

Which is better: West Point or ROTC?

I'm currently 17 and strongly want to go into the Army as an officer. I am torn and can't decide between West Point and ROTC. It seems like both have their advantages. In short I would like to know does going to West Point benefit your career more and give you a better chance at getting what branch you want? I am interested in Infantry and hopefully would like to be assigned to the Rangers after being promoted to a 1st lieutenant. Another question is what steps should I take to becoming an officer in the Rangers? Thanks in advance for your help.

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    West Point is a very good school and it is very hard to get accepted. You need a congressional letter. However, even though it is hard to get in they let people in and you have to apply you have as good of a chance as someone else. (considering if you have a high GPA and other things like community service and a great looking application)

    Both West Point and ROTC will give you the same commissioning. You will be a Second Lieutenant. ROTC might be good if you want a specific degree not offered by West Point (Nursing, Law, or other professional degree). ROTC is also closer to home in many cases. You don't need a congressional reccomendation. And there are more ROTC programs.

    If I was 17 and wanted to go to West Point I would apply. If I didn't make it then I would find a good school and get into ROTC. Either will help you become an officer. You can major in just about anything that interests you.

    West Point might help you in the door but in the long run it really doesn't matter. You have to prove yourself either way. You have to become a motivated officer and show good leadership to gain the respect of not only the soldiers, but your peers and leaders. All of that is on you no matter where you go to school.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My brother is going to West Point, class of 2014. I've learned a lot about it.

    West Point benefit's your career more and gives you a better chance at getting the branch you want because they are the United States Military Academy. It's only 1,200 I think out of the 30,000+ people that apply that get in. They shape you to become more of a leader than ROTC does. Since the chances are so slim to get into West Point, I would apply to both ROTC and West Point so that if West Point fails you can always go back on ROTC.

    I have to warn you that getting into West Point is a hard and very competitive process.

    I don't know much about the Rangers, although my cousin is on.

    Good luck!


  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    First of all, you need both academic as well as other credentials (sports, extra-curricular activities etc). You don't simply apply to West Point as you would other colleges. You need to be nominated for an appointment to West Point. Further, just because you get a nomination (from your Senator or Congressman), that doesn't mean you'll be accepted to West Point. As you can see, getting into WP is difficult and only the best of the best are accepted. Having West Point grad on your resume will always be a plus whether you make the Army a career or not. In my opinion, WP grad carries more weight (both in the military and later) than OCS or ROTC.

  • 4 years ago

    ROTC has better track with actually having strong long term leaders in the field than West Point. But if all you want is to be a paper pusher then go to West Point. However I advise you to read up on Bruce Fleming who has taught at the Navy Academy for 20 years about what actually it is like to be in- and what you don't learn that normal college grads do. It's eye opening.

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  • 1 decade ago

    ROTC is just as good as West Point. But it does depend on what college you go to and the quality and size of the ROTC program. Getting the branch you want depends a lot on your performance in both the Army side and the education side. When you get to the point of choosing your branched you rank them in order from 1-10. Then the council looks at your whole profile. Your grades, PT scores, performace at the Ledership Course, etc. Most people get their first choice.

    ROTC allows you to have a real life. You can really experience college where at WP they inspect your room, make you polish your door knobs and treat you like you're in basic training for 4 years. Doesn't sound fun to me. That school does create a brotherhood that all grads seem to bond over that after graduation seems to make them all forget the horrors and torture that they all talk about. But the hard part is getting accepted into West Point. I think you need a letter of reference from a congressman. Where ROTC you just need to be accepted to the college. I did ROTC and I am moving along at the same pace as the West Point grads. The Ranger thing happens later when you apply to ranger school. To be an officer witht hem I think you need to get accepted into the Ranger Batallion but that area is not my specialty.

    Source(s): Army Officer x 10 years
  • 1 decade ago

    West Point is better, but it is harder to get into.

    You have to have a really good grade point average for all 4 years of high school , Amazing SAT and ACT scores, lots of volunteering hours/community service, play a lot of sports in high school , letters of recommendation , and you need a letter from your local congressman, just to be CONSIDERED for West Point.

    So its really really tough, and most don't make selection, and west point life is challenging itself .

    ROTC is easier, and the most common route.

    however, if you go ROTC, there is no guarantee you will get the field you want. For example, you could ask to be an Infantry officer, so later you can go Rangers, but they might assign you as an Aviation officer, and your chances at being a 75h Ranger are lost.

    West Point grads get to pick their branch.

    but if you haven't had an excellent high school career, then you really have no luck at getting into West Point. It takes a lot.

    but ROTC is very very possible , you just may not get what you want.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Army infantry is really tough only west pointers get it and people who do real well at LDAC top 15% of the cadets get Infantry. If you really want infantry join Marines no one does there ROTC and anyone can be an Infantry Officer in the Marines. Only very few get the honor of being an Army Infantry Officer.

  • 1 decade ago

    West Point for sure over AROTC.

    But you may want to consider enlisting. That is if you want to go Rangers. If you Enlist as infantry you go to Basic at a OSUT in Fort Benning which is where the Rangers and Airborne school is.

    That's important because Airborne spots open up and Infantry soldiers in OSUT typically get to go to jump school since they're there, if they want it. To be a ranger you have to have your wings already. So this puts you at an advantage. Since you're at jump school, annoy the black hats, the Rangers are right next door. You can either get a shot at RIP or get stationed in a Ranger battalion, if you're lucky, which grants you a chance at RIP (Ranger Indoctrination Program). Then you'll get to go to Ranger school and , if you pass, get your Ranger Tab.

    While you're serving you can go to school for free. It's called Tuition Assistance. So you can still work on getting your degree and then you'll be able to attend OCS.

    That's just one way to get there. I know a little about it because it's the path I've heavily considered, I'm on it, but still considering it, lol.

    Good luck.

    Source(s): Current US Army Soldier Former US Marine Western Carolina University Alumni
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    West Point especially if you want to become an officer because you will need a college degree

  • 1 decade ago

    Defiantly West Point.

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