Do commissioned officers spend a lot of time away from family?

Hi, I am 19 and in college. I have a very stable relationship and I am family oriented. I am considering enrolling in an ROTC program at my college because not only would I be able to get a hefty scholarship, I would be a part of a great team and better myself in many ways. Military life has interested me before but I never wanted to join because I do not want long periods of time away from my significant other or family.

My boyfriend's (yes I am gay) sister is dating someone who is in the Army and their relationship suffers due to the sporadic communication and little to no time together. He and I are already long distance so it's difficult as/is. Adding military to the equation surely would be disastrous. My school offers Army, Air Force, and Navy ROTC programs.

I was wondering, if I was to join and pass one of these programs then become a commissioned officer, how much time would I be away from my family/boyfriend? I would likely go into Navy because I find them to be the "cooler" branch. I can't find much information about this at school so I am asking here from people who may have ROTC experience. Thank you!

8 Answers

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  • Jason
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Officers in the Navy go places. That's why they exist. There are effectively zero naval officers who aren't going to spend some significant time away from family. NROTC exists to train naval officers to lead. You don't lead from your couch at home. You lead from the front. That means you go places.

    Officers lead. You cannot ask the people you are responsible for to do something you are unwilling to do yourself. You cannot ask your people to make sacrifices you won't. They will be deployed away from their families and loved ones. They will endure long-distance relationships. If you want to give them orders, then you need to be prepared to do that and more. You can't ask people to serve under you and accept your authority when you won't endure the same sacrifices they must.

    Before you decide on ROTC, decide if you want to be a leader. If you are not willing to accept the responsibilities and sacrifices that come with that, don't ask to join a program to train leaders. Decide first if you are willing to ask someone else to leave their family for six months, then decide if you can do the same. ROTC is not there to provide a free education. It is there to train officers of ALL branches to be leaders. The education is payment for agreeing to take on that burden. Figure out if that burden is what you want first, then decide to apply to the program.

    .

  • Daniel
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    It isn't a matter of being commissioned vs enlisted.

    It is more dependent on the actual job one is doing. Some jobs almost never deploy while some are routinely gone. Going Navy, you would probably stand a higher chance of being gone a lot, especially if you ended up in a job that involves being on a ship.

    Don't forget the fact that the military regularly moves people around and you don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter. Your first assignment could be in a foreign country where your boyfriend wouldn't be able to live near you due to visa restrictions.

  • Mrsjvb
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    if you want to stay home then do not serve in the military. as a Navy Officer, my husband spent as much as 300 days a year at sea/TAD/deployed to fun spots like Iraq. and he wasn't even a SWO, where haze grey underway all the time is a fact of life

    furthermore, as an Officer your day starts an hour before the enlisted's does and ends long after they go home for the day. a 'half Day' means you only worked 12 hours.

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  • 5 months ago

    Some do. I was sent to Desert Storm four days after the birth of my first child. I did not get to see her again until three months later. For the next two years my wife worked at a classified location and flew up there on Monday and did not come back until late Thursday. I had the kid more than she did and the babysitter had the kid more than I did. If you are going to go into the military you have to learn it is not how MUCH time you spend with the family but how QUALITY time it is. Every weekend you have available if family time. Every single vacation should be family time. And never, ever rip your spouse about their decisions made while you were gone. They had to make a decision and they made it. So it was right or wrong, no matter what you do not ***** about it.

    • Mrsjvb
      Lv 7
      5 months agoReport

      right after 9/11, friend of ours dropped his wife off at the ER because her water broke. he drove directly to the pier and didn't come back until his son was crawling.

  • NWIP
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    No more than Enlisted and sometimes less. Depends on the branch and your command/unit. Navy if on a ship you can be gone 50-80% of each year from a few days, to a week, to a few weeks, to a month, to a few months to over 6 months. While underway communications can be limited yes but WAY better than before. You can work long hours when home too as the military is 24/7/365 including holidays.

    AF is the most family friendly branch but then again depends on command/unit. They do deploy and get unaccompanied orders. My sister went to Turkey for a year and then they went to Japan as a family.

    Deployments now for Army aren’t as often as before but still happen and they would have access to emails, Skype, etc....

    Now in Basic/Boot that when there is little to none except letters. If they can’t handle that then there are already issues.

  • don r
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    ROTC success is not all about just wearing a cool suit. Leadership is one of the main objectives. If you're busy fretting about your distant lover, you will not be any kind of leader. If you truly want to learn how to manage a unit in the Navy, learn to follow orders first. Better you should become a school teacher and get your scholarship in the education service.

    • Big Mouth
      Lv 6
      5 months agoReport

      She said, why don't we both just sleep on it tonight
      And I believe, in the morning you'll begin to see the light
      And then she kissed me and I realized she probably was right
      There must be fifty ways to leave your lover, fifty ways to leave your lover

  • 5 months ago

    all military relationships struggle unless you AND her are exceptionally mature and stable as a couple. your kids will have to move every few years and you will go long times without seeing your family or even being able to tell them exactly where you are or in some cases even what you're doing. you serve because you're proud to serve, otherwise you'll hate it!

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