Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Army ROTC?
- Army ROTC is a program offered at hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide, training college students to be officers in the active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard. It's a 4-year program, divided into two parts - a Basic Course and an Advanced Course. The Basic Course is normally taken in your freshman and sophomore years. The Advanced Course is usually taken during your final two years of college and includes a five-week Cadet Leadership Course that is normally attended in the summer, between your junior and senior years. CLC will give you hands-on training and the confidence you can't learn in a classroom. The mission of Army ROTC is to "Commission the future officer leadership of the U.S. Army."
- By enrolling in ROTC are you joining the Army?
- Students who enroll in ROTC don't join the Army. They take an ROTC class for which they receive credit. It's considered a college elective.
- Is ROTC like "boot camp?"
- A. No. ROTC cadets go directly to college where they earn their degree.
- How much time does ROTC take up weekly?
- ROTC cadets spend their time like typical college students. All that is required is a few hours a week: 1 hour on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings for workouts. 2 hours for lab on Thursday evenings. and one Military Science class per semester (1 hr freshman year, 2 hrs sophomore year, and 3 hrs junior and senior year). About 2 weekends per semester, cadets will do some form of training in the field.
- Will ROTC conflict with my other classes?
- No. Military Science courses are scheduled just like any other class. We have a planned curriculum that does not conflict with most college course requirements. If scheduling conflicts arise, the instructor will make every effort to work through it with you.
- Can I "major" in ROTC?
- No. ROTC is taken for elective credit.
- What can students expect to learn by taking ROTC?
- Quite simply, the leadership and management skills needed to become a U.S. Army officer or have a successful civilian career. During the Basic Course, your studies will include basic leadership development, basic military skills, adventure training, and life skills. During the Advanced Course, your studies will include advanced leadership and management skills, advanced tactics and Army ethics.
- What makes ROTC different from regular college management courses?
- Students in ROTC learn through a unique program that involves both classroom and "live" situations. For instance, a ROTC cadet might be found leading classmates through rough terrain in the woods, across swamps or up mountains.
- Is there a military obligation during college?
- During the first two years, ROTC cadets have no military obligation (or the first year in the case of scholarship winners).
- What is the military obligation after graduation from college?
- Following graduation, ROTC cadets are required to serve in the active Army, Army National Guard or the Army Reserve. All graduates will be required to serve in the military for a period of eight years. This obligation may be fulfilled by serving three to four years on active duty, followed by four to six years service as citizen soldiers in the Army National Guard, Army Reserve or Individual Ready Reserve, or by serving six years drilling status and two years IRR in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve preceded by the period necessary to complete the active component resident officer basic course. If Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty is selected by a graduate he/she will serve a period of active duty necessary to complete the active component officer basic course, and spend the remaining eight-year obligation in the reserve components.
- What is the ROTC course comprised of?
- The ROTC program is divided into phases. The Basic Course teaches Army history, organization and structure. Techniques and principles of leadership and management are stressed throughout this phase. The Advanced Course concentrates on tactical operations and military instruction, as well as advanced techniques of management, leadership and command.
- Does Army ROTC offer scholarships?
- Yes. Each year hundreds of students attending colleges nationwide receive ROTC scholarships. ROTC awards them to students studying nearly any major.
- On what basis are scholarship winners chosen?
- ROTC scholarships are not based on financial need. Instead, they're awarded on merit. Merit is exhibited in academic achievement and extracurricular activities, such as sports, student government or part-time work.
- Can only scholarship winners enroll in ROTC?
- Anyone can enroll in ROTC. And regardless of whether you're a scholarship winner or not, all ROTC books, supplies and equipment are furnished at no cost to you.
- How do students benefit from Army ROTC?
- In college and after graduation, cadets find that the training and experience they receive are assets - whether pursuing an Army or civilian career. Employers place high regard on the management and leadership skills cadets acquire in the ROTC program. ROTC experience looks great on a resume. When cadets complete the ROTC course, upon graduation, they become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army.
Can I participate in other activities while taking ROTC?
Yes! In fact, we highly encourage students to participate in other activities. We subscribe to the total person concept and want well-rounded individuals, scholar, athlete, leader to lead the Army and the nation in the Twenty First century.
Do I have to wear a military uniform while taking ROTC?
Yes. All cadets are required to wear a uniform once a week for a day and at ROTC lab.
I heard a huge drill sergeant shaves my head when I join ROTC...is that true?
Here's the deal with regard to hair. We do not cut anyone's hair. You must, however, meet the Army appearance standards. That may mean for males that you have shorter hair than you currently have, but no one gets his or her head shaved. Females must wear their hair up off the collar of the uniform.
I heard that ROTC cadets have to run every morning at 5:00 A.M. Is that true?
Absolutely not. Juniors and Seniors along with scholarship cadets are required to participate in Physical Fitness Training every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 6:00 to 7:00 A.M. All other cadets are only obligated to participate on Wednesday mornings, but are encouraged to do so three days a week.
I heard that ROTC students are always running around in the woods. Is that true?
Not entirely. We do a good portion of our training outdoors. Some of the activities we do include hiking, rappelling, and orienteering. If you stay in the program long enough, you will have the pleasure of sleeping on the ground outdoors, but that type of training is usually done during favorable weather conditions.
Do I have any summer training requirements in ROTC?
Yes. The summer between your junior and senior years of college, all ROTC cadets will attend the Cadet Leadership Course, otherwise known as Warrior Forge, at Fort Knox, Kentucky. This 5-week leadership experience is the culmination of everything you have learned thus far and is used as an evaluation tool, which determines your future as an officer. Cadets receive a stipend allowance while attending this training. Other training opportunities are available during the summer, but Warrior Forge is the only required one. For summer opportunities, see our page.
When does my participation in ROTC begin to incur a military service obligation?
For most students, it is the start of your junior year of college. This is when you decide whether or not you want to pursue a commission in the Army. At this time you would sign a contract with the U.S. Army. This applies to two-year scholarship students and all non-scholarship students in the program. A Three-Year or Four-Year scholarship winner becomes obligated at the start of their ROTC scholarship.
How can I find out more about ROTC?
Cadet Command Head Quarters link - http://www.cadetcommand.army.mil