By enrolling in ROTC, are you joining the Army?
No. Students who enroll in ROTC don’t join the Army. They take an ROTC class for which they receive credit. It is considered a college elective.
Is National Guard or Army Reserve Enlistment required to participate in ROTC?
No. ROTC is open to any student who wants to take the course as an elective, or participate in leadership training while attending college. If you are currently in the Reserves or National Guard, you can still participate in the Army ROTC program.
Is ROTC like "boot camp"?
No. ROTC cadets go directly to college where they earn their degree while taking Military Science classes that coincide with their current college classes
What can students expect to learn by taking ROTC?
Leadership and management skills needed to become a U.S. Army officer or to have a successful civilian career.
Is there a military obligation during college?
Students can participate for two years without obligation or a requirement to contract. Cadets must contract in order to begin their third year. Incoming freshman scholarship winners, even though they must contract, can withdraw without obligation prior to the start of the second year.
What is the ROTC course comprised of?
The ROTC program is divided into phases: The Basic Course studies Army history, organization and structure. The techniques and principles of leadership and management are stressed throughout. 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. From the National Scholarship awarded to high school students who plan to attend college to Campus Based Scholarship for current college students up through the start of junior year.
What kinds of scholarships are available in Army ROTC? Are any of the scholarships retroactive?
Army ROTC scholarships vary based on the length of time remaining for students to complete their degrees. There are two-, three- and four-year merit-based scholarships providing full tuition. Scholarships also include annual book allowances and a monthly stipend. Army ROTC scholarships are not retroactive.
How much money does ROTC usually award and what does the money go towards?
Scholarships are awarded at different monetary levels. Cadets can choose to have their full tuition and fees paid for, regardless of tuition amount, or they can choose to have a housing scholarship which is $10,000 a year. The Army ROTC scholarship can be used with already existing scholarships that a student may have. Cadets also receive a monthly stipend of $420 a month and a once a year book allowance of $1200.
On what basis are scholarship winners chosen?
ROTC scholarships are not based on financial need. Instead, they’re awarded on merit. Merit is based on academic, leader, and physical performance and ability.
Can only scholarship winners enroll in ROTC?
No. 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.
What is my young adult’s Army service obligation to pay back any scholarship benefits, or for enrollment in the ROTC Advanced Course?
It all starts as an eight year block of time. If they get a scholarship and go active duty, they must serve four years on active duty and then four years in the Army Reserve (USAR), Army National Guard (ARNG), or in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR.) If they were non-scholarship and go active duty, then they must serve three years on active duty and then five in one of the other options. If they get a scholarship and go reserve component, then they must serve all eight years in their reserve component. If they were non-scholarship, then they must serve six years in the reserve component and then two years in the IRR.
How do students benefit from Army ROTC?
In college and after graduation, cadets find that the training and experience that they have received are assets – whether pursuing an Army or civilian career. Employers place high regard on the management and leadership skills that ROTC instructors stress. Plus, ROTC looks great on a resume. When cadets complete the ROTC course, upon graduation, they become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army.
If I enroll in Army ROTC, won’t I have a service obligation?
No. You can enroll in two years of ROTC classes with no service obligation. The obligation comes when you decide to contract into the ROTC program to become an Army Officer.
If I do eventually contract and become a Second Lieutenant, I will have to serve on Active Duty, right?
No. About two-thirds of graduating cadets will go on active duty. Cadets who receive Reserve Duty will serve in local Reserve or National Guard units one weekend a month, or serve in the Ready Reserves.
What is Basic Camp?
Basic Camp is four weeks of intense classroom and field training held in the summer at Fort Knox, KY. This leader development course is an accelerated version of the two years of leadership development training Cadets receive in the Basic Course. By transforming yourself through this rigorous training, you will qualify for enrollment in the Army ROTC Advanced Course on campus-provided you have two years of college remaining (undergraduate or graduate).
What happens at Basic Camp?
You will have classroom and field training that ranges from concepts in land navigation and historical leadership to basic rifle marksmanship and squad tactics
Won’t ROTC interfere with my academic or athletic pursuits?
No. Cadets on campus usually have an average cumulative GPA above the general university average. Yes, there are some time demands and some voluntary extracurricular activities in ROTC. But, simply put, ROTC cadets are more mature and better time managers than many students. Your academic and athletic success is the highest priority and we stress that. You must do well academically and athletically to succeed in ROTC. Army ROTC provides the best leader development program in the world. No corporation or leadership institute can provide the combined classroom and hands-on leadership training, education and practice as Army ROTC.
How will being an Army ROTC Cadet affect my young adult’s daily life? Do Cadets experience normal college life and activities?
Army ROTC Cadets have the same lifestyle and academic schedules as any other college student. But there are two intensive Army ROTC courses that take place at Fort Knox, KY, usually during the summer: Basic Course- This four-week summer course is ONLY for students who enroll in Army ROTC going into their junior years without having taken the first two years of military science classes. Advanced Course- All Cadets who enter the Advanced Course must attend this four-week summer course between their junior and senior years. This course provides further leadership development and conducts an assessment of all Cadets’ leadership abilities.
I see ROTC as a potential interference to my career field. How can you get around that one?
Well, there are surely some career tracks where ROTC may not help you, but the exceptional record of graduating cadets getting good jobs in their fields is well above average. In the Reserves, there are also a lot of job networking and contacts, and most employers view Reservists or officers leaving active duty in very positive terms. Further, students that emphasize their ROTC enrollment are generally viewed as desirable to most employers because of their competitive leadership and managerial abilities, maturity, and time management skills.
What about haircuts, wearing uniforms, and harassment?
Well, you have to be well-groomed; hair off your ears and not down your shoulders (crew cut not required). You will learn how to wear a uniform properly, but the uniform is only required to be worn during class times and training. Finally, harassment of any type is not acceptable. We emphasize proper decorum, respect, military courtesies, ethics and standards of conduct; all of which apply equally well to non-military, professional careers.
Is enrolling in Army ROTC the same as joining the Army? Once a student starts taking ROTC courses, is he/she obligated to join the Army?
Young adults must serve as Officers in the Army after graduation if they have received an ROTC scholarship, OR if they have enrolled in the ROTC Advanced Course. Enrolling in the ROTC Basic Course (the first two years of college) does NOT obligate someone to serve unless they contract and officially join the program.
What good is Army ROTC for a career outside of the Army?
Army ROTC is one of the only college courses that teaches leadership. This training is invaluable for any career that involves leading, managing and motivating people or fostering teamwork. Young Army Officers are typically responsible for many Soldiers and millions of dollars in equipment; this kind of management experience can be very attractive for post-Army employers.
Are all college majors compatible with Army ROTC?
Army ROTC Cadets are allowed to major in nearly all academic areas as long as they are awarded a degree.
What are Army ROTC courses like? How will the class work help my young adult? Will ROTC classes interfere with his/her other studies?
Army ROTC classes normally involve one class and lab per semester. Although the classes involve hands-on fieldwork as well as classroom work, they are standard college classes that fit into a normal academic schedule. These courses can help students with personal and academic decision-making while giving them the tools to exercise leadership in college life, even before graduating and becoming Officers.
What are the chances that my young adult will be deployed to support global exercises or conflicts?
It depends on the Army branch the Cadet chooses and the unit to which he/she is assigned. However, Army missions and challenges are always changing, so there’s no way to know in advance which specialties and units will be needed where. All Soldiers in the Army or Army Reserve face the possibility of deployment at some point during their careers but all Soldiers are fully trained and proficient in the tasks and missions assigned to their units. Officers are specifically trained to make the right decisions so that missions can be carried out safely and successfully.
Can my young adult go into the Army Reserve or National Guard after graduation instead of the regular Army?
Yes. Cadets may choose to serve part-time in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career.
What is the typical career path for an Army Officer? What career fields are available?
Army ROTC graduates are commissioned as U.S. Army Second Lieutenants. They then receive specialized training in one of 17 different Army branches. During their Army careers, they’ll receive regular professional training as they advance through the ranks, and they’ll have many opportunities for advanced leadership positions and post-graduate education.
What kind of salary and benefits will my young adult earn as a commissioned Army Officer?
Visit the Benefits section of the GoArmy.com website for complete details. Specifically, the Money sub-section provides details on pay for both Officers and Enlisted Soldiers.
Resources for transfer students
This is not only a four year program. You are able to join at the two year point and compete for scholarships as long as you have four semesters left or two years. If you’re prior service, you get two years of credit, and if you don’t have experience, we can send you to Basic Camp which is a 30 day course to get you caught up with the first two years missed.
What are my options as a transfer student?
- You can either opt for a 2 year program with less opportunities to compete for a scholarship OR go for a 3 year program that allows you to gain more opportunities to compete for scholarships and mold yourself as a future officer.
- Green to gold (attach the pamphlet for Green to Gold) (Green to Gold page description- just for enlisted soldiers, not active duty enlisted soldiers) Give Trevor the PDF
- Prior service
Options as a prior service cadet
How much credit can I get for ROTC?
You qualify for two years of credit if you are either a veteran or currently serving
Graduate Student Questions
Am I able to participate at the graduate level?
Yes, but your program would have to be at least 2 years
Am I able to compete for scholarships?
Yes, however, the scholarships are limited to 2 years at most