Military Science (Army ROTC) is an elective curriculum taught by Army personnel. Students develop their leadership abilities by learning critical-thinking skills; the value of character, competence and courage; as well as self-discipline; and team building. Students are also challenged through the participation in activities such as physical fitness, orienteering, small-unit tactics, marksmanship, and leadership reaction courses. Additionally, ROTC Cadets are eligible to apply for generous scholarships that can cover the full cost of tuition and fees OR room and board.
Upon completion of a baccalaureate degree and all ROTC requirements, a student may receive a commission as a second lieutenant and will be eligible for assignment with the Active or Reserve/Army National Guard Forces of the U.S. Army.
Army ROTC Participation
- Participating student - Students register for the military science classes only (MS 101 through MS 202). Since they are not enrolled as cadets, they are not covered for any liability beyond that of the university and therefore DO NOT participate in activities outside the classroom (e.g., physical training, leadership labs, and field training).
- Enrolled cadet (the most common option) - Students fully participate in ROTC by taking the military science classes, physical fitness training, leadership labs, and field training. The government covers enrolled cadets for any injuries occurring during ROTC sanctioned training. Unless under contract, enrolled cadets are NOT obligated to future military service.
- Contracted cadet - Contracted cadets fully participate like other enrolled cadets, but they are also under obligation to future military service. Scholarship winners must contract to receive benefits. Non-scholarship cadets must contract prior to the MS III/junior year to continue in the program.
Cadets commissioned as second lieutenants are required to serve for a period of eight years. How this obligation is fulfilled is determined by whether the student was a scholarship or non-scholarship cadet and whether the student serves on Active Duty or in the Reserves or National Guard
- Those selected for Active Duty will typically serve 3 to 4 years full time, with the remaining 4 or 5 years in the inactive ready reserve (available for recall).
- Those choosing or selected for the Reserves or National Guard, typically serve for 6 to 8 years part time in a drilling status (one weekend a month, plus two weeks per year, other than periods of active duty for training or mobilization); their remaining years of obligation, if any, can be served in the inactive reserve.
Misconceptions about ROTC
- ROTC instruction is not the same as Army Basic Training. Cadets receive training in basic military skills, such as rifle marksmanship and small-unit tactics, but the emphasis is on applied leadership development and the practical aspects of managing resources and sustaining operations in dynamic organizations.
- ROTC cadets do not enlist in the active Army. They remain full-time college students. Their service commitment begins shortly after graduation.
- ROTC cadets cannot be sent to war. They must obtain their four-year academic degree before they can receive a commission and then must complete their branch-specific officer basic course before assignment to a troop unit.
- Cadets do not major in ROTC. Military science courses are taken for elective credit.
ROTC training does not take priority over academics. ROTC activities are kept to a minimum to allow cadets to focus on academics. Each cadet's college cumulative GPA constitutes 40% of his/her total evaluation while in ROTC.