Frequently Asked Questions
Q. By enrolling in ROTC, are you joining the Army?
A. No. 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.
Q. Is National Guard or Army Reserve Enlistment required to participate in ROTC?
A. No. ROTC is open to any student who wants to take the course as an elective, or participate in leadership training while attending college.
Q. Is ROTC like "boot camp"?
A. No. ROTC cadets go directly to college where they earn their degree.
Q. What can students expect to learn by taking ROTC?
A. Leadership and management skills needed to become a U.S. Army officer or to have a successful civilian career.
Q. What makes ROTC different from regular college management courses?
A. Students in ROTC learn through a unique program that involves both classroom and "live" situations. For instance, an ROTC cadet might be found leading classmates through adventure training, down a river in a raft, or up a mountain wall.
Q. Is there a military obligation during college?
A. During the first two years, ROTC cadets have no military obligation (or the first year in the case of scholarship winners).
Q. What is the ROTC course comprised of?
A. 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.
Q. Does Army ROTC offer scholarships?
A. Yes. Each year hundreds of students attending colleges nationwide receive ROTC scholarships. ROTC awards them to students studying science, engineering, nursing, business, as well as a variety of other majors.
Q. How much money does ROTC usually award and what does the money go towards?
A. Scholarships are awarded at different monetary levels. At some schools an ROTC scholarship is worth up to $80,000, which goes towards tuition and educational fees. Also, scholarship winners receive an allowance of up to $1,500 a year.
Q. On what basis are scholarship winners chosen?
A. 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.
Q. Can only scholarship winners enroll in ROTC?
A. 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 not cost to you.
Q. How often are Army ROTC scholarships awarded?
A. Scholarships are awarded once a year. Students apply by November 15 and selections are made continuously thru May 15. Four-year scholarship applications must be requested between March 1 and November 1. Also, once cadets are on campus, two-year and three-year scholarships become available.
Q. How do students benefit from Army ROTC?
A. 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.
Q: If I enroll in Army ROTC, won't I have a service obligation?
A: No. You can enroll in all ROTC classes with no service obligation. The obligation comes when you decide to contract into the ROTC program to become an Army Officer.
Q: If I do eventually contract and become a Second Lieutenant, I will have to serve on Active Duty, right?
A: No. At least two-thirds of the upcoming graduating cadets will receive an active duty tour. Cadets who receive Reserve Duty will serve in local Reserve or National Guard units one weekend a month, or serve in the Ready Reserves with no "drilling" requirement if a suitable unit is not available where you reside. The Reserves are one of the best adjunct career and retirement systems in the U.S. today.
Q: Won't ROTC interfere with my academic or athletic pursuits?
A: No. Our current cadet corps has 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. During the academic year, your focus is on academics getting your degree -- with ROTC classroom instruction and labs complimenting that education. What's best about Army ROTC is that while learning to become an Army officer, you are interacting, socializing and learning with students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, political ideologies and goals. This dynamic on campus develops the team-building, negotiating and consensus-building skills that Army officers need in helping the people of the world establish democratic systems, govern & secure themselves and institutionalize freedom and human rights.
Q: I see ROTC as a potential interference to my career field. How can you get around that one?
A: 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 employees 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.
Q: What about haircuts, wearing uniforms, and harassment?
A: 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 went out years ago; it 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.
Q: What can Army ROTC do for me even if I only want to enroll for a year or two?
A: If you enroll in Army ROTC, we will help you become a better person in manifold ways - no doubt about that. ROTC will: Give you better leadership and managerial skills applicable to any field. Provide you a lot of personal attention, encouraging you to get good grades and further mature. Class sizes are small and everyone is given personal counseling. We compel you to stay in shape and improve your physical fitness. Yes, there are some progressive physical fitness requirements and you cannot be overweight and complete the program. We give you the opportunity to learn what the military is all about these days - the role of the Army and its soldiers, (strategy, politics, technology, standards, career fields, etc.) We provide additional fun and learning activities, and opportunities for you to make more friends than virtually any other organization on campus. Cadets consistently relate that one of the best aspects of the ROTC program is the camaraderie students find among each other -that is what Esprit de Corps or belonging is all about.
Q: 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?
A: 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 have also received a scholarship.
Q: What kinds of scholarships are available in Army ROTC? Are any of the scholarships retroactive?
A: 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.
Q: What is my young adult's Army service obligation to pay back any scholarship benefits, or for enrollment in the ROTC Advanced Course?
A: Scholarship winners must serve for four years; non-scholarship Cadets who enroll in the ROTC Advanced Course must serve for three years. All who graduate and complete ROTC training are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army.
Q: What good is Army ROTC for a career outside of the Army?
A: 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 hundreds of Soldiers and millions of dollars in equipment; this kind of management experience can be very attractive for post-Army employers.
Q: Why should my young adult choose Army ROTC over a different branch's ROTC?
A: The Army offers a wider range of career opportunities, in more places around the world, then any other U.S. military branch.
Q: How do I learn more about the Army?
A: Visit the website GoArmy.com
Q: Are all college majors compatible with Army ROTC?
A: Army ROTC Cadets are allowed to major in nearly all academic areas.
Q: What are Army ROTC courses like? How will the class work help my young adult? Will ROTC classes interfere with his/her other studies?
A: Army ROTC classes normally involve one elective class or 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.
Q: How will being an Army ROTC Cadet affect my young adult's daily life? Do Cadets experience normal college life and activities?
A: 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: Leader's Training Course, This four-week summer course ONLY for students who enroll in Army ROTC going into their junior years without having taken the first two years of military science classes and Leader Development and Assessment Course All Cadets who enter the Advanced Course must attend this four-week summer course between their junior and senior years.
Q: What are the chances that my young adult will be deployed to support the Global War on Terrorism?
A: 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 drills of their units. And Officers are specifically trained to make the right decisions so that missions can be carried out safely and successfully.
Q: Can my young adult go into the Army Reserve or National Guard after graduation instead of the regular Army?
A: Yes. Selected Cadets may choose to serve part-time in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career.
Q: What is the typical career path for an Army Officer? What career fields are available?
A: 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.
Q: What kind of salary and benefits will my young adult earn as a commissioned Army Officer?
A: 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.