ROTC Frequently Asked Questions

By enrolling in ROTC are you joining the Army?

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. 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.


What is Army ROTC?

Army ROTC provides college-trained officers for the Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard. The Army ROTC program is offered at more than 600 colleges and universities throughout the nation. As the largest single source of Army officers, the ROTC program fulfills a vital role in providing mature young men and women for leadership and management positions in an increasingly technical Army. Army ROTC is a 4-year program, divided into two parts - Basic Courses and Advanced Courses. The Basic Courses are normally taken in your freshman and sophomore years. The Advanced Courses are usually taken during your final two years of college and include a five-week Leadership Development and Assessment Course that is normally attended in the summer, between your junior and senior years. The Leadership Development and Assessment Course 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."


Is ROTC like "boot camp?"

This is not Basic Training. This is a collegiate environment where students are taught, coached and mentored--not yelled at.


How much time does ROTC take up weekly?

ROTC cadets spend four to eight hours of class time, lab and homework per week--just like any other college class. There are additional volunteer opportunities that cadets can participate in, but only if they choose to.


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 Courses, your studies will include basic leadership development, basic military skills, adventure training, and life skills. During the Advanced Courses, 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, an ROTC cadet might be found leading classmates through adventure training, or down a river in a raft, or up a mountain wall.


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 scholarship students will be required to serve in the military for a period of eight years. This obligation may be fulfilled by serving two to four years on active duty, followed by four to six years service in the Inactive Ready Reserve (that is, they are only called up if the Active Duty AND the Army Reserve and National Guard requires their augmentation), or by serving eight years in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve preceded by the period necessary to complete the active component resident officer basic course.

Non-scholarship students may serve three years on active duty and five years in the Inactive Ready Reserve, or they may select or be selected to fulfill their total military obligation as citizen soldiers. If Reserve Forces duty is selected, graduates 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 Army National Guard or Army Reserve.

What is the ROTC course comprised of?

The ROTC program is divided into phases. The Basic Courses teach Army history, organization and structure. Techniques and principles of leadership and management are stressed throughout this phase. The Advanced Courses concentrate on tactical operations and military instruction, as well as advanced techniques of management, leadership and command.


Does Army ROTC offer scholarships?

Four-year, three-year and two-year scholarships are all available and can be applied for at any time in a students college tenure, up to the first semester of their junior year.


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 program, upon graduation, they become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army.