11 questions and answers specific to the students within the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).
Q: Will ROTC have classroom academics this fall?
A: Yes, in compliance with federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and university guidelines for physical distancing, reduced classroom capacity and hygiene. The face-to-face connections we make with cadets are an important aspect of how we teach leadership, military and aerospace science and how we make sure that the cadets who come to Norwich University become the best officers they can be.
Q: How will physical fitness training be conducted?
A: We’re planning for in-person training and military laboratories across all of the services — the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, understanding that the late October-November weather can be very challenging. We might do more things outdoors than we’ve ever done before; there may be two to three weeks late in the semester when we’ve conducted things indoors in previous years that may move outdoors. Cadets will need to be prepared to be flexible.
Q: How can I come to campus prepared for physical training’s rigors?
A: Physical training is an individual responsibility. You should be preparing this summer. Yes, it’s hot outside now, yes, it’s challenging given COVID-19 restrictions based on where you live. But do it safely and do it individually, so when you come back to Norwich University in August, you’re ready.
Q: How will exercises and training be conducted?
A: Rigorously and safely. It’s unlikely we’ll have a couple of hundred people piling into a specific indoor space as we might have in the past. We’ll do everything within the proper health and safety guidelines.
Q: Will there be physical fitness tests?
A: Contact your branch for specifics. The Air Force will have physical fitness tests in much smaller groupings, in compliance with local, state, federal and university health guidelines.
Q: Will Norwich University’s military rites continue?
A: Yes, with modifications. A dining out experience that might have included all four class years, freshmen through seniors, might only include two class years. We believe those traditional historic events that take place are defining moments of the Norwich University experience. We want to make sure those traditions continue, yet are adhered to in a healthy way.
Q: Have the ROTC scholarship programs changed?
A: No. They’re on the same timelines as in the past. We will continue to recognize cadets for their excellence by trying to award them scholarships if they have not already earned them. If students have already earned their scholarships, they still need to meet physical fitness requirements to be contracted and maintain required grade-point averages.
Q: How will a positive COVID-19 test affect commissioning?
Q: Will each armed service branch issue uniform masks to cadets?
A: Check with your armed forces branch, but when you find a style and color that suits requirements, buy more than one. The days are long from the start of activities to lights out and cadets will probably go through several masks before lights out. Masks are necessary for staying healthy. Norwich University will provide all students two masks upon arrival.
Q: If campus shuts down again, will students still be able to participate in ROTC?
A: Yes. If we have to pivot to an environment in which students aren’t on campus based upon direction from the state of Vermont, but still want to be part of ROTC, we’re confident that we can meet desired learning objectives, whether it’s military science, aerospace science or naval science. If we are not executing in the traditional face-to-face on-campus environment, we are prepared to execute our syllabi and develop officers. This includes having classroom instruction, presentations, guest speakers, all things that are core to what we need to achieve.
Q: Will ROTC students be able to opt out of the residential on-campus program and complete training remotely?
A: In discussion with leaders across campus, we understood that we might need to make accommodations for specific students. We hope these cases are rare, but we are prepared to address them.