AROTC & Admissions staff are here to answer your questions.
If you enroll in U.S. Army ROTC, are you joining the U.S. Army? Once students start ROTC courses, are they obligated to join the Army?
No. ROTC is an elective college course. Students take an ROTC class each semester, which includes a weekly leadership lab and morning physical training. Students who enroll in ROTC have no obligation to the U.S. Army until they contract, if they so choose. Cadets must serve as U.S. Army officers after graduation if they have contracted. Enrolling in the ROTC Basic Course (the first two years of college) obligates no service unless the enrollee has received a scholarship.
Do U.S. Army ROTC students have a military obligation during college?
ROTC cadets have no military obligation until they contract. Accepting a scholarship incurs a service obligation.
Is U.S. Army ROTC like “boot camp”?
No. ROTC cadets go directly to college where they earn their degrees. They take ROTC as an elective college course with their other college courses.
Must I cut my hair and wear a uniform?
Cadets of both sexes must maintain U.S. Army grooming standards while in uniform. U.S. Army ROTC cadets learn how to wear a uniform properly during class times and training.
Male haircuts. The hair on top of the head must be neatly groomed. The length and bulk of the hair may not be excessive and must present a neat and conservative appearance. When the hair is combed, it will not fall over the ears or eyebrows, or touch the collar. Facial hair except a neatly-groomed mustache is not authorized in uniform.
Female haircuts and hairstyles. Female hairstyles may not be eccentric or faddish and will present a conservative, professional appearance. Hair may be no shorter than 1/4 inch from the scalp (unless due to medical condition or injury). Bangs, if worn, may not fall below the eyebrows, may not interfere with the wear of all headgear, must lie neatly against the head, and not be visible underneath the front of the headgear. Long hair will be neatly and inconspicuously fastened or pinned above the lower edge of the collar.
Complete hair and grooming policy can be viewed at https://www.goarmy.com/how-to-join/requirements/appearance.html.
Will I be hazed or should I fear harassment?
Categorically not. Harassment it is never acceptable. The U.S. Army emphasizes proper decorum, respect, courtesy, ethics and conduct; all of these apply in military and nonmilitary professions.
How will my schedule look as a U.S. Army ROTC cadet?
Freshmen will immerse in the U.S. Army’s lifestyle and values, participating in physical training Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and one-day-a-week military laboratories to learn basic soldiering and officership, movement and land navigation, and military customs and courtesies. During this year, students’ ROTC requirements are minimal.
Sophomore cadets intensify their ROTC engagement and start taking leadership roles. Their learning continues with lessons on war rules and principles, small-unit tactics, navigation and battle drills,
Junior cadets will lead small groups of freshman and sophomore cadets and culminate their year with the five-week Advanced Camp in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Classroom instruction for this year includes analyses of war principles, platoon tactics and troop leadership.
Senior cadets will prepare to commission as U.S. Army second lieutenants. They’ll increase their ROTC time and learn administrative leadership’s elements — planning, training and operations — in class. These cadets will apply their knowledge by planning all battalion events and develop junior cadets as leaders.
May Army ROTC students major in what they like?
Yes. Army ROTC Cadets may major in nearly all academic areas.
May I change majors once I enter U.S. Army ROTC?
Generally, yes, as long as your overall number of required semesters doesn’t increase or decrease and change your graduation time.
Will ROTC interfere with academics or athletics?
No. Although ROTC has some time demands and voluntary extracurricular activities, the U.S. Army stresses that your academic and athletic success remain top priorities. Academic and athletic success are pillars of ROTC success.
Does U.S. Army ROTC offer scholarships?
Yes. Every year, hundreds of college-attending students nationwide receive ROTC scholarships; they study in nearly all college majors.
How much money does U.S. Army ROTC award and what does the money support?
Army ROTC Scholarships pay full tuition and applicable fees and provide a $600 per semester book stipend and a $420 per month cadet stipend, once the student has contracted. Norwich University provides the Gen. I.D. White scholarship, which covers full room and board, to all ROTC scholarship recipients.
How are scholarship winners chosen?
U.S. Army ROTC scholarships are awarded based on merit, not financial need. Cadets are evaluated on their performance as a scholar, athlete and leader.
Is U.S. Army ROTC enrollment exclusive to scholarship winners?
No. Anyone may enroll in ROTC. All ROTC books, supplies and equipment are furnished at no cost to U.S. Army enrollees whether they receive scholarships or not.
Are U.S. Army ROTC scholarships retroactive?
How often are Army ROTC scholarships awarded?
National scholarships for high school seniors are awarded three times during the high school senior year. Students apply online at the Army’s website beginning June 12 after the high school junior year. Application instructions and qualifications are listed at the following website: https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/find-your-path/army-officers/rotc/scholarships.html
Campus-based scholarships are available for freshmen and sophomores (three- and two-year scholarships). Students compete and are awarded scholarships during the spring term based on the scholar, athlete and leader criteria and will activate their scholarship the following fall term.
Are scholarship recipients favored over non-scholarship recipients?
No. All ROTC students receive the same training, regardless of scholarship. An ROTC scholarship will affect neither your U.S. Army career nor your ROTC program experience. An ROTC scholarship neither guarantees nor requires active-duty service.
If I receive scholarship benefits or enroll in the U.S. Army ROTC Advanced Course how much service time do I owe the Army?
Eight years total in either active duty, Army National Guard, or Army Reserve. For active-duty officers, there is a minimum of four years of active-duty service obligation (the last four years may be served in the Army Reserve, National Guard, Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) if the officer chooses to leave active duty after the initial four-year term).
How does U.S. Army ROTC experience benefit students?
Cadets, whether pursuing an Army or civilian career, develop leadership skills that are valuable in all professional facets. Employers highly value the management and leadership skills instilled in ROTC. Plus, ROTC looks great on a résumé.
How will U.S. Army ROTC make me a better leader?
U.S. Army ROTC is a top-tier leader development program, with combined classroom and hands-on leadership training, education and practice, that no corporation or leadership institute can match. As you learn to become an Army ROTC officer, you interact, socialize and learn with students of diverse backgrounds, experiences, political ideologies and goals. This experience teaches team-building, negotiating and consensus-building skills Cadets will need as Army officers to institutionalize democratic norms and help world people self-govern and build democracies.
What are Army ROTC courses like?
Army ROTC classes are standard college classes; they involve one ROTC class and lab per semester. These courses, which include classroom work and fieldwork, help students sharpen decision-making and practice leadership during and after college.
What comprises U.S. Army ROTC courses?
The Army ROTC program is broken into phases. The Basic Course (first two years) studies Army history, organization and structure and zeros in on leadership and management techniques and principles. The Advanced Course (last two years) concentrates on tactical operations and military instruction, along with advanced management, leadership and command techniques.
How will U.S. Army ROTC benefit me if I enroll only for a year or two?
U.S. Army ROTC will teach you leadership and managerial skills applicable to any field. ROTC will encourage you to succeed academically. Because our classes are small; everyone gets personal counseling and attention. We get you in the habit of keeping physically and mentally fit, teach you organizational and leadership skills, and teach you how to think and act in complex and evolving situations. You’ll learn the U.S. Army’s role in national security and foreign policy, technology and strategy. And you’ll make lifelong friends; esprit de corps is all about belonging.
How can U.S. Army ROTC experience benefit a career outside the Army?
Army ROTC trains leaders and will benefit any career involving leading, managing and motivating people or fostering teamwork.