Students become leaders.
The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is a college elective that allows you to earn a commission straight out of college as a second lieutenant in the Army National Guard. In just a few hours per week, ROTC teaches leadership and teamwork through both academic classes and hands-on, physical training that will help you succeed in college and beyond.
For prior service enlisted Soldiers, ROTC may be the best way to take full advantage of your military education benefits. Use your federal and/or state tuition assistance, and your GI Bill benefits, to pay for school while you earn your degree and your commission. See how ROTC works for enlisted Soldiers.
ROTC also provides a way to help hold down the cost of college. Two-, three- and four-year scholarships are available, as well as monthly allowances for some cadets. Find out about ROTC scholarships.
Get even more out of your ROTC experience with the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP). Combine ROTC with Guard service and earn drill pay on top of your ROTC allowance. Learn about the SMP.
If you want to be in leadership and start gaining leadership opportunities right now, there's no better path than ROTC.
Army ROTC allows you to earn your officer's commission while you attend college and earn your degree. ROTC consists of both academic classes and hands-on training to challenge you both mentally and physically. Participation takes just a few hours per week, so you can still maintain other academic studies, campus sports and social activities. But you'll also be learning about leadership and teamwork, and have the opportunity to learn skills like mountaineering, rappelling and orienteering. It may be one of the best college classes you'll ever take.
Training and Curriculum
The four-year Army ROTC program is divided into two parts: the Basic Course and the Advanced Course. By participating in the entire four-year program, you can major in nearly any field and still come straight out of college as a second lieutenant in the Army National Guard. Both courses will help you succeed in college and beyond.
The Basic Course is usually taken during the first two years of college. Unless you receive National Guard scholarship funds, you can take the Basic Course and incur NO military obligation. In addition to regular physical training, you'll learn basic leadership skills and military fundamentals, including:
- Leadership development
- Goal-setting and accomplishment
- College survival study skills and time management
- Customs and traditions of the Armed Services
- Military history
- Military operations and tactics
- Principles of war
The Advanced Course is offered during the final two years of college to students who demonstrate the interest and potential to become Guard officers, and who meet the physical, mental and scholastic standards. In order to take the Advanced Course, you must have completed the Basic Course or have attended the Leader's Training Course (see below). You will also be required to commit to serve as an officer in the National Guard following graduation. In addition to regular physical training, Advanced Course studies generally include*:
- Military command
- Law of war and military weapons
- Team dynamics and peer leadership
- Management principles
- Personnel management
- Military justice
- Cultural awareness
- Military tactics and ethics
*Army ROTC curriculum may vary, depending on your school.
Leader's Training Course
If you have not taken the Basic Course but wish to pursue your commission through ROTC—and have at least two years of college remaining (undergraduate or graduate)—you can attend the Leader's Training Course (LTC). This intense, four-week course, held in the summer at Fort Knox, KY, is an accelerated version of the ROTC Basic Course.
Packing a two-year course into four weeks means you'll be totally immersed in Army instruction. You'll take part in drills, physical training, classroom sessions and field exercises. You'll also develop individual and team skills through squad tactics, combat simulations and mission operations. Every part of this four-phase course will help hone your leadership skills and prepare you to enter the ROTC Advanced Course.
You'll receive housing, meals and a stipend, as well as transportation to and from Fort Knox. After you successfully complete LTC, you'll be eligible to enter the ROTC Advanced Course at your college. You'll be required to commit to serve as an officer in the National Guard or Army following college. You may be eligible for a two-year scholarship. Check with your school's Military Science department or Army ROTC representative.
Leader Development and Assessment Course
In addition to your campus participation with the ROTC Advanced Course, you will be required to attend the five-week Leader Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, WA, during the summer between your junior and senior years. During this course, leaders will train every cadet, evaluate military and leadership skills, and assess development in the classroom and during field exercises.
You're an officer now.
Upon successful completion of the ROTC Advanced Course, you'll be commissioned as a second lieutenant. In addition to being an Army National Guard officer, you'll have leadership skills that are in high demand outside the military. National Guard scholarships may be available for qualified applicants. For more information, talk to an Army ROTC representative at a college campus near you.