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?
Membership in the Corps of Cadets requires 3 semesters of ROTC courses, referred to in Army ROTC as the ROTC Basic Course. Enrolling in Army ROTC is not, joining the Army. You will not be sent to Basic Combat Training. The primary purpose of the Army ROTC program is to produce commissioned officers, so Cadets accepting an ROTC scholarship or contract necessarily agree to serve as Officers in the Army after graduation. Enrolling in the ROTC Basic Course does NOT obligate you to serve unless you have received a scholarship.
WHAT KINDS OF SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE IN ARMY ROTC? ARE ANY OF THE SCHOLARSHIPS RETROACTIVE?
Army ROTC offers 1, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, and 4 year scholarships which pay full tuition and fees, include separate allowances for books and uniforms, and a monthly stipend of up to $420 per month. Army ROTC scholarships are not retroactive, but can sometimes include the current semester of study in which they are awarded.
WHAT IS MY ARMY SERVICE OBLIGATION TO PAY BACK ANY SCHOLARSHIP BENEFITS, OR FOR ENROLLMENT IN THE ROTC ADVANCED COURSE?
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.
WHAT GOOD IS ARMY ROTC FOR A CAREER OUTSIDE OF THE ARMY?
Army ROTC is one of the only college programs that teaches leadership, followership, and teamwork. This training is invaluable for any career that involves leading, managing and motivating people or fostering teamwork. Young Army Officers are typically responsible for dozens to hundreds of Soldiers and millions of dollars in equipment; this kind of management experience can be very attractive for post-Army employers.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE ARMY ROTC OVER A DIFFERENT BRANCH’S ROTC?
The U.S. Army’s ROTC program has more available scholarships, a wider range of career opportunities, more stations around the world, and more opportunities for advanced training (like Airborne School) and advanced education (such as Master’s Degrees) than any other U.S. military branch.
HOW DO I LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARMY?
Starting by exploring the Army experience from our Home Page is a great start. Also follow us on Instagram (@tamuarmyrotc) and Facebook. Above all, don’t fear asking questions.
ARE ALL COLLEGE MAJORS COMPATIBLE WITH ARMY ROTC?
Army ROTC Cadets are allowed to major in nearly all academic areas. In the competitive process of earning the best branches and duty stations, STEM cadets receive a slight advantage to better balance their academically rigorous course of study.
WHAT ARE ARMY ROTC COURSES LIKE? HOW WILL THE CLASS WORK HELP ME? WILL ROTC CLASSES INTERFERE WITH HIS/HER OTHER STUDIES?
Army ROTC classes normally involve one elective class and one 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. For more details, see: Military Science Program.
HOW WILL BEING AN ARMY ROTC CADET AFFECT MY DAILY LIFE? DO CADETS EXPERIENCE NORMAL COLLEGE LIFE AND ACTIVITIES?
Army ROTC Cadets have the same lifestyles and academic schedules as any other college students. They join fraternities and sororities. They participate in varsity team and individual sports. They take part in community service projects and lead student organizations like MSC SCONA. But there are two intensive Army ROTC courses that take place on Army bases during the summer:
Advanced Camp—All Cadets who enter the Advanced Course must attend this four-week summer training course at Fort Knox, Kentucky between their junior and senior years. There, they are trained and evaluated alongside their peers from across the nation on Soldiering and leadership.
Basic Course—This four-week summer course at Fort Knox, KY is ONLY for students who enroll in Army ROTC without having taken the first two years of military science classes such as some transfers from other branches’ ROTC programs, as well as high-performing freshmen cadets.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES THAT I WILL BE DEPLOYED TO SUPPORT THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM?
Cadets participating in Army ROTC courses cannot be deployed. After graduation and commissioning as an officer, 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 (including Reserves and National Guard) 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.
CAN I GO INTO THE ARMY RESERVE OR NATIONAL GUARD AFTER GRADUATION INSTEAD OF THE REGULAR ARMY?
Yes. Selected Cadets may choose to serve part-time in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career. For more details, see: Active Duty & Army Reserve or the Army National Guard website.
WHAT IS THE TYPICAL CAREER PATH FOR AN ARMY OFFICER? WHAT CAREER FIELDS ARE AVAILABLE?
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, post-graduate education, and once in a lifetime experiences.
WHAT KIND OF SALARY AND BENEFITS WILL I EARN AS A COMMISSIONED ARMY OFFICER?
Click here to visit the Army’s benefits site for complete details. Specifically, the Money sub-section provides details on pay for both Officers and Enlisted Soldiers.