ROTC - Frequently Asked Questions
What is Army ROTC?
Army ROTC is a college elective that teaches you the skills needed for a successful career. Because it's an elective, you can try it out for the freshman and sophomore years without incurring any obligation to serve in the military. You will combine classroom time with hands-on-experience and learn leadership and management skills. If you decide to continue and are up to the challenge of leading in the world's best armed forces, you may continue advanced courses of Army ROTC while completing your degree. When you graduate, you are commissioned as an Army officer to serve on active duty or with the Army Reserves or National Guard. Army ROTC experience will give you the confidence you need to be a success in college and beyond whether you choose to pursue a career in the Army or in the civilian world. Come join us!
How much time does ROTC take?
Not a great deal of time for freshmen and sophomores, and three times weekly for juniors and seniors. For freshmen, lecture meets one day a week. Lecture meets twice a week for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. In addition to lecture, there is a two-hour lab which meets once a week and physical training three mornings per week. Every other month you will attend a weekend training event.
Will ROTC conflict with my other classes?
No. Military Science courses are scheduled just like any other class. We have a planned curriculum that does not conflict with most college course requirements. If scheduling conflicts arise, the instructor will make every effort to work through it with you.
What do ROTC students do?
Mainly, they are just like any other college student. They earn a four-year academic degree and learn to think and reason at the college level. Along the way they will learn leadership skills and have experiences that will set them apart from their peers. These skills and experiences will qualify them to become officers in the U.S. Army. Upon graduation, they are placed in job positions as Second Lieutenants, either on Active duty or in the Army Reserve or National Guard.
Can I "major" in ROTC?
No. ROTC is taken for elective credit. Depending upon your degree you may, however, elect to earn a minor in military science.
Can I participate in other activities while taking ROTC?
Yes! In fact, we highly encourage students to participate in other activities. We subscribe to the total person concept and want well-rounded individuals, scholar, athlete, leader to lead the Army and the nation in the Twenty First century.
Does ROTC offer any extracurricular activities?
Yes. The Ranger Challenge team offers intense technical and tactical training in soldier skills. We also participate in intramural sports.
Do I have to wear a military uniform while taking ROTC?
Yes. All cadets are required to wear a uniform once a week for a day and at ROTC lab.
I heard a huge drill sergeant shaves my head when I join ROTC...is that true?
Here's the deal with regard to hair. We do not cut anyone's hair. You must, however, meet the Army appearance standards. That may mean for males that you have shorter hair than you currently have, but no one gets his or her head shaved. Females must wear their hair up off the collar of the uniform.
I heard that ROTC cadets have to run every morning at 5:00 A.M. Is that true?
Absolutely not. Juniors and Seniors along with scholarship cadets are required to participate in Physical Fitness Training every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6:00 to 7:00 A.M. or 4:00 to 5:00 P.M. All other cadets are only obligated to participate on Wednesday mornings, but are encouraged to do so three days a week.
I heard that ROTC students are always running around in the woods. Is that true?
Not entirely. We do a good portion of our training outdoors. Some of the activities we do include hiking, rappelling, and orienteering. If you stay in the program long enough, you will have the pleasure of sleeping on the ground outdoors, but that type of training is usually done during favorable weather conditions.
Do I have any summer training requirements in ROTC?
Yes. The summer between your junior and senior years of college, all ROTC cadets will attend the Leadership Development and Assessment Course, otherwise known as Warrior Forge, at Fort Lewis, Washington. This 5-week leadership experience is the culmination of everything you have learned thus far and is used as an evaluation tool, which determines your future as an officer. Cadets receive a stipend allowance while attending this training. Other training opportunities are available during the summer, but Warrior Forge is the only required one.
When does my participation in ROTC begin to incur a military service obligation?
For most students, it is the start of your junior year of college. This is when you decide whether or not you want to pursue a commission in the Army. At this time you would sign a contract with the U.S. Army. This applies to two-year scholarship students and all non-scholarship students in the program. A Three-Year or Four-Year scholarship winner becomes obligated at the start of their ROTC scholarship.
What is my service obligation if I complete the program?
Eight years, but before you go into cardiac arrest, let's break it down a little further. These eight years can be fulfilled in a number of ways: 3 or 4 years (depending on scholarship status) on active duty and then remainder in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Essentially, the IRR is a non-active status with no drill requirements. The other option is 6 years in a drilling unit of the Reserves or National Guard meeting one weekend a month and two weeks each summer followed by 2 years in the IRR. This obligation is federally mandated and is the same across all services.
How can I find out more about ROTC?
Stop by the Department of Military Science, which is located at Ouachita Baptist University in Roy and Christine Sturgis Gymnasium, room 303. You may call the office at 870-245-4352, or e-mail the battalion at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Command Head Quarters link - http://www.cadetcommand.army.mil