What is ROTC and How Does it Work?

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What is ROTC? In this article, you’ll find out all about this unique scholarship program, and the various options that are available for students who wish to make the most of college and Army service. 


We’ll go over the basics of the program, how it works, what some of the benefits include, as well as the specific ROTC program branches to consider.



What Does ROTC Stand For?


ROTC stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, and it refers to university-based training programs for student commissioned officers of the United States Armed Forces.



What is ROTC?


The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC programs, assist students with their education in exchange for their service in the army after graduation. 


Students apply for a scholarship based on the commitment of military service. Students train alongside their studies, such as taking military science courses alongside their regular courses. 


Alternatively, ROTC also offers the option of short-term study without a post-college military commitment.


The ROTC is a major path that men and women use to enter army service, with the program being responsible for 75% of the military officers.



How Does The ROTC Program Work?


Prospective students who are interested in the ROTC program must meet certain academic and physical requirements. Scholarship eligibility requires a GPA, citizen status between the ages 17-26, and SAT or ACT scores according to the specific service branch. 


In addition, many service branches require students to pass a physical fitness test in order to be eligible.


Upon acceptance, students receive a scholarship that can include tuition for a four-year degree program, fees, book stipends, room and board, and even a living stipend averaging between $350-$500 depending on the service branch. 


In general, larger scholarships require longer service requirements, so it’s important to assess what kind of degree you will be earning and how long you are willing to serve upon graduation.


Students receiving the ROTC scholarship will receive military courses and training alongside their regular college curriculum, such as military science courses and physical training.  


Studies may include leadership development, military skills, fitness and adventure training, and more. In addition, prospective cadets will attend summer training which teaches leadership skills, physical conditioning, survival skills, and handling weaponry. 


Other than the military courses and training, ROTC students will have a regular college experience on campus with non-ROTC students, and upon graduation, will be commissioned as an officer in the Army.



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Why Join ROTC?


Students join the ROTC program for a number of reasons. Some students join for the ability to pay for a quality education, while others wish to earn leadership and physical skills or receive mentorship. 


Some wish to make the most of their college experience, or perhaps, want something more out of their college experience by pushing themselves to excel academically and physically. 


Of course, there are also many students who wish to serve their country by joining the Army, and ROTC is a great path to join while receiving an education and prior training.



ROTC Programs


The ROTC offers different programs based on the different Army service branches. Below are the common branches to consider when joining the ROTC scholarship program.



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The Army ROTC is a rigorous leadership program that gives students military skills and career training. The program’s courses are taught on the training field and in the regular classroom alongside the college curriculum. The program may also include summer units, and upon completion, students are commissioned as Army officers.



Navy and Marine Corps ROTC


The Navy and Marine Corps ROTC is the biggest avenue for Navy officers with 77 programs in colleges and universities across the U.S. The program is a mixture of military training on the field and regular college curriculum in the classroom. Some special curriculum might include topics on national security, policy, and the history of the American military. Upon completion, students are commissioned as Navy officers with the ability to serve in surface warfare, submarine warfare, special warfare, or naval aviation.



Air Force ROTC


With over 1,000 programs in colleges and universities, the Air Force ROTC offers three-year and four-year programs. The courses are taught by active-duty officers, and the curriculum is made up of regular college courses and the Air Force courses. In these courses, students learn leadership skills, combat techniques, and more. After graduation, students may enter the Air Force as an officer.



Nurse Program


For those considering a nursing degree, the ROTC Nurse Program is an opportunity to receive the necessary education and serve in the U.S. Army as a nurse. This service is fulfilling work with many benefits. The curriculum helps students develop leadership and critical thinking skills that will be beneficial for both army service and a long-term career in nursing.



Wrap Up


The ROTC program is a great option for students who wish to excel in school and move on to serve in the U.S. Army. We hope you have a better understanding of what is ROTC and how it works. 


There are many different ROTC scholarship programs across the U.S., and many fields of the army to consider. It is important to assess the requirements for the scholarship, such as SAT scores and physical fitness exams, as well as the amount of service which will be expected of you upon graduation. 


For those who are willing to work hard, the ROTC can offer a meaningful way to earn a degree and serve your country.