ROTC Programs: Why You Should Join
The ROTC or Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a university program for training commissioned military officers. After graduating, officers go on to serve in all branches of the armed forces, including the army, navy and air force. The U.S. Coast Guard has a program similar to ROTC, called College Student Pre-commissioning Initiative (CSPI). Joining the ROTC and CSPI has several benefits, including job security after graduation and an opportunity for full ROTC scholarship in exchange for compulsory military service (service obligation) after completing your degree. ROTC students are just like other students at a university, except they receive basic military and officer training in addition to normal coursework. ROTC students participate in drills throughout the school year and during summer.
Choosing the right ROTC Program
Many colleges and universities in the United States offer ROTC Programs. These programs are offered as a way to provide skills in leadership and job training for those students who are interested in joining the military upon graduation. It is important to remember that there is not always an obligation to go to active duty upon completion of the program. However, many cadets do become officers in the military branch of their choice upon graduation.
Each branch of the military has different requirements and training courses that cadets must complete before they graduate. RTOC can help these students meet the necessary requirements while they are also completing their education. Scholarships also can provide financial benefits to students. Scholarships vary from small dollar amounts to full tuition, books, and board. There are deadlines for these scholarships, so it is important to ask the campus ROTC office about these.
Here are what the different branches of the armed services offer:
Get training to become a manager
Receive tuition assistance
Learn valuable job skills
• Navy & Marine ROTC:
Train to become a commissioned officer in the Naval Reserve or Marine Corps Reserve
Receive scholarships or tuition assistance
Gain experience for management positions in technical fields
• Air Force ROTC:
Hands on job training for careers
Prepare to become an Air Force Officer
Army ROTC Programs
The Army ROTC (AROTC) is the largest branch of ROTC and provides the majority of army officers. Students who wish to join the AROTC can get two-year or four-year scholarships (part or full time) if they meet requirements. In the United States, the four-year scholarship is awarded to students in high school or before entering college. The two-year and two-and-a-half-year scholarships are for students already in college (freshmen and sophomore). Applicants must agree to a commissioned service obligation on active duty or reserve.
Navy ROTC Programs
The Navy ROTC (NROTC) is the largest source of Navy and Marine Corps officers in the United States. The NROTC programs is offered at over 160 universities in the U.S. Graduates are awarded officer status and can choose to serve in any branch of the navy: aviation, surface, special or submarine warfare. Students who want to be Marine Corps officers must take courses in U.S. Military history and national security policy in addition to their normal academic courses. NROTC students also have options for post-graduate study and careers as US Navy Ensign, Marine Corps Second Lieutenant and US Navy Ensign in the Navy Nursing Corps.
Air Force ROTC Programs
More than 1000 schools in the United States offer Air Force ROTC programs. Students receive scholarships just like in the Army and Navy and a guaranteed position in the Air Force after graduation. To be admitted to the program, applicants must maintain a 2.0 GPA (2.5 for scholarship students) and meet physical fitness and other requirements.
If you’re going off to college and are unsure of what to major in, joining the ROTC program at your university has several advantages:
- Scholarships. The government pays for your education, so you don’t have to worry about paying off a lot of loan debt when you graduate. You can apply for the four-year scholarship while in high school, or the two or two-and-a-half-year scholarship if you’re a freshman or sophomore. Scholarships don’t cover tuition alone; they also include books and living expenses in the form of stipends.
- Leadership and Involvement. The ROTC prepares you for an officer position in the military or a leadership position in the corporate world. You will learn how to handle high-pressure situations and effectively lead a group of people, skills that will carry over to every aspect of your life. You will also have the opportunity to interact with other students who share the same goals.
- Keeping Fit. ROTC students learn to take care of their bodies and maintain physical fitness. You’re going to be in the best shape of your life while in the ROTC program and after.
- Flexibility. You can take ROTC courses for two years before being required to render service obligation. This may also apply to scholarship students in some cases. If you are not sure if a military career is right for you, you can pursue other options. Joining the ROTC program at your college is a great opportunity to experience military life and all it has to offer.
Air Force ROTC Programs
Air Force ROTC are programs offered at over 1,000 colleges and universities across the country. It offers you an opportunity to become an Air Force Officer. It is a head start on a lifetime of success using the values taught in the Air Force ROTC programs.
Air Force ROTC programs offer:
-An opportunity for money for college tuition and expenses
-A chance to make the most out of your college experience and life
-The chance to earn a college degree while working towards becoming an office in the United States Air Force
-Once in-a-lifetime opportunities and experiences
Air Force ROTC programs provide an opportunity that will challenge you both mentally and physically. It offers a chance to hone your time management and analytical skills. It helps you push toward your goals.
- Integrity is the inner voice, the basis of self-control. Trust that is vitally important in today’s military. It is doing the right thing when no one is looking.
Service Before Self
- Military service is an uncommon profession that calls for people of uncommon dedication. A leader is someone who is willing to sacrifice individual honors for the good of the unit.
Excellence in All We Do
- Our mission often involves risking our well-being for sometimes national survival. The obligation to excel is a moral obligation for members of the armed forces.
Air Force Mission
To defend the United States and protect its interests through aerospace power.
We are America’s Airmen. We are warriors…we will fight and win wherever our nation needs us. The aerospace realm is our domain, and we are vigilant in our commitment to defend, control and use it in our nation’s interest. We are leaders…we live our core values. We are a Total Force – Active, Guard, Reserve and Civilian – seamless in providing aerospace power.
We do not operate alone. Our efforts are made possible by the great support of many. Our families, our retirees, the employers of our Guardsmen and Reservists, our industry partners and the communities in which we live and work enable us to carry out our mission.
And we are partners in the Joint Team… we project aerospace power anywhere in the world, and operate in concert with America’s land and sea forces, and with our allies. Wherever we serve, whatever we do, we are America’s Airmen.
We will recruit, train and retain America’s best young men and women to provide Global Vigilance, Reach and Power to our nation in the 21st Century. We will command and lead effectively at all levels – with decisiveness and concern for our people. We’ll provide an environment that encourages all our people to achieve personal and professional excellence, taking pride in being part of the aerospace force that is respected the world over.
We will size, shape and operate the force to meet the needs of the nation. We must also manage the effects of tempo on our people. This is particularly important for those elements of the force currently in short supply, but in high demand. And we’ll continue leading the way in leveraging the strengths of all our components to optimize Total Force effectiveness in peace as well as war.
America’s Airmen will be smart, sharp and tough. We’ll provide them with the education, equipment and training to perform at their best. And we will demonstrate commitment to our people and to their families, providing quality of life that lives up to their trust. Our Air Force will be worthy of the great men and women who join us.
Air Force ROTC Mission:
- To develop leaders for the Air Force programs. There are two educational programs offered: Air Force Senior ROTC programs and Air Force Junior ROTC Programs.
Air Force Senior ROTC Programs
Designed to recruit, educate, and commission officer candidates through the various college programs that are based on Air Force standards. Units are stationed at 144 colleges and universities in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Air Force Junior ROTC Programs
- Provides citizenship training and aerospace science programs at the high school level. Units are located at over 750 high schools through the United States.