The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is one of four ways to receive an Appointment as a United States Army Officer. Although West Point, Officer’s Candidate School, and the Direct Commissioning process serve as the other three options, the 275 College ROTC Departments across the nation annually commission over half of the Army’s 2nd Lieutenants.
In terms of a general overview, the ROTC curriculum is divided into two distinct courses: the Basic Course and the Advanced Course. Each course differs in regard to who can participate and also in regard to one’s overall military obligation.
The Basic Course is comprised of the freshman and sophomore level classes and does not require any military obligation. At most universities, these classes are considered electives and only meet once a week for approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours. The Basic Course covers topics such as Organization of the Army; Military Traditions and Courtesies; Basic Leadership Skills; Decision Making Process; Map Reading Skills; Introduction to Small Unit Tactics; and Basic Soldier Skills. In order to enroll in the Basic Course, an individual must:
- Be a full time student at Campbell University, Methodist University, Fayetteville State University, or UNC Pembroke
- Not be a Conscientious Objector
- Be of Good Moral Character
- Not have any Tattoos specifically prohibited by Army policy
- Be a U.S. Citizen
- Be in good physical condition
The Advance Course is comprised of junior and senior level classes and requires students to commit to a military obligation prior to entering the program. Once enrolled in the Advance Course, Cadets participate in academic classes and leadership labs each semester and also attend a 30 day Leadership Development Assessment Course located at Fort Knox, Kentucky, during the summer of their junior/senior year. In order to enroll in the Advance Course, an individual must:
- Meet all of the previous requirements to enter the Basic Course.
- Not have any civil convictions, adverse adjudications, or court martial convictions other than minor traffic violations less than $250.00.
- Not have more than 3 dependents.
- Never have used drugs; or be a self-admitted limited/experimental user of drugs who has not used within 6 months of contracting.
- Sign a loyalty oath.
- If prior service, have an honorable discharge from the Armed Services with a qualifying RE code of 1 on DD Form 214.
- Meet one of the following criteria: have credit for Military Science 100 and 200 level courses, complete Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET), or complete Basic Training in one of the Armed Forces.
- Have a college GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
- Score at least 180 points with 60 points in each event on a single Army Physical Fitness Test.
- Successfully pass a Department of Defense Medical Evaluation Review Board physical. The most common non-waiver disqualifiers during this physical are: documented asthma after the age of 13; ADD/ADHD, depression treatment, or academic skills disorders within the past 12 months; ulcerative colitis, crohn’s disease, scoliosis-curvature of the spine in excess of 30 degrees, or prior service with a permanent profile.
- Be younger than the age of 31 at time of commissioning
Upon completion of the Advance Course and successful graduation from the university, Cadets receive their commission as a United States Army Officer and subsequently begin a career in either the Active Army or Reserve/National Guard.
- I am an American Soldier.
- I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
- I will always place the mission first.
- I will never accept defeat.
- I will never quit.
- I will never leave a fallen comrade.
- I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
- I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
- I am an expert and I am a professional.
- I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
- I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
- I am an American Soldier.