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An Expert Guide to Scholarships, Educational Benefits and Service Commitments of Collegiate ROTC Programs
Meet the Experts
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Ron Kness

Ron retired with 36 years of military service. His assignment as Supervisor of Military Personnel Services (including the Education Benefits Section) provided him with a wealth of knowledge, training and experience working with the GI Bills, scholarships, grants and loans for post-secondary education. His last assignment was the 34th Infantry (Red Bull) Division Command Sergeant Major/E-9.

expert
MSG Berube

MSG Berube is originally from Cambridge, MA. He joined the Army in 1993 as a 19D Cavalry Scout. His assignments include FT Polk, Germany, FT Hood, Schofield Barracks Hawaii, ACRC at Camp Shelby, MS and currently the University of Minnesota. His deployments include Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. MSG Berube comes to the program recently from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii where he served as a 1SG in 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment.

Starting with the National Defense Act of 1916, the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) continues to offer quality leadership training – in addition to helping finance college educations – in return for serving a commitment of time in a branch of the United States Armed Forces. ROTC can pave the way for students to earn a college degree who otherwise would be unable to afford one. In this guide, we cover the various types of ROTC programs available, merit-based scholarships associated with each type of program, and the resulting service obligation that starts upon college graduation.

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Do you know that ROTC cadets can get full scholarships plus a monthly living stipend? Two-, three- and four-year scholarships are available in many of the programs. The monthly living stipend varies by type of ROTC and according to the number of years in the program. For example, the yearly living stipend from the Air Force ROTC begins at $300/month during the first year, and increases yearly to $500/month at year four.

ROTC Programs:
Goals, Options and Service Commitments

ROTC is a college-based program that trains students to become commissioned officers in the various branches of the United States Armed Forces. While ROTC “officially” started in 1916, it traces its roots back even further. Before ROTC was officially brought under one federally-controlled entity in 1916, other colleges began to add military training to their curriculum as a result of the Morrill Act of 1862, when land-grant colleges were first established. Colleges established under the act were required to include military tactics in their curriculum. The mission of the ROTC today remains the same as it was upon the program’s inception: training students to become commissioned officers.

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In 1819, Captain Alden Partridge, a former West Point Academy instructor, introduced the idea of training “citizen soldiers” at his American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy, later renamed Norwich University. At that time, it was the only civilian educational institution teaching military tactics.

JROTC

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  • Available Campus Locations

    3,230 units located in high schools across the country

  • Training Topic Examples

    Fundamental concept of leadership, military art and science; dual roles of citizen soldiers; national security, and military professional knowledge

  • Service Obligations

    None, but approximately 30% of JROTC participants end up enlisting into a military branch

  • Career Specialties Examples

    None

Army

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army
  • Available Campus Locations

    Approx. 1,100

  • Training Topic Examples

    Ethics and values; leadership styles; orders preparation; map reading; Army structure; training management; survival; marksmanship and tactics

  • Service Obligations

    3-8 years of active duty depending on type of scholarship

  • Career Specialties Examples

    Infantry, Intelligence, Civil Affairs, Law Enforcement, Medical, Aviation, Engineering, Computer Technology

Navy /Marine Corps

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navy
  • Available Campus Locations

    Approx. 153

  • Training Topic Examples

    Summer cruise training; Naval history; surface warfare; leadership and ethics; navigation; management; sea power; etiquette and customs

  • Service Obligations

    3-12 years of active military service depending on scholarship level and degree level

  • Career Specialties Examples

    Surface, Submarine, Aviation, Special Warfare, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Nursing

Air Force

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us_airforce
  • Available Campus Locations

    Approx. 1,100

  • Training Topic Examples

    Customs and courtesies; leadership and followership; field training; international security; aerospace studies

  • Service Obligations

    4-10 years of active duty, depending on cadet contract appointment

  • Career Specialties Examples

    Air Battle Management, Civil Engineering, Cyberspace Operations, Piloting, Space and Missile

Beyond training qualified commissioned officers for all U.S. Armed Forces branches, there exist other goals beneath that singular umbrella. Goals for:

  • Individual
    Goals

    Two major goals for individuals that graduate from an ROTC program are 1) to come out of college debt-free, and 2) to have a guaranteed job upon graduation, for the duration of their service obligation and beyond should they decide to stay in. If not, they are well positioned to enter the civilian work force in a high level leadership or management position.

  • Military Organization Goal

    ROTC provides military organizations with another stream of acquiring trained commissioned officers beside those graduating from one of the military academies, or through direct commissioning. In 2010, ROTC provided 38.5 percent of the newly commissioned officers in the U.S. Army; 1.8 percent in the Marine Corps (from Navy ROTC); 16.7 percent in the Navy; and 38.1 percent in the Air Force.

  • National Goals

    ROTC helps maintain a steady flow of commissioned officers to both the active duty units and selected reserve, which consists of the reserves of all the military branches (except the Coast Guard) and the National Guard. By having all newly commissioned officers trained to an equal standard, flexibility and diversity is achieved between the active duty and selected reserve units as they deploy and serve alongside one another.

Beyond Financial Aid: Benefits of ROTC

While the financial aid from an ROTC program is one of the main reasons people join, students will gain other benefits as well.

Leadership training. Through leadership labs and training, ROTC participants learn how to manage and lead people, even when under stressful and hostile combat conditions. This training is valuable in both the military and civilian worlds.

Physical conditioning. Because the military standards for physical fitness are high, ROTC training also includes instruction on eating right and maintaining fitness. Not only does this training improve one’s health, it also boosts self-confidence, thus improving mental fitness.

Post-graduation employment opportunities. Once back in civilian service, many ROTC graduates coming off of active duty are a complete package. They can walk into a management or leadership position and with very little ramp-up time, performing at a high level – just as they were trained to do. Most of the branches offer a transitioning service or program where the service member can get help and training on skill identification, job searches, resume writing and interviewing before leaving military service, and each ROTC has a strong alumni group which can offer support, help and guidance after completing the ROTC program.

Levels of ROTC Program Enrollment

As there are over 1,100 schools offering ROTC, figuring out which branch and program to join can be difficult. Additionally, within each branch itself exist three different classifications that a cadet will fall into:

Participant

Taking an entry-level (100 or 200) ROTC class. May or may not be under a scholarship.

Enrolled

Interested in continuing the ROTC program by enrolling in the Cadet Command Information Management System (CCIMS).

Contracted

Accepted a scholarship and are under a service obligation to commission and serve once finished with school.

Students graduating from a ROTC program, or taking $3,500 or more in ROTC scholarship money during their last year in a ROTC program, will not earn Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility for up to four years while on active duty. This can affect the service member’s plans if s/he was considering transferring GI Bill benefits to a spouse or dependent child, or planning to attend graduate school on the GI Bill after serving their obligation.

Once the four years are served, however, Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility starts with full eligibility attained after serving another three years. However, while serving, ROTC graduates can still use Tuition Assistance. Prospective students should contact the Military Science branch at a school offering the type of ROTC you are interested in for more information about their program, service obligations and the scholarships available.

Serve to Earn:
Financial Aid and Service Commitments

Each branch of the ROTC has its own set of scholarships, aid offered and service required in return for the money. As the level of financial aid increases, so too does the time a student must commit to spend in the military in order to effectively “pay back” this help. Additional, branch-specific scholarships are available to students upon enrollment. Below, discover scholarships and aid offered through each branch’s ROTC program, and what level of service obligation is required to receive it.

Army us_army
1 Two-year
  • duration
    Duration of Scholarship

    Two years

  • financia
    Financial Aid

    Full tuition and fees; book allowance; monthly stipend up to $5,000 per year

  • application_requirment
    Application Requirements

    High school students interested in joining should create a My Go Army Account and submit an online application; in college, contact your ROTC Battalion Enrollment Officer

  • service_obligation
    Service Obligation

    Four years

2 Three-year
  • duration
    Duration of Scholarship

    Three years

  • financia
    Financial Aid

    Full tuition and fees; book allowance; monthly stipend up to $5,000 per year

  • application_requirment
    Application Requirements

    High school students interested in joining should create a My Go Army Account and submit an online application; in college, contact your ROTC Battalion Enrollment Officer

  • service_obligation
    Service Obligation

    Four years

3 Four-Year
  • duration
    Duration of Scholarship

    Four-Years

  • financia
    Financial Aid

    Full tuition and fees; book allowance; monthly stipend up to $5,000 per year

  • application_requirment
    Application Requirements

    High school students interested in joining should create a My Go Army Account and submit an online application; in college, contact your ROTC Battalion Enrollment Officer

  • service_obligation
    Service Obligation

    Four years

  • General Military Studies

    The first two years in a ROTC program cover general military topics. Students can be in a non-scholarship status, in which they do not have a service obligation, or under contract for two, three or four years. Contracted students incur service obligations according to the chart above.

  • Chaplain Candidates

    Scholarships for chaplain candidates to attend graduate school or seminary. Incurs a four-year service obligation.

  • Health Professionals

    Graduate-level scholarships for medical, dental, veterinary, psychology or optometry candidates. Medical and dental students receive a $20,000 sign-on bonus. Service obligation is one year of service for each year of scholarship and starts after residency.

  • Green to Gold

    Two, three and four-year scholarship programs for current enlisted personnel to become future commissioned officers. Four-year service obligation is required after commissioning.

NAVY navy
1 Navy Option
  • duration
    Duration of Scholarship

    Two and four-years

  • financia
    Financial Aid

    Full tuition and fees; book allowance; monthly living subsistence

  • application_requirment
    Application Requirements

    Online application; Drug Statement Form; Federal Financial Aid Debarment and Suspension Form; Certification and Statement of Understanding; submit to an Applicant Fitness Assessment Test

  • service_obligation
    Service Obligation

    Two-year option: Four years Four-year option: At least five years active duty, except for medical/dental school graduates; 12 years if attending military medical/dental school; nine years if attending civilian medical/dental school

2 Marine Option
  • duration
    Duration of Scholarship

    Four-year

  • financia
    Financial Aid

    Full tuition and fees; book allowance; monthly living subsistence

  • application_requirment
    Application Requirements

    Online application; Drug Statement Form; Federal Financial Aid Debarment and Suspension Form; Marine Corps Certification and Statement of Understanding; Submit to an Applicant Fitness Assessment Test

  • service_obligation
    Service Obligation

    At least three years

3 Navy Nurse Corps Option
  • duration
    Duration of Scholarship

    Four-year

  • financia
    Financial Aid

    All tuition and fees, including lab fees; $250 per semester book allowance; monthly living subsistence varying between $250 to $400 depending on if student is a sophomore, junior or senior

  • application_requirment
    Application Requirements

    Online application; Drug Statement Form; Federal Financial Aid Debarment and Suspension Form; Nurses Certification and Statement of Understanding; Submit to an Applicant Fitness Assessment Test

  • service_obligation
    Service Obligation

    Four years if receiving one to 12 months of stipend; five years if receiving 13 months or more in stipend money

  • General Military Studies

    Offers a Summer Cruise Training option where a portion of summer break is spent shadowing active duty Navy officers in either nuclear power, aviation or foreign exchange. See chart below for service obligations.

  • CECP

    Provides up to $113,100 during the last two years before graduating with a civil engineering degree. Requires an active duty service obligation of four years.

  • NCP

    Provides up to $34,000 to help pay for nursing school. Incurs a five-year service obligation if the candidate receive 13 months or more of stipend money.

  • NUPOC

    Provides up to $168,300 while finishing a nuclear propulsion degree. Requires a five-year service obligation.

  • Marine Option

    A four-year scholarship program resulting in a Marine Corps commissioning. See chart above for service obligation.

Air
Force
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1 Type 1
  • duration
    Duration of Scholarship

    Four-year

  • financia
    Financial Aid

    Pays full tuition, most fees and includes an annual $900 book allowance; monthly living stipend at the following rates:

    • $300 for freshmen
    • $350 for sophomore
    • $450 for junior
    • $500 for senior
  • application_requirment
    Application Requirements

    Online application; transcripts; extracurricular activity sheet; physical fitness test results; SAT or ACT scores or GPA; medical exam results after accepting a scholarship offer

  • service_obligation
    Service Obligation

    Four years active duty, except for pilots who commit for 10 years, and Combat Systems Officers and Air Battle Managers who commit for six years

2 Type 2
  • duration
    Duration of Scholarship

    Three or four-year

  • financia
    Financial Aid

    Pays tuition and fees up to $15,000 and a $900 annual book allowance; monthly living stipend same as Type 1

  • application_requirment
    Application Requirements

    Online application; transcripts; extracurricular activity sheet; physical fitness test results; SAT or ACT scores or GPA; medical exam results after accepting a scholarship offer

  • service_obligation
    Service Obligation

    Four years active duty, except for pilots who commit for 10 years, and Combat Systems Officers and Air Battle Managers who commit for six years

3 Type 7
  • duration
    Duration of Scholarship

    Four-year

  • financia
    Financial Aid

    Pays up to the equivalent of resident public school tuition or up to $9,000 and includes the annual $900 book allowance; monthly living stipend same as Type 1

  • application_requirment
    Application Requirements

    Online application; transcripts; extracurricular activity sheet; physical fitness test results; SAT or ACT scores or GPA; medical exam results after accepting a scholarship offer

  • service_obligation
    Service Obligation

    Four years active duty, except for pilots who commit for 10 years, and Combat Systems Officers and Air Battle Managers who commit for six years

  • General Military Studies

    Two-year non-scholarship and scholarship programs in the freshman and sophomore years. See chart below for service obligation.

  • Professional Officer

    A two-year program (junior and senior years) focused on management, communication skills and national defense policy leading to an Air Force officer commission. Requires a four-year service obligation and pays up to a $400 monthly in a non-taxable stipend while in the program. Incurs a four-year service commitment.

  • Biomedical

    Scholarship programs for students wanting to become doctors. Service obligation is for four years post-residency.

  • Graduate Law

    Two-year non-scholarship program for law students. However, Summer Field Training is paid along with a $400 monthly tax-free stipend while in the program. Four-year service obligation required.

  • Nursing Scholarship

    Provides scholarships up to $15,000 per year, plus a yearly book stipend of $510 to pursue a degree in nursing. Incurs a four-year service obligation.

ROTC Scholarship Program Spotlight:
The Navy Nurse Option
spotlight spotlight

A great option for ROTC students looking to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), midshipmen (as they are referred to) are required to complete the following courses:

  • Introduction to Naval Science
  • Seapower and Maritime Affairs
  • Leadership and Management I and II

They must also participate in weekly drill instruction periods and attend two summer training periods, each four weeks in length.

checkbox Eligibility Requirements

Most of the requirements for the Navy Nurse Option are similar to other Navy ROTC applicants, including:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • At least 17 years old by September 1 of the college start year
  • Not will have reached 27th birthday by June 30 of the year of their anticipated graduation and commissioning
  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalency
  • Meet Navy standard physical and medical requirements
  • Have been approved for admission to a university having both Navy ROTC affiliation and offering a state or National League of Nursing (NLN) approved bachelor’s degree in nursing (Nurse Option specific)
  • Have at least an SAT score of 530 in Critical Reading and 520 in Math or ACT scores of 22 in English and 22 in Math (Nurse Option specific)
application_process Application Process

The Navy Nurse Option application is extensive and can take several hours to complete. At the beginning of the application process a checklist of all required information is provided. In addition to the initial online application, certain supplemental forms are also required, such as:

  • Drug Statement
  • Federal Financial Aid Debarment and Suspension
  • Nurses Certification and Statement of Understanding
  • Applicant Fitness Assessment Test Agreement

As part of the application process, the student will be asked to choose five colleges or universities. Each school listed must have a NAVY ROTC program or affiliation and offer a state or NLN approved bachelor’s degree in nursing. School choices do not necessarily have to be in the student’s home state.

If offered a scholarship, the applicant must major in a nursing degree program leading to a BSN degree.

abenifits Benefits

As a nurse midshipman, the Navy will pay all tuition costs, lab fees and provide a textbook voucher worth $250 per semester or $167 per quarter. In addition, a monthly subsistence pays at the following rates:

  • $250: Freshman year
  • $300: Sophomore year
  • $350: Junior year
  • $400: Senior year
wall_clock Service Commitments

Upon commissioning, midshipmen incur an eight-year service commitment, as do all members entering the military today. However, the number of years that must be served on active duty vary according to the number of months of stipend received while going through nursing school. If you received one to 12 months of stipend, then you must serve four years on active duty; if you received 13 months or more of stipend, then your active duty service obligation is for five years. The remainder of your eight-year service commitment may be spent in a reserve status.

After ROTC: Top Career Paths & Options

Once ROTC programs – and any active duty requirements – have been completed, members should find themselves prepared to excel in a variety of career paths, dependent on the courses they took while enrolled. Regardless of the path they end up taking, the common denominator for all graduates is the foundation of leadership and confidence that ROTC programs work to instill in all their cadets. These qualities, along with any specialized training received during their time in ROTC and the military, make those transitioning from a military to civilian career particularly well suited to a number of professional roles.

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Compliance Officer star
after-rotc
coinMedian Salary: $64,950
chartProjected job growth: 7 percent

The job: Adhering to the rules is a big part of military service, and ensuring the rulebook is followed is the main focus of a compliance officer. These professionals may work for a company or as a consultant, ensuring organizations and individuals are complying with laws or regulations. They may also carry out independent inspections to analyze prior transactions and ensure there was no foul play involved.

Construction Manager star
after-rotc
coinMedian Salary: $85,630
chartProjected job growth: 16 percent

The job: One of the fundamental components of ROTC training is developing leadership qualities. Managers of construction sites are expected to lead crews, make decisions and supervise the progress of a job site. On-the-ground training and exposure to physically demanding environments gained during military service will also be valuable in this career.

E
Event Planners star
after-rotc
coinMedian Salary: $46,490
chartProjected job growth: 33 percent

The job: One of the first qualities one may associate with anyone who has been in the military is their punctuality. Timekeeping and the ability to multi-task are key components of both ROTC training and what it takes to be a top event planner. The structured environment of the military lends itself well to this career, as everything must run like clockwork to ensure a successful large-scale event.

H
Human Resource Manager star
after-rotc
coinMedian Salary: $102,780
chartProjected job growth:13 percent

The job: Organization. Leadership. Planning. These three skills are synonymous with both ex-ROTC members and human resource managers. The people skills gained through time spent in the corps are invaluable in this career, as HR managers are in charge of recruiting, interviewing, hiring and overseeing the staff of organizations.

I
Information Security Analyst star
after-rotc
coinMedian Salary: $88,890
chartProjected job growth:37 percent

The job: With a focus on protecting computer networks and systems, information security analyst roles utilize technological and defense measures learned through ROTC training. These skills are in demand at both large organizations and small companies, providing a vast array of work environments and levels of responsibility for service members transitioning into these roles.

L
Logistician star
after-rotc
coinMedian Salary: $73,870
chartProjected job growth:22 percent

The job: Skills gained in management will go a long way as a logistician, whose responsibilities revolve around overseeing the life cycle of an organization’s product. This occupation covers a wide spectrum of industries, allowing those within it to work with a variety of different products or types of companies throughout their careers.

O
Operations Research Analyst star
after-rotc
coinMedian Salary: $76,660
chartProjected job growth:27 percent

The job: Given the investigative and analytical skills gained through ROTC training, a career as an operations research analyst is a great option for those who seek to assist organizations in understanding multi-faceted problems, help them to create policies and find solutions to operational quandaries.

P
Public Relations Specialist star
after-rotc
coinMedian Salary: $55,680
chartProjected job growth:12 percent

The job: Communication is a component of military strategy and operations, and one of the first skills ROTC students will be expected to master. After completing their military training, many go on to work within public relations, where they spend their days crafting messages or other public relations materials for a variety of clients.

R
Registered Nurse star
after-rotc
coinMedian Salary: $66,640
chartProjected job growth: 19 percent

The job: Looking out for your fellow recruits is an important lesson of ROTC training, as is the ability to develop and implement plans for success. Graduates looking to continue utilizing these skills may consider a career as a registered nurse. In this role, professionals assess patient needs and create plans of care. They also maintain medical records, administer care and teach patients about health and wellness.

T
Training Manager star
after-rotc
coinMedian Salary: $101,930
chartProjected job growth: 11 percent

The job: After spending a number of years in training during an ROTC program, it stands to reason that graduates will be well-prepared to oversee training for others. Training managers do just that, planning and coordinating a variety of sessions and events designed to enhance the knowledge and skill sets of a company’s workforce.

admission pencil

ROTC
Admissions Requirements Checklist

Admission to a college does not guarantee admission into an ROTC program; ROTC program requirements are different. Each ROTC candidate must:


  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED
  • Must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 cumulative
  • Pass military physical fitness standards, which vary by military branch
  • Meet minimum and maximum age requirements, which can vary by branch
  • Be willing to put in the extra work and time required to be successful in the program

Evaluating yourself with these six questions, along with ROTC Admissions Requirement Checklist, should help you decide if an ROTC program is right for you.

Timeline of an ROTC Program

1

JROTC

Students can join a JROTC program beginning their freshman year of high school and stay in the program until graduating. JROTC does not incur any military obligation.

Training is generally broken down into six units. While each military branch’s JROTC program may cover different topics, a sample Army JROTC curriculum includes:

  • Unit 1:Citizenship in Action, only runs in Year 1 and 2

  • Unit 2:Leadership Theory and Application

  • Unit 3:Foundations for Success

  • Unit 4:Wellness, Fitness and First Aid

  • Unit 5:Geography, Map Skills, Environmental Awareness

  • Unit 6:Citizenship in American History and Government

At the conclusion of the school year, most JROTC units hold graduation ceremonies for those finishing the program. Other participation recognition may include an award ceremonies or a military ball.

2

College ROTC

Once graduated from high school, the next step is to gain acceptance to a college with an ROTC affiliation. For students wanting to try out ROTC, they can take the basic 100/200 level military science electives without any incurring any obligation. However if or when a scholarship is accepted, active duty service obligation, starting upon commissioning, is activated.

Once college acceptance is received, then the application process to ROTC at that school – or affiliate -starts. For example, students could attend their major at one school, but attend ROTC at another.

Basic Course

For both scholarship and non-scholarship students, the first two years are general military studies taken as electives. Coursework involves taking courses and labs each semester. An Army ROTC sample curriculum includes:

Year One basic_cource
  • Introduction to Army Leadership
  • Army Customs and Traditions
  • Military Operations and Tactics
  • Goal Setting and Accomplishment
  • Health and Physical Fitness
Year Two: basic_cource
  • Applied Leadership Theory
  • Communications
  • Principles of War
  • Military Operations and Tactics
Advanced Course

During the last two years of college, students take the following topics as part of their Advanced Course:

Year Three: basic_cource
  • Command and Staff Functions
  • Law of War
  • Weapons
  • Team Dynamics and Peer Leadership
  • Military Operations and Tactics
Year Four: basic_cource
  • Training the Force
  • Military Justice
  • Ethical Decision Making
  • Personnel Management
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Post and Installation Support
  • Military Operations and Tactics
3

Commissioning

Upon completion of all ROTC requirements, graduates receive their officer commissions through a Commissioning Ceremony separate from their college graduation ceremony. Newly appointed officers then report to their first active duty station, where they serve out their contracted service obligation. Once fulfilled, they can leave active duty service and finish out their eight-year commitment in the Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve or National Guard, or continue serving on active duty.

Once back in civilian service, many ROTC graduates fill leadership and management career positions in many of the top Fortune 500 companies. Why? Because they are some of the most trained and experienced leaders entering the workforce today.

College graduates without ROTC and military experience might have the knowledge, but not the experience – something that takes years to acquire. ROTC graduates coming off of active duty are a complete package. They can walk into a management or leadership position and with very little ramp-up time, perform at a high level … just like they were trained to do.

Most of the branches offer a transitioning service or program where the service member can get help and training on skill identification, job searches, resume writing and interviewing before leaving military service.

Each ROTC has strong Alumni that can offer support, help and guidance after completing the ROTC program.

Interview

with MSG Berube, Commandant of Cadets in the Gopher Battalion, University of Minnesota Army ROTC

MSG Berube, Commandant of Cadets in the Gopher Battalion, University of Minnesota Army ROTC, Minneapolis, MN, spoke with us about the key benefits of an ROTC program, and why one may join.

What is your mission statement?

The Gopher Battalion commissions adaptive and agile officers into the United States Army, Army Reserve and National Guard through a holistic training and education program, focused on retention and a quality recruiting process. We strive to meet that mission by offering a classroom curriculum that focuses on developing college students into leaders who are adaptive, agile and problem solvers.

What are some key benefits you see in your program?

Leadership labs give our cadets the opportunity to apply the skills learned in a tactical setting. While earning a degree in the major of their choice, cadets receive leadership training in judgment, decision-making, values, ethics, communications, critical thinking, management and analysis. We strive to impart all cadets with a sense of self-motivation, discipline, initiative, service, patriotism and integrity.

Why someone should join an ROTC program in general and specifically your program?

Army ROTC selects, educates, trains and commissions college students to be officers and leaders of character in the Total Army; the ROTC program instills the values of citizenship, national and community service, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment. In regard to our program, as a host school centrally located in Minneapolis, we are surrounded by 12 affiliate schools, making it is an easy commute to our ROTC program. Our program has always placed within the top 10 percent of all the Army ROTC programs.

What types of aid does your specific program offer?
  • National Army ROTC four-year scholarships while in high school
  • Campus-Based Scholarship awarded while earning a degree of choice as a freshman, sophomore or junior at the University of Minnesota.
  • Guaranteed Reserve Force Duty (GRFD) Scholarships designed for people who have prior military service and would like to commission into either the Army National Guard or Army Reserve.
  • Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) allows participation in ROTC while at the same time enlisted in the Army National Guard (NG) or US Army Reserve (USAR).
  • Two U of M Incentive Scholarships awarded to annually by the Professor of Military Science to students who best supported the battalion’s recruiting and retention efforts.
  • Green-to-Gold Scholarship Option for enlisted soldiers who are considering leaving active duty to attend college and then return as commissioned officers. They receive full tuition or room and board, flat rate book payment and a monthly stipend.

Army ROTC plays a great role in the shaping of tomorrows officers and leaders.

Thinking About Joining?
6 Things Every Recruit Should Ask Themselves

Besides meeting the admission requirements, there are other considerations to think about as far as if ROTC is the correct choice, in line with your future educational and career goals. Six things every prospective recruit should consider before joining are:

1
Do you want a college education, but are unable to afford it?

Many non-ROTC students walk across the stage at graduation with a diploma in one hand and a student loan debt of $20,000 or more in the other. If your family can’t afford to pay your way through college and you don’t want to start your working career deep in debt, ROTC can be a viable financial option.

2
Are you willing to trade military service in exchange for a free education?

Depending on the ROTC program chosen, you’ll be required to serve anywhere from three to 12 years (or more in the case of doctors), some of which will be spent in active duty. However, many ROTC graduates decide to stay in for the long haul, and pursue a military career. Others get out after completing their ROTC obligation and get into the Reserves or National Guard to finish out their eight-year military obligation.

3
Do you have a desire to serve your country?

If you already plan on enlisting, consider doing so as a commissioned officer, where you can receive higher pay, benefits, training and prestige.

4
Do you like exercising early in the morning?

Many physical training sessions start between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. The Army recruiting ad that stated “we do more before 9 in the morning than most people do all day” is as true in the ROTC as it is in the ad.

5
Do you have a natural tendency to lead people?

While leadership is a learned skill, it is easier to master if you have a natural inclination toward leading people instead of following. Examples would be class president, quarterback of the football team, head of the debate team, etc.

6
Can you follow orders?

While having inherent leadership skills are important, everyone reports to someone, so you must be able to follow as well. Once commissioned and serving, failing to follow instructions down to the last detail can get a fellow service member or subordinate under your command hurt or killed.

Is ROTC right for you? Only you can make that decision. The information in this guide should help you come to the right answer. However, if you are looking for a way to get an education without incurring a mountain of student load debt, then ROTC could be a viable option. Not only will you get your education paid for, but you will receive the best leadership training offered anywhere – bar none. Once commissioned as an officer, you’ll have numerous opportunities to get practical experience by putting your leadership training to use leading troops. Post-service, you can exit the military armed with the credentials necessary to get high-level leadership or management jobs in many of the top companies in America today.