What is ROTC?

What is ROTC?

Are you curious about what the ROTC is? This program, an acronym for the Reserve Officer Training Corps is an optional college-based curriculum that you take alongside your regular classes.

Upon graduation, you will be eligible to serve as an officer in either the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps. Read on to learn more about the ROTC program and find out if it’s right for you.

Benefits of Joining ROTC

The key benefit of joining an ROTC program is that your tuition is paid for by the program, as well as a portion of your room and board at many colleges and universities.

You will also gain invaluable experience in a variety of career fields, including finance, medicine, nursing, and a host of other areas.

For a full list of the career opportunities within the ROTC program, visit Military.com.

In addition to the financial and educational benefit, you are guaranteed a career as an officer in the military upon graduation.

ROTC Service Obligation

Upon graduation, you have the option of serving in the Armed Forces full-time for either three or four years depending on the scholarship you’ve received.

Those in the Selected Cadet program may choose to complete part-time service while also pursuing a career outside the military.

Specific service obligations vary depending on the program in which you’re enrolled.


The Army ROTC program has several scholarship options, including four-year scholarships for high school seniors and college freshman as well as two and three-year options for those who are already enrolled in college.

Students must be between ages 17 and 27, have a 2.5 college GPA or, if not yet enrolled, a minimum SAT score, and meet physical fitness requirements.

After graduating, candidates must attend a Leadership Developmental and Assessment Course before being placed in the Armed Forces.

ROTC Curriculum

The first two years of your ROTC curriculum, known as Basic ROTC, cover topics in two main areas. The first year focuses on Preparing for Success as an Army Officer, while your sophomore year courses cover The Role of an Officer.

For those who choose to go on to Advanced ROTC, additional courses during the junior and senior years will focus on Leading Small Tactical Units and Transition to Becoming an Officer.

Completing the advanced course demonstrates a commitment to serve as an officer upon graduating.

Additional ROTC Programs

While Army ROTC is the largest of this type of program within the military, the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps also maintain ROTC programs with separate applications, eligibility requirements, and service obligations.

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The ROTC has various programs and scholarships that appeal to students at varying levels of interest in serving in the military.

If that describes you, the ROTC is a great way to not only have part of your college education funded by the U.S. Government, but also gives you the opportunity to work toward a career path that will last you a lifetime.

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