Frequently Asked Questions
Am I obligated to serve in the Army if I join the ROTC program?
No - Students are encouraged to take the course to determine if it is a path for them; however, students have until their junior year (MSL 300) to make the decision (except scholarship winners). If a student elects to continue, he / she will sign a contract that brings a military service obligation.
Can I still be a collegiate level athlete while joining the ROTC program?
Yes - Students are encouraged to pursue their passion - it makes for a well-rounded leader. In fact, the class and lab schedules are designed with athletes in mind (they occur before peak practice times). Additionally, the ROTC Cadre and University's Coaches work together to mitigate any friction points (excused absences for ROTC training - or - games / tournaments).
Will I have time to do other things while in the ROTC program?
Yes - Unlike military academies, students who take ROTC are able to work part-time jobs and are able to participate in academic / athletic organizations. However, students within the ROTC program typically dedicate 10 - 14 hours a week to the program to be successful. Weekly Commitment: 2 hours for organized Physical Readiness Training (PRT); 4 hours for individual PRT; 1 - 3 hours for classroom instruction; 3 hours for lab instruction; 2 hours for individual classroom / lab preparation. Semester Commitment (Contracted Students Only): A 72 hour Field Training Exercise (FTX) (over a weekend); A 5 hour recruiting event (a day on a weekend); A 5 hour team building event (a day on a weekend).
Are there scholarships available within the ROTC program?
Yes - There are scholarships for incoming high school students and for current college students. High school students fill out their application on the Army ROTC Website (https://www.goarmy.com/rotc/scholarships.html) typically during the summer to early winter of their senior year of high school. College students compete in a Campus-Based Selection Board typically after the Fall Semester Mid-Term (contact the ROTC Department for details).
What are the minimum requirements for contracting?
Students must be a US Citizen, be able to commission before turning 35 years of age, possess a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher; meet Army Physical Fitness and Body Composition Standards; pass Department of Defense Medical Evaluation-Review Board guidelines; and obtain the Professor of Military Science endorsement.
When is the earliest I can contract?
Students are able to contract after their Freshman Year - or - if they have completed Basic Training.
Can I join the ROTC program if I am a National Guard / Army Reserves Soldier?
Yes - Students can request enrollment within the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) through the Professor of Military Science. Becoming an SMP Cadet allows a Cadet to receive additional pay entitlements (E-5 Drill Pay at their monthly drills / annual training - and - $420 monthly stipend through out the academic year), and it makes them eligible to compete for a commission within either the Active or Reserve Component of the Army.
Can I join the ROTC program if I missed the MSL 100 and / or MSL 200 classes?
Yes - Students are able to join the ROTC program as long as they have two years remaining in their undergraduate / postgraduate studies. The MSL 100 / MSL 200 course curriculum requirements are accomplished during a paid 30 day summer practicum at Fort Knox, KY (transportation, meals, lodging, and equipment are provided).
Will service as an US Army Officer benefit me in a career outside the Army?
Yes - The training a student / Army Officer receives is invaluable for any career that involves leading, managing, and motivating people. Young Army Officers are typically responsible for hundreds of Soldiers and millions of dollars in equipment; this kind of management experience can be very attractive for post-Army employers.
What is the service obligation for someone who commissions through the ROTC program?
It depends on the component an Army Officer is selected. If selected for the Reserve Component (National Guard / Army Reserves), an Army Officer is required to have 8 years of active drilling status. If selected for the Active Component, an Army Officer is required to have 4 years of active federal service and 4 years of inactive federal service (basically on recall status and would be recalled if a large scale conflict occurs).
Can I guarantee my component of service?
No - All Cadets compete amongst their peers from across the nation for their component and branch (infantry, armor, aviation, etc.); however, Cadets can take themselves out of the competition and elect to serve in the National Guard / Army Reserves. A Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (GFRD) option is typically chosen for those who wish to primarily pursue a civilian career but also serve their nation (i.e. doctors, nurses, lawyers, etc.).
What is the typical pay for an US Army Officer?
It depends a few variables - the component of service, the duty location, and the dependant status (married / kids). To provide an example, a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant with no dependants and stationed at Fort Campbell, KY would earn approximately $58,509.39 a year. His / her basic pay is approximately $39,445.20 (increases every two years and during promotions). His / her basic allowance for housing is approximately $15,984.00 a year (non-taxable allowance that is designed to cover rent / utilities - fluctuates with the market and increases during promotions). His / her basic allowance for subsistence is approximately $3,080.16 a year (designed to cover the expenses at the duty location's dining facilities and ensure proper nutrition). What is not covered in the calculation are the items an Army Officer receives at no cost: Healthcare, Life Insurance, Moving Expenses, Gym Memberships, and On-Duty Location Retail Discounts (Post Exchange / Commissary).