What is ARMY ROTC?
Army ROTC is an elective that you take along with your required college classes that teaches you the skills needed for a successful career. You’ll combine classroom time with hands-on-experiences and learn leadership and management skills. It prepares you with the tools, training and experiences that will help you succeed in any competitive environment. Because it's an elective, you can try it out for the freshman and sophomore years without incurring any obligation to serve in the military. If you decide you are up to the challenge of leading in the world's best armed forces, you continue on to the advanced courses of Army ROTC while completing your degree. You will have a normal college student experience like everyone else on campus, but at graduation you are commissioned as an Second Lieutenant to serve on active duty or with the Army Reserves or National Guard.
Take Army ROTC for a semester, 1 year, 2 years, or all 4 years
Traditionally, Army ROTC is a four-year program. The first two years are taken in your freshman and sophomore years (Basic Course). Keep in mind, you can take the Basic Course on a trial basis for up to two years (unless, of course, you're on an Army ROTC scholarship or contracted).
The second two years are taken in your junior and senior years (Advanced Course). And, during the summer between your junior and senior years, you will attend Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), which will give you hands-on training and the confidence you can't learn in a classroom. It's a four-week summer course to evaluate and train all Army ROTC Cadets.
What will you learn?
Well, during the Basic Course, your studies will include: Basic Leadership Development, Basic Military Skills, Adventure Training, and Life Skills. During the Advance Course your studies will include: Advanced Leadership and Management Skills, Advanced Tactics, and Army Ethics. So, whether you take Army ROTC for a semester, two years, or all four years, you'll still have the skills, confidence and experience needed to succeed after you graduate in whatever career you decide to pursue.
Classes and Curriculum
Army ROTC students take classes like any other college student. You also attend your weekly MSL (Military Science and Leadership) classes on time a week and the weekly leadership lab. The weekly leadership labs are where you put to practice the knowledge that you have gained from your MSL class as well as learn Common Tasks that all soldiers need to know.
The MSL classes that are taught in each grade level are follows:
Introduction to the Army and Critical Thinking (2 credit hours)
Skills needed to be successful in wide range of environments to include academic, corporate and military. Subjects include but not limited to time management, memory comprehension, stress management, effective and efficient reading and effective note taking. Extensive leadership studies of both corporate and military settings focuses on interpersonal skills, professional ethics and officership. No military obligation or prerequisites.
Introduction to the Profession of Arms (2 credit hours)
Background, programs, benefits and objectives of Army ROTC. Organization and functions of national defense establishment, with emphasis on the role of the U.S. Army. Extensive discussion of the role and responsibility of the military officer. Presentation of detailed information concerning career opportunities as an Army officer.
Foundations of Leadership (2 credit hours)
MSL 2010 explores the dimensions of creative and innovative tactical leadership strategies and styles by examining team dynamics and two historical leadership theories that form the basis of the Army leadership framework (trait and behavior theories). Cadets practice aspects of personal motivation and team building in the context of planning, executing, and assessing team exercises and participating in leadership labs.
Foundations of leadership (2 credit hours)
MSL 2020 examines the challenges of leading tactical teams in the operational environment. The course highlights dimensions of operational orders, terrain analysis, and patrolling. Further study of the theoretical basis of the Army Leadership Requirements Model explores the dynamics of adaptive leadership in the context of military operations.
Adaptive Team Leadership (3 credit hours)
MSL 3010 challenges cadets to study, practice, and evaluate adaptive leadership skills as they are presented with challenging scenarios related to squad tactical operations. Cadets receive systematic and specific feedback on their leadership attributes and actions. Based on such feedback, as well as their own self-evaluations, cadets continue to develop their leadership and critical thinking abilities. The focus is developing cadet's tactical leadership abilities to enable them to succeed at ROTC's summer Cadet Leader Course (CLC), which they will attend the summer after their MSL 3 year at FT Knox, KY.
Applied Leadership in Unit Operations (3 credit hours)
MSL 3020 uses increasingly intense situational applying team leadership challenges to build cadet awareness and skills in leading tactical operations at the small unit level as well as at the platoon level. Cadets review aspects of full spectrum operations. They also conduct military briefings and develop proficiency in the operation orders process. The focus is on exploring, evaluating, and developing skills in decision-making, persuading, and motivating team members in the contemporary operating environment (COE). MSL 3020 cadets are evaluated on what they know and do as leaders as they prepare to attend the ROTC summer Cadet Leadership Course (CLC).
Mission Command and the Army Profession (3 credit hours)
MSL4010 introduces Cadets to the challenges of mission command and gaining an understanding of the Army Profession. Cadets learn the basics of what mission command is and how it is used in Army operations. Students will examine the Army Profession and what it means to be a professional in the U.S. Army. The overall focus is on developing basic knowledge and comprehension of Army leadership while gaining a big picture of understanding the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program, its purpose in the Army, and its advantages for students.
Mission Command and the Company Grade Officer (3 credit hours)
MSL 4020 explores the dynamics of leading while utilizing a number of aspects within mission command. This final course will tie together everything leaned so far in a cadets career in an attempt to prepare them for their future role as an officer in the U.S. Army. Cadets will discuss various topics such as ethical decision making, cultural awareness, and comprehensive soldier fitness in a format that ensures information retention and mental preparation for their future. Following the completion of this last course cadets will commission into the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lieutenant and be prepared for their first duty assignment.