Frequently Asked Questions about ROTC at St. Mary’s

Interested in joining ROTC at St. Mary’s? Consult this list of frequently asked questions. If you still have questions, contact our office.

By enrolling in ROTC are you joining the Army?

Students who enroll in ROTC don’t join the Army. They take an ROTC class for which they receive credit. It’s considered a college elective.

Is ROTC like boot camp?

ROTC cadets go directly to college where they earn their degree.

How much time does ROTC take up weekly?

ROTC cadets spend their time like typical college students. The course consists of a classroom lecture two times a week, a lab once a week, and one weekend per semester for a field training exercise (FTX).

What can students expect to learn by taking ROTC?

Simply, the leadership and management skills needed to become a U.S. Army officer or to have a successful civilian career. During the Basic Course, your studies will include basic leadership development, basic military skills, adventure training, and life skills. During the Advanced Course, your studies will include advanced leadership skills, management skills, advanced tactics and Army ethics.

What makes ROTC different from regular college management courses?

Students in ROTC learn through a unique program that involves both classroom and live situations. For instance, an ROTC cadet might be found leading classmates through adventure training.

Is there a military obligation during college?

During the first two years, ROTC cadets have no military obligation (or the first year in the case of scholarship winners). If you decide to continue with ROTC for a third and forth year, there is a military obligation after graduation.

What is the military obligation after graduation from college?

Following graduation, ROTC cadets are required to serve in the active Army, Army National Guard or the Army Reserve. All scholarship students will be required to serve in the military for a period of eight years. This obligation may be fulfilled by serving two to four years on active duty, followed by four to six years service as citizen soldiers in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve, or by serving eight years in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve preceded by the period necessary to complete the active component resident officer basic course.

Non-scholarship students may serve three years on active duty and five years as citizen soldiers, or they may select or be selected to fulfill their total military obligation as citizen soldiers. If Reserve Forces duty is selected, graduates will serve a period of active duty necessary to complete the active component officer basic course, and spend the remaining eight-year obligation in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve.

What is the ROTC course comprised of?

ROTC is divided into phases. The Basic Course teaches Army history, organization and structure. Techniques and principles of leadership and management are stressed throughout this phase. The Advanced Course concentrates on tactical operations and military instruction, as well as advanced techniques of management, leadership and command.

Does Army ROTC offer scholarships?

Yes. Each year hundreds of students attending colleges nationwide receive ROTC scholarships. ROTC awards them to students studying science, engineering, nursing, business, as well as a variety of other majors.

ROTC scholarships are awarded on merit. Merit is exhibited in academic achievement and extracurricular activities, such as sports, student government or part-time work.

Can only scholarship winners enroll in ROTC?

Anyone can enroll in ROTC, regardless of whether you are a scholarship winner or not. All ROTC books, supplies and equipment are furnished at no cost to you.

How do students benefit from Army ROTC?

In college and after graduation, cadets find that the training and experience they receive are assets – whether pursuing an Army or civilian career. Employers place high regard on the management and leadership skills cadets acquire in the ROTC program. ROTC experience looks great on a résumé. When cadets complete the ROTC course and graduate, they become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army.


For more information on ROTC at St. Mary’s, email or call 210-436-3415.

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