Hey everyone!

My name is Skye and I’m a student ambassador who is also part of the ROTC program here at the University of Alaska Fairbanks! So this blog is about what the ROTC program is, what we do, and why it’s one of the best pre-professional programs here at the university. I wasn’t paid to write this so everything that you read here is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

To start off, what is ROTC?
Army ROTC, Reserve Officer Training Course, is a leadership program where you will be able to take 20-30 elective credits throughout your college career resulting in your commission as an Army Officer (Second Lieutenant) upon graduation and a Minor in Military Science. 

Before I go into the typical Frequency Asked Questions, let me tell you what I believe to be the Top Six Benefits of ROTC:

1. Develop Leadership Skills
You’ll get to work with your peers leading a team, squad, or even platoon size element. You get to plan and execute missions, develop enhanced communication skills and get to experience life as an Army officer.

2.  ROTC is actually really fun
Between game days, labs, Color Guard events, and Summer Schools (like Airborne, Air Assault, and Dive Schools) there’s always something fun to do if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.

3. Financial Aid – Scholarships
ROTC will pay YOU to go to college. There are many scholarships available for cadets looking to commit to the program and become officers in the United States Army.

4. Structure/Strength
Dreading the freshman 15 or even the sophomore 30? Well not in ROTC! We have a designated time that we all come together and work out at least three times a week. We train our bodies to be the toughest they can be! Push-ups, sit ups, running, pull ups you name it, we’ve done it! It’s a great reason to get out of bed in the morning and swimsuit season is not a bad motivator either.

5. Volunteering with the Cadet Club
The Cadet Club is a student organization that is primary composed of Cadets, but is open to everyone, that participates in many volunteer activities such as can food drives, Toys for Tots, and fundraising for local charities.

6. Commission as a 2LT
Of all the fun things listed above, the main goal of ROTC is to commission as a 2LT. I find it to be a great honor that once I graduate, I will be a proud member of the United States Army.

Frequency Asked Questions
By enrolling in ROTC, are you joining the Army?

No. Students who enroll in ROTC don't join the Army. They take an ROTC class for which they receive college credits. It's considered a college elective. You can however, ‘contract’ with the army. This means that you will commission as an Army Officer after graduation, so it’s kind of like a promise that you will be in the Army one day.

Is ROTC like "boot camp"?

No, ROTC cadets go directly to college where they earn their degree. During the course of your time in ROTC, you will learn the basic solider skills without being treated like dirt.

What can students expect to learn by taking ROTC?

Quite simply, leadership and management skills needed to become a U.S. Army officer and the basic skills of being a solider.

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).

What is the ROTC course comprised of?

The ROTC program is divided into phases: The Basic Course studies Army history, organization and structure. The techniques and principles of leadership and management are stressed throughout. 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.

How much money does ROTC usually award and what does the money go towards?

Scholarships are awarded at different monetary levels. At some schools an ROTC scholarship is worth up to $80,000, which goes towards tuition and educational fees. Also, scholarship winners receive an allowance of up to $1,500 a year.

On what basis are scholarship winners chosen?

ROTC scholarships are not based on financial need. Instead, they're 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?

No. Anyone can enroll in ROTC!

What is my Army Service Obligation to pay back any scholarship benefits or for enrollment in the ROTC advanced course?
Scholarship winners must serve for four years after they commission; non-scholarship Cadets who enroll in the ROTC Advanced Course must serve for three years. All who graduate and complete ROTC training are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

What are Army ROTC Courses like?
Army ROTC classes normally involve one elective class and one lab per semester (about 3 hours of learning a week). Although the classes involve hands-on fieldwork as well as classroom work, they are standard college classes that fit into a normal academic schedule. These courses can help students with personal and academic decision making while giving them the tools to exercise leadership in college life, even before graduating and becoming Officers.

How will being an Army ROTC Cadet affect my daily like? Do cadets experience normal college life and activities?
Army ROTC Cadets have a bit more structured lifestyles and academic schedules as any other college students. We do have a schedule work out time during the day, usually in the morning. We can participate in varsity team and individual sports. We DO take part in community service projects. But there are two intensive Army ROTC courses that take place on Army Posts, Fort Knox, Kentucky, during the summer:
·       Leader's Training Course—This four-week summer course at Fort Knox, Kentucky is ONLY for students who enroll in Army ROTC without having taken the first two years of military science classes.
·       Leader Development and Assessment Course—All Cadets who enter the Advanced Course must attend this five-week summer course between their junior and senior years.

What is the typical career path for an army officer? What career fields are available?
Army ROTC graduates are commissioned as U.S. Army Second Lieutenants. They then receive specialized training in one of 17 different Army branches. During their Army careers, they'll receive regular professional training as they advance through the ranks, and they'll have many opportunities for advanced leadership positions and post-graduate education.

What’s the difference between Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard and can I choose which one I go into after I graduate?
A person who is active duty is in the military full time. They work for the military full time, may live on a military base, and can be deployed at any time. Persons in the Reserve or National Guard are not full-time active duty military personnel, although they can be deployed at any time should the need arise. Reserves works directly for the federal government and can be stationed anywhere while National Guard members contract within a state and usually live in that state.
With ROTC, Cadets compete for active duty slots. These slots are only given to the top 15-20% of cadets in the nation. If a cadet does not get selected for active duty, they have the choice of being Reserve or National Guard.

How can I learn more about the program at UAF?

Come visit us down at the UAF Patty Center Building room 115! There’s usually always a Cadet or Cadre member around that would love to talk to you! We also have a Facebook page you can check out; UAF Army ROTC. You can also call the ROTC Office and schedule a meeting with our recruiter Darrell at (907) 474-6852. 

Hope to see you around!


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