Colleges That Offer Rotc Programs – Get inside information on life at UM and applying to Michigan from current student bloggers, staff and guest faculty writers.
At Michigan State, it’s not uncommon to see students walking around campus in military uniforms. They are in the Reserve Officer Training Corps, known as ROTC. But what does it actually mean? What are they doing? Why are they here? How is their life?
Colleges That Offer Rotc Programs
As two ROTC students and tour guides, we get a lot of questions about the ROTC program. So we got together to take a look at our lives as ROTC students at UM. The statements herein are our opinions and experiences and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Department of Defense, the United States Air Force, or the United States Navy.
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It is a program that recruits college students to become officers in the United States Armed Forces.
Will: For the Air Force, we commission cadets as Second Lieutenants in the Air Force. Cadets join the program with or without a scholarship and can actively work toward a scholarship in high school or throughout their ROTC career.
High school scholarship cadets have one year to decide if they want to continue in the program without commitment. For non-scholarship cadets, they have two years to make a decision. Halfway through our ROTC career, usually the summer of our second year for 4-year cadets, we go to Maxwell AFB field training (“bootcamp”). There we train with cadets from all over the country, and upon our return, we help lead the cadet wing as the senior class representative. Basically everyone aims to become a second lieutenant in the world’s greatest air force.
Catherine: On the Naval ROTC side, we commission officers for both the Navy and Marines. The Navy and Marine Corps refer to their officer candidates as midshipmen rather than cadets (as do the Army and Air Force), but the distinction is for historical reasons and really only in name.
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In the NROTC program, we have two groups of midshipmen: those with scholarships and those working toward scholarships. Having a scholarship means the state pays our tuition and fees and gives us a book and housing stipend. And if we complete all the required training (which includes training during the school year and every summer) and meet the physical standards, after we graduate, we will be in the Navy or the 2nd Marine Corps. We will accept service as a lieutenant; Then we go on active duty for at least five years.
Will: When I was younger, I always wanted to be in the military. There are pictures of me in camouflage uniforms with face paint and hanging out with friends. After high school, I didn’t know where I wanted to study or what my future would be; You know the typical adult life crisis. I thought about registering, but decided against it. Then I looked into military academies and higher military colleges, but I didn’t want my life to always be 100% military.
One day my mom told me to check out ROTC. I didn’t know what ROTC was, so I did some heavy research on Google and found that the scholarship expired within a month. I quickly gathered my resume, letters, and everything else and dropped off the package at AFROTC National Headquarters.
After waiting for a while, I interviewed with the local squad and was soon offered a scholarship. After thinking about the offer, I decided to accept it and give ROTC a try in my first year. It was one of the biggest decisions of my life.
Navy Rotc Program (nrotc)
Kathryn: I participated in many activities in high school (like three varsity sports, band, and AP classes) and I didn’t want to stop trying when I got to college. It started when I received a postcard from the Naval Academy inviting my high school classmates to go to summer camp. I did and I loved it. So I decided to apply to the Naval Academy and I was ready to go.
Then I got a call from a local Marine Corps recruiter asking if I wanted to talk to the Marine Corps about my options. Obviously, “Well, I’m going to the Naval Academy” wasn’t what he was going to tell me, and it didn’t sound like a very good plan to him. He invited me to the recruiting center to apply for an NROTC scholarship, if nothing else, to speak as backup. Obviously, I did, and it was probably the best choice I ever made in my life.
W: Like the Navy, we wear our uniforms to class one Thursday a week. Most Air Force classes are on Thursdays, but each has a leadership lab from 0600-0800. This is where senior instructors (Professional Officer Course Cadets or POCs) direct juniors (General Military Course Cadets or GMCs) in coaching, drills, briefing exercises, dormitory maintenance and more. Sometimes we bring in external resources, officers or guest speakers to help cadets see which career option suits them best.
We have to train twice a week from 0700-0800. This is great because you’re already exercising before most people get out of bed. Any external ROTC activities usually meet once a week during the day, such as our Honor and Service Society (Arnold Air Society) or Drill Team. Surprisingly, there is a lot of free time. I still work and join organizations on campus like a regular UM student.
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K: We wear our uniforms to class one day a week, Tuesday, and we have a leadership lab/session that afternoon. This time is for our overall leadership and military development and includes general military training (GMT), close quarter exercises, public speaking, combat scenarios, small unit leadership evaluation (SULE), sailing or listening to guest speakers, to name a few.
We do physical training (PT) twice a week with the whole battalion from 0550-0700, three times a week if you are a sailor and every morning for those who need or want to improve physical fitness. Also, if we want to study close-order training or the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) we can sign up for frequent wakes (if you’re an enthusiastic midshipman).
I apologize for the number of acronyms and abbreviations, but that’s part of life in college and in the military.
We have many opportunities to volunteer in the community each week, whether it’s visiting veterans at the local VA hospital and children at Mott Children’s Hospital, raising flags or carrying the colors at a Michigan sporting event. Even with all our activities during the week, I still have enough time to work as a sorority, a religious group, a band and a tour guide!
Life As An Rotc Student At Michigan
V: I am a political science major with a minor in Spanish language, literature and culture. The difference between me and others on a similar path is that I have to take Air Force classes taught by Air Force officers. The training focuses mainly on the culture and history of the Air Force. Once you become an upperclassman, you begin to focus on leadership and management as it applies to life as an officer. The courses are also suitable for your daily life and leadership in clubs around campus.
Finally, you’ll finish with “American Culture and the Air Force,” which includes analysis of many current events domestically and internationally, as well as civilian oversight of military and geopolitical dynamics. In total, it is 16 credits.
In the summer, you have time to study abroad through Project Go through ROTC or the College of Arts, Sciences and Arts through CGIS. I studied abroad through CGIS in Spain in the summer of 2017 and learned to jump five times at the Air Force Academy in the summer of 2018.
K: Like other students, one of my majors (Physics!), I get asked this question a lot. Really, the difference is that we have to take one marine science class every semester.
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Topics in marine science classes range from leadership and management to maritime history, navigation and ship systems to ethics; We learn important tools to prepare us for fleet challenges. There are also some additional requirements for our Navy options, such as taking physics and calculus, but most of those are classes I would have to take as a physics major.
Our American history/military politics and area studies requirements are a little more difficult to fit into my schedule, but I have also found classes that meet university requirements. We have to save one
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