Basic info on ROTC

Hello all,
First post and as my user name indicates, I am totally new to the world of service academies and military colleges.
So, I think I understand how ROTC works at a service academy, but correct me if I'm wrong - in basic terms: accepting an appointment to an academy means that while the student earns a degree, they will participate in 4 years of ROTC in exchange for full academic scholarship and be committed to a military service requirement of several years after graduating.

What is confusing to me is how ROTC at the senior military colleges like the Citadel work? My understanding is that every student (cadet) participates in ROTC there, but there is no service requirement upon graduation..... although some students do receive ROTC scholarships for their education and a commission (requirement to serve).
Are there two different types of ROTC programs (for commissioning and non-commissioning) there? How and when would a student apply for an ROTC scholarship? How difficult are scholarships to get? I guess what I'm asking is: Do some students pay full price for the 4 yrs of education and ROTC training and also receive a commission? Would they then also have a minimum service requirement? TIA
 

Humey

Member
Cant tell you about the military colleges like the Citiadel but not all students who attend Rotc receive scholarships. Some because they dont have the grades either in high school or in college or some because their degree doesnt count. I can only speak for the Air Force Rotc, for the most part although not 100%, they only give scholarharships to those with STEM majors. My son major is Professional Flight (learning to be a pilot) and it doesnt qualify for a scholarship even though it is in the school of technology. For the most part those with history majors dont get AF Rotc scholarships but it happens. The other branches have their own way of doing things so for example, Army Rotc does give scholarships for non STEM majors. Once they graduate, yes they will be committed to serve in the military. The years depends on what they do in the military. For example, Pilots have a 10 year committment after getting their pilot wings. I think drone pilots have a 6 year committment. The typical officer who graduates through Rotc will have a 4 year committment. The answer is it depends on what you do. One last point, dont call Rotc an academy because one, there are military academies like West Point and two, you will confuse everyone. The academy is one thing and Rotc is another

Now if you do get accepted to an academy like West Point or United States Air Force Academy (not forgetting the other two) there is no scholarships as their is no tuition
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
The military academies and ROTC are separate programs and separate application processes.

The service obligation for ROTC is 4 years active and 4 years Reserve. The active service commitment is 5 years for some services (Navy at least). Going for a pilot slot through ROTC or an academy can add additional year of active service.

At SMCs you can participate in the ROTC programs without a scholarship and without being required to commission. These are usually called leadership programs and may be limited to 2 years.

Anyone can enroll in ROTC without a scholarship. They must be approved to continue between sophomore and junior years. Folks who are approved are also commissioned regardless of scholarship.
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
The military academies and ROTC are separate programs and separate application processes.

The service obligation for ROTC is 4 years active and 4 years Reserve. The active service commitment is 5 years for some services (Navy at least). Going for a pilot slot through ROTC or an academy can add additional year of active service.

At SMCs you can participate in the ROTC programs without a scholarship and without being required to commission. These are usually called leadership programs and may be limited to 2 years.

Anyone can enroll in ROTC without a scholarship. They must be approved to continue between sophomore and junior years. Folks who are approved are also commissioned regardless of scholarship.
You should visit the various ROTC program websites for more details and a better understanding. Visit the SMC and Academy websites as well. BTW, ROTC is not limited to SMCs
 
At SMCs you can participate in the ROTC programs without a scholarship and without being required to commission. These are usually called leadership programs and may be limited to 2 years.
Thanks, I think this is what I was trying to understand.
 

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
Also when you receive an appointment to a service academy, you are active duty while attending. Not so in ROTC.
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
That's true, but the commitments begin after graduation. Just want to make sure noobies are not confused.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Also when you receive an appointment to a service academy, you are active duty while attending. Not so in ROTC.
USMMA, not AD while attending, but Reserve status. No DFAS pay like USMA, USNA, USCGA. Different mission, different in many aspects. Grads can go AD but if not, they have a Reserve requirement. In a nutshell, as best I can recall without citing a reference.
Posting for lurkers and new readers.
 

RGW051

Member
AROTC Three year Advanced Designee Award. So if I'm reading this correctly, it kicks in sophomore year. A few questions:
1. Is the the VGAP and VMI Local Scholarship still both safe entering for Freshman year?
2. Is successful Army PFT pass required before matriculation, or not until beginning of sophomore year?
3. After excepting / contracting, is DD still eligible for a monthly stipend the freshman year?
I realize I can call the Fin-Aid office after this weekend, however just figured I'd start here first for some feedback. The other ROTC thread looked very busy and DD is fully vested physically and mentally for VMI and doesn't want to go anywhere else. Any feedback much appreciated.
 

Falcon A

Just a Proud Dad
So, I think I understand how ROTC works at a service academy, but correct me if I'm wrong - in basic terms: accepting an appointment to an academy means that while the student earns a degree, they will participate in 4 years of ROTC in exchange for full academic scholarship and be committed to a military service requirement of several years after graduating.
As kinnem said, ROTC is separate from the Service Academies. 2 different systems, 2 different selection processes. If you'd like to serve, you should apply to both. If you go to an SA you get a college degree, pay nothing, get paid to attend, and graduate with a commission. The commitment is 5 years unless you become a pilot, then I think it is 7 years of service.

For ROTC, the military pays tuition and books for 4, 3, or 2 yrs depending on the ROTC scholarship you earn. You are responsible for room and board. You graduate with a commission. Commitment for Army ROTC after graduation is 4 years Active Duty with 4 years in the Reserves. Others will have to say what AF or Navy commitment is.

What is confusing to me is how ROTC at the senior military colleges like the Citadel work? My understanding is that every student (cadet) participates in ROTC there, but there is no service requirement upon graduation..... although some students do receive ROTC scholarships for their education and a commission (requirement to serve).
You are correct to be confused. Each SMC is a little bit different. Others can tell you about Citadel, Norwich, Texas A&M, UNG, or VaTech. At VMI, every student is in the Corps of Cadets, all 1700 of them. All participate in an ROTC. All ROTCs are represented. Army, Navy, AF, USMC. IF you have applied, competed, received and accepted a 4yr or 3 yr National ROTC Scholarship, that determines which ROTC you participate with. IF you haven't received a national ROTC scholarship, but you want to commission, you can choose which ROTC to participate with, and compete for a ROTC scholarship while on campus, and/or work to commission. IF you don't plan to commission, at VMI you participate with Army ROTC, but for your junior and senior years you don't go on the field exercises.

Are there two different types of ROTC programs (for commissioning and non-commissioning) there? How and when would a student apply for an ROTC scholarship? How difficult are scholarships to get? I guess what I'm asking is: Do some students pay full price for the 4 yrs of education and ROTC training and also receive a commission? Would they then also have a minimum service requirement? TIA
I think I answered most of this up above. To get a ROTC scholarship on campus, talk with your ROTC Detachment Cadre. Let them know you want to commission and want to compete for ROTC scholarship, then perform well in academics, fitness training and ROTC classes.
 

RGW051

Member
Thanks for info. Tracking, so basically with a 3 year AROTC AD scholarship everything kicks-in when she starts as a 'Third' and successfully completes all ROTC requirements her Rat year. DD will be prepared for both Army PFT and VFT this August. It is my understanding cadets with ROTC scholarships must report a day early before matriculating to complete the ROTC branch PFT? Makes sense, and read on another forum that cadets with ROTC scholarships have shown up and failed their branch specific PFT, then disqualifying for their ROTC funding.

Appreciate the feedback. All this is new to me and DD.
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
Thanks for info. Tracking, so basically with a 3 year AROTC AD scholarship everything kicks-in when she starts as a 'Third' and successfully completes all ROTC requirements her Rat year. DD will be prepared for both Army PFT and VFT this August. It is my understanding cadets with ROTC scholarships must report a day early before matriculating to complete the ROTC branch PFT? Makes sense, and read on another forum that cadets with ROTC scholarships have shown up and failed their branch specific PFT, then disqualifying for their ROTC funding.

Appreciate the feedback. All this is new to me and DD.
The unit at the school will tell you when DD needs to report. If you don't hear anything you can assume it's the regular first day for freshman, or call to see if something fell through the cracks. They may not get to these notifications until June.
 

Falcon A

Just a Proud Dad
For VMI AROTC, the Rats that are 4 yr AROTC scholarship winners need to show up a day early to take the Army PFT ... passing it allows your scholarship to start.

The 3 yr scholarship winners show up as “normal” for VMI matriculation. The Army PFT they have to pass is at the end of their Rat year.

Best wishes and congrats!
 
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Falcon A

Just a Proud Dad
1. Is the the VGAP and VMI Local Scholarship still both safe entering for Freshman year?
I think you are correct that the scholarships for Freshman year are “safe” since AROTC scholarship doesn’t start until she is a 3rd ... but best to check with VMI Finance to confirm.
 

E.Sean

New Member
AROTC Three year Advanced Designee Award. So if I'm reading this correctly, it kicks in sophomore year. A few questions:
1. Is the the VGAP and VMI Local Scholarship still both safe entering for Freshman year? (Double check with Financial Aid)
2. Is successful Army PFT pass required before matriculation, or not until beginning of sophomore year? (4-yr Army ROTC scholarship awardees will have a PT test on Friday the day before matriculation. If they pass, they will be sworn in and contracted. If not they have until the end of the first semester to pass. The thing that sucks about this is that they are missing out on their stipend. 3-yr AD scholarship winners will have a PT test a couple of weeks after the Ratline begins. Afew kids who grades and PT scores are pretty high mayhave their 3yr offer upgraded to a 3.5 yr offer and will contract in Jan, the second semester of Rat year. Great opportunity to have 2nd semester tuition and fees paid for, and an extra $1750 worth of stipend for the semester. Would pay for spring break trip)
3. After excepting / contracting, is DD still eligible for a monthly stipend the freshman year? (see note above)
I realize I can call the Fin-Aid office after this weekend, however just figured I'd start here first for some feedback. The other ROTC thread looked very busy and DD is fully vested physically and mentally for VMI and doesn't want to go anywhere else. Any feedback much appreciated.
 

E.Sean

New Member
For VMI AROTC, the Rats that are 4 yr AROTC scholarship winners need to show up a day early to take the Army PFT ... passing it allows your scholarship to start.

The 3 yr scholarship winners show up as “normal” for VMI matriculation. The Army PFT they have to pass is at the end of their Rat year. (3-yr scholarship winners will have to take a PT test about 1-2 weeks after the start of the Ratline. I would encourage them to show up in 280-300 PT shape and pass it on the first try. A small number may have their scholarship upgraded from a 3-yr to 3.5 yr offer based upon their first semester grades, PT scores and instructor write up.)

Best wishes and congrats!
 

Landy91

Member
What is confusing to me is how ROTC at the senior military colleges like the Citadel work? My understanding is that every student (cadet) participates in ROTC there, but there is no service requirement upon graduation..... although some students do receive ROTC scholarships for their education and a commission (requirement to serve).
You are correct to be confused. Each SMC is a little bit different. Others can tell you about Citadel, Norwich, Texas A&M, UNG, or VaTech. At VMI, every student is in the Corps of Cadets, all 1700 of them. All participate in an ROTC. All ROTCs are represented. Army, Navy, AF, USMC. IF you have applied, competed, received and accepted a 4yr or 3 yr National ROTC Scholarship, that determines which ROTC you participate with. IF you haven't received a national ROTC scholarship, but you want to commission, you can choose which ROTC to participate with, and compete for a ROTC scholarship while on campus, and/or work to commission.

^^^Great points Falcon A, and something to consider when choosing where to go.
 
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