Coming to ROTC from abroad


New Member
Sep 5, 2018
Hello everyone! I live in Jinja, Uganda with my parents, who are missionaries. so therefore we dont have enough money for me to come back to the US until soon before university starts, and I want to do ROTC. I have no idea the best way to do this, and I was hoping for some insight!

Thank you!
Contact the ROTC enrollment officer at your college via email or phone. Just show up on the first day of classes for ROTC as you don't have to be "accepted" to participate. This is called being a non-contract cadet and you can do this during the MS-1 and MS-2 years (freshman and sophomore).

You only need to go through an application process to contract (scholarship or non-scholarship)) in order to transition to the Advanced Course (junior and senior year).

Here is a sample of FAQ info on Army ROTC from University of Iowa. Your college may have a similar webpage.
In many schools, they have a week of orientation prior to your freshman year. At some point during orientation, the Rotc kids separate themselves from orientation and go to a Rotc orientation. This is what my son did for AF Rotc. I think he let them know he was interested on line and for the last two days of orientation, he was with his AF detachment.
If that is your real name, ask the mods to change your moniker. This is an anonymous forum, and from a social media aspect it is never best to place your real name out there.

Next, all you have to do is when you meet your academic advisor for scheduling classes, you just tell them you want to do ROTC. Some schools will have a ROTC orientation and some won't.
~ At our DS's school the ROTC orientation was done @ 3 days before school started because the school was very large and had multiple freshmen orientations sessions where you register for your classes that occurred over 2 months. Thus, the det, waited until all of the orientations were done where they got their final list from the registrar. They then coordinated with housing so that the cadets in ROTC could move into the dorms before the "traditional" students moved in. This school did not have dedicated ROTC dorms, ROTC kids lived with non-ROTC kids.

The one thing to place into the equation is if this college is a HOST college or not. Although the college may offer ROTC, it may not be the one that is the HOST, it may be what is called x-town. For example. my DS attended UMDCP, that is the HOST AFROTC det. 20 miles down the road in VA, is George Mason(GMU). The AFROTC cadets go there for academics, but travel to UMDCP for AFROTC classes and PT. GMU may have their student orientation at a later time than UMDCP, which in this scenario all you need to do is inform the ROTC unit that you are overseas and cannot afford to live in a hotel while you wait to get into your dorms.
~ It happened all the time at our DS's HOST unit because they had @ 6-9 colleges in the area that were x-town affiliation with his AFROTC det.
As long as you're a citizen, there is no reason you cannot apply for a ROTC scholarship from abroad.