Joining ROTC next year


Nov 7, 2018
I know it would just be like signing up for a class right? Should I contact the schools rotc program and send them an email or a text saying I plan on enrolling in the fall or should I just sign up for the class with no heads up?
I know it would just be like signing up for a class right? Should I contact the schools rotc program and send them an email or a text saying I plan on enrolling in the fall or should I just sign up for the class with no heads up?

Each branch varies (Navy vs. Army vs. Air Force), but for the early stuff, you're basically signing up for the classes and the associated labs.

You'll do much better to at least send the ROTC cadre an email notifying them of your intent and asking for their input. Better decision would be to call them and talk to some of the cadre (Captain or higher). Best decision would be to call and set up a time to swing by and talk to the cadre about your goals.

In the military generally, and the officer world particularly, networking is HUGE. Tons of opportunities out there are missed by cadets and young CGO's that don't know how to network and ask questions.

Once the semester kicks off, be as involved as you can even though you're not on scholarship. That's the quickest way to (a) decide whether you want to deal with the short-term hassles in anticipation of the awesome long-term opportunities, and (b) make a great impression on the cadre (and cadet leadership) if you decide to formalize things and pursue a commission.

Good luck!
If we are talking Army ROTC. Contact the Recruiting Operations Officer (ROO), sometimes known as the Enrollment Officer (or some other obvious title). He or she will be the one who will onboard you. I wouldn’t try to seek out Cadre...the instructors aren’t always the best first advice about options and they are busy training the current Cadets.

The ROO is going to know the process of enrolling in the class and what paperwork might be needed and if there is any kind of orientation for Army ROTC at the program. That ROO may also be your gateway to any additional scholarships that might be available if you don’t receive an offer from the national process.

Since each program is different, you should really contact and visit if possible the school/program you want to join.
Most colleges will do a freshmen orientation during the summer. You will meet with an academic advisor/counselor to create your fall semester schedule. Inform them that you intend to join ROTC. The reason this is important is multi-faceted.
1. Not every ROTC unit is the host unit
~ IOWS it means that although the school offers ROTC, it does not mean that they hold PT or LLAB on campus. You will have to travel to the host unit. You would be considered a xtown cadet. It has no impact on how the unit views you. It does have an impact on how to schedule classes. PT usually is O dark thirty...aka 6 a.m. You will be sweaty, and do you want to have an 8 a.m. class with a 9:30 after that before you can take a shower back in your dorm?
~~ Same is true regarding scheduling around LLAB. No sweaty issue, but you will need to make sure that your academic schedule deconflicts with LLAB.
2. ROTC will also give you college credits.
~ Some schools start charging more if you go above X credits. IE school says full time student is 12-18 credits. That is covered under their tuition. However, you go to 19 credits than they will charge a surcharge for tuition. Just throwing credit hr numbers to illustrate the pt.
~~ For some colleges ROTC credits can go towards your major/minor/core concentrate.
3. Certain ROTC programs require specific courses that the college may not require for your major.
~ DS was AFROTC a non-tech major scholarship recipient. The college did not require him to take foreign language for his major, but AFROTC did require it to commission, scholarship or not. The academic advisor knew this and plotted his college curriculum accordingly.
4. Your academic progression will be part of your ROTC career.
~ Every semester your ROTC CoC will make sure you are on track to graduate/commission on time.

I would connect with the ROTC unit and let them know you are coming with regards to your orientation date. I would also go for the 1st available orientation date you can attend. This is to make sure you can get the best time class schedules.

Hope that helps.
My DD has been in contact with her top choice ROO and talking to him about campus based scholarships on the chance the third boards are a bust. He has her filling out contracting paperwork now to get everything in motion. The ROO has been an invaluable resource throughout this entire process.