ROTC/OCS options


New Member
Mar 31, 2017
hello folks, this is my first post so sorry in advanced for length. I was previously on here last year under a different name when going thru the USNA process (got denied). I'm currently a freshman at a Big 10 university and I have a few questions about ROTC/ OCS options I was looking to get answered. Basically, I'm interested in becoming a surface warfare officer in the Navy, which I'm pretty set on if I had my choice. After getting denied USNA I decided to try regular big 10 life for a year, which I love, but it's made me realize my heart is really set on military life. I'm thinking about joining ROTC at my school butwant to know:
Is it possible to do ROTC without scholarship? My reasoning is I have a scholarship currently that pays full tuition, room and board, and fees and food. I wouldn't want to take away someone else's chance at a scholarship by joining ROTC but have heard that sometimes it's possible to be a "walkon"?

I also would like to know if anyone could direct me to a site that could explain OCS for me as far as the requirements/ application process goes. I would like to think I could have a pretty good shot at it because I have a good resume (Evans scholar @ big 10 school, intern for U.S. Senator, 3.6 GPA) but I am genuinely confused by the entire process and would like to get a head start if possible.

Finally: I was wondering if there's any programs over the summer in college that allow you to get ahead on your navy "basic training" ( correct me if wrong terminology). One of my friends went to basic for national guard after sophomore year of college and got ahead on his training so I was wondering if there's anything comparable.

That's all, PLS don't hate on me if I sound like a total newbie, I'm pretty uneducated about all of this stuff. Just a college freshman who has a passion to serve/ not really concerned with the best tuition benefits or anything since they don't pertain to me. Thanks In advance!


5-Year Member
Nov 18, 2015
Yes you can "walkon". It is called joining as a college programmer. You can participate in NROTC without a contract until your junior year. If you do not want a scholarship, you can ask for "advanced standing". You would get a contract to commission in the Navy, you get a monthly stipend, but no tuition. You best path forward is to meet with one of the officers at the NROTC battalion that is at your school. You can find out what the process is to join that unit. They may want you to attend orientation, typically the week before school starts in the fall.

Another possibility other than OCS is NUPOC and go surface nuclear. You would want to see if you would be able to specify surface nuc vs. subs, but it would be a great deal financially, since you already have a full scholarship. You would get paid to go to school!