5-Year Member
Mar 8, 2017
Hello everyone,

I have a few questions regarding ROTC that I have been wondering. I'd be happy with any answer to any (or all) of the questions:

1. What does one do differently going in "non-contracted" as opposed to contract?
2. Does one just sign up for the two military science classes (including lab) the show up on day 1? Or is there something similar to I-day, O-week, or boot camp, Cadets need to attend?
3. Do non-contracted Cadets still be issued a uniform, gear, etc.?
4. Will high school activities count on the OML? Is there anything I can do over the summer that might stand out on the OML?
5. Is it normal for an AROTC cadet to room with an AFROTC cadet or NROTC midshipman? Are there any differences in the experience?

Thanks, everyone for your time!


May 6, 2018
1. if you are non contracted then you will have to apply for the campus based scholarship but in my experience, there really isn't anything else that's different.
2. ...
3. yes they still get issued gear
4. your high school activities will still count when you apply for the campus based scholarship and get placed on an OML.
5. you can definitly room with fellow cadets but there are many pros and cons. one of the cons that i noticed is that the amount of gear will take up a SUBSTANTIAL amount of space. a pro is that you don't have to worry about not being able to sleep early and waking up early.


10-Year Member
May 7, 2010
Nearly every AROTC battalion experiences a bulge in the size of its MS1 (freshman) class. Non-scholarship students with a wide range of motivations join ROTC, some to kick the tires and try it out, some because they've heard there's scholarship money available and others because they want to pursue a commission. Nothing wrong with any of those, but you will want to stand out.

Most battalions have an orientation period that may coincide with the school's freshman orientation. Contact the battalion as soon as possible to let them know you're interested and to find out what the schedule is (it may not be available yet). Start with the ROO (recruiting officer) but keep in mind the following: It's commissioning/graduation time now, and some cadre members may be leaving for new or summer assignments, so it may be tough to get hold of folks. One person who you can usually count on finding though is the administrative assistant to the PMS (and whatever else you do, do not be rude to that person). Another who can provide valuable info is the gold bar recruiter, a recently commissioned grad who is working for the battalion while waiting to start his or her BOLC.

The best way to stand out is to arrive at campus having trained to do well on the APFT. (Amazingly, some scholarship recipients never pass the APFT and lose their scholarships). Attend all PT sessions and all classes, ROTC and otherwise, and aim at doing your best in academic work. Success in ROTC will require you to use your time efficiently and make some sacrifices, including simple stuff like getting enough sleep, eating properly, and doing all your homework assignments. Partying during the week should be taboo. The advantage of having an ROTC roommate is that they will have similar motivations to yours.

I'm dubious as to whether any of your high school activities and accomplishments will count towards your battalion OML (SATs possibly excepted). What you do on campus will be far more important. In any case, your fellow cadets (some of whom may be Green to Gold veterans) will have little interest in being regaled.
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