ROTC, or Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, is a college-based, officer commissioning program. ROTC was established with focus on leadership development, strategic planning, and professional ethics, problem solving. Note that if you will not be obliged to join the military after completing the program. After your freshman and sophomore years, you can continue with the advanced courses while completing your degree.
There are 3 types of ROTC programs that are administered and each has a different element. The choice of the ROTC program to take should be based on your education needs and whether or not you want to pursue a career in the military.
Senior Military College
You can take a ROTC programs in a military school, also known as a senior military college. There are six such colleges in the United States. In this program, you will get a minimum of a baccalaureate degree. These colleges organize their students into corps to mimic what is in the Armed Forces. If you are participating in the cadet program under this program, you will be required to take at least two years of the program.
You can take a ROTC program in a civilian college. These colleges offer graduate and baccalaureate degrees and they are not operated on military basis. The major difference between taking a ROTC program in a civilian college and a senior or junior military college is that with civilian colleges, enrollment is voluntary. However, there are several requirements for students attending junior or senior military colleges as outlined in federal law and Army regulations. Another big difference is that once graduates complete the ROTC program from a senior military college, they are guaranteed active duty on request. This is not the case with civilian college ROTC programs.
Military Junior College
You can also take a ROTC program in a military junior college. This is a military school that provides junior college education such as A.A. degrees and A.S. degrees. Although these colleges do not offer baccalaureate degrees, they meet all other requirements of a military college. To be eligible, you have to meet all the requirement set by the Army Cadet Command. Once you graduate, you will be commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Army Reserve or the Army National Guard. Once you are done, you will be required to complete a bachelor’s degree at an institution of your choice while serving in your unit. Upon completion of the course, you are guaranteed a place in active duty as a 2nd lieutenant.