Reserve Officer Training Corps
The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program of the United States armed forces present on college campuses to recruit and educate commissioned officers. It is designed as a college elective, and studies focus on leadership development, problem solving, strategic planning, and professional ethics.
ROTC produces 60 percent of all officers in the U.S. armed forces, and 75 percent of U.S. Army officers.
Each of the services offer competitive, merit-based scholarships to ROTC students, often covering full tuition for college.
US Army and US Air Force ROTC students are referred to as cadets, while US Navy ROTC students are known as midshipmen regardless of their sex. US Marine Corps officer candidates commission through the Naval ROTC program.
Army units are organized as Brigades and Battalions. Air Force units are "Detachments" with the students orgnaized into Wings, Groups, Squadrons, and Flights, like the active Air Force. Naval units are called NROTCU with an abbreviation of the host University or College. For example, the University of Minnesota unit is "NROTCU UNIV OF MN." The students are organized as a battalion. If the Marine students are integrated with the Navy students, there are companies, but having the Navy students in Departments and Divisions like a ship, and the Marines in a separate company is not unkown.
US Army ROTC History
The concept of Army ROTC began with the Morrill Act of 1862 which established the "land grant" colleges. Part of the federal government's requirement for these schools was that they include military tactics as part of their curriculum. However, Army ROTC as we know it today was created by the National Defense Act of 1916 and commissioned its first class of lieutenants in 1920.
In 1960 General George H. Decker, ROTC commissionee at Lafayette College, became the first ROTC graduate named Chief of Staff of the Army. Other Army Chiefs of Staff to come out of ROTC include General Fred C. Weyand (University of California-Berkeley) and General Gordon Sullivan (Norwich University). General Colin Powell, ROTC commissionee at the City University of New York, served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Operation Desert Storm and later as Secretary of State from 2001 - 2004.
Concerted efforts are being made at some Ivy League universities that have previously banned ROTC, including Harvard and Columbia, to return ROTC to campus. The program was expelled from many colleges and universities during the Vietnam War.
- US Army ROTC
- US Air Force ROTC
- US Naval ROTC
- Advocates For ROTC