ROTC Questions and Answers

Common Questions and Answers about the Army ROTC program
Location: 27 Hackfeld Road
Phone: 508-831-5268
Fax: 508-831-5809
What colleges does Bay State Battalion accept students from?

The main office is located at WPI, but we have offices and classrooms at Fitchburg State University and UMASS Lowell. We accept full time college students from Anna Maria College, Assumption College, Clark University, College of the Holy Cross, Fitchburg State University, WPI, Worcester State University and UMASS Lowell.

By enrolling in ROTC, am I joining the Army?

No. Students who register for Army ROTC do not join the Army. They take an ROTC class for which they receive credit. At some colleges it is considered a college elective. If a student accepts a ROTC scholarship or proceeds to the Advanced Course (Junior and Senior year), then they must complete a service obligation with the Army.

How do students benefit from Army ROTC?

In college and after graduation, cadets find that the training and experience that they have received are assets - whether pursuing an Army or civilian career. Employers place high regard on the management and leadership skills that Cadets acquire throughout the ROTC curriculum. Plus, ROTC looks great on a resume. When Cadets complete the ROTC course, upon graduation, they become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army. Young Army Officers are typically responsible for hundreds of Soldiers and millions of dollars in equipment. This type of responsibility and leadership experience is uncommon for young professionals in the private sector.

Additionally, Army ROTC provides excellent growth opportunities in terms of leadership, interpersonal relationships, team building, and education through external internships and military service schools.  Cadets have completed internships across the country, including Los Alamos National Labs and with the National Security Agency in Washington, DC.  Every year several Cadets attend the Army’s Airborne and Air Assault Schools. 

What makes Army ROTC different from regular college management courses?

Army ROTC provides the best leader development program in the world. No corporation or leadership institute can provide the combined classroom and hands-on leadership training, education and practical application as Army ROTC. For instance, a ROTC Cadet may find themselves leading classmates through adventure training or through complex tactical problems that require a diverse set of problem-solving skills. This training is invaluable for any career that involves leading, managing and motivating people or fostering teamwork.

Additionally, while learning to become an Army officer, you are interacting, socializing and learning with Cadets with diverse backgrounds, experiences, political ideologies and goals. Leading through these dynamics on campus develops the team building, negotiating and consensus-building skills that Army officers need in helping the people of the world establish democratic systems, govern & secure themselves and institutionalize freedom and human rights.

Why should I choose Army ROTC over a different branch's ROTC?

The Army offers a wider range of career opportunities, in more places around the world, then any other U.S. military branch.  Recent Bay State Battalion Lieutenants are serving as Engineer Officers in Hawaii, Infantry Officers in North Carolina, helicopter pilots in Colorado, and Cyber Warfare Officers in Washington, DC.   The Army is also the only ROTC program that allows graduates to commission into the National Guard or Reserve Component, for those Cadets who would like to pursue a fulltime civilian career and serve as a part-time Army officer. 

Are all college majors compatible with Army ROTC?

Army ROTC Cadets are allowed to major in nearly all academic areas.

Can I Receive a Scholarship?

Yes, the program offers two, three, and four-year scholarships for Cadets. They are full tuition scholarships including a stipend for books each semester. There is also an option to replace tuition with room and board if you so choose.  These scholarships are highly competitive and are not retroactive. All contracted Cadets, whether on scholarship or not, will receive a $420 monthly stipend.

On what basis are scholarship winners chosen?

ROTC scholarships are not based on financial need. Instead, they are awarded on merit. Merit is exhibited in academic achievement, leadership ability, physical fitness and extracurricular activities, such as sports, student government or part-time work.

What is the typical weekly schedule?

Each week Cadets will attend three morning sessions of Physical Training (PT), two-hour block of practical hands on training at the Military Science Lab, and their ROTC Military Science class. The practical lab and the PT sessions are planned, coordinated, and lead by Senior Cadets under ROTC Cadre supervision. Military Science courses are instructed by ROTC Cadre.

What does Physical Training (PT) consist of?

PT includes a variety of workouts intended to increase the physical abilities, self-discipline and emotional endurance of Cadets. They specifically aim to increase strength, stamina and endurance to uphold the highest levels of physical fitness. Often, workouts utilize calisthenics and running within a competitive team-building atmosphere.

What are Military Science Classes like?

The MSI level of classes your freshman year focuses on Army rank structure, customs and courtesies, ethics, and values of the army.  At the MSII level you will focus on the many types of leadership and begin learning about current operating environments and doctrine and get an introduction to Operations Orders.  The MSIII level focuses on basic infantry tactics and small unit leadership, with a strong emphasis on operations orders and planning, land navigation and doctrine.  The MSIV level focuses on the operations process (plan, prepare, execute, assess), Mission Command, historical battle analysis, counseling and transitioning to Platoon Leadership. 

Can I be an athlete and be a part of ROTC?

Yes, we even encourage it. ROTC is meant to be a leadership development program that trains the future leaders of our Army. The program aims to put Cadets in positions of leadership to help develop their leadership potential. Athletics offer Cadets another option to improve both physical fitness and leadership ability.  The Army ROTC Cadre enjoys great relationships with our Varsity coaches, ensuring Cadets can meet their commitments to both ROTC and their teams. 

Do I have to go to Basic Combat Training?

No, you do not have to attend Basic Combat Training.  In ROTC you are an Army Cadet and Officer in Training. The ROTC program and the very name itself, Reserve Officer Training Corps, trains motivated, academically and physically qualified college students to become Army officers. The training methodology is entirely different than traditional Basic Training. The ROTC Cadets will attend Advanced Camp, a six-week Cadet leadership course, intended to increase and assess the tactical and leadership abilities of Cadets between their junior and senior summer.

What does it mean to become contracted Cadet?

A contracted Cadet has enrolled into the program; finished and passed all the necessary contracting requirements (including 2.5 GPA minimum, pass the Army Physical Fitness Test, achieve height/weight standards, and receive a qualified physical assessment from the Department of Defense Medical Evaluation Review Board); signed the Army ROTC contract; and been sworn in by our Commander – at this point, you will have a commitment to be a U.S. Army Officer.

Do I have to go active duty?

No, nearly 1 out of 3 of Cadets will fulfill their service requirements in the Army National Guard or Reserves. Cadets who enter the Army National Guard or Reserves will simultaneously pursue their civilian career as they serve their units one weekend a month and two weeks a year. There is no requirement to serve on active duty, even if you are a scholarship winner.

What is my service commitment once I commission?

All contracted Cadets make an eight-year minimum service commitment. This service obligation can be fulfilled by four years of active duty service combined with four years in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) for scholarship Cadets; three years of active duty combined with five years in the IRR for non-scholarship Cadets; or eight years in the Army National Guard or Reserves for any Cadet.

What kind of salary and benefits will I earn as a commissioned Army Officer?

Visit the Benefits section of the website for complete details. Specifically, the Benefits sub-section provides details on pay and other benefits for both Officers and Enlisted Soldiers.

What happens after I Commission?

Army ROTC graduates are commissioned as U.S. Army Second Lieutenants.  They then receive specialized training in one of 17 different Army branches at Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC). During their Army careers, they will receive regular professional training as they advance through the ranks, and they will have many opportunities for advanced leadership positions and post-graduate education.