Common Misconceptions | Kent State University

Common Misconceptions

FAQs

If I enroll in the Army ROTC, wont I have a service obligation?

No. You can enroll in all ROTC classes with no service obligation. The obligation comes when you decide to contract into the ROTC program to become an Army Officer.

If I do eventually contract and become a Second Lieutenant, I will have to serve on Active Duty, right?

No. At least two-thirds of the upcoming graduating Cadets will receive an active duty tour. Cadets who receive Reserve Duty will serve in local Reserve or National Guard units one weekend a month, or serve in the Ready Reserves with no "drilling" requirement if a suitable unit is not available where you reside. The Reserves are one of the best adjunct career and retirement systems in the U.S. today.

Won't ROTC interfere with my academic or athletic pursuits?

No. Our current Cadets have an average cumulative GPA above the general University average. Yes, there are some time demands and some voluntary extracurricular activities in ROTC,but, simply put, ROTC Cadets are more mature and better time managers than many students. Your academic and athletic success is the highest priority. You must do well academically and athletically to succeed in ROTC. 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 practice as Army ROTC. During the academic year, your focus is on academics (getting your degree) with ROTC classroom instruction and labs complimenting that education. What's best about Army ROTC is that while learning to become an Army officer, you are interacting, socializing and learning with students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, political ideologies and goals.

I see ROTC as a potential interference to my career field. How can you get around that one?

There are surely some career tracks where ROTC may not help you, but the exceptional record of graduating Cadets getting good jobs in their fields is well above average. In the Reserves, there are also a lot of job networking and contacts, and most employees view Reservists or officers leaving active duty in very positive terms. Further, students that emphasize their ROTC enrollment are generally viewed as desirable to most employers because of their competitive leadership and managerial abilities, maturity, and time management skills.

What about haircuts, wearing uniforms, and harassment?

You have to be well-groomed; hair off your ears and not down your shoulders (crewcut not required). You will learn how to wear a uniform properly, but the uniform is only required to be worn during class times and training. Finally, harassment of any type is not acceptable. We emphasize proper decorum, respect, military courtesies, ethics and standards of conduct; all of which apply equally well to non-military, professional careers.

What can Army ROTC do for me even if I only want to enroll for a year or two?

If you enroll in Army ROTC, we will help you become a better person in manifold ways - no doubt about that. ROTC will: Give you better leadership and managerial skills applicable to any field. Provide you a lot of personal attention, encouraging you to get good grades and further mature. Class sizes are small and everyone is given personal counseling. We compel you to stay in shape and improve your physical fitness. We give you the opportunity to learn what the military is all about  - the role of the Army and its soldiers, (strategy, politics, technology, standards, career fields, etc).  We provide additional fun and learning activities, and opportunities for you to make more friends than virtually any other organization on campus. Cadets consistently relate that one of the best aspects of the ROTC program is the camaraderie students find among each other - that is what Esprit de Corps or belonging is all about.

Is enrolling in Army ROTC the same as joining the Army? Once a student starts taking ROTC courses, is he/she obligated to join the Army?

Young adults must serve as Officers in the Army after graduation if they have received an ROTC scholarship, OR if they have enrolled in the ROTC Advanced Course. Enrolling in the ROTC Basic Course (the first two years of college) does NOT obligate someone to serve unless they have also received a scholarship.

What kinds of scholarships are available in Army ROTC? Are any of the scholarships retroactive?

Army ROTC scholarships vary based on the length of time remaining for students to complete their degrees. There are two-, three- and four-year merit-based scholarships providing full tuition. Scholarships also include annual book allowances and a monthly stipend. Army ROTC scholarships are not retroactive.

What is my Army service obligation to pay back any scholarship benefits, or for enrollment in the ROTC Advanced Course?

Scholarship winners must serve for four years; non-scholarship Cadets who enroll in the ROTC Advanced Course must serve for three years. All who graduate and complete ROTC training are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

What good is Army ROTC for a career outside of the Army?

Army ROTC is one of the only college courses that teaches leadership. This training is invaluable for any career that involves leading, managing and motivating people or fostering teamwork. Young Army Officers are typically responsible for hundreds of soldiers and millions of dollars in equipment; this kind of management experience can be very attractive for post-Army employers.

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