T Nation


I am a senior in high school and I have been thinking about doing Army ROTC in college. I believe that it is every citizen’s duty to give back to America for all that it provides. Whether that is being a teacher, a doctor or a little league coach, everyone should do their part to contribute to society. My greatest fear is that I will have died before I got the chance to make a difference somewhere and joing the Army and helping to protect the 260 million would be a good start. So, does anyone here have any experience with the Army ROTC or the Army in general? Any advice/comments/flames would be greatly appreciated.

Why Yes, Yes I do. I did the ROTC route. In fact, I was a ROTC scholarship awardee and a Distinguished Military Graduate. Books, tution and some cash (not alot every month). Some great things happened in ROTC and some bad things happened in ROTC. You will have to check out you university’s program. I will make you the same offer I have made several people before, if you can figure out my free (yahoo) email address I will provide you with more detailed information. Until then. 1) Get to know the Operations NCOs (if you earn their respect, they will teach you more than any military science course. 2) Have the supply sergeant teach all he can about supply and dealing in the service (soon you will be signed for more eqipment than you could pay-off in several life times. 3) See about joining a reserve or guard unit to take care of some weekends and summer time (additional money for college) consider this an internship.
Best of Luck.

Why do you think anyone would flame you? It’s not like you said, “I wanna kill me some sand-niggers” or some stupid shit like that.

Oh well, as far Army ROTC is concerned, I had a good friend who entered it as soon as he got to college. He seemed to enjoy it. He said it “cleaned up his life”, whatever that means. He’ll be going into the army soon, I guess.

So am I understanding this correctly? A person fresh out of high school can be an officer without serving any enlisted time?

I may go through the Army ROTC program in the future but enlisted for a while first…hopefully for Ranger School in the future.

I thought you had to see Army life in 3D before you could become an officer.

Enlighten me, please.


If you’re going to join a branch of the service, be sure that you spend some time choosing the best branch for your personality and needs. The Army’s not the only game in town, it’s just the biggest. There’s also the Navy, Air Force and Marines - each with it’s own distinct personality and ethos.

I did my time in the Marines and consider it to have been time well spent (in retrospect - I hated it while I was in), but if I had the chance to do it over again I’d join the Air Force. It’s a big decision; do your research.

“My greatest fear is that I will have died before I got the chance to make a difference somewhere and joing the Army and helping to protect the 260 million would be a good start.”
Why wait until your in the Army to start making a difference? You can do so now, visit a Veterans hospital, volunteer in your community, volunteer to record old Veterans personal experiences in War, Volunteer at your local recruiting office.There are a lot of ways you can make a difference, the ROTC program is four years long and in the end you can get a commission into the Army if that is what you want. Being a soldier or serving your country is great and shows what your made of for even considering it at your young age.You don’t have to be in the Military to make a difference, people do it in their own way everyday.You can start at home with Mom and Dad.Good luck in your endeavors. Ray Dimon “Dimons will Trump”

I am not a military man myself, although I always wanted to be. But, I couldn’t pass MEPS. Because I had heart surgery when I was 6 weeks old. I agree w/ char-dawg on this do some reasearch on which branch of service you want to belong to. I believe people find jobs easier if they are in the Air force when they get out. You’ll have more technical training in the Air force then you would in the Army or Marines. Just a thought. Not saying that you can’t recieve any tech training in the Army or Marines. It all depends on your M.O.S.

Chris, I just want to say that we need more high school seniors like you who are patriotic and mindful of what this country has provided them, instead of those who sit on their asses all day long with their Playstations thinking that the world owes them everything. Big Ups to you, and the best of luck to you!

The Army gets it comissioned officers from four sources. West Point, Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), OCS and Direct Comission. In answer to your question, your can not be comissioned right out of high school. ROTC comission requires four years of military science courses, in addition to your major and the completion of the Advanced Camp due the summer of your junior year. Even if you get an ROTC comission, it does not mean you will go onto active duty.
More later.

Best of Luck.

Alot of great advice here, also there are a couple of older posts on this topic. If you decide you definitely want to be an officer, with all that that entails, remember there are a couple different routes. I did ROTC in two years at military junior college. Its slightly more challenging, and i wouldn’t enter it if you don’t feel mature enough to handle responsibilities such as being responsible for your own actions and the actions of those who you are responsible for (you’d be surprised how many people are incapable of this). Disadvantages of the two year program, are that only two years of school are paid for, and you won’t get as many opportunities, during college, to attend schools such as airborne, air assault, and mountain, because you only have one summer of eligibility to attend these schools. The advantages though are that you will be in charge of you’re own platoon as soon as you graduate from junior college with your commission, and you will be in charge of that platoon until you graduate with your bachelor’s degree. The other advantage of ROTC at a junior college is that you will make a number of very close friends entering the same profession. Friends you make at a military school are unlike most friends because you’ve been through an experience that really binds you together and makes you unique (even though you’ll probably loathe every minute you spend at the school). One suggestion I would make is to attend regular basic training, preferably at Ft. Knox or Ft Benning. Officer basic leadeship camp, or whatever they call it, is pretty pussified, and while you learn alot about oporders, basic leadership principles, and some landnav, which are all very important, you should learn most of that during ROTC anyway. Whatever you decide, good luck and may Godspeed.

First to Musashi,

ROTC Advanced Camp is designed to rank order ROTC Cadets from each region by testing what they have learned from the camp and their ROTC training back at the university. It also serves as a recruiting ground for each of the branches of the Army (infantry, armor, military, police…etc.) If students want they can go to a Recondo (one week mini Ranger course) after the Advanced Camp and there are a couple of other programs that they can take advantage of.(Me, I went to Ranger School instead of the Advanced Camp, but I don’t think that’s available any more).

Once they graduate and are commissioned they will go to their branches basic course for officers (even if they have already taken basic training).

To Chris R,

Once again I offer my support in helping you plan your course.
Best of Luck.

Older Lifter, I think you confused Advance Camp, now called advance national leadership camp ( I believe), with my reference to basic camp. Basic Camp is a 5 week course in Ft. Knox, that supposedly introduces cadets to the army. This is available to sophomores becoming juniors, and, in the case of ECP cadets, incoming freshman with no prior service (ie at least basic training). Advance camp has changed somewhat. There is no longer a recondo school, rather the recondo badge is given to cadets who complete certain requirements to a high standard. I think advance camp is a very useful tool for evaluating how cadets have progressed.

I myself am a highschool sophmore.
I have thought about ROTC. I wanted to go into the marines, but they don’t have ROTC. Apparently, theirs is through the navy. I have come to the conclusion that I myself would like to attend USMA. (west Point). I have received a mass amiling card from them, do to high test scores on the Plan test. (baby act) As a 7th grader, I receivd a 23(out of 36). I will be taking the act again shortly, hopefully. I submitted for more info from USMA, and they sent me a pamphlet. I am to young to submit and application as of yet. they will send me stuff as a junior. In the meantime, I am goign to try to get involved in a few more things, that they reccomend. Fortunately, I am already taking the recommended courses. I want to get in, very badly. If I fail to receive acceptance, I will either go ROTC at KU, or, go through college, and join the marines. Does anyone know much about USMA, and can they help me receive the best training so that I may be the best at protecting America?

M - Thanks for the update.
USMA - Trains all it graduates as engineers. One of the reasons the Army has ROTC is to maintain a deverse population of officers.
If you are really interested in being a Marine (not that there is anything wrong with that ;)) I would try for the USNA.
Best of Luck.

This is to Older Lifter: I’m just curious, what college did you go to via ROTC?

And this is to everyone else: I’m a freshman at BU (Army ROTC, contracted for a whole lotta years :slight_smile: and can help anyone who needs it in getting information/advice via my cadre. I’m a prelaw major (read that as busy 24/7) though.

Immer Wachsen,


If you want to be a Marine (“not that there’s anything wrong with that” LOL), you could also apply for the NROTC Marine Option or the Marine PLC program.

Two pieces of Information:

  1. I had a scholarship in the Fourth Region and used it to attend two different universities. Two years at Montana State University and three years at the University of Utah. My scholarship only paid for four years. The last year I paid for myself. I spent three years at Utah because I was in a pilot Athletic Training/Sports Medicine Program and was trying to get my Masters before I went on active duty.
  2. While I fully enjoy inter-service joking, I believe that you should really know what you are getting into. If you look at what most Marines really have to do…then you might considered something else.

My big warning to everyone interested in joining the military is do your research! Know what you are letting yourself in for.

Older Lifter, did you grow up under the Big Sky? I did. Demo Dick went to MSU, and I went to UM (where most years, they really play some whoop-ass football, much to the chagrin of Bobcats fans everywhere). As you may have guessed, I’m a Navy vet (OCS).


If you’re already considering Army ROTC, which I think is a great idea, why not take it one step further and apply to West Point? Personally, I wish that I had applied to Annapolis, as I plan to join the Navy and attend BUD/S after I graduate.

Spartanpower, do you post on Stew Smith’s Get Fit Now forums?