How to Prepare for ROTC


The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), a college-based program that helps civilians enter the military as commissioned officers, is a four-year course of study in which college students complete both military training and college courses concurrently. ROTC students, called cadets, are paid for the time they spend on military training, while the military covers their college tuition. Since ROTC includes military training that civilians are unaccustomed to, advanced preparation can be the key to success.

  • Begin the exercise regimen outlined in Army Field Manual 21-20 after consulting your doctor. ROTC cadets take regular military physical fitness assessments that consist of two minutes of pushups, two minutes of situps and a two-mile run. If you fail a physical fitness test, you must retake it until you pass. You will not receive a commission in the United States military if you cannot pass a physical fitness assessment based on the guidelines set forth in FM 21-20.

  • Complete all contract documents with your recruiter prior to the beginning of the school year. If your contract is not complete before you register for classes, ROTC may not pay for your educational expenses. Additionally, there may not be a slot available for you in required military courses.

  • Avoid registering for classes that will be excessively difficult. If a course may be above your skill level, do not take it until you are ready. Failing even one class can disqualify you from the ROTC program.

Tips & Warnings

  • Read AR 600-9. If you are overweight according to the height and weight charts, follow the Army Weight Control program outlined in AR 600-9.

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