FAQ

Who do I talk to about joining ROTC?

You should speak to our Enrollment Officer, Mr. Sean McDonough at (617) 324-1427 or email her at smcd@mit.edu.

Do I have to be in a specific major to join ROTC?

No, in ROTC your major does not affect you entering the military.  However your major may effect when you can commission and how long you will take to complete college when you add in your military science classes.

If I'm going to graduate in more than four years, can I still do ROTC?

Yes!  When you enter ROTC you will fill out a form called a 104-R, so we will know exactly when you will graduate when you begin ROTC and avoid any issues.

What does enrolled cadet mean?

An enrolled cadet is a person who has filled out an enrollment packet an all the necessary documents.  It allows a cadet to take the lab portion of ROTC and to try out ROTC without a military obligation.

What does contracted cadet mean?

A contracted cadet is a person who has completed the enrollment packet, finished and passed all the necessary contracting requirements (see our answer to: Contracting requirements for more information on the subject), signed the Army ROTC contract, and been sworn in by our Commander.

What do I need to contract?

To contract you need to complete:

1.  At least a 2.5 Overall GPA

2.  A 104-R Form

3.  A 139-R Form

4.  Pass an APFT and Army Height/Weight Standards

5.  Get a GO from DODMERBS

6.  Professor of Military Science Interview

7.  Surpass the peers competiting against you for the scholarship in GPA, PT score and desire to contract.

What is a 104-R Form and why do I have to fill one out?

A 104-R Form is a standard Cadet Command Form that plans out all the remaining academic semesters in college for you and your instructors.  The form allows us to place you in the correct ROTC academic track and also helps you plan your future semesters in college to meet all your graduating needs.

What is a 139-R Form and why do I have to fill one out?

The purpose of a 139-R Form is to allow the ROTC instructors to determine the eligibility of everyone enrolling in ROTC.  It ensures that everyone participating in lab has all the correct forms filled out and is fit to participate in lab.

What is DODMERB?

DODMERB or Department of Defense Medical Examination and Review Board is the process by which ROTC uses to screen cadets and assess their medical eligibility to contract.  DODMERB is designed to ensure that all the future officers ROTC Commissions are able to enter the US Army.

What is an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT)?

An Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) is a 3 event fitness test to give yourself and your commanders an evaluation on your level of fitness.  The three events are: 2 minutes of timed pushups, 2 minutes of timed situps, and a timed 2 mile run.  In addition, each student will be required to meet the US Army height/weight standard. 
 

What are the financial benefits of an Army ROTC Scholarship?

When you receive an Army ROTC Scholarship you will receive:

- Either payment of your Tuition every semester or payment for your Room and Board

- $600 every semester to pay for books (tax free)

- A tax free stipend every month during the semester starting at $250 your Freshman year and ending up at $500 your Senior year.

- For more information on scholarships, visit our scholarship page.

What is Accessions?

Accessions is the process by which the US Army ranks every Cadet Commissioning in a certain year.  Accession consists 40% of your GPA, 10% of your PT Scores, 20% of you LDAC evaluations, your Cadet Evaluation Report, and any clubs or activities you have done.  Totaling that up will let the Army place you in a ladder ranking with all your fellow peers that will determine your branch and duty station.

How do I get Active Duty?

In order to get Active Duty you need to get Accessed Active Duty by the Army.  Also you can not have signed a Guarenteed Reserve Forces Duty (GRFD) contract.  On the Accessions ladder ranking there will be a cutoff at a certain number.  All cadets above that number have been granted Active Duty and all below have been Accessed Reserve Duty.

What is a Guarenteed Reserve Forces Duty (GRFD) Contract?

A GRFD Contract is an agreement between you and the Army guarenteeing that you will not get Active Duty.  Your career choices are limited to the Army Reserve and the National Guard.

If i'm in the National Guard, can I do ROTC?

Yes!  This is called the SMP (Simultaneous Membership Program).  You will still be able to receive drill pay along with your cadet stipend and $600 a semester book money (if you are contracted).  You will not be able to receive Room and Board payment, because you get a Tuition Waiver through the National Guard.

What kinds of things are done in ROTC classes?

In your Freshman year you will study Army rank structure, customs and courtisies, ethics, and values of the army.  In your Sophomore year you will continue and refresh your knowledge of rank structure, begin learning about current operating environments and doctrine, learn land navigation on a military map, and get an introduction to Operations Orders.  In your Junior year you focus on basic infantry tactics, a strong emphasis on operations orders, map land navigation and actual land navigation, garrison operations, and joint operations.  The Senior year you will learn the about law of war, enhanced garrison operations, a heavy emphasis on planning and executing, military court martials, equal opportunity law, the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, the Army Writing Process, and how to conduct a military briefing and staff call.

What kinds of things are done at lab?

During our leadership laps our Junior students will lead our Freshman and Sophomores in classes, supervised by our Cadre and Senior students.  Classes include cold weather injuries, US Weapons, land navigation, drill and ceremony, and in STX Lanes, or practice infantry missions.

What is an Field Training Exercise (FTX)?

An FTX is a three day training exercise done once a semester at a US Army post typically from Friday to Sunday.  On these exercises you will experience land navigation, an obsticle or confidence course, a Leaders Reaction Course (LRC), simulators on humvees or US Weapons, and STX lanes

Can I participate in sports and do ROTC?

Yes!  We have several students currently contracted with us that do varsity level sports.  You will meet with our instructors to ensure that your practice times fulfill your morning PT requirements.

What are the advantages of enrolling/contracting in ROTC?

If you enroll in ROTC it gives you a chance to see our program and determine if this is something you are interested in persuing.  If you contract in ROTC you will receive a Commission and exit college with a career, along with other financial benefits throughout college that will help you mitigate the costs associated with college.

I'm interested in ROTC can I come see what you do?

Absolutely, and we encourage it.  Not only can you drop by to watch a leadership lab, but you can enroll in ROTC with no military obligation to try out our program further to see if its something you're interested in.
 

If I missed one or more semesters of ROTC can I still join?

Yes you can if you are not academically a junior.  There are several ways to do this.  Either by taking multiple ROTC classes in one semester or by attending our Leadership Training Course during your Sophomore and Junior summer.

Will joining ROTC interfere with studying for other classes?

Not at all.  The ROTC department understands that you are students first here and it is our policy.  Futhermore we understand that some majors require a much larger time committment than others.  Simply speaking to one of our instructors about the time issue should solve the problem.

Why should I join ROTC if i'm a nurse, i'm busy enough!?!

We have many nurses in the ROTC program and we understand your large time committment.  ROTC will work around your nursing schedule and your clinicals.  Also ROTC offers several benefits for nurses such as getting all $1200 of your book money in one semester, and extra money for your uniforms and equipment.

What are the benefits of being a nurse in the Army?

There are many benefits to being a nurse in the Army.  As an Army nurse you are guarenteed to get hands on experience and you will have a position available to you, as opposed to looking for a position in the private sector.  Also you will leader enlisted nurses and give you leadership experience for when you move into the private sector to make you a much more prospective candidate for jobs and put you ahead of your peers.
 

Are there separate scholarships for nurses in the Army?

Yes there are.  A nursing scholarship entitles you to extra benefits to cover the high costs of the nursing major.  You will get all $1200 of your book money in one semester and repayment for your uniforms and nursing equipment.

Will ROTC interfere with my clinicals?

NO!  ROTC understands the time committment involved with your clinics and we will work with you so you can Commission as a Second Lieutenant into the Army.
 

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?

Enrolling in Army ROTC is not, strictly speaking, joining the Army.  You will not be sent to boot camp.  However, the primary purpose of the Army ROTC program is to produce its Officers, so you must agree to serve as Officers in the Army after graduation in order to go through the entire program, or if you have received an ROTC scholarship.  Enrolling in the ROTC Basic Course (the first two years of college) does NOT obligate you to serve unless you have also received a scholarship.

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

Army ROTC offers two-, three- and four-year scholarships, which pay full tuition and fees, include a separate allowance for books, and a monthly stipend of up to $5,000 a year.  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 programs 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.

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, than any other U.S. military branch.

How do I learn more about the Army?

Starting by exploring the Army experience from our Home Page is a great start.
 

Are all college majors compatible with Army ROTC?

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

What are Army ROTC courses like? How will the class work help me? Will ROTC classes interfere with his/her other studies?

Army ROTC classes normally involve one elective class and one lab per semester.  Although the classes involve hands-on fieldwork as well as classroom work, they are standard college classes that fit into a normal academic schedule.  These courses can help students with personal and academic decision making while giving them the tools to exercise leadership in college life, even before graduating and becoming Officers. 
 

How will being an Army ROTC Cadet affect my daily life? Do Cadets experience normal college life and activities?

Army ROTC Cadets have the same lifestyles and academic schedules as any other college students.  They join fraternities and sororities.  They participate in varsity team and individual sports.  They take part in community service projects.  But there are two intensive Army ROTC courses that take place on Army Posts, usually during the summer:

Leader's Training Course—This four-week summer course at Fort Knox, Kentucky is ONLY for students who enroll in Army ROTC without having taken the first two years of military science classes.

Leader Development and Assessment Course—All Cadets who enter the Advanced Course must attend this five-week summer course at Fort Lewis, WA between their junior and senior years.

What are the chances that I will be deployed to support the Global War on Terrorism?

It depends on the Army branch the Cadet chooses and the unit to which he/she is assigned.  However, Army missions and challenges are always changing, so there's no way to know in advance which specialties and units will be needed where.  All Soldiers in the Army or Army Reserve face the possibility of deployment at some point during their careers.  But all Soldiers are fully trained and proficient in the tasks and drills of their units.  And Officers are specifically trained to make the right decisions so that missions can be carried out safely and successfully.

Can I go into the Army Reserve or National Guard after graduation instead of the regular Army?

Yes.  Selected Cadets may choose to serve part time in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career. For more details, see the Active Duty & Army Reserve or the Army National Guard website.
 

What is the typical career path for an Army Officer? What career fields are available?

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

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

Visit the Benefits section of this site for complete details. Specifically, the Money sub-section provides details on pay for both Officers and Enlisted Soldiers.