1. Is Enrolling into ROTC the Same As Enlisting into the Army?

Enrolling into ROTC is not the same as enlisting into the Army.  ROTC is the one way for college students to explore military service without having to sign any contract.  Signing up for a Military Science class is exactly that, it is a class.  Students enrolled in the Military Science Basic Course are those exploring the ROTC program’s 100 and 200 level courses. Enrolled students ARE NOT obligated to contract, meaning to enter a commitment and finish the program. Students can drop after one term, or they can complete the entire two years of the Basic Course before making their decision. Enrolled students earn elective credit towards their degree while in the Basic Course.  Enrolled students are NOT receiving any type of financial assistance from the Army for college.  Enrolling into Military Science Advanced Course of 300 and 400 level courses does require the student to make a decision to contract into ROTC.


2. Is Contracting into ROTC the Same as Enlisting into the Army?

Contracting into 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 Army officers, so you must agree to serve as an officer in the Army after graduation.  In return the Army will provide financial assistance and scholarships to qualified Cadets to help them complete their college degree

2018 Contracting Ceremony
Ten EWU Cadets contract into the ROTC program on September 20, 2018 in front of historic Showalter Hall.


3.  What is an Army Officer? 

Being an Army officer means that you will become the civilian equivalent of a manager.  Officers are tasked with making important decisions in stressful situations and are responsible for the well being and safety of the Soldiers under their command. Being officer requires exercising discipline and learning leadership skills that carry over very well in civilian service after the Army.


4.  What is a Second Lieutenant?

A Second Lieutenant is the most junior officer rank that Cadets commission into following college graduation.  As a Second Lieutenant the first leadership position the officer will hold is as a Platoon Leader.  As a Platoon Leader the Second Lieutenant will generally be in charge of about 30 people depending on which Army branch they go into.

EWU ROTC Cadets from the class of 2019 commission as officers into the U.S. Army.


5. Can ROTC Cadets Be Deployed?

No, it is Army policy that Cadets cannot be deployed while enrolled in ROTC.


6. What Do Cadets Do in Military Science Classes?

Military Science classes are generally conducted in a classroom setting at Cadet Hall on the EWU campus.  In the classroom Cadets will learn basic soldier and leadership skills.  The Cadets will take mid-term and final exams in their Military Science course just like any other college class.  During weekly Leadership Laboratories is when Cadets will go outside and apply the skills they learned in the classroom.


7. What is an SMP Cadet?

The Simultaneous Membership Program is for students who want to join ROTC and are already members or want to be members of the U.S. Army Reserve or National Guard.  SMP Cadets not only conduct ROTC training activities, but also participate in one weekend a month and two weeks annual drill with their Reserve or National Guard unit.  Contracted SMP Cadets not only receive $420 a month from ROTC, but also receive money from the Army Reserve or National Guard for their drill days.  SMP Cadets also can choose to accept a Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duties (GRFD) Scholarship that will allow them to pay for college and then commission as an officer in the National Guard or U.S. Army Reserves after graduation. If an SMP Cadet accepts a GRFD they cannot commission into the Active Duty Army.


8.  Can I be an Athlete and Still Participate in ROTC?

Yes, student athlete can still enroll into ROTC.  For example a Duke University basketball player joined ROTC and commissioned as an officer in the National Guard while playing in the NBA for the New York Knicks.  ROTC will work with student athletes to adjust assignment due dates and class attendance to not interfere with practice and games during the athletic season.


9. I’m already a second-year student. Is it too late to enroll into ROTC?

Students who are already in their second year of study can still join ROTC.  If the Basic Course curriculum is not able to be compressed before the student’s projected graduation date, they may have to attend Basic Camp at Ft. Knox, Kentucky during the summer to catch them up.  Basic Camp is not Basic Training.   It is a five-week summer leadership training camp that enables Cadets that joined ROTC late to enter the Advanced Course (300-400 level courses) and compete for an ROTC scholarship.  All Cadets who attend Basic Camp are paid along with all transportation, lodging, and food provided by the Army.    Contact our EWU Army ROTC office at rotc@ewu.edu to discuss your options if joining ROTC late.