Skip navigation

Military Science

Frequently Asked Questions

Page Content

USM Army ROTC provides a myriad of opportunities. Here are some of the most asked questions that clarify some of the most common misconceptions.

The U.S. Active Army is for those who want more than a job; they want to make a difference, every day, for themselves, their families, and the Nation. Through shared values and training that develops their potential, these men and women take pride in their ability to adapt, respond and prevail in complex environments at home and abroad.


Reserve Officer’s Training Corps is: The only real leadership development class in college; An elective curriculum you take along with your required college classes; A practical and hands on training experience; A challenging yet fun experience for all cadets; A chance for cadets to lead peers and discover their strengths; and An opportunity to secure full or part-time employment after college.


Those who succeed in Army ROTC are students who excel and want something more out of life and the college experience. For our scholarship applicants, we look for SAL’s:

  • Scholars:  Students Who Are Serious About College And Maintaining Their GPAs.
  • Athletes: Those Who Are Physically Strong.
  • Leaders: Those Who Have A Great Desire To Learn And Lead.


No. Students who enroll in ROTC don't join the Army. The Army ROTC program at The University of Southern Mississippi is like any other elective class in college. Just like other electives in college, they will receive college credit. Should students pursue the program to its logical goal, they will become a contracted cadet, complete their "regular" college degree of their choosing, and commission as an Officer in the U.S. Army.


No. ROTC cadets go directly to college where they earn their degree.


As an ROTC cadet, you will learn valuable skills in leadership, organization, and values based training. The pride, discipline, and commitment involved with ROTC will touch other areas in your lives. Whether you commission or not, as an Army ROTC cadet you will gain valuable experience that you can apply either in the military or in your civilian careers. Having ROTC experience on a resume can only benefit a future job seeking graduate, whether it is coupled with military service or not, as employers value the management and leadership skills that ROTC instructors impart.


Students in ROTC learn through a unique program that involves both classroom and "live" situations. For instance, an ROTC cadet might be found leading classmates through adventure training, down a river in a raft, or up a mountain wall.

During the first two years, ROTC cadets have no military obligation (or the first year in the case of scholarship winners). There is no military obligation while enrolled in ROTC, you can not be deployed.


 The ROTC program is divided into phases: The Basic Course studies Army history, organization and structure. The techniques and principles of leadership and management are stressed throughout. The Advanced Course concentrates on tactical operations and military instruction, as well as advanced techniques of management, leadership, and command.


The Army offers a wider range of career opportunities, in more places around the world, then any other U.S. military branch.


No. 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.


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


Yes. Selected Cadets may choose to serve part-time in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career.



The U.S. Army Reserve Component is for those who want to make a difference to the nation as a Soldier yet retain their civilian lives. Through shared values, advanced training and experience, men and women can achieve their goals and gain an edge in their civilian careers. It gives the Army added scale, scope and capability to adapt and respond to the Nation’s challenges home and abroad.


Army ROTC classes normally involve one elective class or 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.


No. Our current cadet corps has 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 and we stress that. You must do well academically and athletically to succeed in ROTC.



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.


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



Yes. Each year hundreds of students attending colleges nationwide receive ROTC scholarships. ROTC awards them to students studying science, engineering, nursing, liberal arts, business, as well as a variety of other majors. 


Army ROTC scholarships pay for tuition and academic fees, up to a total of $80,000 for four years. Scholarship winners also receive an annual book allowance of $1200 and a stipend worth up to $6,000.


A stipend is a "bonus" for being a contracted ROTC cadet. A contracted cadet earns between $300 to $500 a month depending upon their academic year within the program.


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.


 ROTC scholarships are not based on financial need. Instead, they're awarded on merit. Merit is exhibited in academic achievement and extracurricular activities, such as sports, student government or part-time work. 


No. Anyone can enroll in ROTC. And regardless of whether you're a scholarship winner or not, all ROTC books, supplies and equipment are furnished at no cost to you.


National High School Scholarships are awarded once a year. High School Seniors apply by in June and selections are made continuously thru April. Four-year scholarship applications must be requested between March 1 and November 1. Also, once cadets are on campus, two-year and three-year scholarships become available.


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.