Reserve Officers' Training Corps
The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is a college-based program for training commissioned officers of the United States armed forces. ROTC officers serve in all branches of the U.S. armed forces, with the exception of the U.S. Coast Guard. In 2010, ROTC graduates constituted 38.5 percent of newly commissioned U.S. Army officers, 1.8 percent of newly commissioned U.S. Marine Corps officers, 16.7 percent of newly commissioned U.S. Navy officers, and 38.1 percent of newly commissioned U.S. Air Force officers, for a combined 30 percent of all active duty officers in the Department of Defense commissioned that year.
Under ROTC, a student may receive a competitive, merit-based scholarship, covering all or part of college tuition, in return for an obligation of active military service after graduation. The U.S. Coast Guard offers a similar program to ROTC under a different name: CSPI (College Student Pre-commissioning Initiative).
ROTC students attend college like other students, but also receive basic military training and officer training for their chosen branch of service, through the ROTC unit at the college or university. The students participate in regular drills during the school year, and extended training activities during the summer.
Army ROTC units are organized as brigades, battalions, and companies. Air Force ROTC units are detachments with the students organized into wings, groups, squadrons, and flights. Army and Air Force ROTC students are referred to as cadets. Navy ROTC units are organized as battalions, and also include NROTC students under "Marine Option" who will eventually be commissioned as officers in the US Marine Corps versus the US Navy. Marine NROTC students may be formed in a separate company when the program includes sufficient numbers. All Navy ROTC students are referred to as midshipmen.
The term of obligatory service varies among the services.
Army ROTC students who receive an Army ROTC scholarship or enter the Army ROTC Advanced Course must agree to complete an eight-year period of service. This can include three years active duty (four years for scholarship winners), with the balance in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR).
The service obligation for a Navy ROTC student is five years in the Navy, or four years in the Marine Corps.
The service obligation for an Air Force ROTC student is four years, or six years for Combat Systems Officers or Air Battle Management officers, or ten years for pilots.
The concept of ROTC in the United States began with the Morrill Act of 1862 which established the land-grant colleges. Part of the federal government's requirement for these schools was that they include military tactics as part of their curriculum, forming what became known as ROTC. The college from which ROTC originated is Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. Norwich was founded in 1819 at Norwich, Vermont, as the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy.
Until the 1960s, many major universities required compulsory ROTC for all of their male students. However, because of the protests that culminated in the opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, compulsory ROTC was dropped in favor of voluntary programs. In some places ROTC was expelled from campus altogether, although it was always possible to participate in off-campus ROTC.
In the 21st century, the debate often focuses around the Congressional don't ask, don't tell law, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993, and in force until 2011, which forbade homosexuals serving in the United States military from disclosing their sexual orientation at the risk of expulsion. Some schools believed this legal mandate would require them to waive or amend their non-discrimination policies.
In recent years, concerted efforts are being made at some Ivy League universities that have previously banned ROTC, including Columbia, to return ROTC to campus. The Harvard ROTC program was reinstated effective March 4, 2011, following enactment of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010.
Under current law, there are three types of ROTC programs administered, each with a different element.
- The first are the programs at the six senior military colleges, also known as military schools. These institutions grant baccalaureate degrees (at a minimum) and organize all or some of their students into a corps of cadets under some sort of military discipline. Those participating in the cadet program must attend at least 2 years of ROTC education.
- The second are programs at "civilian colleges." As defined under Army regulations, these are schools that grant baccalaureate or graduate degrees and are not operated on a military basis.
- The third category is programs at military junior colleges (MJC). These are military schools that provide junior college education (typically A.S. or A.A. degree). These schools do not grant baccalaureate degrees but they meet all other requirements of military colleges (if participating in the Early Commissioning Program), and cadets are required to meet the same military standards as other schools (if enrolled in ECP), as set by Army Cadet Command. Cadets can be commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army Reserve/Army National Guard as graduating sophomores. Upon commissioning, these lieutenants are required to complete their bachelors degree at another institution (of the lieutenant's choosing) while serving in their units. Upon receiving their bachelors, ECP lieutenants can assess active duty and go onto active duty as a first lieutenant. Only the Army currently offers an Early Commissioning Program. In time of war, MJC's have played a significant role in producing officers for the Army. During the Vietnam war, the requirement to complete one's bachelor degree was not in effect. Therefore, upon commissioning, lieutenants went straight onto active duty.
One difference between civilian colleges and the senior or junior military colleges is enrollment option in ROTC. ROTC is voluntary for students attending civilian colleges and universities; however, with few exceptions (as outlined in both Army regulations and federal law), it is required of students attending the senior and junior military colleges. Another major difference between the senior military colleges and civilian colleges is that under federal law, graduates of the SMCs are guaranteed active duty assignments if requested.
U.S. Army ROTC 
The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (AROTC) program is the largest branch of ROTC, as the Army is the largest branch of the military. Army ROTC provides the majority of the Army's officer corps; the remainder comes from West Point, Officer Candidate School (OCS), or direct commissions.
AROTC offers scholarships based on the time of enrollment in the program. Newly graduated seniors in high school can enter the program with a full four-year scholarship while college students can enroll later and earn a scholarship that would cover the remainder of their college career.
The two-year scholarship is available for students with two academic years of college remaining. An applicant for a two-year or four-year scholarship must meet the following requirements.
- U.S. citizen
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Between ages 17 and 27
- College GPA of at least 2.5
- Army physical fitness standard
The applicant must agree to accept a commission and serve in the Army on Active Duty or in a Reserve Component (U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard)
The four-year scholarship is for students who receive it out of high school or before entering college.
The two-and-a-half-year scholarship is available for students already enrolled in a college or university with three academic years remaining.
An applicant for a two-and-a-half-year scholarship must meet the requirements for a two-year scholarship, and also have a minimum SAT score of 920 or ACT score of 19
The Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program was founded in 1926; in 1932, the U.S. Marine Corps joined the program. The naval NROTC program is offered at over 150 colleges nation wide.
U.S. Air Force ROTC 
The first Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (then Air ROTC) units were established between 1920 and 1923 at the University of California, Berkeley, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois, the University of Washington, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Texas A&M University. After World War II, the Air Force established ROTC units at 77 colleges and universities throughout the United States.
The Solomon Amendment denies federal funding to any university with a "policy or practice" that prevents the military from "maintaining, establishing or operating" ROTC on its campus. Such universities are allowed to require that ROTC adhere to the same policies as the university's other academic programs. According to Diane Mazur of the Palm Center, the military has withdrawn ROTC from a number of universities rather than adapt to those policies or accept extracurricular status. In her analysis, both the military and academe, as of the fall of 2010, preferred not to dispute the public perception that elite universities had banned ROTC programs. She wrote:
The military may be more comfortable when it retreats to parts of the country ... where universities don’t ask a lot of questions .... [C]olleges may also be more comfortable when they go along with the fiction of banning R.O.T.C., because then they don't have to answer to people upset about "don't ask, don't tell." Everyone buys into the myth, but at the expense of military readiness. The military needs to return to the colleges it walked away from, and everyone needs to stop pretending that R.O.T.C. programs ended because of a ban.
Others argue that universities effectively ban ROTC by erecting procedural hurdles motivated by anti-military sentiment and objections to discrimination based on sexual orientation that only serve to "discourage their own presumably egalitarian, intelligent, and enlightened students from joining."
ROTC programs were subject to the military's ban on service by open gays and lesbians known as "Don't ask don't tell." LGBT students occasionally protested ROTC as a proxy for the policy. An act to repeal the policy was signed by President Barack Obama on December 22, 2010, and implementation took effect September 20, 2011.
Non-U.S. ROTC programs 
Some other national armed forces in countries with strong historical ties to the United States have ROTC programs.
- ROTC in Canada was raised as an independent training cooperative in 1974 with links to other ROTC training programs in the US and UK.
- The Officer Training Corps for the British Army was set up in 1908. The University Air Squadron for the Royal Air Force and the University Royal Navy Unit for the Royal Navy are similar. Although all members are commissioned as Under Officers in their respective services they are employed on a territorial class B commission and there is no obligation to serve as a regular officer.
- The Republic of the Philippines established its ROTC program in 1912, during American colonial rule, with the creation of the first unit at the University of the Philippines. The National ROTC Alumni Association (NRAA) of the Philippines estimates that 75 percent of the officer corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines come from ROTC.
- ROTC in South Korea started in 1963.
- ROTC started in Taiwan in the 1960s with training courses being severely reduced over the years as an experiment before it was implemented again in 1997.
Reserve Officers' Training in Russia 
Reserve Officers' Training in Russia had been established since the 1920s. In today's Russia, despite the close-offs, which struck Russian military education in the early 1990s after the Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced his program of unilateral military force withdrawals and reductions, many military chairs and departments have been closed. However, dozens of them survived with the universities and academies. More precisely, there are 48 military chairs, and 16 military departments within the Russian Ministry of Education, plus one military department, which has been expanded to a separate Institute (led by recently jailed Leonid Khabarov.)
According to Lt. Col. F. Edward Jones, an American military analist with the U.S. Army War College, who studied Reserve Forces in the Soviet Military, not all men served on active duty with the Red Army. All students, who were enrolled in a reserve officer training program while in school, were exempt from conscript service, an undetermined number of them – particularly those in engineering fields – were later called to active duty as reserve officers for periods ranging from two to three years.
There was a particular goal in cross-training civil specialists. In the classless society of the Soviet Union every individual was guaranteed a job. In so doing, those individuals that have a job, have a dual function. Truck drivers, for example. First, they work for whatever organization that their job is associated with. They could be drivers who shuttle machine parts from their factory in Kiev to outlying areas. Second, these drivers are registered with the local civilian transport enterprise (Avtokolonna) who receive requirements from the local Military commissariat (Voenkomat) for a designated number of trucks for mobilization or a particular military exercise. As these drivers are well trained and are driving a truck that they have driven many times before (civilian trucks are identical to the military version – one could do a one-for-one exchange and not suffer any decrement of the mission) they work out very well. The commanders who are receiving these drivers with their trucks, know exactly how many vehicles they will receive, where they're coming from, their license numbers, and the driver's name. Same is applicable for the rest of civil specialities, such as medics, mechanics, radio operators, telegraph operators, drivers, or even jewelers, as well as many others.
Christina F. Shelton, the USAF Intelligence employee, noted that contrary to the conventional military educational facilities, whose manpower could be estimated quite precisely, the extent of the Soviet reserve officer corps (those who receive commissions at civilian universities,) was unknown.
See also 
- Gold Bar Recruiter
- Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC)
- Military academy
- Officers' Training Corps - British equivalent
- Officer training
- United States Service academies
- Population Representation 2010 - Active Component Commissioned Officer Gains
- "U.S. Coast Guard College Student Pre-commissioning Initiative". Gocoastguard.com. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
- "Service Commitment". GoArmy.com. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
- "Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps - Military Service Requirements". Nrotc.navy.mil. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
- "U.S. Air Force ROTC - College Scholarships and Careers". Afrotc.com. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
- Lord, Gary (1995). "Images of Its Past". Norwich University. Harmony House. ISBN 9781564690234. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
- "The Fight Against Compulsory R.O.T.C.". Free Speech Movement Archives. Free Speech Movement Archives. 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
- Mazur, Diane H. (2010-10-24). "The Myth of the R.O.T.C. Ban". The New York Times.
- "Advocates for ROTC". Advocates for ROTC. advocatesforrotc.org. 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-23.
- "AR 145-1 (Reserve Officers' Training Corps)". Army Regulation. United States Army. 1996. Retrieved 2006-11-16.
- "10 USC 2111a". United States Code. Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2006-11-16.
- Mazur, Diane H. (2010-10-24). "The Myth of the R.O.T.C. Ban". The New York Times.
- Stanford Review: Yishai Kabaker, "Stanford’s Anti-ROTC Policy is Self-Contradictory," April 27, 2007, accessed March 12, 2012
- Columbia Spectator: Robert McCaughey, "Don't wait, don't stall," February 18, 2010, accessed March 12, 2012
- Harvard Crimson:Eric S. Solowey and Lisa A. Taggart, "Students Plan ROTC Protests," April 25, 1989, accessed March 12, 2012
- GMA's Speech - National ROTC Alumni Assoc
- "ROTC courses won't be reduced at NTU". The China Post. 2009-04-21. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
- Brian Hsu. "First ROTC officers to go into service by month's end". Taipei Times. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
- Russian Government Decree of March 6, 2008, No 275-R "About military centers, departments and chairs of the federal educational facilities."
- Jones, F. Edward. (April 2, 1990). Reserve Forces in the Soviet Military (PDF) (An Individual Study Project: Unclassified). USAWC Military Studies Program Paper. Carlisle Barracks, PA: U.S. Army War College. p. 32.
- Shelton, Christina F. (September 25–27, 1980). The Soviet Military Education : System for Commissioning and Training Officers. Reston, Virginia: International Conference Center. p. 19. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
Further reading 
- Deborah D. Avant (2005) The Market for Force: The Consequences of Privatizing Security, Cambridge University Press.
- David Axe (2007) Army 101: Inside ROTC in a Time of War.
- Charles Johnson (2002) African Americans and ROTC: Military, Naval, and Aeroscience Programs at Historically Black Colleges 1916 — 1973.
- Betty J. Morden (1990) Women’s Army Corps, p 287.
- Jennifer M. Silva, "ROTC", chapter 35 of Gender and Higher Education by Barbara J. Bank.
- Harlow G Unger (2007) Encyclopedia of American Education, p 938.
- U.S. Army ROTC
- U.S. Air Force ROTC
- U.S. Naval ROTC
- Archive of ROTC news and documents at Advocates for ROTC
- The Ultimate ROTC Guidebook
- Spartan Battalion - Army ROTC at Michigan State University