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Common Misconceptions

I am not fit enough for the Military

Fitness is an important part of the Military, but its greatest purpose is to build discipline and mental toughness. We recognize that not everyone has an athletic background, and many people may not even know how to get into shape. At ROTC, we work with our students to help them grow over their time here. We work very hard to build people up, helping people to meet their goals in every aspect of their life. ROTC will encourage and push you to improve yourself and will expect you to encourage and push others.

ROTC is only about the Infantry

There are two words on the patch we wear in Army ROTC: “Leadership Excellence.” We use infantry skills as a tool to teach leadership lessons that can apply to any field. In fact, the Infantry only constitutes about 15% of the Army. The overwhelming majority of the jobs in the Army are not directly combat related. While we do expect our officers to understand and appreciate their role in supporting the Infantry and other combat jobs, we also appreciate the huge contributions made to our Nation through many career fields. The Army offers positions to new officers in:

    Aviation – Cyber Corps – Signal Corps – Engineers – Medical Services – Nurse Corps – Veterinarians – Doctors – Lawyers – Adjutant General – Transportation – Finance Management – Ordnance – Quartermaster – Chemical Corps – Military Intelligence – Air Defense Artillery – Armor – Infantry

Each of these branches has long running traditions and a great deal of pride in what they do. You can read more about these career fields on the Career Fields webpage.

ROTC causes late graduation

ROTC students are actually more likely to graduate on time than other BSU students. We place a great deal of importance on academic excellence. It is important to know that ROTC builds in responsibility, requires some time, and adds a Minor in Military Science to your degree plan. ROTC will actively help you to plan your academic career and encourage you to excel. Most ROTC Cadets finish their degree in four years.

I can’t join because of a medical condition

The military has medical requirements, but many times the requirements can be waived. The only way to find out is to ask and see. Even without a waiver, you can participate in Freshman and Sophomore level ROTC classes.

The Army is not a Creative Organization

Contrary to what many think, victory is not achieved by soldiers mindlessly following orders. Winning in an evolving battlefield requires critical thinking and initiative. The US Army uses “Mission Command,” which is jargon for empowering subordinate leaders and soldiers to find creative solutions to achieve their assigned task. This allows the Army to adapt quickly to rapidly changing conditions. We believe that it is very important to foster creativity, decisiveness, critical thinking, and confidence in leaders – which is exactly what ROTC strives to do.

ROTC always requires a commitment to the Army

While ROTC’s goal is to produce excellent leaders for the Army, we recognize that the military is not a perfect fit for everyone. You can try it out for two years before you have to make a decision.

ROTC is only for the Reserves

The US Army requires a great number of officers, and ROTC is the largest source of officer commissions. We provide officers to Active Duty Army, Army Reserves, and the National Guard. Cadets list preferences for component (active, reserves, guard), branch (Infantry, Aviation, nursing, etc.), and duty station. Officer assignments are then filled according to merit, preferences, and the needs of the Army.

I can’t join ROTC in college unless I was in JROTC in high school

Junior ROTC (high school) and Senior ROTC (college) are only loosely related, and they serve separate purposes. The purpose of JROTC is to motivate young people to be better citizens, to teach them from a young age to be service minded and community minded. The purpose to SROTC is to identify young men and women of character, whether they did JROTC or not, and to teach and mentor them to be leaders and members of a Team as Commissioned Officers in the US Army. The ROTC program assumes that each new participant has no military background and teaches them everything they need to know. For those who participated in JROTC, they may have the opportunity to skip the earliest classes that we offer, if they participated long enough to get credit.