About ROTC

  • Cadets in class
  • Cadets at lab
  • Cadets learn how to tie a swiss seat
  • Cadets in the computer lab
  • Cadets in class

Army ROTC is an elective curriculum you take along with your required college classes. It gives you the tools, training and experiences that will help you succeed in any competitive environment. Along with great leadership training, Army ROTC can pay for your college tuition. Because Army ROTC is an elective, you can participate during your freshman and sophomore years without any obligation to join the U.S. Army. You will have a normal college student experience like everyone else on campus, but when you graduate, you will be commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. At that point, you will have a range of interest areas you can specialize in called branches.

Learn more about officer careers

"Challenge the possibilities and learn to lead!" 

Who we are looking for

Students who succeed in the Army ROTC program are those who excel and want something more out of their college experience. Generally, these students are scholars who keep their grades up; athletes who are physically strong; and leaders who have a great desire to learn.

What to expect

Cadets conducting a ruck march.

Cadets conduct a ruck march during FTX

At Western Michigan University, Army ROTC classes are broken down into a classroom period once a week and Leadership Lab once a week. In the classroom portion, you will be separated by your military science level and will be instructed by one of our staff instructors who is either an Army officer or senior non-commissioned officer. You will be instructed on topics such as ethics and values, leadership styles, orders preparation, map reading, Army structure and roles and training management, just to name a few. Classes run from one hour once a week for first year cadets to three hours weekly for MS III and IV cadets. All cadets participate in Leadership Lab together. So, it doesn't matter if this is your first semester of ROTC or your last, everyone does lab at the same time. These labs are completely student led and run. This is where you get to put into practice all the concepts that you learn in class. You will hone your soldier skills in activities such as rifle marksmanship, water survival training, first aid and land navigation. Since all cadets do lab together, everyone has a two-hour lab period.

In addition to class and lab, Bronco cadets conduct physical training a minimum of three days a week and participate in one field training exercise each semester. Physical training is conducted early in the morning before any classes begin so there is no need to worry about missing other classes. Our field training exercises are held at Fort Custer located in Battle Creek, Mich., about 15 miles from campus. These are weekend events that allow us to train on activities that are unfeasible to do on campus.

Commitment

If you decide that becoming an officer and leader in the Army is for you:

  • You will serve full time in the active Army for three years (four years for scholarship winners), or
  • You may choose to serve part time in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career for six years (eight years for scholarship winners).

It is an experience that you cannot get anywhere else, and your leadership skills will be challenged every day. Contact the WMU Bronco Battalion for more specific details on your Army ROTC service commitment.

Learn more about Army ROTC

Nursing program

If you're considering an undergraduate nursing degree, enrolling in Army ROTC can enhance your leadership skills and critical thinking abilities while providing financial support to help make your professional goals a reality.

Being a nurse in the Army provides you with benefits not found in the civilian world. As an Army nurse and officer, you will have the respect of your peers and coworkers, as well as opportunities to train and serve in a variety of specialties.

Learn more about ROTC nursing

Simultaneous Membership Program

If you are an enlisted soldier in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve you may be eligible for the Simultaneous Membership Program. Simultaneous Membership Program cadets receive the same training as other cadets in their ROTC classes, but have the added advantage of receiving leadership training and development with their Reserve or Guard unit. These cadets serve as an officer apprentice when they attend their monthly training assemblies. Simultaneous Membership Program cadets receive tuition assistance and may be eligible for additional financial help with college.