Jun 15, 2024  
2019-2020 Academic Catalogue 
2019-2020 Academic Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Reserve Officers Training Corps

At VMI the Department of Defense maintains Army, Naval, and Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) units. Every cadet must take ROTC as an all-college program requirement for completion of their degree.

All cadets who desire to commission and otherwise meet Navy/Marine or Air Force ROTC eligibility criteria can enroll in those ROTC programs at VMI. Cadets who desire to commission in the Army, do not wish to commission, or who do not meet the criteria for the other services, will be enrolled in the Army ROTC Program. Cadets are encouraged to consult with the VMI ROTC detachments if they have questions, and are eligible to declare those ROTC designations upon approval from the appropriate unit.

All cadets who are citizens of the United States and who qualify physically, mentally, and morally are encouraged to contract with an ROTC unit. The length of the active duty and reserve status period varies with the personnel needs of the Department of Defense. VMI can make no guarantee of enrollment or of continuance in the ROTC as these matters are controlled by the Federal government.


The mission of Army ROTC is to commission the future officer leadership of the U.S. Army and to motivate young people to be better citizens. Any cadet interested in developing leadership skills in a challenging environment will benefit from what Army ROTC has to offer. Those cadets who are committed to serving their county and who desire a career as a commissioned Army officer will find themselves well prepared by the top Army ROTC program in the nation. This four-year program is divided into a basic and an advanced course. The Basic Course, during a cadet’s first two years, consists of instruction in the basics of teamwork, leadership, and exciting hands-on skills. The Advanced Course, for cadets in their last two years, focuses on practical group leadership and advanced military skills. Army ROTC is centered on leadership development, with individual feedback and counseling provided to each cadet. Cadets will learn in both classroom and field environments, and Army ROTC offers a Field Training Exercise each semester, designed to enhance cadets’ confidence, teamwork, and leadership abilities. In addition, Army ROTC sponsors a number of extracurricular cadet clubs and activities, including the Cadet Battery, Ranger Company, and the Ranger Challenge competition. Cadets pursuing an Army commission are strongly encouraged to participate in these activities.

Qualified cadets are encouraged to contract with Army ROTC as a scholarship or non-scholarship cadet. Contracted cadets receive a monthly stipend of $300 during the freshman year, $350 as a sophomore, $450 as a junior, and $500 during the senior year. Contracting is the first step toward earning a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

In addition to eight semesters of Army ROTC, cadets pursuing a commission must complete a professional military educational requirement of one semester of U.S. military history. They must also succeed during the four-week Advanced Camp, which takes place during the summer between the junior and senior years. On a competitive basis, cadets may also attend other training during summer breaks. This training includes Army courses such as Airborne School, Air Assault School, The Mountain Warfare School, and Internships both at home and abroad. To be considered for this training, cadets must be intent on commissioning.

Army ROTC is a demanding program that requires commitment from each cadet. However, the rewards more than equal the effort. All cadets will benefit from a greater understanding of their country and its Army, and from practical, demonstrated leadership ability. Those cadets who choose to serve, upon successful completion of the program and graduation from VMI, will commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard.

Navy and Marine Corps

The Naval ROTC is a four-year course of instruction to provide cadets the opportunity to earn regular commissions in either the Navy or the Marine Corps. Cadets who enroll in the Naval ROTC will receive instruction leading to possible careers in the naval service in the air, on the land or at sea. Specifically, Navy-option cadets will receive instruction in naval history & traditions, naval ship systems/operations and management. Concurrently, Marine-option cadets will study Marine Corps history & traditions, the evolution of warfare, amphibious warfare, and will be introduced to the all elements of the Marine Air Ground Task Force. All cadets will receive instruction in management, leadership and ethics throughout their four years in the program.

The NROTC unit at VMI stresses the core values of honor, courage and commitment both in the classroom and through practical application designed to develop strong leadership skills. Activities outside the classroom include Navy and Marine Corps ceremonies and traditions, field training exercises and physical training. Two professional societies: Trident Society for Navy-option cadets and Semper Fi Society for Marine-option cadets, provide a forum for activities related specifically to each service. Field training exercises are dynamic events ranging from small unit tactics training at regional military bases to familiarization visits to operational ships and squadrons in the fleet.

A cadet may become an NROTC midshipman either by selection for a national NROTC scholarship before matriculation at VMI or by nomination and selection after matriculation for either the scholarship or for the NROTC College Program.  2-year and 3-year scholarship selectees incur a service commitment once they begin their junior or sophomore year, respectively. NROTC College Program cadets participate in NROTC classes and unit activities just like scholarship cadets. Advanced Standing College Program cadets do not receive scholarships but may receive monthly stipends of $350 during the junior year and $400 during the senior year. Graduation from VMI and completion of the Naval Science program can lead to a commission and service as a Navy or Marine Corps officer.

Air Force

The Air Force ROTC Program provides college-level education in order to qualify eligible cadets for commissioned service in the United States Air Force. The four-year program is offered in two distinct two-year courses: the General Military Course (GMC) and the Professional Officer Course (POC).

The GMC concentrates on basic Air Force organization and air power history. Eligible GMC cadets may compete for a commission and are evaluated based on academics, physical fitness, and motivation. The POC is designed to build leadership and professional qualities by concentrating on the principles of leadership, management, and national security policies. AFROTC also sponsors a variety of extracurricular activities designed to increase leadership and management training and orient cadets to the Air Force. Such activities include base visits, potential orientation flights, field training exercises and flight simulator visits.

Cadets may apply for career fields of their choice: such as pilot, combat systems officer, space operations, nuclear missile operations, research and development, and combat support. Entry into specific career fields depends on individual qualifications and the needs of the Air Force.

A continuing need for officers with all backgrounds results in attractive scholarship opportunities. Students who accept an AFROTC scholarship incur the same basic service obligation as their non-scholarship counterparts. Scholarships range from two to four years in length and may cover full or partial tuition, $600 towards books, and fees. AFROTC scholarships do not cover room and board or the VMI quartermaster charge.

Successful completion of the AFROTC program results in a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. The service obligation for non-flying officers is four years of active duty. For pilots and combat systems officers, the service obligation is ten and six years, respectively, from completion of training. For more information visit: http://www.afrotc.com.

ROTC Scholarships

Four-year ROTC Scholarships are awarded to selected high school graduates on a national competitive basis. They are normally awarded by the services before matriculation at VMI; however, ROTC scholarships in college may become available for cadets based upon demonstrated performance, academic proficiency and motivation toward a service career. Details are available at each of the ROTC departments at VMI.

Application deadlines for these scholarship programs normally fall near the end of the first semester of the senior year in high school. Details may be obtained from the following sources:

Army: Commander
  U.S. Army Cadet Command
  Scholarship Processing Branch
  Fort Knox, KY  40121-5123
  (502) 624-7371
Navy/Marine Corps: Naval Service Training Command
  Officer Development
  NAS Pensacola
  Pensacola, FL  32508-5220
  Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6106

There are numerous active duty and reserve forces duty on-campus scholarship opportunities for cadets enrolled in the Army ROTC program. Those interested cadets must meet minimum qualifying standards such as maintaining a 2.5 cumulative GPA, are United States citizens, and must be medically and physically qualified. These on-campus scholarships provide financial coverage for all cost minus room and board and the quartermaster fee, $1200 per semester for books, and a monthly stipend of up to $300-$500 per month during the academic year.

Naval ROTC also offers on-campus scholarship opportunities, specifically three and two year scholarship opportunities for qualified and recommended applicants. The general enrollment criteria are: Be a citizen of the United States, maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, be medically qualified, be not less than 17 years old and not yet 23 by 01 September of the year of enrollment and must not have reached 27th birthday upon graduation and commissioning, and be morally qualified and possess officer like qualifications. Scholarship benefits cover all academic tuition and certain fees, required books and academic equipment, Navy/Marine Corps Uniforms, $250-$400 per month in subsistence pay for a maximum of 10 months each year. This pay increases by $50 each year, so that as seniors, Midshipmen make $400 per month. The Navy also offers a two year, subsidized College Program for Cadets who want to serve their country in leadership roles as officers in the Navy or Marine Corps. Applicants for the College Program are selected from students already attending VMI. Prior to beginning their junior year, College Program Midshipmen with at least a 2.5 GPA will be considered for advanced standing. Midshipmen enrolled in this program receive the same Naval Science education as their counterparts in the scholarship program. After graduation, Midshipmen on scholarship or with Advanced Standing are commissioned as Ensigns in the regular Navy or Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps.

Air Force ROTC has competitive 2 - 3 1/2 year scholarships that cover full or partial tuition and fees for freshmen and sophomore cadets enrolled in the program with a GPA of 2.5 or above and who meet other qualifying factors. AFROTC scholarships do not cover room and board or the VMI quartermaster charge.

Physical Requirements

Specific physical requirements vary among ROTC programs. Cadets must be physically qualified for formal enrollment in the ROTC program of their choice, including specialized programs such as aviation. The physical examination for all ROTC programs includes testing for drug, chemical, and alcohol abuse and dependency. Cadets are normally admitted to the Army or the Naval ROTC College Program (Basic) (first two years) upon successful completion of the VMI entrance physical and are given a physical examination before formal enrollment in the Advanced ROTC Program (last two years). Eligible Air Force ROTC cadets who are competing for a commission are normally examined during their first year at VMI.


Qualified ROTC cadets will receive the following benefits:

  • Uniform allowance up to approximately $3,000 over four years.
  • Army ROTC contracted cadets receive a tax free monthly stipend of $300 as a freshman, $350 as a sophomore, $450 as a junior, and $500 as a senior.
  • Naval ROTC scholarship and college program advanced standing cadets receive a monthly stipend. Freshmen receive $250, sophomores $300, juniors $350, and seniors $400. College program basic cadets receive a uniform allowance only.
  • Air Force ROTC contracted cadets will receive a monthly stipend of $300 for freshman, $350 for sophomores, $450 for juniors, and $500 for seniors.
  • Summer training pay, which varies with type and length of training, plus a travel allowance, room, board, and uniforms if required.

Summer Training

Army. Cadets intent on commissioning may compete for training opportunities at a number of Army schools during the summer months. These schools include Airborne, Air Assault, Northern Warfare, and Mountain Warfare. During the summer after the junior year, all contracted cadets will attend the Cadt Leaders Course (CLC), known as “Warrior Forge” at Fort Knox, KY. A cadet’s performance at this intensive five-week training event plays a significant role in the cadet’s competition for an Army commission, determining the type of commission, selection of Army professional branch, and follow-on duty assignments. After CLC, selected cadets may attend Cadet Troop Leader Training (CTLT). CTLT cadets are sent to regular Army units in the United States and overseas to perform as platoon leaders for two or three weeks, depending on location.

Navy/Marine Corps. Scholarship Program Midshipmen of both services are trained for approximately four to six weeks during each summer between academic years.

  •    1st Summer:

(ALL) Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID). Midshipmen will spend a week with each Naval community (aviation, submarines, and surface) and one week with the Marine Corps. The intent is to introduce the midshipmen to the career opportunities available in each community/service.

  •    2nd Summer:

(Navy) Enlisted Cruise aboard operational ships across the fleet in order for the midshipmen to develop an appreciation of the role/life of the enlisted sailor.  

(Marine) Mountain Warfare Training Center (MWTC) in Bridgeport, CA, learning small unit leadership skills in an arduous Mountain environment. Those Marine Option Midshipmen who are not selected for MWTC shall attend an amphibious surface cruise.

  •    3rd Summer:

(Navy) Junior Officer Cruise in the midshipmen’s chosen/desired warfare community.      

(Marine) Officer Candidate School, Quantico, VA.

Note: 3rd Summer training is a Title 10, U.S.C. requirement in order to commission as an Ensign or 2nd Lieutenant. Advanced Standing College Program midshipmen are only required to fulfill the 3rd summer training requirement.

Air Force. Cadets selected for enrollment into the POC must attend Air Force ROTC field traning normally during the summer between their sophomore and junior years. This training, conducted at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, is designed to develop military leadership and discipline as well as provide an orientation to Air Force operations. At the same time, each cadet is evaluated for potential as an Air Force officer. Field training normally includes marksmanship, expeditionary operations, and physical fitness training. A variety of professional development training programs are available to qualified GMC cadets during the summer between their freshman and sophomore years and to interested POC cadets between their junior and senior years. Cadets may participate in career field orientation at locations around the world in jobs such as pilot, aircraft maintenance, security forces, or missile launch officer.


Successful completion of the ROTC program leads to a commission in one of the armed forces provided the cadet is fully eligible and qualified under regulations of the Department of Defense. The Army also offers Reserve Force and National Guard commissions.

Credits for Previous Military Service or ROTC

Cadets who have served in the armed forces but do not hold reserve commissions may be given credit for all or part of the Basic Course at the discretion of the Professor of Military Science (PMS) or the Professor of Aerospace Studies (PAS).

Credit for ROTC work at another institution offering senior ROTC courses is allowed upon receipt of an official transcript of the ROTC record from the former institution. Appropriate credit for Junior ROTC work may be granted by the PMS/PNS/PAS.

Questions about specific requirements and procedure should be referred to the PMS/PNS/PAS.

Federal Selective Service Registration Law

Enrollment at VMI does not preclude the requirement to register with the Selective Service.

Advising & Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Curriculum

Fall and Spring Semester Requirements (Updated Spring 2011)


* LS courses are required for cadets who are not seeking a commission.

Academic and G.P.A. Requirements for contract/scholarship/commission seeking cadets
G.P.A. is cumulative unless otherwise stated

R.O.T.C. instructors are willing to provide assistance and/or clarification.
AIR FORCE ext. 7354
ARMY ext. 7351
MARINES/NAVY ext. 7275