The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), as it exists today, began with President Wilson signing the National Defense Act of 1916. Although military training had been taking place in civilian colleges and universities as early as 1819, the signing of the National Defense Act brought this training under single, federally-controlled entity: The Reserve Officers' Training Corps.
Today, Army ROTC has a total of 273 programs located at colleges and universities throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia , Puerto Rico with an enrollment of more than 35,000. It produces approximately 60 percent of the second lieutenants who join the active Army, the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. More than 40 percent of current active duty Army General Officers were commissioned through the ROTC.
Of even greater importance is that ROTC trained and educated officers bring a hybrid vigor to our officer corps by drawing on the strength and variety of our social fabric. This reduces the natural tendency of armies to drift into inbred professional separatism. Cadet Command accomplishes this by combining the character building aspects of a diverse, self-disciplined civilian education with tough, centralized leader development training. This process forges a broad-gauged officer who manifests the strength and diversity of the society from which he or she is drawn as well as the quality of strong officer leadership.
Army ROTC is the largest officer-producing organization with the American military, having commissioned more than half a million second lieutenants since its inception.
Army ROTC consists of college courses which will prepare you for service as an Army officer in one of the 16 basic Army branches. As you progress through the Army ROTC curriculum, you will receive a broader understanding of the Army, the responsibilities of an officer and you will have opportunities to compete for a variety of additional training courses and internships within the continental United States and outside of the United States. You can enroll in the first two year military science courses without any obligation to the Army. This will give you an opportunity to decide if this is for you. You can also commit to the Army sooner depending on your scholarship status, service membership or qualifications.
Army ROTC is designed as a four year curriculum but can be completed in a minimum of 2 years with a summer training.