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Ouachita Baptist University

ROTC: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I enroll in Army ROTC, am I joining the Army?

A: No. You can enroll in ROTC classes for up to two years with no service obligation whatsoever. At OBU/HSU, you can earn six credits hours that may count toward your degree. All ROTC course credits will appear on your official transcript. For those students that require a minor, Military Science is a recognized minor at HSU and will be a natural fit into your academic plan.

Q.  What is the ROTC course comprised of?

A.   The ROTC program is divided into phases: The Basic Course studies Army history, organization, and structure.  The techniques and principles of leadership and management are stressed throughout.  The Advanced Course concentrates on tactical operations and military instruction, as well as advanced techniques of management, leadership, and command.  Also refer to the Classes link to the left.

Q.  Does Army ROTC offer scholarships?

A.   Yes.  Each year hundreds of students attending colleges nationwide receive ROTC scholarships.  ROTC awards them to students studying science, engineering, nursing, business, as well as a variety of other majors. ROTC scholarships are not based on financial need.  Instead, they’re awarded on merit.  Merit is exhibited in academic achievement and extracurricular activities, such as sports, student government, or part-time work.

Q: Won’t ROTC interfere with my academic or athletic pursuits?

A: No. Our current cadet corps has an average cumulative GPA above the general university average. Yes, there are some time demands and some voluntary extracurricular activities in ROTC. But, simply put, ROTC cadets are more mature and better time managers than many students. Your academic and athletic success is the highest priority and we stress that. You must do well academically and athletically to succeed in ROTC.

Q: What can Army ROTC do for me even if I only want to enroll for a year or two?

A: If you enroll in Army ROTC, we will help you become a better person in many ways – no doubt about that. ROTC will:

  • Give you better leadership and managerial skills applicable to any field.
  • Provide you a lot of personal attention, encouraging you to get good grades and further mature. Class sizes are small and everyone is given personal counseling.
  • We compel you to stay in shape and improve your physical fitness. Yes, there are some progressive physical fitness requirements and you cannot be overweight and complete the program.
  • We give you the opportunity to learn what the military is all about these days – the role of the Army and its soldiers (strategy, politics, technology, standards, career fields, etc.)
  • We provide additional fun and learning activities and opportunities for you to make more friends. Cadets consistently relate that one of the best aspects of the ROTC program is the camaraderie students find among each other -that is what Esprit de Corps or belonging is all about.

Q: What about haircuts, wearing uniforms, and harassment?

A: Well, you have to be well groomed; hair off your ears and not down your shoulders (shaved head not required). You will learn how to wear a uniform properly, but we require the uniform be worn only one day per week during class times and training. Finally, harassment of any type went out years ago; it is not acceptable. We emphasize proper decorum, respect, military courtesies, ethics, and standards of conduct; all of which apply equally well to non-military, professional careers.

Q: If I do eventually contract and become a Second Lieutenant, I will have to serve on Active Duty, right?

A: No. During the summer between your junior and senior years, senior cadets will decide on whether they desire to serve on active or reserve duty. Cadets who receive Reserve Duty will serve in local Reserve or National Guard units one weekend a month, or serve in the Ready Reserves with no “drilling” requirement if a suitable unit is not available where you reside. The Reserves are one of the best adjunct career and retirement systems in the U.S. today.

Q: I see ROTC as a potential interference to my career field. How can you get around that one?

A: Well, there are surely some career tracks where ROTC may not help you, but the exceptional record of graduating cadets getting good jobs in their fields is well above average. In the Reserves, there is also a lot of job networking and contacts, and most employees view Reservists or officers leaving active duty in very positive terms. Further, students that emphasize their ROTC enrollment are generally viewed as desirable to most employers because of their competitive leadership and managerial abilities, maturity, and time management skills.

Q: Do I have to attend basic training?

A: No.  Some cadets choose to join reserve or National Guard units, and attend basic training but it is by no means a requirement.

Q: If I join ROTC, will it limit what majors I can take?

A: No.  As long as you are enrolled in a four year program as a full time student, you can major in whatever you want.

Q: What kind of training will I receive in ROTC?

A: ROTC training ranges from classroom instruction, to firing live ammunition on the range.  Cadets at OBU/HSU are exposed to many new experiences.  Hands on leadership labs, rappelling, land navigation, orienteering, survival skills, first aid, physical fitness, problem solving obstacle courses, and mock combat are just some of the types of training OBU/HSU ROTC cadets receive.


Cadet Command Head Quarters additional information