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When considering a role in the military, you may wonder if you need to enlist right after high school. With ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) programs, you have the opportunity to go to college and train for the military at the same time! Read on to learn more about different types of ROTC programs and reasons you may want to join.


Types of ROTC Programs



If you’re interested in the Army ROTC program, you can expect to learn about leadership, combat survival, and military tactics. Depending on your scholarship, you may be obligated to serve for 3-8 years after graduation. There are various branches of specialization including infantry, military intelligence, and more!


Air Force

Pursuing the Air Force ROTC program can prepare for all kinds of careers. This includes piloting, cyberspace operations, or aircraft maintenance. Your course load will likely encompass subjects such as aerospace studies and international security. After earning your college degree, you can expect to serve active duty for 4-10 years.


Navy and Marine 

For Navy ROTC, you may specialize in Navy nursing, U.S. Marine Corps, submarine, and so on. You will likely take college courses that cover navigation, naval ship systems and weapons, and seamanship. The amount of time you serve is contingent upon your scholarship, which can range anywhere from 3-12 years. 


Why Join?


Financial aid

Though scholarships aren’t guaranteed for everyone, ROTC programs typically have broad financial support for their participants. Some of the most generous scholarships may include full tuition, book allowances, monthly stipends, and other fee coverage. 


Professional opportunities

Each ROTC program prepares students to become leaders in their field of specialization. With your agreement to enlist, you will have opportunities for officer careers and management roles. With the knowledge of this next step, you can avoid the sense of uncertainty that usually comes with college graduation.


Meaningful work

Many people join the military to follow in the footsteps of a loved one who also served. Others do it with a sense of patriotism and desire to serve their country. No matter your reasoning, joining an ROTC program could lead to a life of fulfilling work and meaningful friendships that will last forever.  


Now that you know a little more about ROTC programs, you can decide if it’s a choice you’d like to explore further. Learn more about scholarships associated with these programs by visiting the recruiting websites for the U.S. Army, Air Force, or Navy.