Education & Training
The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is a college program offered at more than 1,700 colleges and universities across the United States that prepares young adults to become officers in the U.S. Military.
In exchange for a paid college education and a guaranteed post-college career, participants, or cadets, commit to serve in the Military after graduation. Each Service branch has its own take on ROTC.
1st Lt. Davion West walks you through his ROTC experience from Texas State University to South Korea and his life today as a leader in the U.S. Army.Length 2:49 View Transcript
1st Lt. Davion West: Hi, my name is 1st Lt. Davion West, and I am currently stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana and I am the Executive Officer for one of the units here. And this is where I am currently at.
This is where it all started at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. The ROTC building – which we called it the Adamson whenever I went to school here. ROTC stands for Reserve Officers' Training Corps. This is where I met my best friends here in college – Raj, Johnny, Amanda – and we’re still friends. While we were here we learned the basics on how to be a Soldier/Cadet, learned the rank structure,and what it was going to really mean to be a leader once we put on those golden bars and we commissioned in the United States Army.
Here in the ROTC program, we do physical training. PT Monday through Wednesday, Tuesday through Thursday. Really depends on your school. But you start for 06:30 and go all the way to 08:00, and then you go straight to class.
So here at Texas State University and the ROTC program, you can still be a civilian while training to be a leader in the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant. When you’re here, the only Military science classes that you’re gonna be a part of is gonna be on Tuesdays and Thursdays where you learn about the Military, the rank structure, how to be a leader, and the challenges you’ll face. And also, you still do have physical training Mondays through Wednesdays at your campus depending on what university you go to. This also teaches you these life skills that you need. It teaches you about the world, the people, so whenever you do get these leaders and these Soldiers in your formation, you know how to talk to them without being a robot. It gives you those life skills as a civilian and shows you how to be a great leader.
After graduating from Texas State University and upon completing ROTC here in 2019, I entered Active Duty in the United States Military, and I PCS'd to South Korea. Getting the chance to live in another country because of the military was one of the most amazing things that’s happened in my life so far. So, I lived in South Korea for 16 months. I got to, you know, be around the locals, say hello to the locals. [Speaks in Korean.] But I was a platoon leader there and, you know, I got to experience my Korean Soldiers. KATUSA which stands for “Korean Augmentation to the United States Army.” As you can see right behind me, I have my platoon flag – The Honey Badgers. “Be Savage, Stay Hungry,” that was our platoon motto. The “be savage” part – make sure that you don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. “Stay hungry” – make sure you’re learning everything about your craft. You’re a driver, learn everything you can about driving, about your vehicle, your piece of equipment, everything. Getting the chance to go overseas definitely one of the biggest things that I’ve gotten the chance to do in my life so far.
See Where the Army ROTC Can Take You
Army ROTC is one of the most demanding and successful leadership programs in the country. The training a student receives in Army ROTC provides leadership development, military skills and career training. Courses take place both in the classroom and in the field, and are mixed with normal academic studies. Additional summer programs, such as Jump School, may also be attended. Upon completion, an Army ROTC graduate is commissioned as an officer in the Army.
Air Force ROTC
The Air Force ROTC mission is to produce leaders for the Air Force and build better citizens for America. The program is offered at more than 1,100 college and university campuses throughout the United States.
Air Force ROTC offers a four-year program and a three-year program, both based on Air Force requirements and led by active-duty Air Force officers. Courses are a mix of normal college classes and the Air Force ROTC curriculum, which covers everything from leadership studies to combat technique. Upon completion, a student enters the Air Force as an officer.