Primarily, the Army Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (SROTC) program is a college scholarship program (although it is certainly possible to participate in the program without receiving a scholarship), leading to a commission in the United States Army. The overall mission of the Army SROTC Program is to produce commissioned officers in the quality, quantity, and academic disciplines necessary to meet Active Army and Reserve Component requirements.
The SROTC Program is conducted at three types of schools:
a. Civilian colleges. These are schools that grant baccalaureate or graduate degrees and are not operated on a military basis.
b. Military colleges. These are institutions that meet the following criteria: (1) Grant baccalaureate degrees. (2) Require a course in military training during the undergraduate course for all undergraduate students who are physically fit (with a few exceptions)
c. Military junior colleges (MJC). These are military schools that provide high school and junior college education. These schools do not grant baccalaureate degrees but meet all other requirements of military colleges. They administer both the Junior and Senior ROTC programs.
There are three types of SROTC programs:
a. A Host Battalion has a formal agreement between the Secretary of the Army (SA) and the academic institution. Host battalions are assigned a Professor of Military Science (PMS), staffed to instruct and recruit cadets; and provide for their own administrative and logistical support. The PMS and staff are specially selected Army commissioned officers.
b. An Extension Center has a formal agreement between the Commander of Army ROTC, and the university or college. Extension centers are assigned an assistant PMS or officer in charge and are staffed to instruct and recruit cadets. These centers receive their administrative and logistical support from their host ROTC Battalion.
c. A cross-enrolled school have an agreement (formal or informal) with a host or extension center that allows for the transfer of academic credit. Cadre (instructors and staff) are not assigned to cross-enrolled schools.
All SROTC activities and functions at an institution are grouped under and organized into the Department of Military Science. In institutional matters, the designated administrative official has the same control over the Department of Military Science as with other departments in the school. At the discretion of the school authorities, the Department of Military Science may be grouped with the Department of Aerospace Studies and/or Department of Naval Science, if present, into a single large academic division.
The Army SROTC program is a cooperative effort, contractually agreed to between the Army and host institution, to provide junior officer leadership training in the interest of national security. The Army cooperates with host schools to produce well-educated young men and women with leadership potential for civilian enterprise and national defense. The Army is willing to receive valid criticism, regardless of source, to maintain a working program. The right of orderly campus dissent is recognized. However, the Army has limited tolerance for anti-ROTC activities that degrade and distort the Army. When a host institution does not support the ROTC Program, the Army will consider disestablishing the ROTC program at that institution.
Army SROTC is currently offered more than 800 colleges and universities.
Types of SROTC Participants
It's not necessary, in all cases, to commit to joining the Army to participate in ROTC. There are several types of ROTC Students:
Scholarship Students.The Army ROTC Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to those students who have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership potential. The U.S. Army Scholarship Program's purpose is to provide for the education and training of highly qualified and motivated young men and women who have a strong commitment to military service as commissioned officers. The number of cadets in the scholarship program at any one time is limited by law (10 USC 2107).
There are two, three, and four year scholarships available. Scholarships are awarded at different monetary levels. At some schools an ROTC scholarship is worth up to $80,000, which goes towards tuition and educational fees. Also, scholarship winners receive an allowance of up to $1,500 a year. 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.