Enrollment

Becoming an Army officer

ROTC cadets in the fieldArmy ROTC is one of the best leadership courses in the country and is part of your college curriculum. During classes and field training, you will learn firsthand what it takes to lead others and motivate groups as well as how to conduct missions as an officer in the Army.

Army ROTC is a program designed to allow college students to earn an officer's commission in the United States Army, Army National Guard or Army Reserve concurrently with their degree. Officers are commissioned in the grade of second lieutenant immediately upon completing ROTC and degree requirements.

What kind of jobs would I perform as an officer?

Officers are leaders. Typically, as a new lieutenant you will be responsible for leading a platoon of about 30 soldiers in one of the Army's 16 basic branches. If you are a nurse, you will care for soldiers and their families in one of the Army's many modern health care facilities. Find out more about the branches of the Army.

Which program is best for me?

Current College Students

If you are a current undergraduate or graduate student with at least two full academic years remaining before completion of your degree, you may qualify for a four-, three- or two-year Army ROTC program. Which program you enter will be determined by your academic level and any previous military experience.

Students take Army ROTC courses for many reasons. Some just want to know more about the Army and learn what it is to be a commissioned officer. Some have already decided to earn their commission as a second lieutenant by participating actively in our program. But, regardless of your particular situation, starting Army ROTC as a freshman or sophomore is as easy as signing up for any other elective course at WMU. Simply add a section of either MSL1010 (freshman level) or MSL2010 (sophomore level) for the fall semester, or MSL1020 or MSL2020 for the spring semester. Each section consists of a class and lab once weekly. These are elective credits that may apply toward your WMU degree. Once enrolled in one of these military science electives, you can take your time to become familiar with the different Army ROTC options available to you. You are under no obligation by simply taking the elective classes. If at any time you choose to become an active cadet in order to seek a commission, just let us know and we'll work on getting you qualified.

If you are a freshman or sophomore and have already completed your class schedule for the coming semester, you can add a military science class at any time until the completion of the drop and add period. If you want to join ROTC after the official drop/add period, contact the ROTC department at (269) 387-8120 to find out how.

If you are in the second semester of your sophomore year or you have less than three years remaining before you graduate, you will be completing the two-year ROTC program. The two-year program has several means by which you can earn constructive credit for the first two-years of ROTC. It compresses the first and second year requirements into one year.

enlisted army soldier

National Guard and Army Reserve

If you are a current college freshman or sophomore you can opt to enlist in the Army Reserve or Michigan Army National Guard while you complete your degree. You can concurrently earn your commission as an officer through the Army ROTC Simultaneous Membership Program. Freshman may serve in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard while participating in ROTC, but are not eligible for Simultaneous Membership Program benefits until they attain sophomore status. You can enlist in the Guard or Reserve and attend your required training during the summer after your freshman or sophomore year. Upon your return to campus you can elect to enter the Simultaneous Membership Program.

Currently enlisted members of the Guard and Reserve are also eligible for this program. In the Simultaneous Membership Program you participate as an ROTC Cadet on campus and drill with your Guard or Reserve unit as an officer apprentice. Rather than perform duties in your enlisted Military Occupational Specialty, you will work in concert and under the direct supervision of a commissioned officer, assisting her or him in their officer duties. While drilling and during annual training you will be paid as an E-5 unless you are already a higher pay grade. Once you have completed basic training and advanced individual training, you will be qualified in your selected MOS. Once you are MOS-qualified, you will be entitled to the Montgomery G.I. Bill (Selected Reserve), which pays $356 per month while you complete your degree as a full-time student. You may also be eligible for an "officer kicker" of $350 per month. As a member of the Army Reserve or Michigan National Guard you will be eligible for up to $4,000 per year Federal Tuition Assistance. You can begin to use tuition assistance one year after graduating from advanced individual training.

As an ROTC Simultaneous Membership Program cadet, you will receive a monthly subsistence allowance of $420. All benefits are tax free. Drill pay and annual training pay are considered compensation and are taxed.

So, let's do the math. Here is a typical benefits package for an MOS-qualified Reserve or Guard cadet in the Simultaneous Membership Program.

Typical benefits package for an MOS-qualified Reserve or Guard cadet

Allowance or Compensation Type

Amount

GI Bill (SR) (Chap 1606)

$380 per month

GI Bill Kicker

$350 per month

ROTC allowance

$420 per month

Drill pay (E-5, <2 years of service)

$290 per month

$4,000 Federal Tuition Assistance

$4,000 toward tuition each year, eligible after graduating Advanced Individual Training

Total annual value at WMU

$18,460, may vary based on your unique situation

For more information on the Simultaneous Membership Program program at WMU contact the Michigan Army National GuardArmy Reserve or WMU ROTC.

Active Duty

Currently enlisted soldiers who meet timelines for the Green to Gold Scholarship program can apply online. Soldiers who have completed their time in service and are applying for admission to Western Michigan University should call the WMU Department of Military Science at (800) WMU-ROTC (7682) or contact the Scholarships and Enrollment Officer.

Enrollment options

The Army Green to Gold program is designed to offer enlisted soldiers in the Army the opportunity to earn a commission as army officers. This program offers enlisted soldiers several unique ways to earn a baccalaureate or graduate degree:

  • Green to Gold Scholarship Option — For soldiers who are considering leaving active duty to attend college while receiving full tuition or room and board (capped), flat-rate book payment and a monthly stipend.
  • Green to Gold Active Duty Option — For soldiers who want to remain on active duty and attend college. You must be able to complete your degree in two academic years.
  • Green to Gold Non-Scholarship — For soldiers who are considering leaving active duty to attend college while receiving a monthly stipend.

current high school student

Any student may take the first two years of Army ROTC at Western Michigan University without military obligation. To be in ROTC, students simply sign up to take the military science class during their orientation. High school students interested in applying for Army ROTC scholarships may do so beginning in June of the summer between their junior and senior year.

No Commitment

Did you ever want to see if the military is something for you but didn't want to obligate yourself to the military? Taking a ROTC class your freshman year is the best way to do it. MSL 101 is a one (1) credit hour class that will introduce you to the organization, comradery, and rigor of training in the Army. You can take the freshman and sophomore level ROTC classes with no obligation to the military. You will take ROTC just like any other class and at the end of the semester you can choose to continue in the program by registering for the next class or you can stop doing ROTC by not registering. Please make note that if you have to occur an ROTC obligation in order to receive a scholarship.

New experiences and new friends

You will start your education already integrated into a team. A team that will support you and have your same goals in mind. In ROTC your class is more than classmates, they are you teammates. Your new experiences start with fall welcome as we introduce you to rappelling, drill and ceremony, ROTC student organizations, and Army focused team building competitions. Your first semester will be filled with learning land navigation, basic rifle marksmanship, squad level tactics, and platoon level movements. The great thing about this is right next to you will be 50 other new cadets there to support you.

Schedule a visit

You can contact the Scholarship and Enrollment Officer at (269) 387-8122 to schedule a visit. You can also look for the ROTC table at any WMU Open House, Admitted Student Event or orientation.

Army ROTC Discovery Day

We would like to provide you an opportunity to experience a day in the life of an Army cadet. During your Discovery Day visit you will be able to do the following:

  • Campus Tour
  • Lunch
  • Participate in the Freshmen ROTC class
  • Participate in Leadership Lab
  • Talk to current ROTC cadets and meet your cadet mentor
  • Talk to ROTC instructors

Discovery Days are done on Thursdays and the next one is Sep 26, 2019. It starts at 10am and you will be done at 4:15 pm. Parents are welcome to participate.

Schedule a Discovery Day visit