BJU will offer Air Force and Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs for the first time this fall. An ROTC program has been in the works for quite some time. Through the hard work of several members of our faculty and leadership it has finally come to fruition. BJU will partner with Clemson’s Flyin’ Tigers Air Force ROTC and Furman’s Paladin Battalion Army ROTC.
Financial Benefits to Participating in ROTC
Here in the Admission office, the ROTC announcement has generated quite a buzz. The questions I often get are about the financial benefit to ROTC. According to the University’s ROTC advisor, here are a few:
- Scholarships for eligible and qualified students
- A stipend for books for cadets under contract
- A monthly stipend for other expenses for cadets under contract
Specific amounts vary between to the two programs, but both offer a four-year high school scholarship program. Contact an Air Force or Army ROTC representative at the beginning of your junior year to get more details. You can also read more information about the scholarship information on the Army and Air Force websites.
Applying for ROTC doesn’t commit you to anything. But to accept the scholarships you must sign a contract to serve in the military after college. The number of years you will need to serve varies depending on the branch and career you choose.
Non-financial Benefits to Participating in ROTC
Another major advantage of the ROTC program is that you can start taking ROTC classes your freshman year of college without signing a contract. Your freshman and sophomore year can be used to test the waters to see if you really want to commit to the military.
If you already know you want to commit, though, ROTC is a great route to take. One advantage to ROTC is you can earn a degree while working toward becoming an officer in the military.
If you don’t necessarily want to commit to a military career, you can still benefit from taking the first two years of ROTC classes. You’ll learn valuable technical and leadership skills, and you’ll also have opportunities for leadership experience you won’t get in the traditional classroom.
Another benefit is that you’ll stay fit. Physical fitness plays a key role in ROTC programs since the military emphasize being physically prepared for anything. And sometimes being a high school athlete doesn’t mean you’re as fit as you need to be for a military career. The ROTC program will help you get there.
In addition, cadets often develop close friendships with other cadets. An added benefit for BJU students is friendship with students at other universities and opportunities to be a testimony to them.
Learning military strategy, politics and technology are also a benefit to taking ROTC classes.
Time Requirements of Participating in ROTC
You want to participate in ROTC, but you also want to have time for fun college activities, right? BJU’s program is designed in such a way that you can still take part in extra-curricular activities you enjoy.
Freshmen and sophomore ROTC students spend about 5–10 hours a week between ROTC classes and physical training. Upperclassmen spend more time in ROTC requirements. Specific time commitments vary between the Air Force and Army programs.
You can even participate in something as time-consuming as intercollegiate athletics during the ROTC program.
Students get a lot of personal academic attention from ROTC instructors. And ROTC cadets on average have a higher GPA then many of their fellow students (a minimum GPA of 2.5 is required to retain scholarship funds).
As a staff member here at BJU, I’m excited to see how God will use this new opportunity in the lives of our students.
For more information about ROTC at Bob Jones University contact:
Captain Michael Moore