ROTC is an entirely cadet-led organization. This means that all training, meetings, and plans are made by cadets. The MS-IVs (senior cadets), plan the labs and events or help an MS-III (junior) to do the same. The cadre (instructors) are there to make sure everything is done smoothly, safely, and to the Army standard. This is a learning environment! Although it may seem challenging at times, you will not be set up for failure! The tools and resources are available to help you succeed!
Each week cadets participate in a training lab that requires applying what they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations. These labs start on an individual level with subjects like Land Navigation and Individual Movement Techniques before moving on to fire team and squad level movement techniques, Special Teams, and full squad and platoon-level missions. These labs also serve to evaluate the MS-III cadets in 17 different leadership dimensions when they serve as Squad or Platoon Leader.
Cadets participate in Physical Training (PT) at least three days a week. Each semester you will enroll in MSG 106, a 1-credit class that meets at 0600 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. PT plans are developed by MS-II and III cadets and are always different. Since these PT sessions are just as much about leadership experience as they are about improving fitness levels, they are formal – you will wear the proper uniform (IPFU) and be standing in formation by 0555.
Working out for 3 days a week will only maintain your current fitness level. To improve, you can participate in HOOAH! PT Tuesday and Thursdays. This less-formal workout entails wearing your civilian workout clothes and doing CrossFit-style workouts at Alternative Athletics. Other PT options are also available.
All cadets are expected to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) each semester.
This test measures your fitness by through 2 minutes of pushups, 2 minutes of situps,
and a 2-mile run. You must score at least 60 points in each event to pass and exceeding
the standard is not only encouraged but expected of officers. You must also meet height
and weight standards for the Army, or make progress towards those goals each semester.
You can check out scores for your age and gender here.
Each semester you will enroll in a 3-credit classroom course (1 credit for freshmen) that covers Army doctrine.
For MS-I cadets, these courses serve as an introduction to Army leadership, teaching the seven Army values, proper military bearing, rank structure, customs and courtesies, as well as covering the tactical areas of orienteering, elements of a fire team and rifle squad, and an introduction to map reading.
The MS-II courses focus on team-building, different leadership styles, pre-combat inspections and checks, and introducing battle drills. Included are the Army doctrinal concepts of Offensive and Defensive Operations, patrol bases, and patrolling. The MS-II year also introduces material specifically tailored to Army leaders, including Troop Leading Procedures, the Principles of War, time management techniques, Army Writing and Briefing styles, and operational orders. The map reading and orienteering techniques from the MS-I year are expanded upon with terrain analysis, route planning, and advanced land navigation techniques.
MS-III cadets examine team dynamics, peer evaluations, and leadership behaviors in greater depth than in the MS-II course. The Warrior Ethos, cultural awareness, suicide prevention, and Army Briefing Techniques are also looked at in detail. MS-III cadets learn more about battle drills, including attacks, raids, ambushes, recons, defenses, and more at both squad and platoon levels. During this year cadets also learn to write OPORDs and PT plans, execute their plans, and review and improve on their methods for their future careers as Army leaders.
MS-IV cadets are less than a year away from commissioning as officers in the United States Army, and in their class they cover material essential to actually leading Soldiers. Counselings, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Military Decision Making Process, Ethics, Rules of Engagement, NCOERs/OERs, and other applicable tasks are taught and evaluated so these future officers are prepared when they become Second Lieutenants.
- CDT Tawnya Hamlin crosses a Linear Danger Area during a STX Lane.
- Physical Training improves fitness AND fosters teamwork.
- This picture appears courtesy of the Billings Gazette. ROTC helps students grow as leaders, Warriors, and even scholars!