Reserve Officer Training Corps
Definition/Scope: The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a college-based, officer commissioning program, predominantly in the United States. It is designed as a college elective that focuses on leadership development, problem solving, strategic planning, and professional ethics. The U.S. Armed Forces and a number of other national militaries, particularly those countries with strong historical ties to the United States, have ROTC programs. ROTC produces officers in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces except the U.S. Coast Guard. ROTC graduates constitute 56 percent of U.S. Army, 11 percent of U.S. Marine Corps, 20 percent of U.S. Navy, and 41 percent of U.S. Air Force officers, for a combined 39 percent of all active duty officers in the Department of Defense. Army ROTC units are organized as brigades, battalions, and companies. Air Force ROTC units are detachments with the students organized into wings, groups, squadrons, and flights, like the active Air Force. Naval ROTC units are organized into Naval battalions. If the Marine students are integrated with the Navy students, there are companies; but having the Navy students in departments and divisions like a ship, and the Marines in a separate company is only done when an ROTC unit has sufficient members to warrant an extra division. Until the 1960s, many major universities required compulsory ROTC for all of their male students. However, because of the protests that culminated in the opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, compulsory ROTC was dropped in favor of voluntary programs. In some places ROTC was expelled from campus altogether, although it was always possible to participate in off-campus ROTC.
Broader Terms:Basic Officer Leader Course
Narrower Terms:Advanced Individual Training