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ARMY R eserve O fficer T raining C orps (ROTC). The Best Leadership Training in America. JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY DUKE BATTALION. Why Army ROTC?. Serve Your Country. World Class Leadership Course. Class Room and Hands-on Training Pay and Benefits. Adventure and travel.

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ARMYReserveOfficerTrainingCorps (ROTC)

The Best Leadership Training in America



Why Army ROTC?

  • Serve Your Country.
  • World Class Leadership Course.
  • Class Room and Hands-on Training
  • Pay and Benefits.
  • Adventure and travel.
  • Education and Training.
  • Career Producing Program & Marketability.
  • College Now – Army Later
  • JMU’s ROTC program is one of the best in the country!
  • The battalion has earned numerous ROTC awards, including:
    • The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America for Excellence.
    • The Eisenhower Award for Excellence (Large school program).

Intended outcome: confident, competent, leaders of character


ROTC Program Myths

  • “If I join ROTC “they” could send me to some foreign country; I will never finish college!” While attending college, earning your degree, and with an ROTC contract you cannot be deployed. Priority goes to completing college and commissioning as a Second Lieutenant.
  • “As soon as I sign-up and start my first class as a freshman I have an Army obligation.” Even if you’ve been awarded a 4-year scholarship, your actual obligation to the Army does not take effect until you start classes your sophomore year.
  • “I’m out of shape, the ROTC program won’t let me join.” Although we expect you to be at a certain minimum level of physical fitness, we will make you better.
  • “ROTC will take away from my ability to perform well in other college subjects.” We understand how important your college studies are; and we understand that in order to commission as a Second Lieutenant, you have to earn that degree. We still expect some commitment to ROTC; however, this commitment is not that substantial.
  • “ROTC will take up all of my free time.” Your commitment to ROTC ranges from 9 to 15 hours per week depending on where you are in your ROTC progression from freshman to senior year.

Want to be Part of a Prestigious Occupation?

U.S. Military officers have been regarded as one of the most prestigious occupations, year after year.

  • Firefighter 62%
  • Scientist 57%
  • Doctor 56%
  • Nurse 54%
  • Military Officer51%
  • Teacher51%
  • Police Officer44%
  • Priest/Minister/Clergy41%
  • Engineer 39%
  • Farmer 36%
  • Architect 29%
  • Member of Congress 28%
  • Lawyer26%
  • Business Executive 23%
  • Athlete21%
  • Journalist 17%
  • Union Leader 17%
  • Entertainer 17%
  • Banker 16%
  • Actor15%
  • Stockbroker13%
  • Accountant 11%
  • Real Estate Broker/Agent5%
  • Source: 2009 Harris Poll.

JMU ROTC Activities

  • Scabbard and Blade

Scabbard and Blade is the nationally recognized military honor society affiliated with James Madison University. Through this club, cadets go through a semester-long candidacy class where they meet once a week to learn more about the Army, military skills, and what they can expect as young officers. Additionally, they participate in many exciting on and off campus activities such as caving, survival training, scuba diving, paintball, and firearms familiarization. At the end of each semester, cadets take an exam to test their newfound knowledge and are then inducted into the honor society.

  • Color Guard

The Color Guard is one of the most high profile groups on campus. This group gives cadets the chance to demonstrate their abilities to perform more advanced facing and marching movements, as well as display our nation's colors in an honorable and dignified manner. Color Guard members demonstrate their new found talents at home football games, home men's basketball games, and several memorials and ceremonies on campus as well as throughout Harrisonburg and the surrounding communities.

  • Cannon Crew

After JMU scores a touchdown, listen for the loud report from this Revolutionary War cannon replica. The cannon is voluntarily manned by a group of cadets during football games and other special events. The Cannon Crew learns the commands and functions of the equipment that is used during a regular firing of the cannon.

  • Ranger Group

The JMU Ranger Group works to enhance the technical, tactical, and physical skills of its members and accelerate the development of their leadership skills, enabling them to be the leaders of campus and non-campus based ROTC events and go on to serve as above average military officers. Each Fall, the JMU Ranger Group participates in ROTC's Brigade Ranger Challenge. Each Spring, the Ranger Group conducts extra training for those interested in joining the group.


Summer Training Opportunities

Airborne School: Located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, trains personnel to become paratroopers. It develops the student's confidence through repetitious training so that the student can overcome the natural fear of jumping from an airplane.

Air Assault School: Located at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, develops technically proficient and confident soldiers capable of safely conducting immediate and sustained air assault operations.

Sapper School: Located at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, trains personnel in demolitions, mountaineering operations, aerial operations, airborne operations, foreign weapons, land navigation, waterborne operations and contingency threat.

Northern Warfare School: Located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, trains selected personnel in military mountaineering, cold weather survival, rock and ice climbing, rappelling, and waterway operations in northern climates.

Mountain Warfare School: Located at Jericho, Vermont, trains personnel in the specialized skills required to operate in mountainous terrain, under all climatic conditions, day and night.  The course teaches soldiers how to use adverse terrain and weather conditions to their advantage as a combat multiplier.

Cadet Field Training: The training is conducted at Camp Buckner, N.Y. and at Fort Knox, Ky. Only about 100 ROTC cadets nationwide, representing 274 senior ROTC host colleges, are afforded this opportunity. Cadet Field Training (CFT) introduces cadets to the challenges of leading soldiers in a tactical environment.

Cadet Troop Leader Training (CTLT): A four week leadership experience conducted at units in the Continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, and Europe. Students are placed in charge of a regular Army platoon of approximately 35 soldiers. The student's objective is to perform the leadership and management tasks necessary to train the platoon's soldiers and maintain its equipment.

Robin Sage: This internship is a part of the culminating exercise for Special Forces candidates.  To qualify for this internship, the cadet must have an interest in Infantry and/or Special Forces. Robin Sage can only accommodate 13 MS III Cadets to fill leadership positions within the Guerrilla Teams. MS II cadets will play the role of Guerrillas and act as insurgent members of a growing resistance force. This internship is not for the “faint in heart” or one who is opposed to living in field conditions. Cadets interested must be physically fit, possess high level of emotional and physical stamina. Both Male and Female cadets may participate. 

Cadet Internship Programs: Cadets work with the Department of the Army (DA), the Secretariat, Office of the Chief of Army Reserves (OCAR), National Guard Bureau (NGB), and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) for three weeks. These cadets receive an OER at completion.


ROTC Commitment

  • Classroom: 1-3 hours per week.
  • Leadership Lab: 2-4 hours per week.
  • Fitness Training: 3-5 hours per week.
  • Company Meetings: 1 hour per week.
  • Field Training Exercises (FTX): 1 weekend per semester.
  • Study Time & Extracurricular Events: Varies by semester and event, but usually not more than 2-4 hours.
  • Approximate Total Commitment Per Week: 10-18 hours.

Academics are important!



  • The Army offers merit-based scholarships and may be available for two, three, or four years.
  • Scholarships pay full college tuition and educational fees, OR room and board (capped at $10,000)
  • Scholarship Cadets also receive $1,200 per year toward the cost of text books.
  • A monthly stipend starting at $300 per month for freshman. (10 months per year)



Nursing Program Scholarships

  • Scholarship criteria is the same.
  • ROTC provides outstanding clinical opportunities through the Nurse Summer Training Program (NSTP).
  • One-time payment to cover cost of required uniforms, lab coat, shoes, accessories, and equipment.
  • Army pays for NCLEX-RN review course (ranges from $250 - $400).
  • Army pays for NCLEX-RN Test ($200).
  • Mandatory summer course work.

General Eligibility Requirements(Scholarship Applicants)

  • Be a US Citizen
  • Be at least 17 years of age
  • Be under 31 years of age by 31 December of the year you will graduate/commission
  • Be a high school graduate or have equivalent degree status
  • Minimum high school GPA of 2.5
  • Minimum SAT/ACT score of 920/19
  • Pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (push-ups, sit-ups & two-mile run)
  • Pass a physical exam

Well-Rounded Young Men and Women with a Desire to Serve their Country and Others


Physical Fitness Standards

  • Freshman 4-year scholarship awardees must pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) with a minimum score of 60 points in each of three events to begin receiving benefits. The 17-21 year age group minimum standards are:
  • 60% = Male: 42 Push Ups / 53 Sit Ups / 15:54 2-mile run Female: 19 Push Ups / 53 Sit Ups / 18:54 2-mile run




  • Scholarship:
    • 4 years active duty followed by service in the Army National Guard (ARNG), US Army Reserve (USAR) or Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR) for the remainder of the 8-year obligation.
    • 8 years reserve duty (includes a 3-6 month active duty period for training).
  • Non-scholarship:
    • 3 years active duty followed by service in the ARNG, USAR or IRR for the remainder of the 8-year obligation.
    • 8 years reserve duty (includes a 3-6 month active duty period for training).

Army - vs - Private Sector

  • Army
  • 30 days paid vacation per year.
  • Free medical care.
  • Free dental care.
  • Sick leave with full pay.
  • Moving cost paid by Army.
  • Opportunities for funded Masters and PhD studies.
  • Low cost life insurance (up to $400,000 for $20 per month).
  • Retire at 20 years with 50% of base salary, increasing 21/2% per year after 20 years, and social security at age 65.
  • On-post housing or a Housing Allowance.
  • Private
  • Varies, but usually two weeks per year.
  • Company health care (costly) – You Pay!
  • Company dental care (costly) – You Pay!
  • Limited sick leave.
  • Varies by location and company.
  • Graduate education usually at own expense; very costly.
  • Must purchase own life insurance – costly.
  • Retire between 62 – 70 years old. Your retirement benefits based on a company 401K plan (or equivalent).
  • Rent/Mortgage is payed for by you.

Contact Information


Major Craig Gibson Phone: (540) 568-3633



Lieutenant Colonel Robert Pettit Phone: (540) 568-6048