The Department of Military Science offers a program of leadership development through study and practical application open to all full-time students to be taken in conjunction with the curricula established for the academic majors. Upon completion of the ROTC program and fulfillment of all requirements for a baccalaureate degree, the student may receive a commission as a second lieutenant and is eligible for assignment with the Active or Reserve Forces of the U.S. Army. There are three basic ways to participate in Army ROTC:
- The first is to be a participating student. These students register for the military science classes only (MS 101 and MS 201) . These are college classroom courses based on teaching leadership skills. Because they are not enrolled as cadets, they are not covered for any liability beyond that of the university and therefore DO NOT participate in activities outside the classroom (e.g., physical training, leadership labs, and field leadership training).
- The second and most common way is to be an enrolled cadet. These students fully participate in ROTC by taking the military science classes, physical fitness training, leadership labs, and field leadership training. Enrolled cadets are covered by the government for any injuries occurring during ROTC sanctioned training. They wear the Army uniform (if issued) to all ROTC functions and must adhere to military customs and standards. Unless under contract, enrolled cadets are NOT obligated to future military service.
- The third category is to be a contracted cadet. Contracted cadets fully participate like other enrolled cadets, but they are also under obligation to future military service. Scholarship winners must contract to receive benefits. Nonscholarship cadets must contract by the MS III/junior year in order to continue in the program. For more information, contact the Widener University ROTC enrollment officer at 610-499-4098 or visit the ROTC office at the rear of Hanna Hall. See also the “Military Science ” section of this catalog.
Basic Course (Freshmen/Sophomores)
Students may enroll in the ROTC Basic Course without incurring any financial or military obligation. The basic course introduces students to self development tools and basic military instruction. Sophomore students who did not participate in ROTC during their freshman year may enroll during their sophomore year.
ROTC is a leadership development program. Its focus is on management techniques and leadership assessment. Students develop their leadership abilities by learning critical thinking, the value of character, competence and courage, self discipline, and team building. Students also challenge themselves through participation in activities such as physical fitness, orienteering, rappelling, small unit tactics, marksmanship, and leadership reaction courses.
Advanced Course (Juniors/Seniors)
Students who have either completed or received completion credit for MS 101, MS 102, MS 201, MS 202, are eligible to apply for the Advanced Course. Basic Course completion credit may be awarded by attendance at BC, or completion of Army BCT. Enrollment in the Advanced Course is dependent upon availability of positions within each year group, and ability to meet Army officership contracting standards. Upon acceptance, students must sign a contract for future officer service. Advanced course cadets are required to take one military science course each semester and participate in the full Leadership Development Program, which includes physical training, leadership labs, and off-site field leadership training exercises. After contracting, the students are paid a $420 per month subsistence allowance for each month enrolled in school. In addition, students must attend ROTC Cadet Advanced Camp (AC) at Fort Knox, KY the summer after the junior (or senior) year. Students are paid approximately $1,000 plus travel expenses while attending this course.
Army ROTC Two-year Program
Widener University offers the two-year Army ROTC Program for those students transferring from junior colleges or other institutions at which ROTC was not offered or who were previously unable to enroll in an ROTC program. Students who want to move forward into the ROTC Advanced Course must also complete Cadet Basic Camp (BC) at Fort Knox, KY the summer after their sophmore year. Students who have completed Basic Combat Training (BCT) as enlisted soldiers may be exempt from BC. Students interested in entering the two-year ROTC program must apply through the Professor of Military Science prior to March 15 of their sophmore year. Students may compete for the two-year Army ROTC scholarships, depending on availability of funds. Entry into the two-year program is also dependent upon availability of positions within each year group, and ability to meet Army offership contracting standards.
Simultaneous Membership Program
Students who are already members of or intend to join a U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) or Army National Guard (ARNG) unit may qualify for this program as early as their sophomore year. If accepted, students become officer trainees and are paid as Cadet (E-5) during reserve training assemblies until they have completed ROTC and are commissioned. During the years in ROTC, students are paid $420 per month in addition to Army Reserve or National Guard pay. Students cannot have a scholarship and be in the Simultaneous Membership Program unless they have a Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty or Dedicated USAR/ARNG Scholarship, in which case they are committed to serving in the Reserve Component upon commissioning. As members of the USAR or ARNG, students may also qualify for other financial programs, such as federal tuition assistance, state education assistance programs, and the Montgomery GI Bill- Selected Reserve.
Once under contract, students incur a service obligation. Cadets commissioned as second lieutenants are required to serve for a period of eight years. How this obligation is fulfilled is determined by whether the student was a scholarship or non-scholarship cadet, and whether the student serves on Active Duty or in the Reserve Component. Those selected for Active Duty will typically serve 3 to 4 years full-time, with the remaining 5 or 4 years in the inactive reserve (available for recall). Those choosing or selected for the Reserve Component typically serve for 6 to 8 years part time in a drilling status (one weekend a month plus two weeks per year, other than periods of active duty for training or mobilization); their remaining years of obligation, if any, can be served in the inactive reserve.
Army ROTC Scholarship Program
University students may apply for campus-based Army ROTC Scholarships for up to 3.5 years of tuition, fees, and books. All scholarships are very competitive and contingent on available funding per year group. See the “Financial Aid” section of this catalog for details on ROTC scholarships.