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Military Science & Leadership

The Department of Military Science and Leadership conducts leadership training and runs the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program at Lander University.

ROTC is one of four ways to receive an Appointment as a United States Army Second Lieutenant.

The Military Science and Leadership curriculum is divided into two distinct courses: the Basic Course and the Advanced Course. All students are welcome to take the Basic Course. No strings attached!

We are part of a partnership among Presbyterian College, Newberry College, and Lander University. The three schools combine to form the Scottish Highlander Battalion. Learn more about our Battalion.

ROTC and the Department of Military Science and Leadership is located in the Carnell Learning Center, LC 301. Drop in; we would be happy to meet you and talk with you!

For more information, please contact the Lander University Military Science Department at 864-388-8616 or email us.

For information about scholarship opportunities, contact our Scholarship and Enrollment Officer via email or by phone at 864-357-0423.

If you need assistance with the GI Bill® application contact Jason Smith, director of Military & Veteran Services, at 864-388-8331 or e-mail


Top 10 Reasons to Join ROTC

The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is the largest commissioning source for U.S. Army officers.  ROTC units are spread out around 274 different college campuses around America.  Joining an ROTC unit is the one way for college students to explore military service with no commitment to join the military.  For anyone thinking about joining ROTC, here are 10 reasons to consider doing so.

For good reason the benefit most often associated with ROTC is our scholarship program.  ROTC has a robust number of scholarships that both high school and college students can apply for. High school students can apply for ROTC National Scholarships. Students selected for a National Scholarship will receive either a 4-year scholarship or a 3-year advanced designee scholarship to pay for college. Make sure to read 10 Tips for A Successful ROTC National Scholarship Application.

Students who are already in college can still enroll into ROTC and apply for campus based scholarships as well. Our internal ROTC board meets bi-weekly to interview and award Cadets 2 and 3 year scholarships that are based on their academic, physical fitness, and ROTC performance. Call me to schedule an interview!! 864-567-1772

Students not interested in pursuing an Active Duty military career have the option to pursue a scholarship through the South Carolina National Guard or the U.S. Army Reserve.  The Guard and Reserves offer Minuteman and GRFD Scholarships to pay for college in return for commissioning as an officer into the National Guard or Reserve.  If you want to serve your country, but still pursue a civilian career, the Guard and Reserves is the pay to do this. Reach out to us and we will be happy to coordinate your application with an Army National Guard or Army Reserve recruiter.

One of the least known benefits of joining ROTC is the ability to receive a stipend.  All Cadets that contract into the ROTC program receive a $420 a month stipend.  There are not many organizations that will give students not only a scholarship, but pay them each month a stipend to go to school like ROTC does.  Besides the stipend, contracted Cadets also receive $1,200 a year towards their college textbooks. Those that are on scholarship are not only getting free tuition, they are PAID TO ATTEND COLLEGE! What a deal!

There is not a class on campus that will build student leadership skills more than ROTC.  In our Military Science classes Cadets learn leadership techniques that help them to progressively lead larger groups of people.  Their skills are tested by leading fellow Cadets during basic military skills training as well as organizing and executing volunteer activities in the local community. And, guess what? You don’t have to join the Army to learn leadership! Anyone can take ROTC 100 and 200 level courses as an elective.

In ROTC our Cadets progressively master basic soldier skills such as land navigation and rifle marksmanship, but they also have the opportunity to attend advanced U.S. Army training such as Airborne School and Air Assault School. If you ever wondered what it is like to jump out of an airplane, rappel out of a helicopter, or push yourself to meet the standards of a foreign military, joining our Army ROTC program will give you the chance to do this.

To get in shape many people buy expensive gym memberships or pay for the services of a personal trainer.  If you want to get fit forget paying for a gym membership and instead join ROTC.  We have a robust and challenging physical fitness program that is designed to get people who have not exercised before into shape. For those that need extra personal instruction, we even have cadre and senior cadets that are ready to teach and assist you with workouts personalized to improve your fitness. Not everyone starts off in shape in ROTC. In fact, many aren’t.  Don’t let waking up early to improve physical fitness deter you. This is something that will benefit you throughout your life no matter what career path you take!

Being in the Army is not a job, but a profession where Soldiers have the opportunity to serve their country and be part of something bigger then themselves.  In ROTC our Cadets learn to be part of something bigger than themselves by being active on campus and in various volunteer events in the region. In fact, the host schools (PC) motto is Dum Vivimus Servimus which means “As we live, we serve.” For those that want to do something for a greater cause joining ROTC is a way to do this.

Finding a well-paying job after graduation can be a stressful time for graduating students.  This is not a problem for ROTC graduates who commission as an Active Duty officer after graduation. A Second Lieutenant fresh out of college makes $39,444 in annual pay.  In addition to this pay they also receive a housing allowance to pay for rent based on the cost of living of where they are stationed. This will add $20,000+ annually to an officer’s take home pay. Besides the pay, Army officers also receive full health and dental coverage, life insurance, base privileges, and a robust retirement package.

Finally officer pay increases with time and rank in service. For example an officer is generally promoted to Captain after four years of service. A Captain is paid $70,164 annually. The housing allowance pushes the captain’s pay to nearly $100,000 dollars.  How many career fields pay nearly a six figure salary after only being out of college for four years? Not many and the Army is one of them.

When most people think of Army jobs, they think of boots on the ground infantry.  However, being in the Infantry is only one of the 17 Army career fields that an ROTC Cadet can pursue. Do you want to learn how to fly helicopters?  PC, Lander, and Newberry Army ROTC has had Cadets successfully become aviators. We have also had Cadets become Military Intelligence analysts, logisticians, engineers, nurses, among a host of other Army branches. If you have a particular career interest, the Army will likely have a branch to match that interest that you can specialize in.

Going to college is a stressful enough experience, made even harder by the prospect of having to make a whole new network of friends.  Army ROTC can help you not only make new friends on campus, but new friends for life.  The bonding experience Cadets go through in ROTC carries over into their future military careers where PC, Lander, and Newberry graduates stay in touch and serve together on military bases in the U.S. and around the world.  Additionally our ROTC Program makes you part of an extensive alumni network that features many senior military officers that can mentor and assist you while in college, as well as in your future career.

ROTC is a blast and gives you a much different college experience than other students. You will meet amazing people, be pushed beyond your limits, and accomplish goals that before may not have seen possible.  Besides military training our Cadets do fun activities such as BBQ’s, historical trips, cross fit competition, intramural athletics teams, Cannon Crew, and our annual Military Ball. Best of all is that you are doing all of this with some of your best friends!

Summer Training

Location: Ft. Benning, Georgia
Length: 3 weeks

The Basic Airborne Course is a three-week training program conducted by the Airborne Department, USAIC, Fort Benning, GA that trains students the use of the parachute as a means of combat deployment. Successful completion qualifies cadets to wear the Parachutist Badge.

You begin your first week on the ground, learning the basics of parachute landings, and start a vigorous training program. During the second week, called tower week, proper exiting of the plane will be mastered. As a cadet, you will be then given the opportunity to parachute from a 250 foot high tower. The third and final week is the jump week. Cadets make five jumps from either a C-130 or C-141, including one night jump and two combat jumps with full combat gear.

Location: Ft. Campbell, Kentucky
Length: 10 days

The AAS is a course of instruction that trains cadets on Combat Assault Operations involving associated equipment and U.S. Army rotary-wing aircraft. Successful completion qualifies cadets to wear the Air Assault Badge.

This is available at a number of installations, but the largest is located at the air assault home of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. This eleven day course is very demanding both physically and mentally, involving obstacle courses and several long ruck marches. You will learn the basics of aircraft familiarization and recognition, slingload operations, and rappelling.

The Robin Sage exercise provides cadets with an interest in Infantry and/or Special Forces an opportunity to serve as squad members within "G" bands. There are 15 "G" bands consisting of three to four cadets, 15-20 regular Army personnel and one "G" Chief. The "G" band conducts link-up operations with Special Forces Student Operational Detachment Alphas, receives specific training and conduct combat and sustainment operations. Over a three-week period this program provides the cadets with opportunities to learn and grow as potential leaders. Areas to which cadets are exposed: Troop Leading Procedures, Mission Planning (Warning, Patrol and Frag orders), Small Unit Tactic (Raids, Ambushes, Recons), Air Operations (Drop and Landing Zones and Message pick-up), Basic Field Craft (Survival, Expedient Navigation), Demolition, Medical, Communications and Weapons. The location for this exercise is Camp Mackall, North Carolina.
The most highly selective program available to cadets, the Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC) has less than fifteen cadet slots each year. This means that they only select the best of the best cadets. The training is physically and mentally exhausting, so preparation above and beyond the basic requirements of the school is mandatory. To get accepted into CDQC, one must complete a Pre-CDQC course. Pre-CDQC training includes an APFT and pool events, including a 25 meter sub-surface swim, a 50 meter sub-surface swim, clump retrieval, two minute water tread, weight belt swim, underwater knot tying, ditching and dawning of equipment, treading water for five minutes with a weight belt and twin 80 air cylinders, and drown proofing.

Location: Jericho, Vermont
Length: 2 weeks

A program conducted at the Ethan Allen Firing Range, Jericho, VT. The course teaches cadets the skills needed to operate in a mountainous environment during the summer and fall.

Mountain Warfare introduces you to the techniques and tactics required to operate in a mountainous environment under hostile conditions. The emphasis is on field exercises where you learn mountain-related skills. The instruction includes advanced navigational training, special mobility training (with special operations forces mountaineering equipment), and mountain tactical instruction.

Location: Ft. Wainwright, Alaska
Length: 2 weeks

A program conducted at the Northern Warfare Training Center at Fort Wainwright, AK. The course is designed to train cadets in the skills required for conducting military operations in typical mountainous terrain found throughout the world. Special emphasis is placed on basic military mountaineering skills.

This course focuses on mobility in mountainous terrain, rappelling, and climbing skills. The training is demanding both physically and mentally but also extremely rewarding. Those who live up to the challenge come away with not only a vast knowledge of climbing skills but also a new level of self confidence born from facing adversity and overcoming it. 

CST is a 20 day program that affords the cadet the opportunity to practice employing the principles, procedures, techniques, and equipment that enhance survival and evasion prospects, regardless of hostile or adverse climate conditions.
CTLT provides select Advanced Camp graduates the opportunity to increase their leadership experience by assignments to platoon leader or like positions with Active Army units or with government agencies for three weeks (CONUS) to four weeks (OCONUS). Refer to Annex A, Figure 1 (CTLT Training Opportunities). You may also find yourself anywhere in the country, or overseas, involved in the Cadet Troop Leadership Training Program. This internship program places you in actual Army units acting as a real Lieutenant. This two or three week challenge is a definite learning experience, allowing you to gain a perspective on what you will be facing as future officer. Generally, you are placed in a platoon leader position, leading 30+ soldiers and responsible for millions of dollars of equipment. You receive a rate of pay and allowance similar to that at NALC, you stay at the Bachelor Officer Quarters on that specific base, you train and lead soldiers, and receive an OER upon completion of the program. If you are assigned to a unit on jump status, and you are already airborne qualified, you may participate in unit jumps on a permissive basis if approved in advance. CTLT is the best way to familiarize yourself with a branch before having to choose your branch preferences during the accessions process at the beginning of the MS IV year.
Training is conducted in Basic Training and One Station Unit Training (OSUT) for four weeks. Cadets work closely with Drill Sergeants as they train soldiers in basic skills. The cadets leave with an NCOER.


ROTC programs are divided into phases: The Basic Course studies Army history, organization and structure. The techniques and principles of leadership and management are stressed throughout. The Advanced Course concentrates on tactical operations and military instruction, as well as advanced techniques of management, leadership, and command.
Yes. Each year hundreds of students attending colleges nationwide receive ROTC scholarships. ROTC awards them to students studying science, engineering, nursing, business, as well as a variety of other majors.

ROTC scholarships are not based on financial need. Instead, they're awarded on merit. Merit is exhibited in academic achievement and extracurricular activities, such as sports, student government or part-time work.

National High School Scholarships are awarded once a year. High School Seniors apply by in June and selections are made continuously thru April. Four-year scholarship applications must be requested between March 1 and November 1. Also, once cadets are on campus, two-year and three-year scholarships become available, and are allocated throughout the year.
In college and after graduation, cadets find that the training and experience that they have received are assets - whether pursuing an Army or civilian career. Employers place high regard on the management and leadership skills that ROTC instructors stress. Plus, ROTC looks great on a resume. When cadets complete the ROTC course, upon graduation, they become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army.

No. At least two-thirds of the upcoming graduating cadets will receive an active duty tour. Cadets who receive Reserve Duty will serve in local Reserve or National Guard units one weekend a month, or serve in the Ready Reserves with no "drilling" requirement if a suitable unit is not available where you reside. The Reserves are one of the best adjunct career and retirement systems in the U.S. today.

No. Our current cadet corps has an average cumulative GPA above the general university average. Yes, there are some time demands and some voluntary extracurricular activities in ROTC. But simply put, ROTC cadets are more mature and better time managers than many students. Your academic and athletic success is the highest priority and we stress that. You must do well academically and athletically to succeed in ROTC.

Army ROTC provides the best leader development program in the world. No corporation or leadership institute can provide the combined classroom and hands-on leadership training, education and practice as Army ROTC. During the academic year, your focus is on academics getting your degree -- with ROTC classroom instruction and labs complimenting that education.

What's best about Army ROTC is that while learning to become an Army officer, you are interacting, socializing and learning with students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, political ideologies and goals. This dynamic on campus develops the team-building, negotiating and consensus-building skills that Army officers need in helping the people of the world establish democratic systems, govern & secure themselves and institutionalize freedom and human rights.

Well, there are surely some career tracks where ROTC may not help you, but the exceptional record of graduating cadets getting good jobs in their fields is well above average. In the Reserves, there are also a lot of job networking and contacts, and most employees view Reservists or officers leaving active duty in very positive terms. Further, students that emphasize their ROTC enrollment are generally viewed as desirable to most employers because of their competitive leadership and managerial abilities, maturity, and time management skills.
You must maintain the Army grooming standards for both male and female; hair off your ears (male) and not down your shoulders (female)(crew cut not required). You will learn how to wear a uniform properly, but the uniform is only required to be worn during class times and training. Finally, harassment of any type went out years ago; it is not acceptable. We emphasize proper decorum, respect, military courtesies, ethics and standards of conduct; all of which apply equally well to non-military, professional careers.

If you enroll in Army ROTC, we will help you become a better person in manifold ways - no doubt about that. ROTC will give you better leadership and managerial skills applicable to any field. ROTC will provide you with a lot of personal attention, encouraging you to get good grades and further mature. Class sizes are small and everyone is given personal counseling. We compel you to stay in shape and improve your physical fitness. Yes, there are some progressive physical fitness requirements and you cannot be overweight and complete the program.

ROTC gives you the opportunity to learn what the military is all about these days - the role of the Army and its soldiers, (strategy, politics, technology, standards, career fields, etc.) We provide additional fun and learning activities, and opportunities for you to make more friends than virtually any other organization on campus. Cadets consistently relate that one of the best aspects of the ROTC program is the camaraderie students find among each other -that is what Esprit de Corps or belonging is all about.

Army ROTC is one of the only college courses that teaches leadership. This training is invaluable for any career that involves leading, managing and motivating people or fostering teamwork. Young Army Officers are typically responsible for hundreds of Soldiers and millions of dollars in equipment; this kind of management experience can be very attractive for post-Army employers.
Army ROTC classes normally involve one elective class or lab per semester. Although the classes involve hands-on fieldwork as well as classroom work, they are standard college classes that fit into a normal academic schedule. These courses can help students with personal and academic decision-making while giving them the tools to exercise leadership in college life, even before graduating and becoming Officers.

Army ROTC Cadets have the same lifestyles and academic schedules as any other college students. But there are two intensive Army ROTC courses that take place on Army Posts, usually during the summer: Leader's Training Course This four-week summer course at Fort Knox, KY is ONLY for students who enroll in Army ROTC going into their junior years without having taken the first two years of military science classes. Leader Development and Assessment Course All Cadets who enter the Advanced Course must attend this four-week summer course at Fort Lewis, WA between their junior and senior years.

It depends on the Army branch the Cadet chooses and the unit to which he/she is assigned. However, Army missions and challenges are always changing, so there's no way to know in advance which specialties and units will be needed where. All Soldiers in the Army or Army Reserve face the possibility of deployment at some point during their careers. But all Soldiers are fully trained and proficient in the tasks and drills of their units. And Officers are specifically trained to make the right decisions so that missions can be carried out safely and successfully.

Army ROTC graduates are commissioned as U.S. Army Second Lieutenants. They then receive specialized training in one of 17 different Army branches. During their Army careers, they'll receive regular professional training as they advance through the ranks, and they'll have many opportunities for advanced leadership positions and post-graduate education.