ROTC in a field with binoculars

Army ROTC is an elective course you take in college alongside your prescribed major course of study. ROTC is not a major in itself. ROTC is designed to develop and enhance the leadership and management skills of today's students. While in ROTC, students lead the life of a normal college student but have the added bonus of training in communication, time management and personnel organization. Upon graduation, you may earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant, an officer in the United States Army.

No Obligation

You can sample Army ROTC at the Penn State Brandywine campus for up to two years with absolutely no military obligation. Introductory courses teach the fundamentals of leadership along with the organization of the U.S. military and basic soldiering skills, and are applicable to your academic major's elective requirements. As a participant in our basic program, you are also eligible for the many exciting extracurricular and social activities within Penn State's ROTC program.

Similar to the Army ROTC option, Brandywine students who want to participate in Air Force ROTC can do so at the St. Joseph's University campus. Students can do the first two years with the St. Joe's AFROTC program, then transition to Penn State's ROTC program if they choose to participate in the 2+2 program, finishing at the University Park campus. For inquiries, students can contact the St. Joe's AFROTC commander at 610-660-3190, or they can reach out to the Penn State Air Force ROTC office at [email protected], 814-865-5453.

Testing the Waters

Brandywine students begin their ROTC experience by joining Widener University's Dauntless Battalion. This organization with Army ROTC traces its roots back through the Freedom Battalion, the Pioneer Battalion and the Pennsylvania Military College. We are made up of students from eight diverse institutions in the greater Philadelphia area: Widener University, Villanova University, Penn State Abington, West Chester University, Cheyney University, Penn State Brandywine, Neumann University, and Immaculata University.

As a Brandywine student, you have two options in pursuing a commission as an Army officer: you may select a four-year academic degree program at the campus and graduate from Brandywine and complete the ROTC Advanced Course with the Dauntless Battalion during this period, or you may continue your ROTC training with the Nittany Lion Battalion at University Park.  As a junior and senior, you receive a monthly stipend, attend the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) as a junior and have opportunities for cadet leadership during your senior year.  Upon graduation, you are commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Reserve with opportunities for assignment to a Reserve unit.  Outstanding cadets may be offered a Regular Army commission and a full-time job on active duty.

The Advanced Course

If you choose to attend Penn State at University Park, cadets have the opportunity to participate in one of the most visible organizations on campus. It is the Lion's Guard, the Penn State Army ROTC drill team. Their highly disciplined and polished drill movements can be observed as they present the colors at Nittany Lion home football and basketball games.

As a junior in ROTC at University Park, you will be enrolled in the ROTC Advanced Course and begin to collect up to a $500 non-taxable monthly stipend given to all junior and senior cadets.

Much of your involvement as a  junior  will be leadership training in preparation for the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), a five-week course in leadership held at Fort Lewis, Washington. This training, held in the summer between your junior and senior years, is the challenging and exciting culmination of your first three years in ROTC. Under the watchful eye of experienced officers and NCOs, you will undergo realistic training and evaluation on Army weapons systems, tactics, and other tasks. Your leadership skills will be cultivated and enhanced. You will apply the skills you learn at LDAC when you return to Penn State for your senior year.

Senior cadets are given cadet officer rank and assigned the task of planning and executing training for all the cadets of the Nittany Lion Battalion.

New Career Paths

Upon graduation, you will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. Each year, approximately 70 percent of UP's graduating seniors request and receive active duty positions in the active component of the Army. These new leaders will have full-time jobs after leaving Penn State, and enjoy all the benefits of travel and future job experience available to Army officers.

After serving your three-year commitment (four-years for scholarship winners), the choice is yours to either (1) continue to pursue a career in the Army, or (2) take the experience you gained, along with your Penn State degree, and move on to a successful civilian career.

How to get Started

Giving Penn State Army ROTC a try is as easy as registering for any other course. If you are an incoming first-year student, simply add Army 101 to your list of courses during your first semester.  If you would like to discuss the ROTC program, please contact Earl Catagnus, Jr. at 610-892-1410 or email [email protected] at Brandywine.