Can I join the NROTC program even if I do not want a naval career?
Certainly. Very few people of high school age, or even college age, will know what they want to do for an occupation for the rest of their lives. Some of our students may decide to make the naval service their career after they are in it for a while, but there is no long- term obligation to do so.
What is the purpose of the NROTC program?
Our purpose is to train college students for leadership roles as commissioned officers in the Navy and Marine Corps.
What are the NROTC scholarship benefits?
The scholarship covers full tuition and mandatory school fees. In addition each scholarship student receives: all educational fees paid for; uniforms; $375 towards books each semester; and up to a $400 per month subsistence allowance. The NROTC pays for scholarship students’ initial transportation from home to school and from home to summer cruise training.
Does the scholarship cover room and board expenses?
No. Those expenses must be borne by the individual families. Students who find that room and board payments represent a financial hardship should investigate financial aid programs.
What is my active duty obligation after graduation?
We have two categories of students. Our scholarship students are obligated for five years of active duty after graduation. They accept the obligation at the beginning of the sophomore year. Our College Program (non-scholarship) students are obligated for three years of active duty after graduation. They accept the obligation at the beginning of their junior year.
Does that mean that there is no obligation incurred by incoming freshmen when they join the program?
Correct. Scholarship students have a year, and College Program students have two years to experience the NROTC program before they have to decide whether to remain in the program and to incur the obligation, or to leave the program without obligation.
If I join the NROTC program, what kind of military duties should I expect after graduation?
Most of our students, male and female, will graduate as “line officers”. That means that they will be expected to go on to further training in aviation, submarines, or conventional or nuclear powered surface ships. Those who choose (and are accepted for) the Marine Corps can go into aviation or a variety of ground officer assignments.
Do scholarship and non-scholarship students receive identical assignments after graduation?
Yes. Assignments are made on the basis of the student’s choices, qualifications, performance and needs of the Navy. Scholarship status is not a factor in the assignment process.
Would I get the choice of duty I want after graduation?
Most likely. At the beginning of the senior year, fall semester, our students state their duty preferences, and most will get their first choice of duty. There are some prerequisites, such as being physically qualified for aviation, and having adequate Calculus and Physics grades and a good GPA for nuclear powered ships and submarines.
Can I be guaranteed flight school after graduation?
The Navy does not give such a guarantee. However, experience has shown that a solid academic performance at Georgia Tech, and high scores on the aviation aptitude exam, plus being physically qualified for aviation, will give a Midshipman an excellent chance of getting aviation. The Marine Corps does offer flight guarantees, which can be granted by meeting the requirements any time up to 90 days before graduation.
What about graduate school? Is there any way to go directly to graduate school, and to serve the obligated military service after graduate school? Georgia Tech has this great dual BS/MS degree I’ve heard all about, can I participate in this?
That is a strong possibility if you have an exceptional record of undergraduate academic work. A few top students are selected each year to go on to graduate school, but the vast majority of Midshipmen are expected to enter the military after graduation. Keep in mind, though, that the Navy and Marine Corps have their own Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and you will be eligible for assignment there after your first three or four years of active duty. This will enable you to obtain a graduate degree in the field of your choice while receiving full pay.
It looks like Georgia Tech will take me 9 or 10 semesters to graduate and this is a four-year scholarship, how does this work out?
This is a common occurrence among GT engineering students. Historically, if the student has a solid academic record and has taken an average of at least 16 credits per semester then they have been awarded Fifth Year Benefits. Students apply for Fifth Year Benefits during their senior year.
Can I study abroad?
Yes. The unit has had students study in Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and Egypt in recent years.
Will studying abroad affect my ability to get a security clearance in the future?
Can I go from the NROTC program directly into medical school, and then serve my obligated time as a Navy doctor?
The NROTC program is not designed to educate and produce medical doctors. If becoming a medical doctor is your only goal, the NROTC program is not for you.
At this time, a maximum of 8 NROTC Midshipmen nationwide receive permission to apply to medical school each year. If admitted to medical school, they attend immediately following graduation. Under this program, students begin to serve their obligation following their residency. To enter this program, the student must gain acceptance into a medical school. Once again, outstanding academic performance or lack thereof will be the greatest enabler or barrier for this goal.
Do I have to major in some particular subject if I join the NROTC?
No. Any of the available majors at GT or GSU are allowable. We encourage our students to pursue some form of technical major, but that is not a requirement. Keep in mind that NSTC will favor technical majors when awarding scholarships. Those who major in non-technical subjects will have to take a few technical courses, namely calculus and physics, to prepare them for the technological environment that they will encounter in their military service. These technical courses, even for non-tech majors, will usually count toward degree requirements because all majors require some math and science course work.
Would I be allowed to change my major once I am in the NROTC program?
It depends. If you desire to attempt a more technical major or move laterally then you will be able to change majors without issue. Examples of the above would be Physics changing to Mechanical Engineering (move up) and an Electrical Engineer becoming a Mechanical Engineer (lateral move). A few students each year will be allowed to change majors to a less technical major, an example would be Nuclear Radiological Engineering to Management. A board will be held in Pensacola, FL twice a year to determine which students will be approved for a change of major to a less technical degree.
What happens if I can’t change my major? Do I get kicked out?
Probably not. The student will have the choice of remaining on scholarship in their assigned major or changing majors and transferring to college program status.
What are the specific courses that I must take if I join the NROTC program that I would not otherwise have to take?
NROTC students take, on average, two Naval Science courses per year, one each in the Fall and Spring semesters. All Navy/Marine option scholarship students must take one course in American Military History/National Security Policy. All Navy option students are required to take two courses in English Composition. Additionally, scholarship students (not including Marine option students) must take two semesters of calculus and two semesters of physics.
What types of academic support does the NROTC unit provide?
The NROTC Unit provides professional tutoring in calculus and physics for those students who need a little help with these difficult subjects. Additionally, we require all incoming freshman and anyone struggling to participate in weekly study hours. Each Midshipman is assigned to a class advisor. The class advisor is an active duty Lieutenant who also provides advice about school and NROTC while keeping the big picture in mind. The advisor will make sure each Midshipman is tracking along in their major and NROTC requirments.
How does the Marine training differ from Navy training?
In most respects, it is the same. Marine option students are not required to take calculus and physics courses. Marine option students take different Naval Science courses in their junior and senior years, and in the summer after their junior year they take part in the Officer Candidate School (OCS) training program “BULLDOG” at Quantico, Virginia. Our Marine Officer Instructor guides them in their development, and upon graduation they are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Marine Corps.
What will I do on summer training cruises?
There are three different cruises. The first summer cruise, after the freshman year, gives all scholarship students the chance to learn about the four basic “line officer” specialties. The students spend one week at each of four locations to receive indoctrination in aviation, submarine, surface ships, and Marine Corps amphibious operations. The second summer cruise, which all scholarship students take after the sophomore year, is aboard either a surface ship or submarine (student’s choice) and is geared toward experiencing the Navy from an enlisted viewpoint. The summer cruise after the junior year provides junior officer training aboard ships, submarines or with an aircraft squadron for the Navy students, and at the Marine Corps Base at Quantico, Virginia for the Marine Corps students. College Program students complete one summer training cruise; their cruise is the same as their scholarship student counterparts’ after the junior year.
Where do we go during summer cruise, and who pays for our transportation?
Our students travel all over the world on cruises. The Navy pays for travel expenses from school or your home to the cruise site and your return to home each summer. Our juniors have many options available to them. They can request Aircraft Carrier or Patrol Squadron cruises and special training with Navy Seals. They may also request a foreign exchange cruise for their final summer. Each year, several of our students take summer cruises aboard ships of a foreign Navy. Last summer students had the opportunity to visit Norfolk, VA, Mayport, FL, Pensacola, FL, King’s Bay, GA, San Diego, CA, Everett, WA, Pearl Harbor, HI, Yokosuka, Japan, Guam, Saipan, Singapore, and Panama.
You mentioned that you have women in the NROTC program; how does their training differ from that of the men?
It is nearly identical. The physical fitness standards are a little different for women. Other than that, the women train the same as the men.
Do NROTC graduates have the same opportunities as Naval Academy graduates when it comes time for duty assignments after graduation?
Yes. NROTC and Academy graduates have identical opportunities to go into the fields of their choice. When it comes time to state duty preferences and to be selected for duty assignments, students with higher academic and aptitude rankings, regardless of where they go to school, will be most likely to receive their first choice of assignments.
I’ve heard I have a better chance of getting Aviation if I receive a commission through OCS, is this true?
This is absolutely false. OCS, NROTC and USNA all commission ~1000 officers per year. Each commissioning source has the same number of billets for all communities. You have an equal chance of gaining your preferred service selection from each commissioning source.
Do NROTC Midshipmen wear uniforms to classes every day like they do at the Naval Academy?
No. NROTC Midshipmen are only required to wear the uniform on Tuesdays and Thursdays for classes and leadership lab. Lab, otherwise known as drill, may consist of military formation, classroom sessions, general briefings, guest speakers, or swim training.
Are NROTC Midshipmen housed together on campus?
No. Each student makes his or her own arrangements with the university for housing. Students may live in university dormitories, or in fraternities or sororities, at their option. Some upperclassmen choose to live in, and share the expenses of, nearby apartments.
How do I go about applying for an NROTC scholarship?
Start the process at the beginning of you high school senior year. The Navy Recruiting Command and Headquarters, Marine Corps accept and process all NROTC scholarship applications. Go to https://www.nrotc.navy.mil to start the application process. The Navy Recruiting Command or Headquarters, Marine Corps will notify you of the results of the scholarship selection board.
After arriving on campus as a college freshman. By entering NROTC as a College Program student, you can apply for a three-year scholarship at the end of your freshman year. The staff at the NROTC will assist you in preparing the application. If you receive a scholarship and accept it, you incur the same obligation as a four-year scholarship student entering their sophomore year.
Will my scholarship selection be held up if I have trouble passing the medical exam?
The scholarship selection process is completely independent of the medical examination. Scholarship selection is based on academic performance, extracurricular activities, and demonstrated leadership potential. You can be selected as a scholarship nominee even before you take the medical exam; but, of course, it cannot be awarded to you until you have passed the medical exam. The importance of completing and passing the medical exam cannot be over-emphasized. It is up to you to do all you can to complete the medical exam in a timely fashion. If follow-on exams or inputs from your local doctor are required, then you must ensure you meet these requirements.
If I am notified that some physical problem will disqualify me from scholarship eligibility, is there anything I can do?
That depends on the nature of the problem. Some problems, such as minor eye corrections, can be waived. Some problems, such as having had certain childhood diseases, or a family history of diabetes, can cloud your medical record to the point that additional medical evidence may be required to substantiate your qualification. Unless you are told that your condition is absolutely disqualifying, you should do all that you can to obtain medical certification. Letters from family doctors or your local specialists can help to show that your condition should not be disqualifying. When in doubt, ask for a medical waiver. These issues should be addressed with DoDMERB and the NSTC medical board. DO NOT send medical documentation to the local unit.
In addition to the medical exam, is there a physical fitness exam required for scholarship selection?
Marine Option students are required to pass a physical fitness exam to be eligible for scholarship selection. Navy Option students do not take this exam as a prerequisite to selection. Once in the NROTC program, all Midshipmen are required to pass a semi-annual physical fitness assessment, which, for Navy option students, consists of push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5 mile run. All Midshipmen are encouraged to seek excellence in their physical fitness, and to do more than the minimums in their fitness tests. Marine Option students take a slightly different test that consists of pull-ups, sit-ups, and a 3 mile run.
If I missed the deadline for the National four-year scholarship application, is there any way that I can still obtain an NROTC scholarship?
Maybe, but not through the process that I just described. Students can become eligible for the award of a scholarship by joining their NROTC Unit in the College Program (non- scholarship) status. After one academic term, the student may be recommended for scholarship status to the Chief of Naval Education and Training, who is empowered to award scholarships to promising College Program students. In general, if you can earn better than a 3.0 GPA in your first academic term, achieve a “B” or better in Calculus, and demonstrate a high aptitude for Naval Service, you will have a good chance for a NROTC scholarship. The availability of these “side-load” scholarships is also dependent on the officer production needs of the Navy and NROTC budget.
How much of my time at school will be tied up in NROTC activities?
As much as you want, but at least six hours a week. Your Naval Science courses meet three hours per week and replace other electives, so those courses should not be thought of as extra requirements. In addition, there are two one-hour leadership lab sessions each week, and you may be asked to devote about two nights per month in required activities. The battalion conducts unit level physical fitness training on one morning per week for one-hour. Additionally, Marine option students conduct physical fitness training on Mondays and Fridays. There are a number of NROTC extra curricular activities available to you if you are interested in them. We sponsor formal and informal dinners, parties, picnics, and other get-togethers. Many of these activities are purely voluntary.
If I join the NROTC program, am I in the military, or am I still a civilian?
NROTC Midshipmen are given the same status as “inactive reservists”. You will get a “reserve” military ID card, but you will be a civilian during all but the summer training cruise periods of your curriculum. The summer training is performed in an active duty “reserve” status.
How are tuition payments and book purchases handled for scholarship students?
The NROTC Unit will pay your tuition and fees directly to the university. Incoming freshman are required to pay a deposit before school starts. You must pay these deposits. The deposit is applied toward your housing bill. Since the Navy will pay the tuition bill, your initial deposit can be applied to your housing bill. The Navy will provide a basic book stipend of $375, independent of the amount you actually spend on books.
If I am given an NROTC scholarship, does that guarantee that I will be admitted to Georgia Tech or GSU?
No. The scholarship selection process is TOTALLY INDEPENDENT of the GT, GSU admission process. You must seek admission to GT (or GSU) or some other NROTC host university. Remember that the NROTC scholarship cannot be awarded to you until you have been accepted for admission at an NROTC host school. It is a good idea for NROTC scholarship applicants to apply to more than one NROTC host school to ensure acceptance to at least one NROTC host school.
Are NROTC scholarship selectees given any preferential treatment in the GT admission process?
No. The same personal characteristics and academic credentials are considered in scholarship selection and in Georgia Tech admission. Selection for a scholarship is a good indication that you may be selected for admission; but it is neither guaranteed nor implied. The NROTC scholarship committee might place more emphasis on leadership potential as evidenced in extra curricular athletics or school government activities. The university might place more emphasis on academic achievement.
Can you offer any hints regarding what the scholarship selection board looks for in making its selections?
Yes. The NROTC scholarship selection board will consider the “whole person”, including College Board scores, grades, class standing, athletics, participation in extra curricular activities, recommendations, interview results, and perceived potential. We are looking for the future leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps. We want well rounded students who are intelligent enough to excel in academics, athletic enough to meet the physical challenges of military service, and who are personable and dynamic enough to assume roles as military leaders. It is not enough to be only bright, or only athletic, or only personable. It takes a combination of the three qualities to be a successful Naval Officer. Officer candidates must also be of high moral character. Students with criminal records or who have gone beyond experimentation with illegal drugs are not likely officer candidates. Take care in selecting those who will provide written recommendations for you. If a candidate is depicted as being an average run-of-the-mill student, it will detract from the board’s assessment of the individual. The application interview with your local recruiter is also vitally important. Look sharp and present yourself well. College Board scores can be a positive factor for the student, but only insofar as they are supported by actual academic achievement. A student with high SAT or ACT scores, but mediocre grades and class standing, is less desirable than a student with moderate scores and high grades and standing. One is coasting and the other is a hard working achiever.
If I want to change my first-choice school, who do I tell?
You should wait until after you are notified of selection as a scholarship nominee, and then write to the Naval Education and Training Command (Code N1/081), Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL 32508 advising them of your new first-choice school. The instructions for this will be included in your scholarship award letter.
I am trying to decide which university to attend. Are there any differences among the various NROTC Units?
The naval science curriculum at each school is identical. If there are any apparent differences among NROTC Units, they are due to the customs and traditions of the Units, and the personalities of the Unit Staffs, and even the Midshipmen in those Units. The exceptions to this rule are military schools (e.g. SUNY Maritime, Maine Maritime, Texas Maritime, The Citadel, VMI, etc.) and schools with a “corps of cadets” (e.g. Texas A&M and Virginia Tech). My advice would be to choose your university on the basis of its overall reputation in the major of your choice. Look at the reputation of the graduates of the school. You should narrow your choices down to a few, and then visit those campuses (and their NROTC Units) to help you make the final decision.
Who teaches the Naval Science courses?
The NROTC staff is composed of active duty Navy and Marine Corps officers and enlisted personnel. The Naval Science courses are taught by the staff officers. These same officers will double as your NROTC class advisors, providing guidance and assistance, as necessary, in your academic and military pursuits.
What will happen if I decided not to continue in the NROTC program after I have started the sophomore year and incurred an obligation for active duty?
There are several reasons and circumstances for leaving the NROTC program. There is no obligation at all if you quit before the sophomore year. If, after the start of the sophomore year, you decide to quit, you will either have to pay back tuition expended, or go on active military service in enlisted status immediately if you drop out of college, or upon graduation if you stay in college. If a medical problem develops that would preclude you from commissioning, then the obligation would most likely be erased. If you drop from the program because of your own misconduct or inaptitude, you could be required to reimburse the Navy for your tuition and book expenditures at the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy.
If I start out as a Marine Option student, can I switch to be a Navy Option student, or vice versa?
You can attempt to change from one option to the other, but it is not automatic. You must request the change, and both Navy and Marine Corps officials must approve it. The change of option has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Even though it may be a difficult decision right out of high school, students are encouraged to do their research and decide on the option they feel best suits their personal interests and professional goals up front, rather than attempt to change options later on.
Is the freshmen orientation like a boot camp?
No. The orientation is run by the upperclass midshipmen and supervised by the NROTC Unit staff. We stress the need for discipline and teamwork, and some people have to adjust their attitude a bit. Orientation is certainly less stressful compared to a real boot- camp, the thirteen weeks of officer candidate school, or to what the service academy freshmen go through for their entire first year. With that said, orientation is not easy. It is physically and mentally demanding. After the initial trauma of the discovery of discipline, most students find orientation to be very rewarding. It is also an excellent opportunity to get to know your freshmen classmates before school starts.
Can you describe how a Midshipman fits into the university?
An NROTC Midshipman is a civilian, pursuing his or her own academic degree in a normal university environment, in the same manner as a non-Midshipman would. The only difference is that Midshipman takes a series of Naval Science courses, and he wears a uniform to class twice a week. Midshipmen are free to join fraternities or sororities, and enjoy all aspects of campus life. Our offices and classrooms are just like all other offices and classrooms on campus. You will blend in with and participate in the campus activities of your choice. When you graduate, you will serve with pride as a Navy or Marine Corps officer.
I have no experience with the military; how do I know if I will fit in?
You do not know, and neither did any of us who are in the military now. You have to join the program and experience it for yourself. That’s why the first year is without obligation. We are looking for intelligent and physically fit men and women of high moral character who can be trained to assume positions of leadership and great responsibility in the Navy and Marine Corps. If you fit that description, and if you prefer to be a leader rather than a follower, then you owe it to yourself to give it a try.