Frequently Asked Questions

Is taking ROTC the same as "joining up" for the military?

No. ROTC is a series of eight elective courses, which you begin as a freshman with no military obligation. Military science is a program of study within the College of Science. It is similar to taking any other class.

Visit the University Catalog to see ROTC courses and descriptions »

Do I have to go to "boot camp" to be in ROTC?

No prior military training or experience is required.

How much time does ROTC take?

Not a great deal of time for freshmen and sophomores, a little more for juniors and seniors. For freshman, lecture meets one day a week; three times for sophomores; and twice a week for juniors and seniors. In addition to lecture, there is a two-hour lab which meets once a week.  Contracted students/cadets have physical training sessions three mornings per week.

Will ROTC conflict with my other classes?

No. Military science classes are scheduled just like any other classes. We have a planned curriculum to deconflict with most CCU course requirements. If a scheduling conflict arises, the instructor will make every effort to work through it with you.

What do ROTC students do?

Mainly, students in the ROTC program are just like any other college student. They earn an academic degree and learn to think and reason at the college level. Along the way they will learn leadership skills and have experiences that will set them apart from their peers. These skills and experiences will qualify them to become officers in the U.S. Army. Upon graduation, they are placed in job positions as Second Lieutenants, either on Active duty or in the Army Reserve or National Guard.

Can I "Major" in ROTC?

No. ROTC is taken for elective credit. Depending upon your degree you may, however, elect to earn a minor in military science.

Can I participate in other activities while taking ROTC?

Yes. In fact, we highly encourage students to participate in other activities. We subscribe to the total person concept and want well-rounded individuals to lead the U.S. Army and the nation in the 21st century.  For example, students have been members of Fraternities, Sororities, Clubs, and Sports Teams; the more experiences a student has, the better for them and the Army.  

Does ROTC offer any extracurricular activities?

Yes. The Ranger Challenge team offers intense technical and tactical training in soldier skills. We also have intramural sports teams and a university-recognized ROTC Club.

Do I have to wear a military uniform while taking ROTC?

Yes and No. All cadets are required to wear a uniform to the ROTC classes and ROTC labs.  ROTC may require you to wear a uniform at other ROTC sponsored events.  

I heard a huge drill sergeant shaves my head when I join ROTC. Is that true?

Here's the deal with regard to hair. We do not cut anyone's hair. You must, however, meet the Army appearance standards while in uniform. That may mean for males that you have shorter hair than you currently have, but no one gets his or her head shaved. Females must wear their hair up off the collar of the uniform or in another approved hairstyle.

I heard that ROTC cadets have to run every morning at 5 a.m. Is that true?

Absolutely not. Juniors and seniors along with all scholarship cadets are required to participate in physical fitness training three times a week from 6-7 a.m. All other cadets are only obligated to participate but are encouraged to do so three days a week.

I heard that ROTC students are always running around in the woods. Is that true?

Not entirely. We do a good portion of our training outdoors. Some of the activities we do include hiking, rappelling and orienteering. If you stay in the program long enough, you will have the pleasure of sleeping on the ground outdoors, but that type of training is usually done during favorable weather conditions.

Do I have any summer training requirements in ROTC?

Only for one summer will you be required to attend mandatory training. The summer between your junior and senior years of college, all ROTC cadets will attend the Leadership Development and Assessment Course, otherwise known as Advanced Camp or Cadet Summer Training, at Fort Knox, Kentucky. This five-week leadership experience is the culmination of everything you have learned thus far and is used as an evaluation tool which determines your future as an officer. Cadets receive a stipend while attending this training. Other training opportunities are available during the summers, but the Advanced Camp is the only required one. Depending on budget and available training slots, cadets can find themselves at Air Assault, Airborne, Cadet Troop Leading Training, Basic Combat Diver, Engineer Sapper, among others.   

When does my participation in ROTC begin to incur a military service obligation?

For most students, it is the start of your junior year of college. This is when you decide whether or not you want to pursue a commission in the U.S. Army. At this time, you would sign a contract with the U.S. Army. This applies to two-year scholarship students and all non-scholarship students in the program. A three-year or four-year scholarship winner becomes obligated at the start of their sophomore year. The earliest a student can commit to the Army is once they have at a minimum acquired 30 or more college credits.  Historically, students sign their "contract" during their sophomore year.  

What is my service obligation if I complete the program?

Eight years, but before you go into cardiac arrest, let's break it down a little further. These eight years can be fulfilled in a number of ways: three or four years (depending on scholarship status) on active duty, and then the remainder in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Essentially, the IRR is a non-active status with no drill requirements. The other option is six years in a drilling unit of the Reserves or National Guard, meeting one weekend a month and two weeks each summer followed by two years in the IRR. This obligation is federally mandated and is the same across all services.

How can I find out more about ROTC?

Please review the Why Army ROTC page on this website and if you have any additional questions, contact the Chanticleer Company via email at or through the contacts below: 

Andrew Bliss, US Army Cadet Command Contractor
Senior Military Science Instructor
Coastal Carolina University
Mense Hall 103

Ricardo Isidro, Sergeant First Class
Senior Military Instructor
Coastal Carolina University
Mense Hall 108


Photo of CCU Army ROTC Chanticleer Company cadets at commissioning ceremony

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