To commission the future officer leadership of the United States Army.
Army ROTC is an educational program designed to provide the college student an opportunity to earn an army commission as a second lieutenant while completing the university requirements for a bachelor’s degree. The program provides leadership training that will develop the skills and attitudes vital to the professional army officer. Upon successful completion of the program and graduation from the university, ROTC cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants and enter either the active Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard component.
Army ROTC at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville
The military program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, pre-dates that of any other state university in the country, having been introduced in 1844. In that year, Professor Albert Miller Lea, a United States Military Academy graduate, organized an infantry company. With the outbreak of the Mexican War, the entire company, as well as thousands of other Tennesseans, volunteered for service in the war. Thus, Tennessee became known as the Volunteer State.
When the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, reopened after the Civil War, a system of military discipline was adapted. A code of military regulations was drawn up and a copy was provided to each student when he matriculated. The entire institution was placed under regular United States Military Academy discipline. The student body was organized into a battalion of cadets, which consisted of four companies fully staffed, armed, and equipped under the command of the commandant and his staff of cadet officers. UT Knoxville remained as a military garrison for a period of six years, until 1877. Military Science continued to be taught, since the university was a Land Grant Institution and the 1862 Act of Congress required instruction in military science.
The National Defense Act of 1916 changed the old military organization into an ROTC unit. For the first time, the federal government began to pay a part of the uniform cost for basic course students. The government provided uniforms and other equipment for juniors and seniors, and a monthly subsistence allowance was given to advanced course students.
From 1928-1930, Major (later Brigadier General) Robert R. Neyland served as the Professor of Military Science and football coach at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
The objectives of the program are to provide students with a strong foundation of leadership attributes and an understanding of the fundamental concepts and principles of military art and science; to develop a basic understanding of associated professional knowledge; to inculcate a strong sense of personal integrity, honor, and individual responsibility; to foster an appreciation of the requirements for national security; and to establish a sound basis for the students’ future professional development.
ROTC draws young men and women for training from all geographical, economic, and social strata of our society, as well as from the many educational disciplines required for the modern army. The program ensures that men and women educated in a liberal and broad spectrum of American institutions of higher learning are commissioned annually into the officer corps.
Students entering the basic course register for classes at the same time and in the same manner as they enroll in their other college courses. All four classes (MLSL 101, MLSL 102, MLSL 201, and MLSL 202) are available to any UT Knoxville student as an elective course without any military obligation. Completion of the basic course, graduation from leader’s training course or prior military service qualifies students for entry into the advanced course, which is normally taken during the last two years of college.
The advanced course is designed to develop and mentor leaders of character who, upon degree completion, will accept a commission in the United States Army. The advanced course requires that applicants have two academic years remaining at either the undergraduate or graduate levels, or a combination of both. Students normally enter the advanced course during the last two years of their degree program (junior year for undergraduates, first year of master’s program for graduate-level students). The advanced course is made up of five military science and leadership classes (MLSL 301, MLSL 302, MLSL 303*, MLSL 400, MLSL 401, and MLSL 402) and takes two years to complete. All classes except Advanced Camp are offered during spring/fall semesters. Advanced Camp is a paid five-week summer camp held in Fort Knox, KY.
Army ROTC develops students under the total person concept. Cadets must maintain academic standards while taking on the additional responsibilities of ROTC. Army ROTC cadets are required to participate in organized physical fitness training. Students enrolled in the advanced course are required to be full-time students, taking at least 12 hours each semester.
Placement and Course Credit Substitution
Placement credit and/or course substitution may be granted by the Professor of Military Science and Leadership on the basis of previous honorable active military service, participation in a junior ROTC program, completion of Basic Camp or completion of army basic training and advanced individual training. A student may request placement credit for a portion or the entire basic course. Military science and leadership courses taken at other colleges or universities are transferable as approved by the Professor of Military Science and Leadership.
Basic Camp is a paid five-week summer leader’s training course offered to any University of Tennessee student without any military obligation. Students completing this course receive four academic credits, qualify for the advanced course by receiving basic course credit, and can compete for two years of academic tuition scholarships.
Requirements for Enrollment and Continuance
The general requirements for enrollment and continuance in the Army ROTC program are as follows.
- Basic course students must
- Be a citizen of the United States.
- Be physically qualified.
- Have freshman or sophomore standing. Students with higher standing require consent of instructor.
- Basic course cadets applying for enrollment in the advanced course who seek a commission must
- Have successfully completed MLSL 101, MLSL 102, MLSL 201, and MLSL 202 or have accomplished one of the following: prior military service, ROTC basic military studies; practicum (Basic Camp); three-year high school ROTC basic course.
- Have two years remaining at the university (either undergraduate, graduate, or in pursuit of additional coursework).
- Have completed a minimum of 55 hours.
- Be under 30 years old at time of graduation and commissioning (waiverable).
- Be enrolled as a full-time student, either at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, or at a nearby institution in a partnership program.
- Meet military screening and physical requirements.
- Maintain a 2.0 G.P.A.
- Maintain B average in military science and leadership courses.
Regularly enrolled students who meet the academic prerequisites may take individual courses as electives with the permission of the department head and academic advisor.
- Minimum hours/GPA for entrance into basic military studies practicum (MLSL 200) is 30-59.9 hours/2.0 GPA.
- Minimum overall GPA for entrance into the advanced course (MLSL 301, MLSL 302, MLSL 400, MLSL 401, andMLSL 402) is 2.0 GPA.
- Minimum GPA in military science and leadership courses is 3.0.
- Minimum overall GPA for commissioning is 2.0.
- Semester counseling sessions with military advisor required for advanced course and scholarship students only.
Requirements for All Military Science and Leadership Commissionees
The following military science and leadership advanced course curriculum must be successfully completed.
MLSL 301 (4); MLSL 302 (4); MLSL 400 (4); MLSL 401 (4); MLSL 402 (4); and MLSL 349 or MLSL 303* (3).
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, there are required and recommended courses in designated fields of study that students must complete prior to commissioning. Students meet these prerequisites by successful completion of required and elective courses taken from the university curriculum in the required areas of concentration.
Courses in the following designated fields of study are strongly recommended of students seeking a commission in the United States Army – one course in written communications, one course in human behavior, and one course in math reasoning, one course in computer literacy.
Pay and Entitlements
All scholarship cadets and cadets enrolled in the ROTC advanced course receive uniforms and equipment plus a monthly allowance during the academic year. While attending the ROTC summer studies, each cadet receives approximately $740 for advanced summer studies or $740 for basic summer studies, plus meals and clothing.
Army ROTC Scholarship Program
The Army ROTC scholarship program offers financial assistance to outstanding young men and women in Army ROTC who are interested in the Army as a career. Each scholarship provides for free tuition, textbooks subsidy, and laboratory fees in addition to a monthly subsistence allowance for the period that the scholarship is in effect. The monthly stipend runs from $300 to $500 for contracted cadets. Scholarships may be awarded for two, three, or four years. High school seniors should contact their guidance counselors early in August or September of their senior year to apply for the four-year scholarship. Two- and three-year scholarship applicants should contact the Professor of Military Science and Leadership for further information. Other privately financed scholarships and grants are also available to ROTC cadets.
Leadership Grant Program
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, ROTC Leadership Grants are designed to attract and retain high quality/caliber students to the Army ROTC program for future positions of leadership within their service and our country. These grants are intended to complement other ROTC and university scholarships by providing funds to offset costs for such areas as room and board, out-of-state tuition, and first year expenses for Army ROTC scholarship winners.
Up to ten $1,000 leadership grants are available each year and are available to scholarship winners and any full-time student enrolled in the AROTC program. Awarding of these leadership grants will be determined by the Professor of Military Science and Leadership who will evaluate each candidate in the following areas: ACT/SAT scores, leadership activities, and recommendations from high school personnel and community leaders.
Simultaneous Membership Program
The simultaneous membership program option combines the Army ROTC living allowance with membership in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard and allows the student to receive pay from both programs. ROTC cadets serve as officer trainees in direct leadership/management positions. Simultaneous membership program participation with national guard or reserve forces is one weekend per month and two weeks each year. Cadets participating in the simultaneous membership program are eligible for tuition assistance reimbursement up to $4,500 per year.
The curriculum of the Army ROTC program is designed to qualify the cadet for appointment as an officer. Selection for assignment to the various branches of the army is based upon the personal interests of the cadet, the major course of study, academic accomplishments, leadership potential, and the needs of the service. Under this system a cadet may be commissioned in any branch for which he or she is qualified and in which a need for officers exists. After graduation and commissioning, the officer will attend a service school for further specialized military training which will qualify him or her for the branch to which he or she is assigned.
Numerous military related activities are available to cadets throughout the school year. These include the Tennessee Rangers, Scabbard and Blade Honor Society, and UT Color Guard. These organizations provide both student-to-student contact and a valuable opportunity to acquire military skills. Additionally, field training exercises are conducted each semester to develop such military skills as small unit tactics, land navigation, and rifle marksmanship.
Physical Fitness Training
The Cadet Battalion conducts physical fitness training Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The exercise program focuses on flexibility, muscular strength, and cardio-respiratory endurance. Any University of Tennessee, Knoxville, student may take the course by registering for MLSL 103.