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Cadet Life

The typical weekly schedule for an Army cadet includes physical training, academic instruction, and hands-on field instruction.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, cadets meet at 6:30AM (0630 in military time!) to conduct physical exercise in order to develop, enhance, and challenge each cadet's physical abilities. Exercises often consist of distance running, sprinting, endurance workouts for the chest and abdominal muscles, rope climbing, and the standard push-ups and sit-ups—a cadet's condition will be tested quarterly in the Army Physical Fitness Test. This development and testing of physical endurance is a crucial part of the cadet's future Army career.

Cadets attend classes just like their fellow students, but their schedule is augmented with an exclusive course on leadership offered by the Military Science Department. Cadets attend the following courses:

  • First Year: Foundations in Leadership 1-3 — Overviews leadership fundamentals such as setting direction, problem solving, listening, presenting briefs, providing feedback and using effective writing skills. Students begin to explore leadership dimensions and values Two 60-minute classes per week. Weekly 3-hour leadership labs required.
  • Sophomore Year: Leadership in a Changing Environment 1-3 — Examine the challenges of leading In complex contemporary operational environments. Dimensions of the cross-cultural challenges of leadership in a constantly changing world and their application to leadership tasks and situations. Case studies and Importance of teamwork and tactics In real world settings. Two 60-minute classes per week. Weekly 3-hour labs per quarter.
  • Junior Year: Situational Leadership 1-3 — Study of intense situational leadership challenges to build student awareness and skills in leading small units. Skills in decision-making, persuading, and motivating team members when "under fire" are explored, evaluated, and developed. Two 90 minute classes per week. Weekly 3-hour labs per quarter.
  • Senior Year: Leadership in a Complex World 1-3 — Explores the dynamics of leading In the complex situations of current military operations. Students examine differences In customs and courtesies, military law, principles of war and rules of engagement In the face of International terrorism. Aspects of Interacting with non-governmental organizations, civilians on the battlefield, and host nation support are examined and evaluated. One 180-minute seminar per week. Weekly 3-hour labs per quarter.

Cadets also take a course on American Military History to satisfy their ROTC course requirements. Twice a year, cadets will apply what they learn on campus in a Leader Development Exercise (LDX) at Ft. Hunter Ligget several hours south of campus. Here, cadets will undergo situational training exercises (STX), land navigation practice, and other valuable, exciting training events. Finally, cadets function within their own chain of command, serving in leadership positions to supervise, develop, and assist their peers. Each cadet is assigned a mentor from the preceding class, creating a network of trust and advice that other students do not experience.

Summer Training Opportunities

Each year, over 800 special training opportunities are extended to cadets through the Cadet Professional Development Training (CPDT) program. The CPDT program supplements campus training with practical leader development experiences and some additional skill identifier awarding courses. Cadets train in Army schools and with Active and Reserve units. CPDT consists of two subprograms, Cadet Troop Leader Training (CTLT) and Cadet Practical Field Training (CPFT). In a typical year, about half our commissionees will have had at least one of these experiences.

Cadet Advanced Camp (formerly CLC)

Advanced Camp is a 29 day development and assessment course typically done during the summer of a cadet’s junior year in Fort Knox, KY. Here cadets are assessed on their Land Navigation, First Aid, and combat tactics in a simulated training environment. This training is mandatory of all cadets before they commission.

Cadet Basic Camp (formerly CIET)

Location: Fort Knox, Kentucky

You may attend this course if you:

* Have not taken Military Science I and II

  • Are medically qualified to attend
  • Are transferring from a school that did not offer ROTC
  • Are a junior or community college graduate entering an ROTC school and have no prior active or Reserve Component military service
  • Are a graduate student starting a two-year program
  • Are a high school graduate entering a military junior college

Students with prior military service, may be given credit for Basic Course completion and would not be required to attend.

Cadet Basic Camp is attended during the summer between your sophomore and junior years of college for five weeks at Fort Knox (Louisville), Kentucky. The purpose of the Leader’s Training Course is to provide instruction in the basic leadership and technical skills that will prepare you for your junior and senior years of ROTC. During this camp you have the opportunity to compete for available two year or Guaranteed Reserve Forces scholarships. All travel expenses are paid and you are paid while attending camp.

Basic Airborne School (BAC)

Location: Ft. Benning, Georgia.

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.

Air Assault School (AAS)

Location: Ft. Campbell, Kentucky

The AAS is a 10 day 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, sling-load operations, and rappelling.

Pre-Combat Diver Qualification Course (Pre-CDQC)

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.

Mountain Warfare School (MWS)

Location: Jericho, Vermont

A two-week 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.

Cadet Troop Leader Training (CTLT)

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). 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.

Drill Cadet Leader Training (DCLT)

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.