Lieutenant Colonel Michael Nelson, U.S. Army
Professor of Military Science
The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is an elective program offering qualified students the opportunity to earn a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army, Army National Guard, or U.S. Army Reserve while pursuing a baccalaureate or graduate degree as a full-time student. The program emphasizes student learning and participation in applied leadership, leadership theory, decision making, management skills, time management, ethics and military law, logistics, military roles and national objectives, strategic and tactical planning and principles, and basic military knowledge and skills. The George Mason Army ROTC Patriot Battalion began in 1982, achieved independent status in 2000, and frequently conducts training with colleges and universities throughout Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
Enrollment in Military Science (MLSC) courses is open to all students at the Basic Course Level. Freshmen (MLSC 100 Introduction to Army/ROTC and MLSC 102 Leadership Skills II), sophomore (MLSC 200 Self/Team Development and MLSC 202 Leadership Skills IV), and junior (MLSC 300 Applied Leadership I and MLSC 302 Applied Leadership II) classes are awarded 1 credit each. Senior classes (MLSC 400 Leadership and Management and MLSC 402 Leadership and Ethics) earn 3 credits each. No military service obligation is incurred by enrolling in the freshman and sophomore level Army ROTC courses. Courses can be dropped or added, as with any elective course at Mason.
The four-year program is organized into two successive phases: the Basic Course and the Advanced Course. For students seeking the opportunity to earn a commission as an officer, several entry methods and participation strategies can be used. A minimum of four semesters must remain in the student's academic curriculum to complete commissioning requirements; these semesters may be part of either a full-time undergraduate or graduate degree. Course descriptions appear under Military Science (MLSC) in the Courses section of this catalog. Cadets must meet established academic standards. A student must maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.00 to earn commissioning credit for ROTC.
Contracted and scholarship cadets of any level are required to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) once each semester. Physical training (PT) is conducted three times each week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday from 6:30 to 8 a.m.). All contracted and scholarship cadets are required to attend physical training.
Basic Course Curriculum
The Basic Course curriculum is a four-course series (MLSC 100 Introduction to Army/ROTC, MLSC 102 Leadership Skills II, MLSC 200 Self/Team Development, and MLSC 202 Leadership Skills IV), usually taken in the freshman and sophomore years. Each class awards 1 academic credit. The Basic Course trains students map reading, land navigation, first aid, physical fitness, leadership, ethics, and communication skills. Each lecture class meets once a week for 75 minutes. Course materials and access to required publications are provided free of charge to all enrolled students. Uniforms and equipment are also issued to students at no cost, but students must return them when withdrawing from or completing the program. In addition students not participating in summer training are required to store their uniforms and equipment with ROTC Supply over the summer break.
Mason's Army ROTC program has numerous experiential aspects. The MLSC Leadership Laboratory section encompasses several different activities. Students enrolling in any ROTC lecture class must enroll in the required lab section. Only the Professor of Military Science can waive Laboratory enrollment in certain circumstances, such as scheduling conflicts.
All Laboratory sections meet as a combined unit on Thursdays from 1:30 to 4:15 p.m. During this time, Cadets train in a variety of hands-on, practical leadership skills and military tasks, ranging from drills and ceremonies to squad and platoon tactics.
Army ROTC also organizes numerous optional events, including field training exercises (FTXs), rappelling, orienteering, formal social events and military related field trips. The unit has an organized color guard, drill team and an intercollegiate Ranger Challenge competition team. Students also have the opportunity to attend official Army training courses such as basic airborne training and the air assault course. Enrolled students typically become progressively more involved to enhance their training, develop esprit de corps, and take part in social aspects of the program.
Advanced Course Curriculum
The Advanced Course consists of a four-course series (MLSC 300 Applied Leadership I, MLSC 302 Applied Leadership II, MLSC 400 Leadership and Management, and MLSC 402 Leadership and Ethics) taken during the junior and senior years. MLSC 300 Applied Leadership I and MLSC 302 Applied Leadership II earn 1 credit each, while MLSC 400 Leadership and Management and MLSC 402 Leadership and Ethics earn 3 credits each. Enrollment in the ROTC advanced course requires that students enter into a contract to serve as a commissioned officer in the active or reserve component of the U.S. Army upon graduation. Many graduates elect to apply for service on active duty although ROTC also offers the opportunity of service in either the Army Reserve or Army National Guard.
The 300-level courses emphasize squad and platoon leadership, tactics, and preparation for Advanced Camp. Advanced Camp is a five-week training and evaluation event conducted during the summer at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Successful completion is a prerequisite for commissioning. Cadets typically attend Advanced Camp in the summer between their junior and senior years; however, they may attend after their senior year if necessary. Salary, travel expenses, and room and board are all provided during the course.
Satisfactory completion of an approved military history course is also required. The department of History and Art History offers a number of 300-level survey courses on the American military experience that satisfy this requirement. Permission of the Professor of Military Science is required prior to substituting any other course.
Upper division ROTC students are also expected to participate in peer mentoring as part of their leadership development. The ROTC peer mentorship program helps students assimilate into the program and helps students prioritize their time to ensure they remain in good academic standing.
The 400-level courses are considered to be the transition phase to becoming an officer in the U.S. Army. These courses focus on leadership, staff operations, logistics, military law, and ethics. Seniors are expected to organize and attend an additional one-hour staff and training meeting per week as part of their leadership experience and duties. Planning and implementation of training becomes the primary focus for seniors in required laboratories.
Enrollment in the advance course ROTC classes requires that certain prerequisites be met. For more information, see the Courses section of this catalog.
Earning a Commission
There are several methods by which students may enter Army ROTC to earn a commission as a second lieutenant on graduation:
- Traditional students may complete the four-year program.
- Sophomores may dual-enroll in both years of MLSC freshman and sophomore level instruction to satisfy the lower-level division requirement in a single academic year. A member of the ROTC cadre must sign a time conflict approval form in order for students to enroll in both freshmen and sophomore lecture sections, as well as the leadership laboratory.
- Veterans with prior college credits may enter directly into the upper-division sequence (if academically aligned as a junior).
- Sophomores may apply to attend a four-week Basic Camp - between the sophomore and junior years to gain experience equivalent to the basic course. Medical, physical and academic standards must be met prior to attending Basic Camp. Students should contact the Recruiting Operations Office in the ROTC department to determine eligibility.
- Graduate students entering a two year program are also eligible to attend Basic Camp prior to start of their graduate studies. Students should contact the Recruiting Operations Officer in the ROTC department to
Education delays for graduate study also may be approved for Cadets seeking training as physicians, lawyers or ministers based on needs of the Army. Non-U.S. citizens may participate freely in the lower-division ROTC courses, but must earn U.S. citizenship prior to enrollment in courses requiring a contractual obligation to serve as a commissioned officer.
Two-, three-, and four-year ROTC scholarships are available to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in all majors on a competitive basis as well as to graduating seniors who wish to pursue a two-year master's degree. Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 to apply and be under age 31 when commissioned. Scholarships pay 100 percent of tuition, an annual book allowance of $1,200, and a stipend of $420 per month during the school year, all tax free.
A two or three year Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty scholarship is available that guarantees reserve duty upon graduation and commissioning. Students should contact the Recruiting Operations Officer in the ROTC department to determine eligibility.
High school students interested in four-year scholarships should apply online no later than December 15 of their senior year for a scholarship that would start in the fall semester of their freshman year at Mason. Contact the Recruiting Operations Officer for details.
Many students participate in ROTC as non-scholarship cadets. A non-scholarship cadet cannot enter into a contract to receive a commission until the sophomore year (to include completing MLSC 100 Introduction to Army/ROTC and MLSC 102 Leadership Skills II or equivalent credit.) For the sophomore, junior, and senior years, non-scholarship contracted students receive a monthly stipend.
Air Force ROTC
AFROTC Detachment 330
2125 Cole Student Activities Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1021
The Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps (AFROTC) provides two programs for college men and women to earn a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force while completing their university degree requirements. To enter the AFROTC program, students should contact 301-314-3242 or go online. Mason students register for the appropriate courses through the Consortium Office located in SUB I, Room 2101. Attendance at courses, located at the University of Maryland, is mandatory. Carpools among Mason cadets are usually available.
This program is comprised of a General Military Course (GMC) and a Professional Officer Course (POC). The first two years (GMC), normally for freshmen and sophomores, give a general introduction to the Air Force and its various career fields. Students enrolled in the GMC program incur no obligation and may elect to discontinue the program at any time. The final two years, the POC concentrate on the development of leadership skills and the study of U.S. defense policy. Students must compete for acceptance into the POC. Students enrolled in the last two years of the program regardless of scholarship status will receive a monthly stipend. Juniors receive $450 a month and seniors receive $500 a month.
This program is normally offered to prospective sophomores but may be taken by seniors and graduate students. The academic requirements for this program are identical to the four-year program, and students receive the same benefits in their POC years. Student will take both the freshmen and sophomore class to make up the missed first year. Students must start the fall semester of their sophomore year to be eligible for the three-year program. Graduate students should contact the detachment 301-314-3242 for graduate student entrance requirements.
Scholarships are available in many fields and are based on merit. Those selected receive tuition, lab expenses, incidental fees, and a book allowance, plus a nontaxable monthly allowance. For the most up to date information about scholarships available contact the detachment or visit their website.
AFROTC cadets are eligible for numerous local, regional, and national awards. Many of these awards include monetary assistance for school.