Overview of the Army ROTC Basic Course

rotc-smiling-cadetThe Army ROTC Basic Course consists of two distinct components, the classroom introduction to the Army Profession and Officership of the Military Science and Leadership (MSL) I year, and the experiential examination of leadership, decision-making, and group process of the MSL-II year. Both Basic Course years are designed to enhance student interest in ROTC and the Army. MSL-I lessons provide an overview of the key subjects of pre-commissioning, which will be treated in much greater depth in the Advanced Course. The MSL-II year takes the unique approach of placing cadets in a wide variety of group exercises designed to emphasize various professional leadership competencies and insights. These events are held both inside the classroom and in outdoor settings. The instructor, acting as facilitator, helps guide student processing, or after action reviews, of the events to derive the leadership, group dynamics, and problem solving lessons that the exercises offer. In addition to military skills, practical life skills are emphasized throughout the two years. By the end of the Basic Course, cadets should possess a basic understanding of the unique aspects of the officer corps, fundamentals of leadership and decision-making, Army institutional values, and principles of individual fitness and healthy lifestyle. The lessons are designed to maximize cadet participation, inspire intellectual curiosity, and stimulate self-study.

Overview of the Army ROTC Advanced Course

The Army ROTC Advanced Course is comprised of four courses, Military Science and Leadership (MSL) 301, MSL 302, MSL 401, and MSL 402 and the National Advanced Leadership Camp. The Advanced Course is designed to teach all knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for commissioning as a new second lieutenant, and to establish a sound foundation for a career as a commissioned Army officer. The content and methods of the Advanced Course assume no prior cadet experience or other military training. This approach is taken because the Advanced Course comprises the minimum curriculum that an individual must complete in order to be commissioned.

college-cadets-2Advanced Course lessons are carefully sequenced, linked, and progressive in their treatment of key officer knowledge and competencies. Students are encouraged to synthesize lessons to form broader perspectives, deeper insights, and more robust problem solving abilities, by the use of case studies and simulations that require the use of skills and knowledge learned in a wide variety of earlier lessons. The sequencing of lessons is also designed to meet the immediate needs of cadets by addressing topics needed for success in the performance of cadet responsibilities early in the MSL 301 term, and at the NALC, and topics designed to facilitate entry into active military service during the MSL 402 term.

The MSL 301 course is designed to enable a student with no prior military or cadet experience to quickly learn essential cadet knowledge and skills necessary for integration into the cadet battalion and successful performance of key cadet tasks. First you will be introduced to principles of physical fitness and healthy lifestyle so that you may effectively work to improve or maintain your physical fitness from the very beginning of the term. Next, you will be introduced to the Leader Development Program that will be used to evaluate your leadership performance and provide you developmental feedback for the rest of your cadet years. To help prepare you for their responsibilities in teaching and participating in Military Science and Leadership Labs, you will then be taught how to plan and conduct individual and small unit training, as well as basic tactical principles. Following these important introductory modules, the course turns to a four-week study of reasoning skills and the military-specific application of these skills in the form of the Army troop leading procedure. The term concludes its final four weeks with a detailed examination of officership, which culminates in a five-hour officership case study. This treatment of officership is especially appropriate in this term because MSL 301 is the first term that all cadets, regardless of your route of entry into ROTC, must take.