The other day I was answering a post on one of the discussion boards and I came up with this succinct description of what it takes to be successful in Army ROTC and become an Army Second Lieutenant. I’ve distilled it down to the essentials. It’s expected that you’ve picked up one or two additional things during 4 years of college and 4 or less years of ROTC training, but here it is in a nutshell:
If you can pass a PT test, navigate with a map and compass, and lead a small group of people using the troop leading procedures and communicating your plan with a 5 paragraph operations order format you’ve got what it takes to be the raw material that is a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Army.
There is also a process called the Leadership Development Program (LDP), LDP HANDBOOK – 1 Apr 2011that will expose you to the leadership dimensions we expect our officers to possess. You will be (or should be) evaluated on these dimensions on campus, and at camp.
Once you graduate you will go on to more training, which will teach you much of what you have already learned, and teach you what you need to know about your branch. You will will still have a lot to learn, but ROTC is not the place for you to gain more than the basic skills.
I’m sure some would debate my simplistic view, and I would welcome others to weigh in.