Whether you are a 4 year scholarship winner, or a freshman that just found out that Army ROTC is a thing if you plan to enroll in Army ROTC there are a few things you will need or should be doing over the summer (especially if you plan to join the Golden Knight Battalion). In this post I’ll try to break it down for you all. I’ll tell you what will be expected from a scholarship winner, and what will be expected from a student just planning to enroll and give it a try. Keep in mind the program you plan to join may do business a little different, but the basic requirements will be the same. You will still need to eventually become medically qualified, pass you PT test, and do some paperwork.
If you are a scholarship winner you will have been directed to start your DODMERB. Remember that sooner is better. You may go to the doc and the doc may tell you that everything looks good. That doesn’t mean you are qualified. I won’t go into too much detail regarding the DODMERB process here. I’ve written about it before. Just know that you need to schedule your appointments ASAP, need to be prepared to explain any issues you think may be a concern to the Army, and be prepared to react quickly if DODMERB asks for more information or additional appointments.
If you are not coming in on scholarship we will schedule you for your DODMERB once you are enrolled and showing the potential. I usually schedule the non scholarship Cadets who attend the scholarship board each semester. My SMP Cadets can provide me with their MEPS physical which we can use to get a DODMERB qualification.
If you are a 4 year scholarship winner you will have to pass your Army Physical Fitness Test before you can be contracted and start your scholarship. Some schools will give that test to you once school starts. At Clarkson I use the summer to give you a chance to pass the test. We offer the test a number of times in various locations around New York. Pass the test and you will contract on day 1, fail the test and we will allow you to come to Potsdam to try again before school starts. You’ll also be tested in the morning on contracting day if you haven’t passed by then. Fail that one and you won’t be signing your contract on day one.
If you are non scholarship you will take the PT test at least twice a semester. If we think you deserve to contract or be offered a campus based scholarship part of that decision will be based on you consistently passing your APFT.
Once again, sooner is better. Starting yesterday to establish a fitness regime and being prepared to meet the fitness standards is essential. There is nothing more disheartening than driving a couple hours to give 3 scholarship winners their first PT test and watching all three fail miserably. I owe you all a more detailed blog post on recommendations to prepare for the test. The short answer is do pushups, situps and run just about every day to prepare.
If you are joining the program there are a couple forms we will require to enroll you in the program. These forms give us the necessary information to enter you into the Cadet Command Information Management Module (CCIMM) which is the system we use to manage Cadets and applicants. Along with the enrollment form we will ask you to release medical information and academic information to us in the future. There will also be a form that notifies you of your rights if you are hurt while training as a Cadet.
If you are a scholarship winner, along with the standard enrollment paperwork, we are going to ask for a lot more paperwork. We’ll need a direct deposit form to know where to send the money, and there will be forms for tax, insurance, and security clearance purposes. Scholarship winners will also fill out an enlistment form, and sign a contract.
Programs may have different procedures for filling out the forms. In our case we have a couple websites where you can access the forms. If you are just enrolling then we are going to ask you to bring the forms with you to our orientation, If you are a scholarship winner we’ll have you mail all your forms, so they can be ready to be signed on contracting day.
Again, some programs might ask you to buy certain gear, or suggest you buy and break in boots. Some programs might give you workout plans, or have weeks long orientations. If you are going to be a member of the Golden Knight Battalion we want you to show up in reasonable physical shape with the required paperwork, ready to start down the road to becoming an Army leader. No need to go ninja or start studying Clausewitz or training for marathons.