Army ROTC at Robert Morris University: Help pay for college. Build a career. Learn to lead.
Army ROTC is an elective program that serves in conjunction with your existing degree program. You receive college credit for your ROTC classes and some courses may be used to meet degree requirements for your college major. ROTC classes will teach you leadership and management, values & ethics, military skills, and effective communication.
In addition to the valuable skills you will learn, enrolling in the Army ROTC program at RMU is a great way to make college more affordable. In addition to ROTC scholarships offered by the Army, Robert Morris University is proud to offer highly competitive merit awards for ROTC cadets who choose to live on campus. In fact, the average award for an ROTC cadet at RMU is $11,000 per year -- a benefit that far exceeds those offered by many of our peer institutions.
ROTC is an Army officer commissioning program; however, not all students who take our classes are required to serve in the Army. We encourage anyone interested in the armed forces or a career as an Army officer to enroll in our basic level course. These courses do not have any prerequisites or incur any commitment and are designed to teach basic Army fundamentals. Only students who request and earn a commissioning contract incur a service obligation.
Captain Alexander Larson
- Our Program
Three Rivers Battalion History
Army ROTC began at Robert Morris University in the spring of 2006 as a satellite school for the Three Rivers Battalion hosted at the University of Pittsburgh. The War Department established Army ROTC programs at the University of Pittsburgh in March 1918 and at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1919. In September 1919, a Coast Artillery unit was established along with a Motor Transport unit. The Motor Transport unit was discontinued in 1941 with the outbreak of WWII. In 1943, the Advanced Course was suspended, taken over by a 90-day Officer Candidate School, which produced needed active duty officers instead of reserve officers. The only unit reinstated after WWII was the Coast Artillery, which was converted to Anti-Aircraft Artillery during spring 1946. Additionally, a Corps of Engineers, Quartermaster, and Medical unit emerged to meet the Army's increased need for specialization.
In 1956, a general Military Science program of instruction was established, ending the specialized units. Presently, the Army ROTC curriculum is set up for general Military Science, offering commissions in all Army branches.
On 1 July 1975, the Department of the Army fused the ROTC programs at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh to form the Pittsburgh Senior ROTC Instruction Group. Since 1922, these two programs have commissioned more than 5,000 officers. Currently, the Pittsburgh ROTC program is comprised of more than 250 students from 13 different universities in western Pennsylvania. The current universities are the University of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Greensburg, Robert Morris University, Franciscan University of Steubenville, La Roche University, Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, Washington & Jefferson College, California University of Pennsylvania, Chatham University, St. Vincent College, Carlow University, and Point Park University. The program is open to students of any of the 13 colleges or universities in the greater Pittsburgh area.
Learn about leadership theory, followership, and group interaction in both a classroom twice a week and a lab period. You will develop problem solving skills, critical thinking abilities, and the ability to use goal setting and feedback mechanisms to succeed in any vocation.
Learn about Army leadership doctrine including ethical decision making and the Law of War. The Army values are: leadership, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.
First Aid Techniques
Hands-on basic first aid techniques such as prevention of cold weather injuries.
Map Reading/Land Navigation
Have you ever looked at a map and a compass, and wondered how to use them in the surrounding area? Take this class and you will be able to plot your location on a map, navigate to another location, convert between magnetic and grid azimuths, read a map, use a compass, and terrain associate. These are essential skills to anyone who enjoys hiking, climbing, backpacking, or camping.
Improve your written communication skills by learning the Army writing style. Give informational briefings to improve oral communication skills.
Basic Rifle Marksmanship
Aim and fire an M-4 rifle. You learn about breathing techniques, how to squeeze the trigger, and how to aim a rifle.
MS I/Freshman - MILS 1001, 1002 - Introduction to Military Science/Leadership
MSII/Sophomore - MILS 2001, 2002 - Application of Military Science/Leadership
MSIII/Junior - MILS 3001, 3002 - Advanced Leadership/Tactical Pl
MSIV/Senior - MILS 4001, 4002 - Officership, Command & Staff
Leadership Labs occur on weekends, three times each semester. The main focus of these leadership labs is to work and foster team leadership activities and facilitate hands-on leadership training. Once a year, cadets conduct a joint field training exercise with multiple other schools within the battalion , further increasing their development and contact with other programs.
Army ROTC conducts two field training exercises per school year. The Field Training Exercise (FTX) is a practical exercise using all the leadership skills and technical skills a Cadet has learned throughout the school year. Generally, the FTX consists of the following events: Field Leadership Reaction Course (FLRC), Land Navigation, Assault Courses, Situational Training Exercises (STX Lanes), and Live Fire M16 Ranges.
There are Physical Training (PT) sessions conducted 3 times per week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings from 6-7am. Contracted Cadets must attend these PT sessions unless excused by Cadre. Non-contracted Cadets are not required to be at PT sessions, however, are strongly encouraged to attend in order to compete for a contract and scholarship. The goal of these PT sessions is to pass and excel at the Army Combat Fitness Test.
Color guard is an activity that allows cadets to present our nation's colors while spreading our image through university events and athletic events. Color guard gives individuals the opportunity to acquire more merit points.
Physical Fitness Standards
The Army just officially transitioned to the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) as the physical fitness test of record. Army fitness assessments were first developed in 1858, and have changed repeatedly over the years. The current test (ACFT) was officially adopted as the Army fitness test of record for all components in April of 2023 and consists of six graded events outlined here.
The ACFT was developed to better measure combat-readiness, after it was found that more injuries occurred during the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan because of musculoskeletal injuries than the ongoing fighting. It also addresses the declining health and fitness standards of incoming recruits. The test was developed based on a set of 113 essential "warrior tasks and drills" laid out in army doctrine, as well as feedback from those who had completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Robert Morris University recognized the challenges Cadets face in adjusting to this new test, and has responded by providing Cadets with a 2,000 square foot ACFT Training Center. This new center was designed and filled with all the equipment necessary to prepare for and conduct the ACFT. ROTC students have 24-hour access to the training center as a benefit of the RMU ROTC participation.
- Career Information
- Infantry - The Queen of Battle. These are the soldiers on the ground, who get up close to the enemy and fight with rifles, rocket launchers, and grenades. They can fight dismounted (on foot) or in Infantry Fighting Vehicles alongside tanks.
- Air Defense Artillery - They defend the third dimension of the battlefield -- the air and space above -- against incoming enemy aircraft and missiles.
- Adjutant Generals Corps - They are responsible for keeping track of people and records. They also act as the Army's post office.
- Armor -The Combat Arm of Decision. The M1A1 main battle tank weighs 70+ tons and can go 42 mph over rough terrain. The 120mm main gun is so large that you could fit your fist in the barrel.
- Aviation - This branch has both fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters. Cargo and utility helicopters ferry troops and equipment around the battlefield. Attack helicopters perform a close air support role, meaning they provide covering fire for friendly troops and destroy enemy tanks.
- Chaplain Corps - Chaplains attend to the spiritual needs of our soldiers. They also act as the gauge of a unit's morale and are in charge of counseling soldiers and their families.
- Chemical Corps - They are the Army's subject matter experts on Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical weapons.
- Corps of Engineers - They build everything from houses and buildings to bridges and airfields. In war, they build minefields and trenches to protect friendly troops from the oncoming enemy and also create routes through enemy obstacles for our troops to attack through.
- Field Artillery - The King of Battle. The field artillery shoots surface to surface rockets, missiles, and projectiles at the enemy. They can attack ground targets up to 180 miles away.
- Finance Corps - The Finance Corps is very important, as they see that service-members get paid. The Finance Corps has a complex job - base pay, overseas housing allowance, travel pay, temporary duty pay, dislocation allowance, family separation pay, combat zone tax exclusion and hostile fire pay, as well as airborne jump status pay, are just a few of the different types of payment in the military.
- Judge Advocate Generals Corps - These are the army's lawyers, working either in prosecuting, defense, or administrative law.
- Medical Services Corps - The Medical Service Corps are patient administrators, run hospitals and clinics, and provide patient care on the battlefield. This also includes "dust off" pilots who fly medical evacuation helicopters.
- Military Intelligence - By analyzing satellite photographs, intercepted radio communications, and other forms of intelligence, they provide Army commanders with vital battlefield information. They can find enemy strengths and weaknesses, as well as where the enemy is, and what they are doing.
- Military Police - This is the police force for the military. The men and women of the Military Police keep law and order on bases, posts, and the battlefield.
- Ordnance - The Ordnance Corps is responsible for keeping the Army's combat forces moving and shooting - they supply ammunition as well as keep our vehicles and equipment in fighting shape.
- Quartermaster - The Quartermaster Corps plans and directs activities that supply soldiers with everything they may need throughout the world. Items such as food, water, petroleum, repair parts, weapon systems, etc. are all moved and distributed by the Quartermasters. The Corps also tests and updates new equipment and weapons.
- Special Forces - Officers cannot get into Special Forces until they have been in the Army at least three years because "SF" takes only the best, brightest, and most experienced soldiers. Special Forces conduct unconventional warfare missions worldwide, as well as training indigenous soldiers of other nations and helping local people to maintain democracy.
- Signal Corps - The Army's Signal Corps is what keeps the Army in communication. They keep the radios, cellular phones, and satellite communications up and running. The Signal Corps is also in charge of surveillance operations. Without communications, the Army could not shoot or move effectively, and the mission would not be accomplished.
- Transportation Corps - This branch ships the Army's equipment all over the world by truck, railroad, and ship.
- CST and Basic Camp
The ROTC Cadet Summer Training (CST) is the most important training event for an Army ROTC cadet or National Guard Officer Candidate. The 32-day camp incorporates a wide range of subjects designed to develop and evaluate leadership ability. The challenges are rigorous and demanding, both mentally and physically. The Cadet Summer Training (CST) tests intelligence, common sense, ingenuity and stamina. These challenges provide a new perspective on an individual's ability to perform exacting tasks and to make difficult decisions in demanding situations.
The course places each cadet and officer candidate in a variety of leadership positions, many of which simulate stressful combat situations. In each position, cadets are evaluated by platoon tactical and counseling (TAC) officers and noncommissioned officers. In addition to proving their leadership ability, cadets and officer candidates must meet established standards in physical fitness, weapons training, communication, combat patrols and demonstrate their proficiency in many other military skills. Cadets and officer candidates must excel at camp to be considered competitive for a commission as an Army officer.
Basic Camp is an intensive 28-day training experience for college students unable to meet the basic course requirements on campus.
Basic Camp is the Army's 2-year ROTC Program entry point. Through attendance of Basic Camp, students without ROTC Basic Course experience can examine the Army without incurring an obligation, and qualify for Advanced Course entry. The Army observes these students and determines their officer potential in a leadership oriented, challenging, and motivating 28-day training program.
A successful camp begins with recruitment of quality students who have a desire to learn about ROTC and an Army Officer career. Training during camp educates, challenges, motivates, and demonstrates to the student the demands and rewards of being an Army Officer. Basic Camp is the student's and the Army's vehicle for determining future ROTC involvement.
The camp philosophy is based on an action-oriented training plan. Emphasis is hands on, outdoor training with rapid, constructive feedback to the cadet. Above all else, Basic Camp is a leadership experience. The training program is designed to inspire students to become outstanding leaders with a sound understanding of traditional leadership values. At the Leader's Training Course, students are trained to lead and develop their officer leadership potential.
- Several ROTC Nurse specific scholarships offered each year
- 2, 3, and 4-year full tuition scholarships
- $1200 for books per year ($600 per semester)
- $420 per month stipend
- Additional financial benefits for labs and medical supplies
- Receive valuable leadership training while getting your education from one of the country's top nursing schools
Click for more information about the Robert Morris University School of Nursing.
- Sharpen your critical thinking skills
- Strengthen nursing skills of assessing, planning, intervening and evaluating
- Learn nursing skills you can't learn in an academic environment
- Learn how to be a member of an effective team.
- ROTC FAQs
What is Army ROTC?
- Army Reserve Officer Training Corps is the largest commissioning source of Army Officers in the nation servicing over 1,700 colleges and universities across the U.S.
What is an Army Officer?
- An Army Officer is a rank of leadership and trust in the Army. Army Officers are responsible for planning and executing tough and realistic training while leading Soldiers all over the world. Cadets in ROTC who graduate from an eligible degree program receive a commission as a Second Lieutenant.
I’m not sure if I want to join the Army, but I am interested in the military. Can I take the class?
- Yes! Our basic course classes (100/200 level) are open for enrollment to any student at RMU with no obligation to serve in the Army whatsoever.
Do I have to take any specific kinds of degrees to join?
- The only jobs that require a specific degree are medical services and nursing, otherwise any degree you receive from RMU qualifies you for any other job in the Army.
What does ROTC require of their Cadets?
- RMU ROTC holds Military Science classes once a week alongside the Cadets’ normal college coursework. We gather for physical training Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning from 6 am – 7 am. We hold leadership and skills labs once a month, typically on a Saturday. Finally, we have one weekend field training exercise each semester to practice and implement practical skills learned in the classroom.
Can I be a part of ROTC while also playing a sport for RMU?
- Absolutely! We highly encourage our Cadets to be active in their colleges and universities with both athletics and extra-curricular programs. In fact, Cadets who are active in sports and clubs on campus can receive extra points when considering duty assignment and job placement during their senior year.
I don’t want to be in the Army full time, but I still want to serve; can I join the National Guard?
- Yes! Army ROTC commissions officers into the active force, Army National Guard, and Army Reserves.
Can I get a scholarship?
- Yes! High school students can apply for 3 or 4 year national scholarships which cover the entirety of tuition/fees for their university and also pays the student a monthly stipend up to $420 alongside $600 per semester for books/additional fees. New Cadets not on scholarship can also compete for program scholarships awarded through ROTC based on merit and leadership potential.
Where can I find more information?
- You can contact the RMU ROTC program directly with the below information or visit the Three Rivers Battalion website.
Captain Alex Larson
Mr. Bill Perez