The William and Mary Department of Military Science, established in 1947, is the cornerstone of Army officer training that develops students, known as Cadets, into becoming the Army’s future officers. The program, known as Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), consists of Military Science Courses (MLSC 100 and 400-level courses), Military Science Lab, physical training and field training. Both undergraduate and graduate students may participate.
Military Science classes aim to develop students minds intellectually, to teach Cadets about the contemporary operating environment, and to prepare them mentally to lead troops in a multitude of missions and operations. As such, academics are the core of officer training. The first two years of ROTC (MLSC 100 and 200) focus on principles of officership, and they are free of obligation or commitment (non-contracted students). The last two years of ROTC (MLSC 300-400), prepares Cadets to commission as officers in the United States Army.
The weekly ROTC requirements incorporate classroom and field training that require Cadets to attend Military Science classes and labs each week, where they receive hands-on technical and tactical training. Such training includes leadership, military principles, military doctrine, land navigation, squad and patrolling tactics, orienteering, field-craft, team-building, drill and ceremony.
Physical training (PT) is the foundation of training officers to be physically, mentally, and emotionally fit. PT is usually comprised of a workout including pushups, sit-ups, running, team and individual competition, and other physically related events.
Prior to receiving a commission, the summer before a Cadet’s academic senior year, Cadets attend the Leadership Development Accessions Course (LDAC) “Warrior Forge” at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. At Warrior Forge, Cadets undergo rigorous training and are tested in their skills as an officer. LDAC Cadets are constantly rotated in different leadership roles as they must lead their soldiers through various tasks and trials. Such tasks may include a Field Leadership Reaction Course (in which a Cadet must lead his squad over a river by building a rope bridge), conquering an obstacle or confidence course, or tactical squad and patrolling missions in the field.
Upon LDAC/Warrior Forge graduation, senior Cadets lead the Revolutionary Guard Battalion as they train the younger Cadets.
Army ROTC Cadets graduate with a commission from the President of the United States as 2nd Lieutenant in the Active Army, the U.S. Army Reserve or the Army National Guard. The 2nd Lieutenant has 16 career options that may be chosen upon entry into the United States Army.