10 Myths About Army ROTC

Myth #1:  Enrolling into ROTC the Same As Enlisting into the Army

Enrolling into ROTC is not the same as enlisting into the Army.  ROTC is the one way for college students to explore military service without having to sign any contract.  Signing up for a Military Science class is exactly that, it is a class.  Students enrolled in the Military Science Basic Course are those exploring the ROTC program’s 100 and 200 level courses. Enrolled students ARE NOT obligated to contract, meaning to enter a commitment and finish the program. Students can drop after one term, or they can complete the entire two years of the Basic Course before making their decision. Enrolled students earn elective credit towards their degree while in the Basic Course.  Enrolled students are NOT receiving any type of financial assistance from the Army for college.  Enrolling into Military Science Advanced Course of 300 and 400 level courses does require the student to make a decision to contract into ROTC.

Myth #2: Contracting into ROTC the Same as Enlisting into the Army

Contracting into Army ROTC is not, strictly speaking, joining the Army. You will not be sent to boot camp. However, the primary purpose of the Army ROTC program is to produce Army officers, so you must agree to serve as an officer in the Army after graduation.  In return the Army will provide financial assistance and scholarships to qualified Cadets to help them complete their college degree.

Ten EWU Cadets contract into the ROTC program on September 20, 2018 in front of historic Showalter Hall.

Myth #3:  An Army Officer is a Military Policeman

Being an Army officer means that you will become the civilian equivalent of a manager, not a military policeman.  Officers are tasked with making important decisions in stressful situations and are responsible for the well being and safety of the Soldiers under their command. Being officer requires exercising discipline and learning leadership skills that carry over very well in civilian service after the Army.  After graduation ROTC Cadets will commission into the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.  After completing their initial military training a 2nd Lieutenant will generally hold the position of Platoon Leader and be responsible for approximately 30 Soldiers.

Myth #4:  Everyone goes into the Infantry

Prior to commissioning Cadets will go through an accessions process where they will compete for one of the 18 branches they want to be part of.  If a Cadet does not want to branch into the Infantry they do not have to.

Former EWU Army ROTC Cadets Kyle Stanton, Bryce Stanton, and Scott Hinshaw are pinned their infantry rifles by retired Brigadier General Neal Sealock during the 2018 Branching Ceremony.

Myth #5:  College is Free to All Cadets

Joining ROTC does not mean that a Cadet automatically receives a scholarship to pay for school.  Cadets have to compete for scholarships either through the national high school scholarship process or the campus based scholarship process.  Cadets that excel in academics, fitness, and leadership have increased odds of either receiving 4, 3, or a 2 year scholarship.  Just joining ROTC does not guarantee anyone a scholarship; the Cadet has to put the work in first to earn one.

Cierra Neumann is a 4-year Army ROTC National Scholarship recipient to Eastern Washington University who received scholarship benefits worth $77,000.

Myth #6:  Army ROTC Cadets are Deployable

No, it is Army policy that Cadets cannot be deployed while enrolled in ROTC.  Only after commissioning as an officer after college graduation and then completing nearly a year of advanced training will someone become eligible to deploy.

EWU Army ROTC Cadet, Rebekah Hardin takes a test.

Myth #7:  Athletes Cannot Participate in ROTC

Yes, student athlete can still enroll into ROTC.  For example a Duke University basketball player joined ROTC and commissioned as an officer in the National Guard while playing in the NBA for the New York Knicks.  ROTC will work with student athletes to adjust assignment due dates and class attendance to not interfere with practice and games during the athletic season.

Mahliek Roberts from the Class of 2018 was an athlete and a Cadet during his time at EWU. He is now a successful commissioned officer serving in the Military Police branch.

Myth #8: National Guard or Reservists Cannot Join Army ROTC

EWU Army ROTC has many Cadets that are part of the National Guard or Reserves.  They participate in ROTC through the Simultaneous Membership Program.  SMP Cadets not only conduct ROTC training activities, but also participate in one weekend a month and two weeks annual drill with their Reserve or National Guard unit.  Contracted SMP Cadets not only receive $420 a month from ROTC, but also receive money from the Army Reserve or National Guard for their drill days.  SMP Cadets also can choose to accept a Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duties (GRFD) Scholarship that will allow them to pay for college and then commission as an officer in the National Guard or U.S. Army Reserves after graduation. If an SMP Cadet accepts a GRFD they cannot commission into the Active Duty Army.

Thomas Luce is an SMP Cadet that serves in the Washington State National Guard.

Myth #9: There is Not Enough Time to Work a Job and Still Do ROTC

Most of our Cadets have jobs and still are full time students and conduct their ROTC requirements. If there are work scheduling issues that come up the ROTC Cadre will accommodate Cadets on a case-by-case basis.

Myth #10:  It is too Late to Enroll in ROTC If You Don’t Join as a Freshman

Students who are already in their second year of study can still join ROTC.  If the Basic Course curriculum is not able to be compressed before the student’s projected graduation date, they may have to attend Basic Camp at Ft. Knox, Kentucky during the summer to catch them up.  Basic Camp is not Basic Training.   It is a four-week summer leadership training camp that enables Cadets that joined ROTC late to enter the Advanced Course (300-400 level courses) and compete for an ROTC scholarship.  All Cadets who attend Basic Camp are paid along with all transportation, lodging, and food provided by the Army.  About half of our Cadets join ROTC later in their college careers so this is nothing new or unusual.  Contact our EWU Army ROTC office at rotc@ewu.edu or 509-359-6110 to discuss your options for joining ROTC.

Note: There are many myths out there about ROTC and want this to be a forum to address them.  If anyone has any questions of things they heard about ROTC please leave a comment below and we will answer it.   ROTC is definitely not for everyone, but having accurate information will help you make a better decision on whether you want to enroll or not.

Become A National Guard Officer Through EWU Army ROTC

EWU and the National Guard

The Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) commissions Army officers not only onto Active Duty, but into the Army Reserves and the National Guard. This video shows the various training events conducted in ROTC and is narrated by 2018 EWU Army ROTC graduate First Lieutenant (1LT) Rebecca Troutt who is an officer in the Washington Army National Guard.

The National Guard provides a great opportunity for EWU students to serve their state and local communities while still pursuing a civilian career. The coronavirus pandemic and the wildfires in the Pacific Northwest has demonstrated what an important role the National Guard has in supporting communities in the region.

For students considering National Guard service as an officer, contact us at rotc@ewu.edu or 509-359-6110 to learn more about EWU Army ROTC. We offer scholarship designed exclusively for students pursuing National Guard service. Scholarships are available! Contact us to learn more!

Go Guard! Go Eags!

Fighting Eagles Cadet Receives ROTC Scholarship Worth Over $90,000

EWU Army ROTC is please to announce that incoming transfer student Mykenzie Belliotti has been awarded a scholarship to Eastern worth over $90,000.  Welcome to our Fighting Eagles 🦅 team!  Read more about MyKenzie at the Instagram post below.


How to Apply for a 2021 ROTC National High School Scholarship

The 2021 Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) National Scholarship season began on June 12, 2020.  Army ROTC National Scholarships are for qualified high school seniors planning to attend a four-year university and are interested in training to become a future officer in the U.S. Army.  If you have already graduated high school please contact the Eastern Washington University (EWU) ROTC office because we have other scholarship options available.

EWU ROTC Cadets from the class of 2019 commission as officers into the U.S. Army.

ROTC National Scholarship Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be between the ages of 17 and 26
  • Have a high school GPA of at least 2.50
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Score a minimum of 1000 on the SAT (math/verbal) or 19 on the ACT (excluding the required writing test scores)
  • Meet physical standards
  • Agree to accept a commission and serve in the Army on Active Duty or in a Reserve Component (Army Reserve or Army National Guard)

If you meet the basic requirements, below are the instructions on how to apply for a ROTC National Scholarship.  You can get about 75% of the application completed in under an hour.

ROTC National Scholarship Process:

Step #1: You need to complete an on-line application that you can access through this link.  Applicants must initiate the on-line application by 4 February 2020. Remember your login and password for your cadet portal. Your login is the email you use to establish your account.

Step #2: Submit high school transcripts (at least through junior year) and SAT or ACT scores. You can upload PDFs through your account in the Cadet portal.

Step #3: Take the ROTC Basic Fitness Test.  A coach or PE teacher can administer this for you.

Step #4: Conduct an interview at one of the university ROTC programs (ideally where your first choice of college is).  We can do this any time here at Eastern after you start the on-line application. We are more than willing to conduct a Skype interview if you live several hours away.  Please reach us through our Contact page or call 509-359-6110 to setup an interview.

Make sure to read the below articles to help you with the ROTC scholarship process:

ROTC National Scholarship Timeline

The Army understands high school students could still be in the process of taking SATs and ACTs during their senior year.  Because of this the Army has three different boards that meet throughout the year to select ROTC scholarship winners.  Below is the board timeline.

1st Board

09 October 2020:  All four steps listed above must be completed on the GoArmy site before this date to be considered by the first board.  The application will not be considered if any of the steps are not completed.  A benefit of completing the ROTC packet in time for the first board is that even if your packet is not selected it will be looked at again by the second and third boards thus increasing your chances of receiving a scholarship.

19 October 2020:  This is the date that the first board convenes and reviews every packet that was submitted by the 09 October 2020 deadline.

2nd Board

15 January 2021:  All four steps listed above must be completed on the GoArmy site before this date to be considered by the second board.  The application will not be considered if any of the steps are not completed.  A benefit of completing the ROTC packet in time for the second board is that even if your packet is not selected it will be looked at again by the third board thus increasing your chances of receiving a scholarship.

25 January 2021:  This is the date that the second board convenes and reviews every packet that was submitted by the 15 January 2021 deadline.

4 February 2021:  This is the deadline to initiate new 2019-2020 ROTC scholarship applications.  If an application is not initiated by1159pm EST it will not be considered by the final board. Those who already have an application open can continue to modify it passed this deadline.

3rd Board

05 March 2021:  All four steps listed above must be completed on the GoArmy site before this date to be considered by the third board.  The application will not be considered if any of the steps are not completed.

15 March 2021:  Board convenes and runs until every packet that was board ready by the start of the board, has been reviewed.

Please view the below video for more information about submitting an ROTC scholarship application.

ROTC Scholarship Selection

Selection for ROTC scholarships are highly competitive and at EWU ROTC we recommend getting your application complete and seen in time for the second board.  The majority of scholarships are issued from the second and third boards and getting the application complete by the second board will increase your chances of receiving a scholarship.  Decisions on the scholarships awarded are usually released two to four weeks after each board.  Periodically check the Selection Status tab on your GoArmy application to see if you were selected.

An ROTC National Scholarship recipient to Eastern Washington University received scholarship benefits worth $77,000.

If you were not selected after the third board do not give up hope of receiving a scholarship.  There is a secondary process for applicants to earn a scholarship. Any  ROTC program can make an alternate offer to applicants that were not offered a national award. We get most of our new, incoming freshman on scholarships using this alternate process. Applying for the national scholarship is simply the first step. It is very simple and easy for us to make an alternate offer, but you first have to put together the ROTC application.

Please contact the EWU ROTC office for any additional details about how the scholarship selection process works.


Keep up-to-date on all the latest news and notes from the EWU ROTC program and Cadet Command in general by subscribing to our website using the sign up widget in the right sidebar.  You can also follow EWU ROTC at the below social media channels:

Remember if you have any questions about the ROTC National Scholarship process, please leave a comment, contact our office, or reach out to us through our social media sites.  We are here to help and want you to be as successful as possible to receive an Army ROTC scholarship.

Go ROTC!  Go Fighting Eags!

Fighting Eagles Alumni Excels in Her Career as an Army Nurse


For National Nurses Week, the EWU Army ROTC “Fighting Eagles” battalion would like to recognize 2017 EWU graduate, Kaylee Nunley who has started off a great career as an Army nurse.  Kaylee grew up in Spokane Valley where she attended EWU for pre-nursing and joined ROTC.  After completing the pre-nursing curriculum at EWU, she was accepted into the Washington State University (WSU)-Spokane College of Nursing.  While attending nursing school she had the opportunity to attend a summer internship at the Army hospital at Ft. Wainwright, AK.


After graduating from EWU and the College of Nursing, she commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. She next completed her Basic Officer Leadership Course for nurses at Fort Sam Houston, Texas before arriving at her first duty station at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.  Walter Reed is the military’s premier hospital.  At Walter Reed Kaylee served for three years as a registered nurse serving as a medical surgical pediatric nurse.

After completing her assignment at Walter Reed, the now First Lieutenant (1LT) Nunley is currently attending public health nurse training at Ft. Sam Houston.  After she completes her training later this month, she will then move to her next duty station in Ft. Wainwright, Alaska.  There she will serve as the Chief of Army Public Health Nursing focusing on preventive medicine for Soldiers and families.

During her Army journey, 1LT Nunley has also married and became a mom.  EWU Army ROTC congratulates Kaylee for a great start to her career as an Army nurse.

World War II Army Nurse Corps recruiting poster.
World War II Army Nurse Corps recruiting poster.

Did you know that EWU Army ROTC has the largest ROTC nursing program in Washington State and the Inland Northwest?  We have a track record of commissioning quality nurses on to Active Duty and into Army Reserves.  If you are interested in serving your country as well as beginning a career as a health care professional, consider Army nursing.  Scholarships are available to qualified applicants and Army ROTC has guaranteed slots into Nursing School.  Learn more about about the ROTC nursing program at this link.  You can also use our Contact page or email us at rotc@ewu.edu to answer any questions you may have.

Go Army Nursing!  Go Fighting Eags!


EWU Army ROTC Nursing Cadet Featured in Inside EWU Article


Recently one of our outstanding nursing Cadets, Kylie Crooks was awarded the Major General Barbara R. Holcomb Army Nurse Cadet Excellence Award as the top nursing Cadet in the 8th ROTC Brigade. Eastern’s very own, Inside EWU did a great profile piece on Cadet Crooks and the award. Definitely worth reading the whole profile piece at this link and once again great job by Cadet Crooks for being selected for this prestigious award.

Is Army Nursing for You?

Any EWU student who wants to be a healthcare professional and has an interest in serving their country should consider Army nursing.  If you are not sure if the Army is for you, ROTC is the one way to explore military service with no obligation to join.  Our nursing Cadets complete their first two to three years of Nursing and ROTC pre-requisites on Eastern’s Cheney campus. The nursing Cadets then complete their final two years at the Washington State University (WSU) College of Nursing in downtown Spokane.  The WSU College of Nursing reserves seats in each class for ROTC Nurses that achieve their admissions standards.  To qualify for one of the reserved nursing seats you must make the decision to contract into ROTC by then.

EWU Army ROTC currently has the largest Cadet nursing program in Washington State and the Inland Northwest.  We have a proven track record of our nursing Cadets receiving scholarships and going on to become healthcare professionals in service to our nation.  You can learn more about our nursing program at this link and feel free to contact us at this link with any questions.

Go ROTC!  Go Army Nursing!