UT’s ROTC program is now offering $5,000 bonuses to students joining ROTC and completing ROTC Basic Camp.
Sophomores and seniors who are interested in joining ROTC and are pursuing graduate school will qualify for the incentive, said Philip Stevenson, recruiting operations officer for UT’s ROTC.
Students joining the program, Lateral Entry, will graduate as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.
This is an important advantage because commissioned officers start at a much higher rank, as “Officers take their commission directly from the President of the United States. It comes from no one else than the President,” Stevenson said.
Officers also have a higher average starting salary, at around $57,000 per year.
The Lateral Entry option was always available, but this is the first year the Army has added the cash bonus. However, it is also impossible to tell how many years the Army will continue the bonus, he added.
Students will have the option to take the cash bonus or apply for a scholarship for their tuition throughout the following years of ROTC training.
Stevenson believes this incentive will really boost interest and participation in ROTC programs across the country.
There are plenty of spots available for the opportunity.
“Our brigade is slated that we have to send 150 students this summer, and in our brigade, we have 38 schools,” Stevenson said.
According to the Army’s ROTC webpage, the requirements for program eligibility include attending the camp, signing on to an ROTC non-scholarship contract and enrolling in ROTC military science courses that following fall semester.
The ROTC Basic Camp introduces students to ROTC and the Army, giving them basic military science knowledge and preparing them for further training.
ROTC participation is a great opportunity because, “ROTC on a college campus is the only way to test drive the military before you have to be committed,” Robertson said.