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How to Join the Duke Battalion

Enrolling in Army ROTC at JMU is simple.  The 100 and 200 level Military Science courses (Basic Course) are open to Freshmen and Sophomores (and select Juniors/Seniors by exception) who are students at James Madison University or at one of our crosstown unit schools (Bridgewater College/Blue Ridge CC).  Incoming Freshman students will enroll in MSCI 101 (2 credit lecture) and MSCI 100 (2 credit leadership lab).  This begins the progression through the Professional Military Education curriculum needed in order to complete the requirements for the 4 year commissioning program.  These classes can be taken to gain leadership experience and other valuable skills which are necessary for any career, not just the Army.  You can try it out and see if a career as an Army Officer is right for you.  There is no military obligation for enrolling in the basic course classes.  If you are a current sophomore and are interested in enrolling for the upcoming semester, contact the Recruiting Operations Officer for information about which classes are appropriate for you based on your current academic status.  This ensures you are properly aligned with the correct MSCI classes.

The Military Science 300 and 400 level courses are limited to contracted Cadets only, who have completed the basic course requirements (or equivalent, ie. prior service, basic camp, etc.), and are contracted in ROTC according to department policy.

Crosstown Unit Schools - Our crosstown unit schools include Bridgewater College and Blue Ridge Community College. Students attending Bridgewater College can enroll in ROTC through the JMU Outreach and Engagement office as a non-degree seeking student. These classes are paid for by the students at JMU rates.  Students attending Blue Ridge Community College can enroll in MSC 111 and MSC 196 through the BRCC enrollment system.  You can view these course offerings at https://www.brcc.edu/academics/programs/leadership . These classes correspond to the JMU Military Science basic courses offered on the JMU campus.  Crosstown unit school students attend all training on the JMU campus while attending their respective college. BRCC students can transfer to JMU after their sophomore year, and BWC students graduate from BWC and commission from JMU.  Because each student is different depending on their academic level, contact the Recruiting Operations Officer for more information about which enrollment option is best for you.  The most important aspect of enrolling in ROTC is making sure that you are aligned correctly with the required military science classes and your academic plan based on your major. 

There is no military obligation for taking the 100 and 200 level courses.


Incoming Freshmen

If you are an incoming freshman and you want to join ROTC, all you need to do is enroll in the MSCI 101 and MSCI 100 classes for the FALL semester.  This can be done during summer orientation.  If you have won an Army ROTC scholarship out of high school, you will be notified by the ROTC department regarding enrollment procedures for the basic classes, and other requirements prior to summer orientation.

Current Freshman

If you're a current Freshman going into the Spring semester, you can enroll even if you didn't take an military science courses in the Fall.  All you need to do is register for MSCI 102 and MSCI 100 for the Spring.  You must meet all other eligibility criteria in order to contract prior to your junior year of college.  Contact the Recruiting Operations Officer for more information.

Transfer Students

If you're planning on transferring from another college to JMU (whether you've taken any military science courses at your current school or not), you need to contact the Recruiting Operations Officer for information about which classes to enroll in upon entering JMU based on your academic level.  It's very important that we correctly align you with the correct military science classes based on your academic level coming into JMU.

Nursing Students

JMU’s nursing program develops the skills and inner- strength necessary to succeed in today’s health profession.  Army ROTC enhances your undergraduate or graduate nursing education by providing the unique leadership and management training, along with the practical experience needed for success. In doing this, we increase that inner-strength while also developing the outer strength necessary to provide outstanding health care to service members and their families, at home and abroad, in times of peace and war.

Based on our well established relationship with the JMU School of Nursing, the Army has charged our program with a Nurse Commission mission which reflects the quality and professionalism of the Duke Battalion and the Nursing Cadets who graduate from JMU, providing the Army with well training and confident Army Nurses who serve in the Nurse Corps around the world.

ROTC and the School of Nursing has established a partnership program for select nursing Cadets who meet the required entrance standards into the upper level nursing division.

Nursing Scholarships may be available to those who qualify.  Find out more information about the Army ROTC Nursing Program.

Basic Camp (2 Year Option)

If you're a current sophomore (or graduate student with at least 2 years remaining in college) and have not taken any of the basic course military science classes, there is a 2 Year ROTC Option.  Eligible applicants can apply to attend Basic Camp during the summer prior to your junior year.  The course is 29 days long at Fort Knox, Kentucky.  Basic Camp exposes college students to the individual military and leadership skills which will help them integrate into the Advanced Course for the MS III year (300 level).   If you're interested in learning more about Basic Camp, contact the Recruiting Operations Officer, or go to http://www.cadetcommand.army.mil/basic.aspx to find out more.  Based on performance and scholarship availability, Basic Camp scholarships may be offerd, plus a $5,000 incentive bonus may be awarded to those students who complete the course and commit to contracting into ROTC. Basic Camp slots are limited to selected qualified students.  Contact us for more information and to see if you have what it takes.

Documentation for ROTC Enrollment

Once a student is enrolled in the military science courses, certain enrollment documents must be completed. These documents will be provided to you on the first day of class.  The enrollment documents are required to legally allow students to participate in the various types of training conducted within ROTC.

  • Cadet Enrollment Record (Cadet Command Form 139-R)
  • Authorization for Access to Student Records (Cadet Command Form 137-R)
  • Briefing on Government Sponsored Benefits (Cadet Command Form 136-R)
  • Medical Fitness Statement (Department of the Army Form 3425-R)

Additionally, CADETS must provide proof of citizenship or immigration (ie. birth certificate and social security card). The Commanding General of Cadet Command must approve enrollment for any non-immigrant alien desiring to sign up for Military Science courses.

Contracting Requirements

What is Contracting?? Contracting means that a Cadet accepts the committment of completing all requirments that Cadet Command and the Army mandate in order to commission as a 2LT in the US Army.  Once contracted, a Cadet commits to an 8 year minimum service obligation in the Regular Army, Army Reserves, or National Guard upon commissioning.  Once contracted, a Cadet earns a monthy stipend based on their academic level ($300/$350/$450/$500).  In order to contract, a Cadet must meet all eligibility requirements. Here are the basic requirements for contracting:

  • Be a US Citizen
  • Be be between 17 and 31 years old (age waivers available)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (2.5 for scholarship eligibility)
  • Pass the Army Physical Fitness Test
  • Pass the Army's medical exam (DODMERB)
  • Complete or have credit for the 100 level Basic Course (exceptions: 4 year scholarship winners will contract at the start of the Fall semester as long as they have met the medical and physical fitness standards upon arriving)

***CONTRACTING is not automatic or guaranteed.  You MUST meet the standards and be approved by the Professor of Military Science (Dept Head). 

Physical Fitness Requirements

In order to contract into the ROTC program, you must not only be mentally fit, but physically fit as well.  Our phyical fitness program consists of mandatory training 2 days a week (M/W) from 0550 to 0700 each morning. Students that are enrolled in classes but NOT contracted are highly encouraged to attend PT (Physical Training) to improve their fitness level and get to know how the Army Physical Fitness Program works and get to know the other Cadets and Cadre better.  If you want to excel in the program and be competive for scholarhips and other training opportunities, physical fitness participation is highly encouraged.

Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT)- The APFT consists of the push up, the sit up, and the 2 mile run.  Each event is scored on a 100 point scale, for a total of 300 points maximum (standard scale).  In order to contract, you are required to pass the APFT with a minimum score of 180 (60 points in each event).  If enrolled but not contracted, you are not required to take the APFT, however in order for us to assess your physical fitness level and capabilities, we encourage you to take the test to see where you may need improvement.  Developing you physically is a hugh compenent of our program.  If you're out of shape, don't worry, we'll help you get into the best physical condition you've ever been in.  We administer the test during the first or second week of school, and monthly thereafter.  We conduct the APFT at the ISAT track on east campus.  You will be tested by performing 2 minutes of push ups, two minutes of sit ups, and then run 2 miles (8 laps).  The minimum passing score for each event (for a 17 to 21 year old) is:

Male: push up - 42; sit up - 53; 2 mi run - 15:54 or better

Female: push up - 19; sit up - 53; 2 mi run - 18:54 or better

Here's a look at the APFT from a Cadets perspective.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlihmc6cqpc

Army ROTC National High School Scholarship Program

You can learn more about the JMU Army ROTC Scholarship program here

Want to learn more about how to apply for an Army ROTC High School Scholarship?  Click on the link below to visit the Army's ROTC website for further information.


You can also watch this video which explains how to complete the Army ROTC Scholarship application


There are also 2 or 3 year Scholarship opportunities for current college students.  These scholarship opportunities are merit based and are limited by current year funding.  Ask the Recruiting Operations Officer about our current scholarships available, to include GRFD (Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty) scholarships.  GRFD Scholarships are for Cadets who commit to serving in either the National Guard or Army Reserves upon commissioning for a period of 8 years.

If you are a high school Army ROTC scholarship winner, you will be contacted by the Recruiting Operations Officer for more information about military science class enrollment and other requirements prior to starting school.


*** AIR FORCE ROTC (UVA) - The Air Force ROTC program offers JMU students the opportunity to join the UVA AFROTC Detachment and enroll in classes held at UVA.   If you're interested in the Air Force ROTC program, contact the UVA AFROTC Detachment POC at 434-924-6832 or afrotc@virginia.edu.  You can visit their website at http://www.virginia.edu/afrotc/ or http://www.virginia.edu/afrotc/?p=contact


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